To say we’re fans of Shonda Rhimes would be an major understatement. Seriously, we’re borderline obsessed with everything she creates; just look at our many, many interviews with her stars. That’s why, when we found out she had a new show coming out, we knew we had to get the inside scoop. Enter Lashana Lynch, aka Rosaline in Rhimes’ Still Star-Crossed. The show premiered last night on ABC, and suffice to say, it’s our go-to summer show. We caught up with Lynch to talk about her character, favorite restaurants, and advice from Rhimes herself. Read the full interview below; it’s exactly what you need to jazz up your Tuesday…
From start to finish what would be your ideal food day?
Ideally, I’d live in a world where sugar and fatty foods weren’t the enemy. But as I don’t…My go to breakfast is always smoked salmon, eggs and spinach. I’d have fried or roasted fish and veggies for both lunch and dinner. I’ve been trying this pasta made from organic edamame spaghetti of late, which is also brilliant for dinner.
How do you practice beauty from the inside out?
I always start the day with a fresh lemon tea to wake up my digestive system, and I feel great because of it! An apple cider vinegar, Manuka honey and turmeric concoction is also brilliant. Six days of the week I aim to stay away from white carbs, processed sugar products, dairy and wheat. But on that seventh day, I’ll treat myself to all the things if I fancy it. I work out about four times per week if I’m not busy, and do anything from spin, step (my main thing, because I get to dance my heart out), aerobics, yoga or my own circuit. My friends and I usually meet up for a Friday night group gym session, where we all channel our inner Hulk and then finish with a steam room session and dinner…And then the next day we can’t walk!
What are your morning and nightly beauty routines?
At the moment I’m using Rituals Lotus Flower & Moringa Extract Creamy Foam Cleanser on my face, which is cleansing but also gentle on the skin. I love Dermologica products and use them a lot on set. I tone with Dermalogica multi active toner and moisturize with either an organic coconut oil I got from Thailand or raw shea butter that I force my friends to get me from Ghana after their holidays. It’s incredible for blemishes! If I’ve been wearing a lot of makeup that day, I use Dermalogica Precleanse, Dermalogica Dermal Clay Cleanser and Oil Control Lotion.
Has Shonda Rhimes ever given you good advice?
Shonda has been giving me life advice and lessons since season one of Scandal.
How do you always start your day?
Singing Blue Mink’s Good Morning Freedom always works like a charm. I’m trying to get away from using Instagram as my morning newspaper, so I tend to take a silent, meditative 15 minutes to gather my thoughts and tune into what I want for the day. Then I play my album of the day.
How do you get into character?
It depends on the role and the project, but I tend to turn into a recluse and become engrossed in the script and emotions of the character. Ideas usually stick during the job, rather than before. I could write a whole list of ideas in prep, but they’ll all change by the time I actually get to work.
What’s been the most surprising part of playing Rosaline [in Still Star-Crossed] thus far? The most challenging?
How much I already knew about her, as though I knew her in another life, was surprising. I found the script reflected the same strength of women I know, which I think ended up coming out a lot in the way she holds herself. She’s had to overcome a lot in her life and playing that pain was probably the most difficult thing I’ve done in my career thus far.
How do you prepare for a long day on set? How do you unwind after a scene?
I prepare by getting the team on one side. I’m not the only one that’s preparing for a long day, and most of the crew are there before and after me. We’ll play music in the hair and make up truck and get a vibe going. When the cast come in one by one, we usually give each other a holla and a kiss. One, because I love my cast. Two, because it’s just weird to not interact with them before we start work. The end of the day is cooking, silence and straight to bed.
What characteristics do you and Rosaline share? What have you learned from her?
We both come from a family of strong women and are determined to use that to aid situations. She has managed to overcome a hell of a lot, whilst maintaining a strut in her step, which is beautiful to play.
Words to both eat and act by?
Live in your truth, nobody else’s.
What’s been the best part of filming Still Star-Crossed?
All of it, quite literally! Getting a lead role that moves you to another country and shoots on beautiful locations everyday was out of this world. We have the best cast, who are crazy talented, hilarious and grounded. Rosaline is just the best rubix cube of a role ever. To work her out for a period drama…it’s a huge deal for me!
Who’s someone you haven’t worked with, that you’d still like to work with and why?
Hands down, Meryl Streep. She is the queen of channeling those finer details of a character that paint all sorts of pictures in one moment. You can see the history of her characters in her whole being, which has me in awe every time.
What’s your favorite sort of party to host? What do you put out as a hostess?
A chill gathering with wine and casual/homemade snacks, as I’m not really a party girl. If I did host one, I’d probably be very Monica Geller about it.
What’s the perfect gift to bring the hostess as a guest?
No matter what it is, I tend to bring wine. But I may start bringing a board game, as most gatherings I go to turn into game nights.
What are your favorite cities for food? What restaurants do you go to in each?
I recently visited Nice with my best friend and had the best homemade pasta at an Italian place that I’ll have to retrace my steps to when I go back. The fish tacos at Los Mariscos in New York are divine. I’ve been to Thailand twice in the last two years, and honestly, if I could order food from there on a special delivery trip, I would! I’m on an authentic, homemade food restaurant collecting mission right now.
In the same vein as ‘what is the new black’ what’s ‘the new potato’ right now?
*Lashana Lynch, photographed at Lupe’s in New York, NY by Danielle Kosann