Having success at a young age, do you still have surreal moments?
I don’t know that anyone that’s working ever thinks that they’ve made it necessarily because there is always more that you want to do and there are always bigger dreams to dream but I have surreal experiences everyday. Just that this is my life, that I get to work with these people, that I get to create something. That’s surreal in and of itself.
You recently posted an Instagram referencing, “failure is the step before success”. Why did that strike a chord with you?
I think looking at how to evolve and grow is a lifelong endeavor, especially for women. To be able to have a safe space to have interesting conversations with one another is fascinating to me, whether it’s a group of us sitting around the dinner table or in the digital space. That is what’s meaningful to me. A lot of people look at others they don’t know and think, “That person has made it,” or, “That person has it figured out,” or, “That person is where they want to be in their life,” but I don’t think that anybody is. I think that no matter what you’ve achieved you’re still human, you still feel doubt and you still feel fear. So for me I try to have conversations around topics that I find interesting, be it at the moment risk or more recently vulnerability. When we were approaching the new year we started this giant digital conversation about resolve rather than the idea of resolution. What do you want to resolve to create in your life? What intentions do you want to set? I’m just so inspired by having the space to do that.
Who do you get your strength from?
I actually don’t know. It’s funny, anyone who spends time with my parents always tells me what a mixture of the two of them I am so maybe there is some sort of special thing that they did for me in all of that DNA jumbling. They are great people and I think more than anything they taught me to speak my mind and to know that I’m valuable.
Is that what you hope to bring to other young women?
It’s interesting because I know the ways in which I am gripped with fear and doubt, as we mentioned a moment ago. I may be this woman who can be a warrior, but I’m also a mess! We are all many things. There are times in my life where I think, “If I had such great parents and I’m still a mess, what happens to young women who don’t have parents who talk to them or support them in the ways that mine did?” That’s part of the reason why so many of my friends and I work on creating that sort of validation and conversation for women. Because a lot of people don’t have it and a lot of people don’t have it with their friends. You have to find it and you have to make it. It’s a pretty incredible experience to see that become its own entity in our digital space that we’ve all been making.
When you hit tough times the whole world is watching. How do you get through that?
I’m a very open person but there is a lot that I’m really private about. I think you have to be. At the end of the day you have to let go of the thought that anyone will actually know what happened. Ever. In this universe. Because nobody ever does! One sentence you utter gets re-tweeted and posted on a thousand blogs and other things that you say don’t. And that goes for good things, bad things, all things. At the end of the day you just can’t care so much because it’s all such a weird thing. When anything happens to me in that arena I have my best friends that I can vent to who remind me that that world in and of itself is absolutely insane and not normal and does not actually get to affect or touch my life.
Do you find having a good head on your shoulders to be rare in Hollywood among young actresses?
I don’t know. I’m certainly not going to call myself anything special or otherwise. It’s not my job to judge people. I’m just doing me and living my life, I’m really fortunate to have great people in it and work with some amazing organizations that I find my soul in. I’m really lucky that I enjoy my work so much because not everybody has that and I haven’t always had that. So to be in this position feels great but it doesn’t make me look at other people and decide what I want to judge about them.
What do you look forward to doing most when you have a day off?
Oh, I have not even had a day off [in so long]. Honestly at this point I would love to just cook a meal and do some laundry. I don’t have time to do normal human things because when you work from 4 in the morning to 10 o’clock at night everyday you don’t get to do that kind of stuff. Every once in a while we get a moment but I’m definitely looking forward to the break. I have some travel planned and I can’t wait to get home.
Have you gotten used to the Chicago winters yet?
I mean today [at 34 degrees] it’s warm, right? No, it’s terrible. I miss being able to wear shoes! Not just snow boots. You can’t even wear [cute boots] because you’ll ruin them, they just get salty and gross.
What is your favorite part of your day on set?
It’s really when we’re shooting and developing a storyline that’s emotionally interesting and we’re doing something active. Things like being stuck in makeup is torture for me because I have to sit still for two hours. While our team is great and we have a good time in there, it’s still a long time.
Temperatures aside, what about the city of Chicago have you learned since moving here?
I don’t think I knew what an architecturally rich city it was before I moved here. I’m a bit of a design nut so discovering all of that has been really fun for me.
Given the chance to trade places with someone for a day, who would you choose?
I’ve said it before but I would love to be in Anderson Cooper’s shoes for a day. I would love to land on the front lines of a current events issue and be on the ground examining it, speaking to people, really seeing it from the inside. I would also love to be Oprah for a day. I just want to know how she does it!
If you could have a drink with anyone, who would it be?
I’d love to have a bourbon with the FLOTUS. I mean, who wouldn’t?!
KIRSTEN MICCOLI / A DRINK WITH
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