Actress Gayle Rankin

Gayle Rankin kicks serious ass on her new show GLOW (airing on Netflix now) – and she’s starring in the Public Theatre’s Hamlet this summer alongside Oscar Isaac (swoon). We sat down with Rankin to talk about everything from the best restaurants in Scotland, which five guests she’d have at her dream dinner, and of course the funniest things that happen on the set of Hamlet. Read below for the full interview; we know you’ll love Rankin as much as we do.



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

For breakfast, I would have the banana walnut loaf and maybe a chocolate chip walnut cookie from Levain Bakery; those are my favorites and a lot of coffee. I would probably have a large caramel latte with an extra shot. For lunch, I would have a cheeseburger and fries from Henry Public. For dinner, I would totally want pizza or Mexican food, and a ton of margaritas either way!

How do you practice beauty from the inside out?

I take wellness formulas which I love, which have a big affect on my whole body and skin. I also take probiotics. I’m really into meditating, which I find has really helped me, and I’ve been using an app called Headspace. Meditating works emotionally and that helps externally. For example, it has helped me to stop breaking out. I drink a lot of water, and I’ve been doing barre workouts now and then.

How do you always start your day? What’s your go-to breakfast?

I get up, go meditate and then shower. I have a coffee and either a smoothie or greek yogurt. I usually work out in the mornings so I’ll have protein bar, because that’s really quick, and then go workout.

What are your morning and nightly beauty routines?

I really love to use Drunk Elephant products; they are super natural. I love their creams; the Lala Retro Whipped Cream, it comes in a purple tub, is awesome. I just put it all over my face! I also use their BabyFacial Scrub, which is a mask with an exfoliant. I use their toner in the morning and night. I’ll use the BabyFacial a couple times a week, then I’ll use their cleanser, then tone and apply the cream all over – heavy under the eye.



What is always in your handbag? What beauty products can’t you live without?

Lip balm, always. I’m a big lipbalm fan, of all kinds. I’m obviously really into Glossier stuff. I always have a little roll on oil perfume by Maison Louis Marie, it’s called No.04 Bois de Balincourt. I love it, and the little roll is really convenient to have.

We cannot wait to see you in Hamlet – any stories you can share with us from the set?

You know when you get really close to people you hang out a lot and you have kind of a funny language for when you see each other? We kind of have our own little dictionary of words. Everyone – Keegan, Oscar and I all speak in. I think it’s really important to have when you’re doing a super heavy play like this. We all also really love SkinnyPop, so we eat a lot of that. It’s definitely our snack of choice.

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

I just love to travel, period. I do love traveling to Europe because I am from Scotland, so I like being close to home. I have really curly hair so I will always travel with a straightener. Even if it’s just a mini straightener, just because I have to get those bangs down! At first, I just embraced the curls and did not travel with one, but usually I will always travel with that.

How is working in American television and theatre different from working in Europe? Do you prefer one over the other?

I started working here when I started school when I was seventeen, so I never really worked professionally in the U.K. I’ve really worked in Europe a little bit, but only because I got jobs in America. Ultimately, I think it’s pretty similar. I don’t think there are huge differences with all these places and their production. There’s just way more work in America. The energy is different.



What advice would you give to girls looking to enter the acting industry?

Try, if you can, to hold onto why you want to act and really what motivates you to do it. I would give that advice to anyone in any job. I’ve struggled with this. You can start to lose your opinion about things and your own professional opinion – like I want to do this job because of this reason or I want to work because of this. You must stay unique, be who you are and try and hold onto that.

If we go to Scotland, where should we eat and drink?

You should go to the The Witchery in Edinburgh; it’s an unbelievable boutique restaurant and hotel. It’s kind of a gothic, dark, moody, cool place that I love. The food is traditional and they even bathtubs in their hotel bedrooms. It’s very lovely! I would try haggis – I would just do it – it’s really good there. They also have an amazing parsnip risotto; we’re very into root vegetables. 

How did you physically prep for your role in GLOW?

I only got a couple weeks notice when I got the part. Then, we found out we would be going into training a month before we started to shoot, so we had a wrestling camp with the coordinator and directing coach. I was working out as well at the same time, so I was pretty exhausted! But, we were basically training to learn moves a month before we started.


If you could host a dinner party with any five people living or dead who would you have over? And what would you serve?

I would have Gena Rowland, Stanley Kubrick, my family, my closest friends and myself fifteen years ago. I would serve a super classic raw bar of shrimp, oysters, lobster and crab. Then, I would serve a delicious Thomas Keller’s Roast Chicken with farro. For dessert, I would have an amazing bread pudding.

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

Wrestling; it might be the new thing; I think woman are going to get really into it.


Read our interview with Rankin’s costar Alison Brie or watch this funny yoga video!

Photographed in New York, NY by Danielle Kosann. Gayle wears a Tibi skirt and top