Actress Gretchen Mol

Gretchen Mol is the kind of woman who does it all: a hit show on Hulu (Chance) with Hugh Laurie, a Golden Globe winning show on Amazon (Mozart in the Jungle), a run in Tony-nominated Pulitzer-prize winning Disgrace, and a role in Manchester By The Sea – premiering November 18. Is there anything this star can’t do? She’s been our favorite since Boardwalk Empire, and she definitely has NOT slowed down.

We sat down with the actress to get the inside scoop on her new movie, how she feels about online streaming, and her beauty routines. When she says to have a Manhattan on the rocks, you bet we’re going to listen. Read her full interview below; it’s exactly what you need to start this work week right.

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

Well, ideal healthy or ideal indulgent? Two very different things…although I generally feel better when I strike a middle ground on the healthier side. I’d start with strong Cafe Bustelo coffee on the stovetop espresso maker, with hot milk. Steel cut oats or two eggs over medium – sometimes both. For lunch, a great bowl of soup, like a mushroom soup, or a wheatberry salad with feta, tomatoes mixed in, and homemade chicken noodle soup is a favorite. Dinner is delicious spaghetti and meatballs if it’s a family dinner, or salmon with quinoa and warm kale salad with sweet potatoes and lemon.

How do you practice beauty from the inside out?

Apple cider vinegar mixed with water a couple times a day, lots of water, or hot water with lemon. I try not to “diet”, I try to be moderate and when I feel like I’ve been too indulgent in all the yummy holiday foods, I cut out the white flour and sugar for a few days. I like to run, or I mix that with a barre class at Physique 57. And I do love as much sleep as I can get.

What are your morning and nightly beauty routines?

My morning routine is less consistent than night time. I do as little as possible in the morning. I use a wash cloth and brush my teeth, but I use a Murad spray moisturizing toner and Josh Rosebrook Nutrient day creme with SPF 30 before I go outside. Nighttime I cleanse with Ren Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk, tone with Biologique Recherche Lotion P50, moisturize with Biologique Recherche Creme msr-h, and Dr. Colbert Illumino Face Oil…I also use Colbert Uplift eye serum.

What products are always in your bag? 

Always a lip gloss and Darphin hydrating night balm. It’s great for lips, cuticles, around the eyes – everything. And it smells beautiful!

Your show Chance just premiered on Hulu; any fun stories from the set?

When my kids visited the set of Chance the amazing makeup and hair ladies let them paint and decorate every styrofoam wig head that they had in their trailer. It was very festive; the best thing about crews on tv and films is that they are young at heart. They live in a creative world of make believe, so it is a wonderful environment for kids to be around.

How do you always start your day on the right note? What’s your go-to breakfast?

The best is a morning when my kids are off from school and everyone stays in bed a little longer. I make pancakes or waffles for them and eat the leftovers.  It’s also a great morning when I get to go for a run, or take a class.

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

One of my favorite trips is anywhere in Italy, and the longer the stretch the better. Also many spots in the Caribbean. I won’t travel without sunglasses, a bathing suit, a black cardigan sweater, black ballet flats, a pair of sneakers (Supergas), and dry shampoo.

Foods and drinks that make your skin glow…

Well, water obviously, but that can get boring. To get an evening glow, I’ll take a Manhattan on the rocks. 

You have two shows on online streaming platforms –  as someone who used to star on an HBO show, how are the two experiences different? 

When a show is streaming, it is always a surprise when anyone tells me they are watching it, because everyone watches things at their own pace and streaming allows for that. You never know how deep into the story they are….when Boardwalk Empire was on there was more of a sense that audiences were having a collective experience.

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

In Rome, Forno Campo de’ Fiori for the best potato pizza. In New York City, Craft. In Sausalito, fish in the marina – delicious fish and chips, and clam chowder! In Lockhart, Texas, Kreuz Market for the best pit bbq served on wax paper.

How do you unwind at night besides a glass of wine?

I dance around our living room with my family to some loud music, read to my kids, and take a bath alone by candlelight.  And maybe an episode or two of The Affair or Goliath.

Advice you’d give your younger self…

As Hillary said so beautifully: “To all the little girls watching, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world.” I need to tape that to my mirror.

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

The new potato in life is handling loss gracefully, but never forgetting what’s right and good and fighting for it harder than we expected we’d have to.

Read our interviews with other HBO stars, Emily Mortimer and Jimmi Simpson.

*Gretchen Mol, photographed at The Library at The Public Theatre in New York, NY by Danielle Kosann.