I’ve heard buzz that you might be working with another renowned director, Werner Herzog, on his feature Vernon God Little, can you tell me a bit about that?
Yeah, I’m attached to that, hopefully my schedule allows me to do it. My fingers are crossed, that would be such a cool experience, and an incredible next step — to work with Paul and then work with him.
It would be huge…
It would be massive (laughing)! It would be huge for my career and an incredible place to move forward from.
How did you come upon the script? Were you already familiar with the book by DBC Pierre?
I actually wasn’t familiar with the book. There wasn’t a lot of information when I went into the audition, and then when I actually realized who was a part of it and who was attached and what the potential was for this movie, I got so excited.
Have you met the director already?
Yes, he’s such a down to earth person. He sat there with his coffee and talked to me about random things. There was no pressure.
Really? He seems like he would be intimidating.
Oh, believe me, I was so intimidated (laughing), but he made me feel comfortable.
What’s your character like in that film?
(Laughing) She is…
You’re laughing, why?
I laughed because she is extremely prissy and has such an attitude. And her character arc is really interesting…and surprising; you don’t really expect it from her. I don’t know how much I can say about her, but she would be really fun to play.
Is that part of the appeal with roles like this and Japonica Fenway, the challenge of playing something outside your comfort zone or what audiences haven’t seen you do before?
That’s exactly what it is. From the very beginning of my career, from when I was little, I always wanted to do different things. It’s a challenge playing somebody totally different, somebody you’re not necessarily comfortable with — playing someone that’s not who you are as a person. That’s one of the amazing things about being an actor, you’re really trying to make your audience feel something, and you really want them to believe the story you’re telling. To transform yourself into different people…it’s not only fun for us [as actors], but when it’s your passion, it feeds you soul. And, if that transcends and the audiences sees that and appreciates that, that is really all we can ask for. To be able to play this role, and Japonica, would be so different and so wonderful for my soul. It’s a move forward.
And those types of roles are so interesting to watch as an audience member.
I love playing different people, and basically fitting myself into different people. You really get to totally transform yourself and totally think in a different mind set when filming. Even playing Alison in Pretty Little Liars, you would never be that person in real-life.
You mentioned Alison, your Pretty Little Liars character, let’s talk a bit about the show. The mid season finale just aired and fans are going crazy trying to figure out what’s going to happen next; what’s one thing they can expect come the return of Season 5?
This season has been a change, my character is back and it’s a new dynamic with the girls because of what Alison brings back with her. Really, what the fans can expect is an emotional rollercoaster; Alison goes off the rails and the girls are trying to deal with it and stuff in their own relationships. They’re kind of cracking, but still standing together.
The show’s popularity is huge, it’s amazing how it’s grown over the years.
From the first season until now, you’ve seen the characters grow so much, and really, they’re becoming adults, and the fact that our show has moved to that level is awesome. Our demographic has grown, it’s not just 13, 18-year-olds that like our show, 20 and 30, 40-year-olds appreciate our show, and that’s an honour. We were just a little show that might work on ABC Family and it’s grown into so much more.
And I understand you’ve been signed on for two more seasons, so there’s even more time to continue to grow.
It would be amazing if it all play out the way [showrunner] Marlene King wants it to; she has an amazing creative vision. I’m really excited about the 6th and 7th season, I know a little bit about them. Fans are going to totally flip because it takes what our show is about and takes it into a totally new direction, a brilliant direction.
Speaking of fans, have you gotten use to the mass popularity of the show? It seems like it would be overwhelming in some ways in terms of just having a regular life.
I don’t really think we know the half of it (laughing). I think social media is a big part of that. It’s neat to see the fans so invested, but my life has completely changed, you’re completely right. For me, I love my work and I love what I do, and the recognition and fame comes afterwards; it’s just an added part of what I do. I don’t really think about that as much as my work. And to realize what’s going on outside our stage at the WB, it’s really…crazy (laughing).
Let’s talk fashion and beauty, first off, we love your red carpet style! What look do you usual go for when preparing for the red carpet?
I love my stylist Jeff Kim, he’s taken me out of my comfort zone. If you look at my closet, 90 percent of my clothing is black — that’s what I’m comfortable with, and I’m kind of a creature of habit. I generally like to keep it classy, and he’s helped me with that, but I’m also now wearing brighter colours.
Helps to have someone, especially a pro, give you a push when it comes to evolving your style.
He taught me to move outside of my comfort zone, and now I’m working with so many great designers like Valentino and Vera Wang, and I never thought I’d get to that position. The designers have been wonderful to me, and I’m having a lot of fun. I love fashion!
So you follow runway trends, then?
Totally. I feel kind of bad not to be able to go to Fashion Week this year. It’s weird not going, but I’ll be there for work in October, so that will be fun. I love New York.
Is PLL and fashion shoots like the one you recently shot with us a bit like playing dress up for you? Do you have fun stepping into character on a shoot?
Actually, when I started off in the business, I started off modeling in commercials. And modeling, especially editorial, was my favourite. I’ve always loved it. Every time I do a photo shoot, I love it, I absolutely love it. Being able to dive into different fashions and styles and to see what different magazines what to put you in is so much fun.
With the paparazzi always buzzing about, do you feel pressure to look good all the time?
Ummm…yes (laughing). I changed my mindset so I don’t feel like I have to be in heels 24-7, but it’s more so that I just have to look decent. And as a person, that’s an okay thing to do (laughing), it’s a good thing to practice when you go out. I don’t go over the top; I’m still a normal person…so, so long as I look somewhat presentable, I’m fine. And honestly, in my regular life, I’m either barefoot or in heels, there’s not much in between. I’m a girl still, so it’s really not hard to want to look good when I go out (laughing).
Who is your style idol?
I like a lot of different styles…I don’t know if I have one person. I really like Jennifer Aniston, not because our styles are the same, but because she stayed classy from day one.
On that note, how would you describe your personal style?
I am a creature of habit to some degree. I really like All Saints. My natural, everyday style is pretty similar to All Saints, and maybe a little mix of Anthropologie — I love that bohemian look. And I’m really into stilettos right now (laughing)…I’m very much a girl, very much a girl.
Last question, what are your plans for the fall? Seems like you have a lot on the go!
So, I’m going to be doing Pretty Little Liars until November, meanwhile doing press for Inherent Vice, and also there might be another film in there (laughing), so I’m going to be a very very busy girl! It’s a dream come true, it’s been a blast getting to do all these projects. Even if I get no sleep, it’s still worth it!Published September 3, 2014
Styling by Skye Stewart-Short Makeup by Sonia Lee for Exclusive Artist Management using Votre Vu Hair by Sylvia Wheeler for Atelier Management using Bumble and bumble Nails by Joanie Moscatello for Exclusive Artist Management using Dazzle Dry
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