The Gallows’ Cassidy Gifford

It’s hard to admit this, but the truth is, we were always those kids that got picked up mid-sleepover if somebody turned on a horror movie. We’re somewhat ashamed to say that the scariest movie we saw when we were younger was probably The Sixth Sense, and Mischa Barton has never been the same for us since. Friday marks the release of a new horror movie (whose trailer we have trouble sitting through) – The Gallows – starring Cassidy Gifford. We were so happy to discover that Gifford is – in fact – in one piece, but we still felt the only way to qualm our fears about horror movies was to ask the star of a horror movie about shooting one. We also caught up with Gifford about beauty routines, things her and her Mom (Kathie Lee Gifford) steal from each others closets and foods that make her feel her best…

From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?

I know most people tell you to mix it up but I really am such a creature of habit. I love scrambled egg whites with a little bit of white cheddar cheese melted inside and a green iced tea to start the day off. For lunch, a big green salad with blackened chicken and balsamic vinaigrette. To finish it off for dinner, a piece of lemon sole over wild rice. If we lived in a perfect world, it would just be a solid twenty-four hours of switching off between mozzarella sticks and penne pasta with butter and parmesan cheese.

How do you practice beauty from the inside out?

I am a huge believer in the benefits of drinking tons and tons of water. Someone told me once that you have to look at your body like a fish tank…if you’re not constantly changing the filter then all of the toxins will have nowhere to go. On top of that though, I eat a lot of lean protein like chicken and white fish with lots of dark greens like broccoli and kale. I’m not a gym freak. To be honest, I hate going to the gym, and so while I am the biggest advocate for staying active, I don’t get on a treadmill seven days a week. I love being outside, so any chance I get, I go for a walk, run or hike, and then mix in a spin class (I’m kind of obsessed with SoulCycle right now) or hot yoga just to work different parts of my body. That being said, I truly think there is nothing more beautiful than being happy, so in my opinion, moderation is key. I enjoy myself. I eat healthy and stay active 99% of the time, but if I want to have pizza…I’m going to have pizza.

What are your morning and nightly beauty routines?

AM: I wash my face with Rejuvi k Facial Cleanser (it’s very gentle and has aloe, so it doesn’t harm your skin but really cleanses and heals it). I follow that with a couple of drops of Josie Maran Argan Oil to moisturize while my face is still a little bit wet, and then I never leave the house without SPF on (usually Josie Maran Protect & Perfect Tinted Argan Moisturizer, which has SPF 47 and a light/sheer tint to it).

PM: I usually take off whatever makeup I have on with Josie Maran Bear Naked Wipes (I’ll use these even if I have a bare face), and then cleanse with the same Rejuvi k Facial Cleanser that I use in the morning. But at night, before I put my moisturizer on, I always rub Rejuvi’s h Skin Healing Gel. It soaks right into my skin and is loaded with aloe and different nutrients that heal existing damage. And then to finish I just do a couple more drops of the same Josie Maran Argan Oil and call it a night.

How do you always start your day?

I normally wake up around 5:30am because I try not to miss a sunrise. I know it sounds corny, but it’s become a habit since the beginning of high school. I used to do theater, so I wouldn’t have time to do most of my homework at night. I would wake up, have coffee and do my work by the window. It sort of became a routine I’ve held onto ever since. I like how quiet it is – especially living in LA. There’s never quiet, but at 5:30am it’s as close as I’m going to get.

Foods that make you feel your best…

Anything cooked in olive oil…it just feels like it’s nourishing you from the inside out. I don’t care if it is bread that I’m dipping it in. As long as it is being dipped in olive oil, I’m happy and feel like I’ve done something good for my body.

As a kid, did you cook with your Mom? What did you like to cook together? What do you still cook together?

My Mom is actually a great cook…but my Grandma? Unparalleled. My Mom and I would bake a lot growing up, but when it comes to actually cooking a meal together, Thanksgiving has always been our thing. We use all of my Grandma’s recipes, from her sausage-sage stuffing, to her sweet potato pie (while probably going through about a hundred sticks of butter). It’s a day I wouldn’t trade for anything.

Best advice she’s given you…

“If you have a pulse, you have a purpose.” It sounds cliché, and maybe to some, it is. But for me it’s all about being grateful for the life I’ve been given, while also acknowledging that every day is a privilege to be taken full advantage of. It’s kind of encouraging, reminding yourself that everything you do has meaning. Small scale, big scale – it’s all relative.

What do you want to steal from her closet, and visa versa?

Well I want to steal her shoes, but it would unfortunately require cutting off a few toes considering she’s two sizes smaller than I am. I kind of like my toes, so that’s sadly an unrealistic dream. She, however, steals whatever she wants from me…whenever she wants. Recently she’s particularly fond of a light wash jean jacket I have, which is probably why it’s currently MIA as we speak…

Did you like thrillers as a kid? How did you prepare for your role in The Gallows

I did, actually. I loved them. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good romantic comedy, but there was always something about bracing myself in my seat, not quite sure what was going to happen next. It’s sort of self-destructive really…I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep, yet I always liked the excitement of it. Actually having the opportunity to be in one was completely different from how I could have ever imagined. We mainly shot overnight, so that alone provided an element of fear. Ironically, it wasn’t the scary aspect of it that required a ton of preparation (that came pretty naturally to us all, given the circumstances), it was the emotional aspect. Because we shot at night, we had most days off, so I would use whatever time I had leading up to my call time to get into whatever headspace I knew I needed to be in. Going into that kind of dark, vulnerable place for hours on end, day after day, definitely messes with your head for a while.

What has personally always scared you?

I hate tight places. I have asthma, so for me I panic at even the thought of being in a small, confined space with limited airflow. Even writing this out I’m panicking!

In the same vein as ‘what is the new black’ in fashion, what’s ‘the new potato’ right now when it comes to horror movies?

A lot of people are very quick to judge the found footage genre that’s become increasingly more popular recently, but I think it’s changing the game of horror films completely. It touches upon this previously untapped realness that bridges the gap between the audience and the characters they’re watching onscreen. People are left wondering, “Is this real?” It is always more frightening to think wow this could have actually happened, because then it is applicable for the audience and the fear that it could have been them.


Cassidy Gifford, photographed at the Gansevoort Park Avenue Hotel rooftop in New York, NY by Danielle Kosann. Cassidy wears Carmar jeans, SPELL top, and Jack Rogers shoes.