Photography: Jsquared Photography
Make Up: Kelsey Deenihan for NARS and Exclusive Artists
What do you like best about your work? The thing I love most about my work is having the great opportunity to move and entertain people, to offer people a different perception than their own, a chance to live in someone else’s skin, even if it is only for a short period of time. I love being able to step into another human being’s life, to dwell in it, to feel what they feel and live as they live. If I’m doing my job well I’m affecting people, making them think about their own lives. It’s incredibly humbling.
What is your most memorable experience on the set and where did it happen? There are too many to choose from. I think anytime I’ve been challenged and trusted enough by my directors and my fellow actors I’ve reached a new level of trusting myself and my work. When that happens its like a leaping across the Grand Canyon. Those are the moments I remember most, they are huge milestones that I think about every time I start a new job. It happened on the set of “Mad Men”, when I was lucky enough to be directed by the show’s creator, Matthew Weiner, and he was so wonderful and patient with me. It happened on the set of “Past Life” too, working with incredibly talented and giving actors and a great director, Steven DePaul.
What is your favorite thing in your closet? I have a beautiful black vintage cardigan that belonged to my mother’s mother. It’s one of the few things left in the family that belonged to my grandmother. I never wear it because it has fur all around the neckline and I’m opposed to wearing fur but I just can’t bring myself to get rid of it. It has such sentimental value, and I’m a sucker for sentimental stuff.
Who is your favorite couture designer? Right now my absolute favorite is Ricardo Tisci for Givenchy. I really enjoyed his fall 2009 collection. As an actress I spend a lot of time living in other realities, so when I see Tisci’s collections, it has a familiarity for me. It’s fun and it takes us away from every day life into our dreams and fantasies. In my dreams I’m wearing his dresses.
Who is your favorite ready to wear designer? Roberto Cavalli! My incredible stylist Natalie Yuri has been dressing me in Just Cavalli a lot lately and his clothes fit me like a glove, which is difficult to find because I’m so small. I feel gorgeous every time I put his clothes on. Thank you Mr. Cavalli!
Who are your influences? Humanity is my influence. I am a perpetual student, and I love seeing and doing new things, learning about new cultures. The abuses and indecencies in the world influence me deeply, and really make me want to create, to make a statement about them, to open the eyes of the world. As for my craft, I am lucky to have an incredible group of extremely talented friends and family around me that challenge me to try harder, to do better every day.
Where did you learn to Act? I’ve been acting for a long time, and I’ve studied with so many different teachers, but I’d have to say the two people that truly broke through all the education and showed me how to truly “be”, to inhabit the life of the characters that I play are Robert Carnegie at Playhouse West in Los Angeles, and Warner Loughlin, who helped me find my wings.
What do you do for fun? I’m a bit of a homebody so when I’m not working I spend a lot of time at home with my husband, my friends and my animals. I love to cook and I’m always in the kitchen trying something new. If I have the time I love to go on roadtrips and go camping or hiking someplace I haven’t been before.
What can you tell Runway that the rest of the world doesn’t know? When I first moved to Los Angeles I worked at Starbucks to pay the bills.
Who is your favorite politician? That’s a hard one…I suppose it really depends on their track record…which unfortunately changes quite often so I really couldn’t say. I prefer one who tells the truth. Tell us about your home town. I’m originally from Beaumont, Texas. It’s hot and humid and full of wonderful people on the Gulf Coast. The South Texas State Fair is held there every year. Louisiana is only 45 minutes away, so my parents used to take us to Mardi Gras every year. We had beads coming out of our ears. Funny, I haven’t been back to Mardi Gras since I became an adult but I don’t remember it being so wild back then. I always thought it was a kids’ parade!
What is your favorite color? Color is such an emotional thing for me. My favorite color changes depending on what mood my life is in at the moment. I’ve been into deep blue for awhile now, but I love purple and red too.
What are your plans for the future? To make great films and great TV, and make a difference in the world while I’m doing it.