Meet 'Alien: Covenant' Star Callie Hernandez

The 28-year-old actress talks swimming holes, playing cello, and her love of Texas.

Callie Hernandez may be fighting for survival in Alien: Covenant, which hits theaters this month, but offscreen, she's celebrating her carefree Texas roots.

Age: 28.

Lives in: Los Angeles.

You know her from: La La Land (2016).

What do you do in your downtime? I love swimming holes. I really like this place called Deep Creek Hot Springs in Southern California. But that's kind of a secret, so maybe don't print that. [Editor]

Go-to getaway? The first time I went to Joshua Tree, I got out of the car while it was raining and I smelled this familiar smell. It was this ancient shrub called the creosote that reacts to water in the desert and lets off a musky, earthy smell. It was the first time I got homesick. (Austin, Texas, is my hometown.)

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Hidden talent? In high school, I walked by the orchestra room and I remember hearing them tune, and I was like, Oh, yeah—that's what I want to do, play the cello. I talked to the teacher and she said, "You're a little late to the game," which, you know, inspired a lot of confidence. She told me, "If you can learn how to play over the summer, then you can be in orchestra." So I did.

"You don't know you have this bizarre Texas blood until you leave."

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Hometown pride: We Texans have a complex. My grandmother overnighted a Folgers can full of Texas soil and made my mother put it underneath the hospital bed when I was being born (in Jacksonville, Florida) to say that I was born on Texas soil. You don't know you have this bizarre Texas blood until you leave.

Follow her: @cheap_mango.

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

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