Hollywood is in desperate need of a reset, and our five fresh faces are bringing it. In addition to starring in some of the buzziest movies and TV shows this season, each of them has a strong sense of self and know what they stand for—and what they won’t. In our fifth-annual Fresh Faces issue—and at our Fresh Faces party on April 27—we spotlight some of the most exciting up-and-coming talents today.
On turning 18, voting, and what that means for the future:
“Even when you reach voting age, there are so few resources that are non-partisan in which you can develop your own political opinions. My ultimate goal is to turn the passions and interests we have into policy change.”
On how Yara Shahidi compares to alter ego Zoe on Grown-ish:
“Yara has never dated and my character dated three guys in the span of two shooting weeks. So there was a lot that was new to me. One thing I’m learning to do is respect my own timeline. Things will happen when they happen.”
On being a vocal advocate for diverse representation in the entertainment industry:
“I’m in no way trying to be the face of blackness. The goal is to open doors, role by role, and be drowning in a sea of people who look like me, or like someone else, so anyone can see themselves reflected on screen.”
On what the characters she plays have in common:
“They’re all kind of, like, tough bad bitches. Maybe people just see me that way?”
On how her parents' amicable separation (her mom is Lisa Marie Presley and her dad is Dan Keough) influenced her:
“When I was a teenager, I would break up with guys and still try and hang out. They’d be like, ‘No that’s crazy, I’m not talking to you.'”
On choosing her acting roles:
“I really have to love it. I don’t care if I do one or two movies a year and not 10.”
On how the Post-Weinstein era and #TimesUp Movement have comforted her:
“I’m so much more comfortable going into work knowing that there’s a group of people who will believe me if something does happen.”
On becoming engaged to Joe Jonas—and how that won't affect her career:
“I’m still like, Holy sh*t! I’m engaged. There’s this weird misconception that being married is the greatest thing that’ll ever happen to you. But I’ve always found that my career is something I work for, and when I achieve something, there’s a sense that this is the greatest thing I’ll do in my life. It’s lovely to be engaged. Not like I achieved anything, but I found my person, like I’d find a house that I love and want to stay in forever. There’s a sense of peace that comes with finding your person. But there’s a drive that comes with your career.”
On how filming 13 Reasons Why affected her:
“It takes a toll emotionally and physically…Even if you’re not going through these things, you have to evoke it. It’s hard for your body to discern.”
On how Selena Gomez encouraged her to connect with her fans via social media:
“I want to be able to talk to them in a way that is helpful. But I need to give myself the time to be who I need to be.”
On the best part of going home to Perth, Australia:
“I like going out in outrageous costumes and weird makeup. Being in the public eye, you get robbed of your anonymity, then if people take photos of you dressed a certain way, it suddenly becomes your image. The wonderful thing about going home and having balance is that you gain freedom over yourself again.”
On her gratitude for what her success has enabled her to do:
“I’m happy and grateful to be in a position where I can want to see something, and then support the people who are telling stories I want to see.”
On the changing landscape of her hometown of Inglewood, California:
“You see so many ‘For Lease’ signs go up because people are being pushed out. Part of me is conflicted—I want a cycling studio. I want a coffee shop. But it’s always at the expense of black and Latino people. There’s never an assumption that we could benefit, too.”
On which Friends character she would be:
“I would never peg myself as a Rachel. Definitely more of a Phoebe. Maybe with Monica neuroses.”
On keeping her private life private:
“I get so much feedback about everything. The one thing I don’t need feedback on is who I’m sleeping with.”
Read the full interviews and see more photographs in the May issue of Marie Claire, on newsstands April 19.
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