Don’t Call Julia Schlaepfer A ‘Dumb Blonde’

Photographed by Danielle Kosann

Julia Schlaepfer of Netflix’s The Politician talks ideal food day, Sarah Paulson, and the ‘I Weigh’ Movement…

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

I would wake up on a crisp Autumn day (the cold is an important part to feeling cozy during my food experience) and have breakfast at Bubby’s in Meatpacking. It’s comfort food and makes me feel like I could be at home with my Mom. 

For lunch, I would head to Tea & Sympathy on Greenwich Ave. I would either order their classic afternoon tea or their steak and guinness pie. But always, always make sure to order extra scones. They are heaven. 

Finally, for dinner I would go to Wallflower. Tragically, this restaurant has recently closed its doors, but this is my food fantasy okay?! It was the coziest little restaurant known to man and the food was to die for. RIP Wallflower!!!

What are your morning and nightly beauty routines?

I am completely obsessed with all Organic Pharmacy skin care products. My fabulous makeup artist on the Politician, Autumn Butler, introduced me to the brand. In the morning, after I wash my face with Dove bar soap, I apply Organic Pharmacy Hyaluronic Acid Serum followed by their Double Rose Rejuvenating face cream.

At night, I try my best to be really good about removing my makeup with Neutrogena makeup towelettes and then using Neutrogena Rapid Clear acne wipes on any blemishes I may have. I also use Organic Pharmacy’s Rose Diamond Exfoliating cleanser as much as possible. But listen, sometimes that third wine hits you, you are out within seconds okay and forget to take your makeup off all together!!!

What were you always insecure about growing up, and how did you overcome it?

I was always incredibly insecure about coming across as unintelligent. A lot of my peers growing up would label me as the “dumb blonde” without actually knowing me. Which is seriously insane!!! But for a long time, I allowed people to think that about me and started to believe it myself. It wasn’t until I started acting school in NYC that I started to find my voice again. My teachers refused to let me hide. Pretty soon I realized that I had a whole lot to say and that I, in fact, wasn’t dumb just because my hair is blonde (still confused as to how we as a society got there???) And FYI…I graduated on the Dean’s List.

What movie had the biggest effect on you and why?

Another Earth, written by and starring Brit Marling. That was the first movie I saw that really made me want to be an actor. Brit brought to life this young, beautiful, complex, imperfect female character. It was a female character that I had never seen on screen before. Even more, Brit wrote it for herself to play. I thought, “Oh! I want to make things like THAT for the rest of my life. I CAN make things like that for the rest of my life.”

Who would you like to collaborate with that you haven’t yet?

Sarah Paulson. I have admired her and her work for years. She is such a leader in the Ryan Murphy world and I would love to be able to collaborate on a project one day.

How do the amazing visuals and costumes in The Politician inform/affect your performance?

The picture-perfect visuals in the show completely mirror the picture-perfect facade that my character, Alice is desperately trying to maintain. We would stop so many takes to get my string of pearls to lay flat and symmetrical on my neck. That level of detail to maintain the extravagance of it all really helped me understand the world that my character was a part of.

What was a highlight from The Politician set for you?

My cast. I have found a forever family in those gorgeous humans. 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? The worst?

Best: Hard work pays off. And always lead with kindness.

Worst: Changing your last name will help you make it in this business…Don’t ever change who you are for someone else!

Is there an issue right now you’re most passionate about? What is it and why?

I am incredibly passionate about the fight against the toxic culture surrounding body image and disordered eating. Especially for women, our industry perpetuates these impossible, unhealthy beauty standards. I think the work Jameela Jamil is doing with the ‘I Weigh’ movement is so important. It’s about time that our world no longer defines a woman’s worth in how skinny her body is and how much she weighs. I’m tired of it!

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

Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, Dolores Hart, my Mom, and my Grandma Norine (who I was never able to meet, but based on the stories, I know we would get into some major mischief together.) Five incredibly complex, genius women whom I idolize in one room?! Yes please.

Julia Schlaepfer, photographed at Ladurée in New York, NY. 

Photography: Danielle Kosann | Makeup: Gianpaolo Ceciliato | Hair: Matthew Monzon | Stylist: Sarah Slutsky (assisted by Gina Brase)

Look 1: Tadashi Shoji gown, Kate Spade boots, August & June jewelry. Look 2: Claudia Li blouse & jacket, Aera platforms, Kate Spade earrings

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