'True Detective' Star Leven Rambin Reveals the Badass Way She Unwinds Offset

The 25-year-old is riding waves and taking names.

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Life is tense for Leven Rambin—on-screen. See: HBO's new season of True Detective (and indie thriller 7 Minutes). But off set, the Houston native rocks a chill surfer vibe.

"I was cast in Chasing Mavericks, a 2012 movie about a big-wave surfer from Santa Cruz, California, named Jay Moriarity. (I played his girlfriend, Kim.) As training, I surfed every day for two or three hours."

"It was like learning to run before you can walk. Santa Cruz in the winter has pretty intense conditions. swell gal I've always been a tomboy, but I never thought I was a big water-sports person. Once I got into the water and the culture, something just took over me."

"The first time I surfed on a beach break (a wave that breaks over a sandy seabed) was in El Salvador—I didn't realize it's a totally different skill. I just ate it time after time. It made me realize I don't know everything there is to know."

"When I close my eyes and think about surfing, I think about my friend Kaila Pearson (we met when I was training for Chasing Mavericks); she's a mermaid goddess. Being out in the ocean, on our big boards, dolphins jumping around us—so fun."

"You have to be in sync with nature. It's peaceful, and healing, and very rewarding when you're up on that wave. Plus: no cell phones."

Follow Her: @levenrambin.

This article appears in the July issue of Marie Claire, on newsstands June 23.