It’s this time of year—when sweater weather is in full effect—that we find ourselves turning into enthusiastic moviegoers, spending the weekends catching the latest flicks and filling up on popcorn. Only this time around, it’s not so much what is on our must-watch list, but rather, who. While films like La La Land and Jackie are already receiving Oscar buzz, we’re focusing our predictions elsewhere: on Hollywood’s next big stars. As such, we present you with our latest Girl on the Rise portfolio, presented by ALDO.
It’s not every day Tom Ford gives you the ultimate compliment, but for 19-year-old Ellie Bamber, it happened upon meeting the designer/director for the very first time. “I had a meeting with him, and when I was leaving he said to me, I can tell you have great personal style,” the British beauty and Chanel ambassador recalled. “That was just sort of a moment for me.” But it’s clear Ford saw more in Bamber than simply her keen eye for fashion: The girl has quite the acting chops as well. Before being cast in Ford’s second film, Nocturnal Animals, Bamber made her big-screen debut earlier this year as the frivolous Lydia Bennet in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. And with two more projects recently added to her résumé—next year’s Extracurricular Activities and The Nutcracker and the Four Realms in 2018—the bubbly teen shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Though 5000 miles (between Los Angeles and London) separated myself from Bamber during our interview, her infectious personality quickly came through over the phone. Life is good for the teen, who, fresh off stylish appearances at New York Fashion Week and the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals, was about to jet off to Milan for Fendi’s S/S 17 show. ’Tis the schedule of an It girl in the making.
Luckily, being in the spotlight comes naturally for Bamber, who grew up starring in local plays and musicals in her hometown of Surrey, England, and at 12 became the youngest member to join London’s Players’ Theatre. With her sights on the silver screen, she finished her school exams and found an agent, and the roles started coming in. First up, a small part in the English film The Falling, followed up by a supporting role in the action-romance flick Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and then the game changer: Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals, starring Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal. “[Tom] told me and brought me into the world of this story, and I read the script and immediately fell in love with it,” she says about joining the project, which took the Grand Jury Prize in Venice. “It’s the most beautiful story that I think I’ve ever been able to be a part of. And then when I found out about the cast and who was all attached, I didn’t think there was any reason for me not to do it.”
Landing the role of India Hastings came with its set of perks. Of the experience, Bamber tells us, “I’m Jake Gyllenhaal and Isla Fisher’s daughter. Getting to watch such experienced people work is always something that’s interesting to me. I learned so much just from watching them. And Isla is a lot of fun; we would make playlists to get ourselves in the zone.”
When it came to perfecting India’s Texas accent, however, Bamber had to rely on an outside source. “I had American down, but then there was the aspect of going Southern,” Bamber says. “There was a tendency to make it too over-characterized. For me, I watched Sissy Spacek in Badlands. I think she was 19 or maybe a bit younger when she did that film, so I sort of got her drawl and it was really quite interesting to watch her and take from her.”
Naturally, we had to inquire about her experience working with Tom Ford, who, we learned, gave her the nickname Barbarella on set in response to her go-to L.A. outfit: silver boots with a white T-shirt and cutoffs. Fashion has always been a part of the equation. Bamber recently attended his S/S 17 show in New York and later wore one of his dresses—a sultry black number—to the film’s Venice premiere. She laughs as she recalls stressing over her outfit upon meeting the designer/director. “I ended up wearing these flared jeans and a white shirt and some clogs,” she revealed. “I love his clothes. I think he really understands how a woman wants to feel in a dress. And it’s always a moment as well.”
We quickly get on the topic of her own personal style, which she describes as “eclectic.” It all makes sense as she runs down her list of fall must-haves, which includes a silver Chanel bomber jacket, a velvet Miu Miu bag, and a velvet crop top by Alexander Wang. “I love being able to express myself through my clothes,” she says. “It’s an important thing to me for sure. Some days I want to dress up, and others I want to wear a hoodie and a pair of jeans.” I can definitely relate, and after bonding over favorite places to shop, I discover she’s a total pro when it comes to shopping vintage, too. When asked to reveal her best tips, she answers, “You can’t have too much stuff in your hand, just a small bag, because you don’t want stuff getting in the way. And I just tend to trial through. It’s important to try things on.”
As I jot down Bamber’s fail-safe shopping tips, the interview starts to wrap up. But not before I ask what’s next for the rising star. While eventually she’d love to work with directing greats like Wes Anderson (“I love the adventure he takes you on”) and Sofia Coppola, Bamber is excited for the immediate future, which includes her first indie film, Extracurricular Activities, due out next year, and prepping for upcoming projects. “Every day is exciting for me,” she says. “Every day something comes along that I’m excited about.” Like I said: Life really is good for Bamber.
Photographer: Sacha Maric; Hairstylist: Seiji; Makeup Artist: Mai Quynh; Stylist: Jess Roberts
Name: Haley Lu Richardson
Where to Watch Her: The Edge of Seventeen, November 18
We knew Haley Lu Richardson was one to watch when she twisted, tucked, and flipped her way to gold as the precocious young gymnast Maggie Townsend in The Bronze earlier this year. But it’s next month’s coming-of-age dramedy The Edge of Seventeen, in which she plays a high school junior dating her best friend’s brother, that is sure to solidify her Hollywood It-girl status.
Teen Dream: “When I first read the script [for The Edge of Seventeen], I thought I’m totally more of a Nadine than a Krista. But then as I read more and started getting into the character of Krista, I realized that in a lot of my friendships and relationships, I’m the rock in a way. Looking at the big picture of everything is so important, and I feel like Krista really does that for Nadine. So once I figured that out about Krista, I really connected with her.”
State of Mind: “I think when I was in high school, in my heart of hearts I knew what mattered and what didn’t and what was right and what was wrong, and I just never listened to it as much. And now, I’m starting to realize that the voice in the back of your head saying, This isn’t a big deal, is the honest voice, and you should listen to that. I feel like I could have saved myself a lot of unnecessary pain if I listened to the voice in the back of my head that said, Calm down—you’re going to laugh about this in five years.”
Two Peas in a Pod: “I feel like immediately it was easy for [Hailee Steinfeld and I] to play best friends. We are both just young women who are goofy. We had a lot of times where we would be doing really emotional scenes and then just break out in song.”
Knit Wit: “Since I was 8, I’ve been pretty much making a bunch of things with yarn. I would see a style of shirt, like recently the whole off-the-shoulder thing, and I thought, why would I go any buy an off-the-shoulder top when I can just crochet one?! It’s funny because when I make my first prototype of a style of top, I do it on myself. So I’m sitting there wearing a sports bra on the couch with all this yarn around my waist, crocheting onto my body.”
Photo: We Are the Rhoads
Name: Sonoya Mizuno
Where to Watch Her: La La Land, December 9
While Sonoya Mizuno’s Ex Machina disco dance scene will likely go down as one of our all-time favorites, the former ballerina might just top it in her latest project, La La Land. In the romantic musical comedy starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, art imitates life for Mizuno, who plays a young actress navigating Hollywood’s competitive terrain.
A Song and Dance: “It was a massive dream for me to sing and dance in a musical. It was cool because one of the other roommates [in the film], she was a really strong singer, and because I had more experience in dance we helped each other in the different areas. It worked out well.”
Squad Goals: “Emma [Stone] was absolutely lovely. She has the best sense of humor and gives off this great down-to-earth energy when she is on screen, and that is really what she’s like. I loved working with her. We really didn’t have too much interaction with [Ryan Gosling] other than during our rehearsal periods. He was rehearsing and learning how to play the piano next door, so we would look on admirably and stare at him through the window. He was also super lovely and ridiculously handsome.”
Writer’s Digest: “I’m working on my second short film, and I’m basically writing it for myself. It’s a really amazing experience; it’s been empowering, and actually really helpful for acting, to see it from a writer’s point of view. That’s what I’m doing in my spare time, which has been really interesting.”
Masculine Feminine: “I kind of like boyish and androgynous style and how French women dress, like Charlotte Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin. That’s my thing.”
No Regrets: “I did a really expensive buy recently, which I felt so guilty about. But I am quite happy about it now. I bought some Gucci loafers because they’re amazing and so comfortable and I can wear them with everything. They are perfect for autumn, so those are probably my number one favorites.”
Photo: Bjorn Iooss/Trunk Archive
Name: Valorie Curry
Where to Watch Her: Blair Witch (out now) and American Pastoral, October 21
This fall, Valorie Curry—who some may recognize from Fox’s The Following—goes from playing a scream queen in the year’s most chilling horror film, Blair Witch, to the mysterious and perverse Rita Cohen in American Pastoral, Ewan McGregor’s directorial debut—talk about range!
The Good Witch: “[For Blair Witch], I really decided to make [Julia] Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter grown-up. So this sort of woodland fairy who is just incredibly sweet, simple, and excited about things.”
A Quick Study: “I was working with some of the most serious and best actors of their generations in [American Pastoral], and that was a really beautiful thing to be privy to. And in the rehearsal process, watching somebody like Jennifer Connelly approaching text at the table and moving through that and then seeing how that translated to her onscreen performance, which I think she is just tremendous in the film. It was a really wonderful and fascinating insight into how everyone works so differently.”
In It to Win It: “I’m one of the serious people about Halloween. When I was growing up, my mom worked as a theatrical costumer, so every year I had this sort of jackpot [costume]. She could make me anything I wanted. I also have a pretty twisted sense of the whole thing, like when I was in third grade and I wanted to be a witch, I had just seen The Crucible, so I didn’t want to be a witch with a pointy hat; I wanted to be a Salem Puritan witch.”
Caped Crusader: “I have this one piece and I bought it for myself as a birthday present a couple of years ago here in New York. It’s this really lovely Ferragamo cape that is a hunter green and camel plaid. I rarely get to wear it because it only works for a couple of weeks in spring and fall when it’s not too cold. That’s my special one; I always have to have an outfit and an occasion that lives up to the cape.”
Photo: Michael Buckner/WWD/REX/Shutterstock
Name: Matilda Lutz
Where to Watch Her: Rings, February 17
A career in fashion seemed like an obvious choice for Matilda Lutz, who grew up going to sets with her photographer father and parties with her PR mother. But the 24-year-old Milan native had her sights on something much bigger: Hollywood. A few acting workshops and a handful of Italian projects later, Lutz is making her big U.S. debut early next year in the thriller reboot Rings.
An Italian Girl in L.A.: “I came [to Los Angeles] with the plan of staying for a month and then going back to college and work. When I got here, I went to this workshop and I just loved it, and I met new people and I loved the weather here, and probably for the first time, I was by myself for real. I called my parents and I said I’m not coming back. When you follow your heart and instincts, that is the best. Even though it might be hard at the beginning, you really work hard for what you love and that makes it all worth it.”
Scream Queen: “It is pretty funny because I booked Rings, and we were going to shoot after Christmas. I always book a trip by myself during New Year’s, so I left for Indonesia. I met some Australians, some Italians, a girl from Bulgaria, and I was with this guy from Italy, and I said, ‘Hey listen, they called me from L.A. and they want me to send them tapes where I scream,’ and so I was with this guy who I just met and I said, ‘So don’t worry—I’m just going to scream and do my thing and you just have to take pictures of me.’ He probably thought I was crazy, I’m pretty sure. But that was my first time performing screams.”
All in the Family: “My dad never wanted me to be a model, because he was a photographer, but he would take me on set with him. I would see sets, photo shoots, and meet models and was fascinated by the world, but I never really got into it. And then on my mom’s side, she is in fashion PR, so she would go to fashion shows and events and would sometimes bring me with her, and it didn’t really fascinate me. I was looking at people, and I don’t know for some reason I thought that they weren’t really having fun, but it was just the game to be at an event.”
Who Wore It Better: “I was born and raised in Milan, and fashion is a big part of that city, and everyone dresses up to go out. You become very particular on what you decide to wear when you go out, which I feel is not the same in Los Angeles. Obviously, it’s different for every part of the city in Los Angeles, so in Santa Monica and Venice it’s way more easygoing, you just wear jeans and a T-shirt and Converse or Vans. And in Milan, it’s not like that. You always think about what you are going to wear, even if you’re going to the supermarket. It doesn’t mean you’re going to wear heels, but you’re always going to make sure that you look good.”
Photo: Leco Moura