Move over, Margot Robbie: there’s a new Australian actress set to take on Hollywood. Just like Robbie, rising star Samara Weaving cut her teeth in Aussie soaps before the bright lights of Tinseltown beckoned – you may have spotted her alongside Hollywood legend Frances McDormand in award-winning Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, for which she traded her Summer Bay blonde for deep brunette.
Next, the radiant face of the new Bonds Sweats collection will star in the Picnic At Hanging Rock remake opposite Game of Thrones’ Natalie Dormer. But first, she made time for marie claire to quiz her on everything from her day on a plate to her exercise routine – and just what she thinks of those Margot Robbie comparisons. This is what we learnt.
marie claire: What was it like working alongside all those big Hollywood heavyweights like Frances McDormand?
Samara Weaving: It was a real pinch yourself moment. It all happened quite fast; I auditioned and then the next week I was on a plane and then on set the following week. In hindsight it was a good thing, I didn’t have time to get riddled with anxiety, it was sort of ‘Alright let’s go, there’s John Hawke.’ Every single actor and the crew were so down to earth, there was no competitiveness or hierarchy and everyone treated each other as equals. Everyone was lovely to work with and so talented and inspiring. It was a wonderful experience.
mc: In other movies or shows you’ve worked on, has there been more competition and that hierarchy you speak of?
SW: I’ve been very lucky in a sense that most of the opportunities that I’ve been given have had such fantastic leaders. If the leader sets the tone for the production it trickles down into everything. I think in Hollywood at the moment, there’s no room for anyone who behaves in a negative way, because there’s so much talent that directors and producers are starting to not put up with that behaviour. I’ve been quite lucky that I’ve started in Hollywood when I did, because 10 years ago, 20 years ago, I’m sure it would have been a completely different environment.
mc: You’ve been compared to Margo Robbie, do you two know each other?
SW: Yeah – I’ve had meetings with her production company and her husband is good friends with my boyfriend. I met her at the Oscars and she’s just delightful. She’s so talented and so funny, she’s amazing.
mc: What’s your approach to fitness and exercise?
SW: It’s funny, I’m training for a role that I’m doing, and I hadn’t stepped into a gym for seven years. I normally do yoga and I’ll do 10 push-ups and call it a day. It was really hard going back to the gym. It’s terrifying actually, a completely terrifying experience!
mc: You spoke to Women’s Health recently about your scoliosis diagnosis – how does that affect your approach to keeping fit?
SW: I used to run a lot, I would run five to 10 miles a day, and I miss that a lot. It was sort of just trying to figure out how I could get the same endorphins. Running you can really take your mind off everything. It was almost like meditation. I wanted to find something similar that wouldn’t put so much pressure on my back. I found a really great yoga place, I mean it’s LA so every second shop has some yoga thing. So I’m lucky in that sense.
mc: And in terms of food, can you talk me through your typical day on a plate?
SW: Sure! It varies – as cliché as it sounds, you’ve got to listen to your body. If I go for three days of just having fruit and vegetables, I’ll make a salad and a rice bowl for dinner and have lighter meals. The next three days I’ll have pasta and more carbs and eggs benedict for breakfast. I listen to my body and what am I really craving? As soon as you go, ‘I’m going to diet for two weeks,’ what you’re craving is what you set out not to have.
mc: Is there anything you try to avoid?
SW: I’m quite lucky because when we were growing up, we weren’t really allowed a lot of sweets or chocolate. Whenever there was chocolate in the house, we would steal them and hide them and put them under our beds and eat them all in one go. So I’m not much of a sweet tooth, which is a blessing now. I’m a sucker for cheese and salty food.
mc: How do you take care of your skin?
SW: I just got given the most amazing range, a Japanese brand called Tatcha. They’re so good and everything’s natural. In LA, where there’s so much smog and pollution, I tend to take more care of my skin than I would in Australia, where the air is so clean. I have a dermatologist who I see sometimes if it’s getting really bad. Other than Tatcha, I just the basics – I still use Cetaphil and that just clears up my skin really easily, and it’s not too aggressive.
mc: Which derm do you see?
SW: Dr Robin Schafferin. She’s fantastic over here. I don’t mess with my face and stuff, as an actor you have to be able to move it. No Botox!
mc: Would you ever get Botox?
SW: No! Never! As an actor, why would you do that? You need to move your face! It’s counterproductive! I mean, no judgement, if you want to do that then go for it. Whatever you want. For me personally, why would you, that’s your canvas, why would you freeze it?