For starters, tell us about your upcoming film Saving Mr. Banks, and what it was like playing the role of iconic actress, Julie Andrews:
It is a beautiful and heartfelt, written and directed story with incredible talent. It was an honor to be given the opportunity to contribute, and I was ecstatic that of all people I was Julie Andrews! She is an icon and so true in the hearts of the American people and around the world.
What did you enjoy most about working with Tom Hanks? What is the best piece of on-set advice he gave you?
As with anyone I meet, laughter warms my heart and Tom’s a funny guy! He was continually cracking jokes in our scene. I honestly just couldn’t believe I was in the same movie as him – I admired him since Big. To look over and see him next to me was surreal to say the least and hard to take in. I hardly knew what to say to him, let alone ask him for any advice!
You started dancing and singing at a young age, which of these talents comes most naturually, and which is more a labor of love?
Singing came naturally to me from an early age. Although I started dancing aged three, I struggled picking up steps quickly, and this was my biggest hurdle during my college days and particularly in auditions. I never really had the ‘dancer’s brain.’ Once I had the steps I had the psyche and the charm to pull it off, but under pressure I often crumbled!
What was it like making the transformation from theatrical acting to the big screen?
A learning curve… My first movie, I got on set and I said: “What do you mean we’re shooting now? Where’s my rehearsal?” Oops.
Growing up, who were some of your favorite actresses, and which current stars do you look up to today?
I grew up watching Audrey Hepburn – particularly Breakfast at Tiffany’s and My Fair Lady. Julie Andrews – The Sound of Music and shortly after, Kate Winslet, starting with Titanic and I have followed her career. I loved Rachel McAdams in The Notebook and Kiera Knightley is so stunning to me on screen. I can’t stop watching her.
How has fashion played a role throughout your life? Who are some of your favorite style icon?
Fashion plays a huge role in my life and it is also one of my biggest passions. In terms of growing a business from scratch and creating a ‘brand,’ Victoria Beckham has my vote. Lately I feel she has not put a foot wrong. She always looks polished whenever she goes anywhere, and her style is simple elegance but always cutting edge… I don’t like over the top. Less is more. Growing a business like that as well as being a wife and mother is a tremendous achievement. One day I hope to meet her and have the honour of wearing one of her looks on the red carpet.
Where are some of your favorite places to shop, and what are some of your favorite designer brands?
Max Mara, Hermes, Karen Millen. I love the European style and I always like to stay close to my roots. Right now, I’m in love with my new blue Prada icon bag. I just can’t leave it at home!
We are loving your Julie Andrews-style short hair, which products do you use for maintenance?
Oribe – I love the Après Beach Wave and shine spray and gold lust hair oil. Expensive, but smells AMAZING!! I just started using Alterna vegan shampoo and conditioner. I try and use vegan products where I can.
What are some of your go-to beauty products?
I love The Morrow Institute facial products. The C-serum, glycolic scrub and Retinol Q-10 work wonders!! I also love Xtreme lashes and their mascara!
If you were to act alongside any three actors/actresses of your choice, who would they be?
Tom Cruise! Then Judi Dench and Kate Winslet. Also, I would jump at the chance to work with Emma Thompson again!
Any exciting upcoming news or projects you can share with us?
I just finished filming Transformers 4 in Chicago and Detroit. I’m a big fan of Michael Bay and it was an incredible experience to meet and work with his amazing actors and crew.