Considering you spend your time between London and L.A., do you notice a difference in the way that Europeans and Americans react to sexuality?
Yeah definitely, I think Americans are a little shyer about it. But I think films made in the U.S. and films made in Europe are the reason why I am doing this, so it is important to combine the two. In Europe, nudity is not as complicated or not as shocking—you go to a beach in the south of France and all the women are sun bathing topless. I think Europe is more used to it. But also, in my experience, I have done a lot of films where I have showed some skin and America has definitely been very kind to me about it.
Being a 23-year-old actress, do you ever feel a certain pressure that a lot of young Hollywood stars seem to have to maintain a certain image?
Yeah definitely. It is important to be as much of a blank canvas as you can when you are going to meetings and stuff. At this point, for me to stay true to myself and the work I want to do, I really have to do that.
Playing a part is like learning and studying people. It's great because the only research you can do is really live your life, and meet people, and listen to people’s stories, and make your own stories so you can draw from that knowledge to create a character.
And I am a girl, you know? There are days where I look in the mirror and I am like, “Shit, I should probably shower.” On days when I'm not auditioning or working, I will be exactly who I want to be, unshowered and all. But then every other day, when I am working or I am fighting to get work, I am going to do whatever I have to do to get that part. I am going to dye my hair a different color or something. But I find that process exciting. It’s constantly keeps me alive when I work. Whether it is just an audition or whether I'm going to set to shoot the scene, it's important to keep the acting constant.
Is there anything that you wont do?
Uh, I am pretty open to trying it all. We’ll see what happens in the future, but I think it is kind of important to dip your toes in everything and if it doesn’t work then you just don’t do it again.
Have you ever thought of the ideal role you'd want to play?
Well, I think a lot about directors. There are so many directors that I would love to work with, because I think I would just learn so much and have such a beautiful experience with them. But I'd love to do something like La Belle et la Bête, one of my favorite films since I was a kid. That would just be pretty extraordinary.
Speaking of directors, you are cited as a muse quite often. Who inspires you?
My family for sure, and great, great poets. I love poetry. They inspire me every day, like e.e. cummings and William Blake. And I even think Cher is incredibly inspiring. Acting-wise, I love Marilyn Monroe, I always have. My room is still covered in posters of her; that vulnerability and sexuality she managed to combine is just mind-blowing to me. As far as actresses today, Michelle Williams, Cate Blanchett, and Kate Winslet. These women transform themselves in such a way that I am amazed by. I get lost in their performances—it is magic. Directors, there are just so many. I want to work with Quentin Tarantino really bad. There so many people that are creating so many amazing things. I am completely in awe of people the same age as me, people younger than me, people that are older than me—I am just blown away by all of them. I just love doing what I do.
You mentioned you have little down time now. When you do have a moment to yourself, what do you like to do?
I have a great record collection, so I listen to some records. I read. I like vintage shopping a lot because I find it very therapeutic. I like finding stories out of things. I want to design lingerie at some point, so I do a lot of doodling. I've got a lot of great ideas of some surrealist lingerie that I want to do.
What inspired that?
I’ve wanted to do it since I was 14. There is just something about women's lingerie that is exciting [Laughs.]
You have the film adaptation of Joe Hill's Horns coming up, right?
Oh my god, yeah. It is so cool to be a part of a project that is going to be so many different genres. It’s going to be a sci-fi movie, it’s going to be a horror movie, it’s going to be a love story, it’s going to be a magical story, it is just going to be all of these things combined. Alexandre Aja [the film's director] is just brilliant, I loved him. He is so gentle and has such a vivid mind. And Danielle Radcliffe is just fantastic to work with, such a giving actor and such a great person who I hope I am friends with for a really long time. It's literally magic.