Netflix’s Stranger Things has undoubtedly been one of the most talked about shows of the summer. In fact, when we interviewed singer-songwriter Joy Williams last month she told us that the sci-fi drama was The New Potato. If you can tear yourself away from binge-watching the intriguing thriller for a moment, we advise you to turn your attention to this interview with Natalia Dyer, who plays Nancy Wheeler on the series.
We caught up with Dyer in New York to discuss the success of Stranger Things, her beauty routine, and her favorite foods (because, of course). We also photographed her at one of our favorite – and, in keeping with the theme, slightly spooky – spots in NYC, Gallow Green at The McKittrick Hotel (where Sleep No More takes place). Scroll through below to find out Dyer’s ideal food day and most-loved restaurants, and if this interview leaves you with a craving for sushi like it did for us, just click here Potatoheads!
From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?
I’d probably start the day off with avocado toast from Bluestone Lane with vegemite and prosciutto and their cold brew coffee. Lunch would likely be sushi. I love a good spicy tuna roll and lots of sashimi. Dinner would also likely be sushi. Ideally, I’d finish it all off with a cookie from Levain bakery.
How do you always start your day? What’s your go-to breakfast?
My days usually start and end with a big glass of water. In the mornings, I’ll usually try to get up and moving, even if it’s just a walk to a coffee shop. When I have time for a good breakfast my go-to is the toast from Bluestone.
How do you practice beauty from the inside out?
I generally eat healthy and feel great after a good sweat. But I think the most beautiful thing is being happy – it really shows when someone is genuinely happy – so I do try to practice everything in moderation and listen to what my body wants.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? The worst?
The best: Question everything. That one comes from my dad. I think especially in today’s information overload it’s important to source your facts and to form your own opinions. He also told me to drink coffee black. The worst: “You should get bangs.”
What’s the most exciting thing about working on Stranger Things? Have you been surprised at the great response it’s gotten?
The most exciting thing about working on Stranger Things is getting to work on Stranger Things. The cast is great, the story is great, the crew and production team are great. You would think with that formula I’d have been better prepared for such a massively positive response, but I was still very much surprised.
What were you most excited about when you found out you got the role?
One thing I was excited for was doing a period piece. It’s fun to do research and prepare yourself to live in a different piece of history than your own.
Anything you can tell us about Season 2?
You can expect some new characters to join the party.
People are always talking about millenials and what they’re looking for. What’s something – in your opinion – misunderstood about millennials?
I guess I think generalizations are a misunderstanding from the get go.
What’s your go-to lunch on set?
The food on set of Stranger Things was always fresh and varied, so usually it’s just the lunch du jour. On set I usually keep meals on the lighter side and snack constantly. You definitely need to keep your energy up when you’re on set all day, but believe me, it’s no fun monster-hunting after a huge meal.
What’s your idea of the perfect smoothie? The perfect salad?
For a smoothie, lots of berries, lots of greens, almond milk and a little cardamom. For a salad, right now it’s definitely poke.
What are your favorite cities for food? What restaurants do you go to in each?
I love New York because it has a million food options. For a dinner with friends I love Rubirosa or Nom Wah Tea Parlor. And Otafuku is great! My hometown of Nashville has great food as well. When I’m there, you’ll find me at Sunflower Cafe or Fido. Argosy and Victory Sandwich Bar in Atlanta have also become favorites of mine.
Do you like to cook? What’s a go-to for you? If not, what’s your go to takeout?
I enjoy cooking but I almost never do it in New York. Takeout is always sushi. When I’m visiting home in Nashville, it’s all about roasted vegetables like kabocha squash and baking cornbread.
What are the hair and makeup items you cannot live without?
My hair is really fine so Oribe Dry Texture Spray is a necessity. When I’m not working I don’t like to wear a lot of makeup, but right now I am really digging Urban Decay’s lipstick in Carnal. It’s a lovely, versatile shade. I’ll put it on my cheeks or eyelids too.
In the same vein as ‘what is the new black’ in fashion, what’s the new potato right now?
The new potato is not taking yourself too seriously. And synth music.
*Natalia Dyer, photographed at Gallow Green in New York, NY by Danielle Kosann