Crisis in Six Scenes’ Rachel Brosnahan

We’ve loved Rachel Brosnahan ever since she first appeared on House of Cards. Clearly we weren’t the only ones; she received an Emmy nomination for the role and has since garnered international attention as an up-and-coming actress. Her new series Crisis in Six Scenes – Woody Allen’s brainchild, where Brosnahan stars alongside Miley Cyrus – premieres today on Amazon! Brosnahan will also be starring in New York Theater Workshop’s Othello with Daniel Craig and David Oyelowo and has a movie, Patriot’s Day directed by David Berg, coming out in December. This honorary Potatohead is clearly on the rise, and we could not have been happier to sit down and chat with her about outdoor workouts, biscuits and gravy, and not comparing yourself to others. 

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

If feeling terrible afterwards wasn’t a factor here (if this was eaten in one day, this is a seriously tummy-ache-inducing menu), breakfast would be biscuits and gravy from Jacob’s Pickles, then over to Artichoke Pizza for lunch, and then a hop skip and a jump over to Vancouver for pad thai and seafood curry from Maenam. If I haven’t combusted yet, maybe back to NYC and Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit for dessert.

How do you practice beauty from the inside out?

I try to practice balance. Happiness is the goal inside and that reflects on the outside. I try to eat organic and local foods when possible and I like the way I feel when I get plenty of greens, but I also love to eat and I try not to deprive myself of things I’m craving, even if it’s not always the healthiest choice. Moderation is key. I’d like to be exercising more right now, but I’ve been traveling a lot and have found it difficult to establish a routine that I enjoy on the go. I feel better when I get an additional hour or so of sleep, as opposed to waking up earlier to hit the gym, so I trust that and steal extra sleep where I can. I love to be outside and have two energetic dogs so we walk a lot. When I have the time, I enjoy Soul Cycle and yoga.

What are your morning and nightly beauty routines?

In the morning, I wake up and wash my face with cold water and follow with a toner from Antipodes. I use La Mer’s Moisturizing Lotion and then sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. SPF 50 all year round. Throw on a little concealer (either Nars or RMS Beauty) and I’m out the door.

At night I wash my face with Antipodes Skin Brightening Cleanser, followed by their toner again and Algenist’s Genius Cream. I also love Mario Badescu’s Drying Lotion (fondly referred to as “pink stuff”) for pesky pimples. I swear by that stuff…

Crisis in Six Scenes is set in the 1960’s, what was it like to be involved in a period production?

I love working on period pieces. One of the things I love most about being an actor is all the different worlds we get to transport to. The 60’s is a period I had never worked in before so that was exciting. Putting on these gorgeous clothes with the hair and makeup and walking onto the sets was like stepping out of a time machine. All the departments were so brilliant, we hardly had to do anything! Just show up and tell the truth and we’re there.

Any notable advice from Woody Allen? How was it working with him?

I loved working with Woody. He was so kind and his passion for his work after all this time is inspiring. I can’t remember any specific advice, but he made it very clear from day one that he hired everyone because he trusts them and encouraged the actors to follow their impulses. He really gave us room to play. There was also a real sense of community on set and we were home by dinner almost every night! The whole experience was a dream.

What are some of your go-to work outs? Workouts you find overrated?

I really hate going to the gym, so I like to do things outside where I can. Hiking and yoga are probably my go-to workouts. But sometimes I like to take classes that kick my butt. When it’s torture it feels like it’s working. The only thing I think is overrated is working out every single day. If you love it, go for it, but nobody should HAVE to do that.

What is the absolute best advice you’ve ever received? The worst?

The best advice I have ever received is that there is only one you. It was given to me about acting to say that because you are the only you, you are never in competition with anyone else. Either YOU are right for the job or YOU are not right for the job and it’s not about someone getting a job over you. It changed the way I look at auditioning and made me more confident going into a room (and means I spend less time buried in a bag of Doritos when a job I wanted didn’t pan out).

Worst advice: “You would look great with bangs.”

What advice do you have for women getting up and looking in the mirror in the morning? 

Don’t spend too much time looking. You look great and you have got this.

You swear you were _________ in a past life…

A stranger once told me I was a tulip in a past life…I don’t know what that means but i’ll take it.

What’s your perfect smoothie comprised of? Perfect salad?

My perfect smoothie is spinach and kale with pineapple, blackberries, mango, banana and peach. It doesn’t even taste green. My favorite salad is mixed greens with red pepper, corn, red onion, and quinoa with a creamy balsamic dressing.

What would your last meal be? Who would it be with?

A single bite of all of my favorite foods. Cheeseburger, pad Thai, chicken korma, crispy spicy tuna sushi, donuts, Artichoke pizza, spicy wings, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups,  frozen yogurt…and I’d want to eat it with my family, closest friends and my pups, of course.

What’s your go to breakfast?

Gluten free toast with avocado and a poached egg on top.

What are your favorite cities for food? What restaurants do you go to in each? 

Vancouver: Maenam, Fable

New York: Artichoke Pizza, Panna II, Spring, Nobu

Santa Fe: La Boca, Maria’s

Where do you love to travel? What won’t you travel without? 

I love road trips so I’ve really been enjoying driving cross country and staying in middle-of-nowhere hotels with my pups. I’ve been busy working and it’s been hard to travel just for fun, so I try to tack on a few days on the front end and back end of a job to just drive. And I won’t travel without a good book.

In the same vein as what is the new black in fashion, what’s the new potato right now?

Natural is the new glam.

Read our interviews with two other Woody Allen muses, Rebecca Hall and Emily Mortimer.

*Rachel Brosnahan, photographed at The Crosby Street Hotel in New York, NY by Danielle Kosann