One of our favorite character trajectories in Gone Girl lay in the role of detective Rhonda Boney, played by actress Kim Dickens. The same went for this season of House of Cards, where Dickens played the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Kate Baldwin, evermore in pursuit of taking down Frank Underwood. Dickens claims she is just as curious a character in real life as she is in recent roles, and she can now be seen starring in Fear The Walking Dead – which premiered on AMC last night.
Dickens was also cast in Tim Burton’s upcoming movie – Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children – a project we spoke with her about when we met her at the iconic Cowgirl restaurant in New York City, where she used to waitress before her career took off. Turns out Dickens loves Mexican food and Cowgirl’s frozen margaritas (almost as much as we do), would be a country star in the 70’s if she could, and thinks you should stop worrying…
From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?
I would start the day with stovetop espresso and birthday cake from the night before. For lunch, I’m easily satisfied and anything in the deli counter at Erewhon would be great. And for dinner, I’m happiest having pasta and wine.
What’s your morning routine?
I’m usually up at 7ish if I’m not working. I start every morning with a large glass of water with a whole lemon squeezed into it to cleanse – I’ve done that for years. I immediately counter that with two cups of strong coffee while I check emails and read the news on my iPad. The New York Post is a guilty pleasure. Then I either go for a hike or to the gym…unless I blow that off.
How was your experience shooting Fear The Walking Dead?
It was challenging, intense and fun, all at the same time. I’ve never worked as much or been as exhausted, but I was excited to go back every day. The action scenes were my favorite; I loved the extra focus and adrenaline they require.
What is your best memory on the set of House of Cards?
My first meeting with Robin Wright. She was directing the episode and my very first day with her was a sex scene between Paul Sparks’ character and mine. It was a funny and bizarre way to meet someone you idolize. It was just “Hi, nice to meet you,” and then no clothes and positions all day. And she’s a really wonderful director by the way.
Recently, you’ve played characters trying to get to the bottom of things (House of Cards, Gone Girl); do you share similarities with those characters in terms of your personality ?
Yep, I’m very curious. I also have an eye for a purse thief that I developed while working as a waitress [at Cowgirl] in Manhattan.
What would your last meal be? Who would it be with?
Mexican food and margaritas with my loved ones and a mariachi band.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Enjoy the moment and stop worrying.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
It was from an acting teacher in NYC: “Sometimes the things you try to ‘fix’ about yourself are actually the things that work about you.”
What advice do you have to women looking in the mirror and getting dressed?
Five years from now you will think you look fantastic right now.
If you could be anyone for a day, who would it be and why?
A country music star from the 1970s because the songs felt real and the hair was incredible.
What beauty products can’t you live without when it comes to your morning and nightly routine?
You were recently cast in Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children. What were you most excited about when it came to working with Tim Burton?
Just to walk around in the magical worlds he creates.
What is the best thing he has said to you so far?
“What’s it like doing a television series?”
What are your favorite cities for food? What restaurants do you go to in each?
NYC is my favorite city for food. I love I Sodi, Bar Pitti, Taim and Cones. In Los Angeles, my favorites are Osteria Mozza, Pizzaria Mozza and Pace in Laurel Canyon. While filming in New Orleans I always loved Herbsaint, Sylvain, and Mona’s on Frenchman.
If you could host a dinner party with any five people living or dead, who would be there? What would your quote of the evening be?
My great grandmother, Grace Kelly, Bette Midler, Pope Francis, and Tennessee Williams. “Who wants cake?”