American Pastoral’s Valorie Curry

Valorie Curry is having a moment. With two movies coming out in the span of two months, the actress is more in-demand than ever. You may remember her from The Following or House of Lies, and you can watch her now in the Amazon pilot The Tick. Curry has also appeared in numerous theatre productions – is there any thing this girl can’t do?

With her new film American Pastoral premiering this weekend, we knew it would be the perfect time to ask Curry all about crazy set stories, her favorite scary movies (she starred in the new Blair Witch, after all) and how she achieves such a modern sixties aesthetic. Read along for our interview with the actress; it’s the perfect way to welcome the weekend.

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

My ideal food day is one where I never get full, so I can eat everything I want…I think the greatest meal of all time is brunch, so my day would start with short rib hash and a gin bloody mary.  Lunch would be a grilled cheese sandwich from Court Street Grocers, and dinner would be my favorite – steak frites and a bottle of Oregon Pinot Noir. No dessert, because I snacked on dark chocolate between meals (or just Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups), but I would order Indian takeaway around midnight. 

How do you practice beauty from the inside out?

I practice beauty from the inside out by meditating, spending time in nature, and being with my husband and my pets. I also need a lot of time on my own, whether that’s spent reading, hitting the farmers market, or watching a matinee in an empty movie theatre. I think that everyone is their most beautiful when they are joyful, doing what they love, and taking pleasure in their own unique body.

What are your morning and nightly beauty routines?

I’m a skincare junkie, but pretty much my entire routine comes from a local Brooklyn company, Between You & The Moon. It’s all handmade and holistic. I oil cleanse my face at night, then use their facial oil to moisturize. In the morning, it’s just a splash of cold water and a little more moisturizing. I’m also a sucker for a sheet mask. Lately, I’m using Karuna masks, after my makeup artist, Sonia Lee, turned me onto the brand.

Was shooting Blair Witch ever scary? Why or why not?

I’m pretty good at scaring myself, even in the most benign situation. E.T. was my biggest fear as a child. So, yes, working night shoots in isolated woods made it pretty easy to tip myself into terror when the cameras were on. The caterer who told us that she believed that demons were attracted to horror movie shoots didn’t help much either.

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

Portland is, hands down, the best city for food. They LOVE their food, unapologetically and with gusto. I also have Celiac disease, and that town is gluten-free heaven. I would eat at Petunia’s Pies and Pastries every day, if I lived there.

Los Angeles is my lunch town. Sugarfish, M Cafe, and Hugo’s Restaurant are my absolute musts when I’m in town. 

In American Pastoral, you play Rita Cohen, a young radical. Do you relate to her? Why or why not?

Rita Cohen is an incredibly angry person and a political radical. While I would never condone what she and the Weathermen did in the name of revolution, I can understand her frustration. In the current social and political climate, I feel like I walk around every day with angry tears. Rape culture is at least being named now, but it’s still accepted, even to the point that the Republican candidate for president uses abusive, misogynist language and behavior. Black Americans are being killed by law enforcement and mass incarcerated at a dizzying rate, and yet it’s still somehow controversial to say “Black Lives Matter.” Indigenous peoples are being attacked and arrested for trying to protect their sacred lands from destruction by oil companies. 

I think it’s impossible to look at the state of our country and not be angry, but even more so when we experience how difficult it is to make meaningful change on a systemic level. I relate to the passion she feels to change the world around her, as well as the desire to wake people up to oppressive paradigms that we’ve accepted.

What is always in your fridge? Your pantry?

My fridge always contains chocolate, eggs, and cheese. I rarely combine the three. The pantry inevitably has at least three containers of half-empty oatmeal.

What are some of your go-to workouts?

I exercise to feel healthy and strong, not to achieve or maintain a certain physique. My body changes from day to day and, as I age, from year to year, so instead, I focus on activities that I enjoy. I love lifting heavy in the gym, because nothing makes me feel more badass than being able to execute pull ups. I mix that up with yoga and the most fun exercise of all time – boxing. Also, I hate cardio. I wouldn’t run from a bear. 

What is the best advice you have ever received? What is the worst?

Do the work to become the person you wish you could marry. Be that person yourself, for yourself.

You didn’t like X until your tried it with Y….

I didn’t like tap dancing until I watched my husband do it. 

If you could have a dinner party with five people, living or dead, who would you invite? And what would you cook?

If I could have dinner with five people they would be: My great grandmother, Virgina, who left her small town in Idaho and moved to Hollywood to be an actress.  She died young, before she fulfilled her dream; Queen Elizabeth I; Jean Seberg; Janis Joplin; Steve Martin. I would make my roast chicken – Thomas Keller’s recipe.

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

Cats are the new potato. Don’t tell my dog I said that.

Read our interviews with Rocky Horror Picture Show star Victoria Justice and Stranger Things’ David Harbour

*Valorie Curry, photographed at Acme in New York, NY by Danielle Kosann