Actress Marin Ireland

It’s incredibly refreshing to talk to an actress like Marin Ireland. She’s the star of Amazon’s newest hit – Sneaky Pete – and (in a month filled with detox plans and fitness goals) – is totally honest about not being able to stick to a set regimen, other than having her morning coffee. We love Ireland’s honest approach to beauty, her dream dinner guests, and her declaration that engagement is the new potato. Read below for a great read to kick off the weekend…

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

The food that makes me happiest in the world is avocado, so it has to start with that…I sometimes just eat a whole one with just a little salt and hot sauce, but I guess I might as well splurge and say homemade avocado toast on some kind of rustic super-grain bread with feta, lemon and chili flakes. And a ton of coffee.

Then I’d have to have this halloumi salad at this place in my neighborhood in the East Village, Cafe Orlin – I go there an embarrassing amount of times in a week and I always get the same thing. I eat halloumi like it’s my job. And they make this salad with just greens, tomatoes, cucumbers and giant slabs of grilled halloumi along with pita with za’atar – but I say no to the red onions. Raw red onions are too much for me; they overwhelm my whole palate for like three days if I eat them.

Then I would have dinner at Gjelina in LA. I’d order one of everything so I could sample it all, because I always want to taste everything and I hate having to narrow it down, especially when everything there is so amazing. Somewhere in there would be a Bulleit Rye and soda, and somewhere at the end would be some peanut butter gelato.

How do you practice beauty from the inside out?

I do try to eat clean, whole foods when I can, ideally sourced responsibly. I like the Michael Pollan motto: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” I avoid dairy because it doesn’t make me feel good (halloumi and feta are my weaknesses, but you can find ones that are primarily sheep/goat milk!), and I don’t eat much meat for the same reason. I do eat fish, but I don’t have any real hard and fast rules. I also try to drag myself to the gym as often as I can. I love gummy vitamins. I’ll do a multi and/or a B12, since I don’t get that from animal products, and some extra D in the winter.

What are your morning and nightly beauty regimens?

I am terrible at regimens of any kind! I am a champion at breaking any and every rule I set for myself, I cannot explain why. Some innate problem with authority, even if it’s me? I should ask my therapist. The only things I can guarantee are teeth-brushing and coffee-drinking in the morning, and a face wipe (usually Neutrogena) and teeth-brushing at night. Other than that, I’m one of those people that is perpetually convinced that a new face product will be the answer to all my life problems and I’m constantly trying new ones.

I love Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM Serum. It has a bunch of vitamins and I love a multitasker. I like Joanna Vargas’s products, her eye cream and day serum especially. Oh! I do apply sunscreen religiously. I try to use one that does other stuff too, like Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair. I also like to use Eminence Calm Skin Exfoliating Peel when my skin is really getting congested from all the makeup at work. I went to see the Goddess of Skin, Dayle Breault, a few times (she’s incredible) and she has a great exfoliant called the Bonafide Scrub that’s also in heavy rotation.

What’s a beauty mainstay that hasn’t changed since your teen years…?

Not washing my hair more than once or twice a week. Does that count? I wash it at night because there’s too much of it, and blow-drying takes forever.

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

I’m not a big smoothie person, but in my dream world I could have one that has peanut butter and greens and honey and blueberries and  some super booster things that would give me energy all day and make me feel like I was unstoppable. Does that smoothie exist?

Salad: Halloumi. Avocado. Greens. Toasted pine nuts. No dressing, just some fresh lemon squeezed on top and black pepper.

What do you think makes Sneaky Pete so popular?

I’m so grateful people are responding so positively! I mean, look, so many of these actors are absolute titans. Margo Martindale, Bryan [Cranston], Giovanni [Ribisi], Peter Gerety, Ben Vereen…It was an honor to share the set with these artists. I do feel like the level of artistry is extraordinary, so I would say that the complexity and humanity these people bring to the show are part of why I think it’s so special. What Graham [Yost] and these brilliant writers have woven together out of so many disparate threads is something very unique. It’s a caper, it’s got heart, it’s thrilling, it’s moving and it’s funny. I think maybe some of our viewers are enjoying a serious show that’s not heavy, and that’s not so light it becomes insignificant. It’s fun, but it’s not junk food.

What have you discovered in playing your character so far?

Something exciting that revealed itself by the end of the season was how much Julia is like Audrey, as much as they are at each other’s throats. And is even becoming her in a way, following in her footsteps at least. It’s probably a big part of why they push back at each other so hard – we hate the idea of turning into our parents or grandparents, and if we’re already halfway there, trying to resist is like throwing water on a grease fire.

What’s a show you personally binge on?

Catastrophe. I’ve binged that at least twice straight through. I cannot wait for season three. Also RuPaul’s Drag Race. And, lately, now that past seasons are available, Billy on the Street. I’ve been a fan of his since he had a live talk show in New York – I’m always bragging that I’m an old-school Billy Eichner fanatic.

Do you have a personal mantra? What is it?

I’ve never thought of it as a mantra, but I do find myself returning to this thought over and over, and sharing it with friends as we try to be people in the world. I guess that’s what a mantra is – my brain just exploded. Ann Dowd (a personal hero) taught this to me years back and I’m so grateful for it: What is for me, cannot pass me by. What is not, I cannot grasp. Or, as my friend Reed Birney says, if the train doesn’t stop at your station, it’s just not your train.

Favorite products you use to prep for a day on set?

I got obsessed with these Shiseido Benefiance Retinol eye masks – a makeup person on a set once put them on me while my hair was being done one day when I came in all puffy and tired at like 4am. Now it’s become my ritual. I don’t know if they actually make me look any different, but they feel cooling and firming. I feel like they wake me up a little. Also on Sunday nights while I was shooting the show, I was doing like a coconut oil hair mask and a face mask of some kind just to feel like I was starting the week ready for the assault from all the products and styling.

We loved watching you in Hell or High Water with Chris Pine – any fun stories from the set?

I don’t know if this counts as a “fun” story, but an element of my first scene that was ultimately cut was that when I answered the front door, I was holding a baby. This poor little peanut was NOT having it. Just screaming and screaming. We shot that first sequence and then realized we had to get that kid back to his happy place so the scene could continue, so we blocked that in after I let in Chris’ character. I went to a back room and ditched the baby and magically there was now total silence, which became my first entrance in the final version! So when you see me come in, you guys will all know that I’ve just handed a very confused and agitated little kiddo off to his mother hiding just behind the door.

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

I love to travel anywhere and everywhere. Warm places are the best, but I love going absolutely anywhere. I love Spain, Italy, Vieques – I just shot in Cape Town and fell hard for that place. I’d love to travel more around Africa. I have such a long list of places I’m dying to go! I also take a lot of pride in being a super-light packer; I try to go with just a regular backpack. As long as it’s less than two weeks and I don’t have to do press stuff, that’s it.

My mother taught me and my sister that no matter where we go or for how long, you always bring a swimsuit and a sweater, because you never know! And the couple of times I haven’t brought that swimsuit, I have needed it! So those two things, always, and my noise-canceling earbuds. Even if there’s no music, they just dull the plane noise. I always have a book on my kindle – or preferably a real one, if I have the room.

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

Last meal…such an intense thought! I would want to be surrounded by love. My nearest and dearest family and friends. I also would want some philosophers and great minds to help me get through the difficulty of the moment. Can I have Nelson Mandela and Gandhi? We would eat something simple and nourishing, and we would meditate as we ate. Like brown rice and broth or something. Am I too focused on the imaginary dark circumstances and not enough on like, my favorite foods? Oops. Welcome to my brain!

If you could host a dinner party with any five people living or dead, who would be there? What would you cook?

Tim Gunn, RuPaul, Elaine Stritch, Michelle Obama. Heroes all. And then to balance it out with a poet, Mary Oliver, to give a little quiet introspection to the party. I can’t cook anything worthy of these folks, so I would take them somewhere spectacular for some dazzling and momentous sushi. Sushi always feels like an event to me. I’d want these people to have a visually sumptuous experience as well as a delicious one. And I’d want an array of similarly beautiful and creative little dessert options, maybe from this place ChikaLicious in the East Village. A whole enormous beautiful array of delights. I would just want to make these gorgeous and inspiring humans’ faces light up for at least one moment.

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

Engagement. Activism on any level. Standing up and speaking out. So many of us are stepping outside our comfort zones, and it is a beautiful thing. This is just the beginning.

Have you read our interview with Daphne Oz yet? And don’t forget to check out this interview with Carrie Keagan.