Actor GUMMER plays fashion model in Max Mara’s luxe new-season coats. By NATASHA SILVA-JELLY
Actor Grace Gummer is a woman on the rise.
ONE OF HOLLYWOOD’S brightest new stars strolls into the cookie shop across from her Brooklyn, New York, apartment with a warm smile, arms outstretched. She’s casually dressed for the humid summer afternoon in crisp head-to-toe white, which accentuates her striking blue eyes set against long rust-coloured locks, dyed for her role in the cyber-thriller series Mr. Robot. Over tea, the actor, Grace Gummer, is friendly and totally at ease — a far cry, she says, from earlier in the week, when she stepped into the role of fashion model for a BAZAAR shoot to celebrate Women In Film, a nonprofit organisation that promotes equal opportunities for women in the entertainment industry. “I really understand why supermodels are paid a gazillion dollars,” says Gummer, 31. “It’s 95 degrees [35 degrees Celsius] and I’m wearing wool pants and cashmere sweaters, cars [are] coming in every direction and the photographer is like, ‘Smile, OK, back, front, turn around and hop in the air.’”
Modelling may be out of the ordinary for her, but playing a character comes far more easily. She portrays the brash FBI field agent Dominique “Dom” Dipierro in Mr. Robot, now in its third season.to prep for the part, Gummer shadowed real FBI agents, and says the show’s plot has left her with a healthy dose of paranoia (Dom is out to stop a hacker hell-bent on bringing down corporate America).“i use encryption apps for texts and calls,” she says. As for the hair, “I like it red. People notice me more, and I don’t think that’s necessarily for my work.”
The Italian luxury fashion brand Max Mara — a long-time partner of the annual Women In Film Max Mara Face of the Future Award, which honours the young generation of stars on the rise, embodied by Gummer — would no doubt disagree.“grace is an actress who combines a strong talent with a playfulness, originality and intelligence that’s also expressed through her style,” says Maria Giulia Maramotti, Max Mara’s director of retail in the US.
Gummer, who studied art history and Italian at Newyork’svassar College, considered becoming a costume designer until a theatredirector friend sent her a script and she decided she’d rather say the lines than create the clothes. She caught her first big break in 2011, in the Broadway revival of Arcadia, which led to roles in highprofile TV shows such as The Newsroom, American Horror Story: Freak Show and Good Girls R`evolt, in which she portrayed a young Nora Ephron. (Incidentally, Gummer’s mother, Meryl Streep, a close friend of the late writer-director, also played a version of Ephron, in the lightly fictionalised 1986 film Heartburn.)
The actor has two projects coming up on the big screen.“i just filmed Beast of Burden with Daniel Radcliffe,” she says.“it’s a very cool Bonnie and Clyde-style crime thriller.” She’s also dipping her toes into comedy with The Long Dumb Road.“it was just after the election, and I wanted to laugh and make other people laugh. I’ll do whatever I can get my hands on that means and says something important to the world.”
Asked who is on her director wish list, she is quick to name Paul Thomas Anderson (“like a dream”) and Kelly Reichardt (“I want to work with more women”). And she finds inspiration in contemporaries Carey Mulligan, Sarah Paulson and Claire Danes. “They’re my friends, but I also love their work.”
Now her career is taking off, Gummer says her wardrobe has had to play catch-up.“i don’t go to work in sweatpants anymore,” she says, laughing. “I’m a little bolder now. Maybe it’s the hair.”
“It was just after the [US] election, and I wanted to laugh and make other people laugh. I’ll do whatever I can get my hands on that means and says something important to the world.”