Meet Caitlin Stasey

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Navigating the entertainment industry as an outspoken and opinionated woman who would like to maintain her beliefs means having to make thoughtful decisions about her career and jobs. Caitlin Stasey has fallen in love with acting, but getting into the business at a young age meant growing up quickly in an unstable environment for a child. Since then, she has publicly shared her thoughts on the industry’s controversies and created a website dedicated to celebrating women. For Stasey, she says that it’s important for her to remember that acting is not and cannot be everything.
 
  Dress: Daisy, Shoes:  Maryam Nassir Zadeh

Dress: Daisy, Shoes: Maryam Nassir Zadeh

  Dress: Daisy, Shoes:  Maryam Nassir Zadeh

Dress: Daisy, Shoes: Maryam Nassir Zadeh

on her morning routine

Routine is something I've never had a strong relationship with. I get up at a time that doesn't feel indecent, like 9 AM, but I'll lie in bed for 30 minutes just looking at my phone even though I know it's not good for me. If I'm lucky, my partner has already fed the dogs. If not, then I will.

I make coffee and then get on with whatever the day requires of me, which is never that much unless I'm working. I'm a job to job actor, which means having giant chunks of time that are not mine, and then even larger chunks that are. Being self motivated does not come super naturally to me so I write sporadically, fix up my house slowly, and try to commit to things that matter to me. I know it's a typical observation but being an adult is 99% shitty maintenance that you just don't really want to do, like paying bills, doing dishes, sweeping. Oh my god, the sweeping. I have four dogs so it's just endless sweeping. I might take a probiotic if I remember. I take Garden of Life Raw Probiotics for Women and Renew Life Ultimate Flora.

on the entertainment industry and being an actor

I was always a show off. I loved attention and I loved expressing myself in big ways. I don't know that I recommend letting your kid become an actor. It sort of worked out for me, but there have been significant costs. As a child actor or even a teen actor, you're thrusted into adult situations and settings long before you're ready to process or understand them. I grew into maturity pretty early on and was able to blend into a lot of inappropriate settings. Acting itself means a lot to me, but the industry is pretty twisted a lot of the time. I still love acting, but it isn't everything. I work to live. I don't live to work.

I love working with other actors and directors I respect, and I love it when everything goes well. I especially love it when I do well. I'm a pretty critical person, so it's not often all of these things collide.

 

 

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It’s impossible to navigate something you don’t have a language for. I would grin and bear it when men would make off-colour remarks about me, treat me like a novelty in my own workplace, or outright proposition me. I reached a breaking point in 2014, and lost my shit very publicly. Twitter was my platform of choice and for the following few years I was pretty evangelical about the mistreatment of women in my industry. More recently this attitude has manifested in turning down work that may conflict with my beliefs or having difficult conversations with writers, producers, and directors about what I expect from a character or storyline. It’s getting easier. In fact, I think the industry has and will continue to experience a dramatic shift in deferring to women.
— on navigating the male-dominated entertainment industry

on her start in acting and other projects

I started acting when I was 13 in a kids show called “The Sleepover Club.” Since then I've been more or less employed as an actor. I've had periods of total inactivity, which are pretty unsettling, and I'm never prepared for them. I have had a pretty diverse career. Every job I've had has been a unique experience and completely different from the one before. I've been a gargoyle warrior, the leader of a teen gang of guerrilla soldiers, a 16th century handmaiden, hacker, murderer, zombie cheerleader, and a late 80's beach bum, among other things.

Outside of acting, in 2014, I launched, with the help of some very brilliant women, Jennifer Toole & Hannah Terry-White, Herself.com, which served as a catalogue of women's thoughts, bodies, and experiences. The female form is unrelentingly sexualized, and while sexuality is not inherently evil, it is a singular expectation of us. I do think the conversation has shifted dramatically in the past four years. I've let Herself languish a bit these past few years because I see its sentiments echoed everywhere, which heartens me.

on moving from australia to los angeles

People expect that emigrating from one English speaking country to another is easy, but there’s still a huge cultural shift. Australia is a place totally lacking in affect. That's something I admire about my motherland. People are pretty plain talking and don't fuck around with sentimentality and preciousness. The flipside of that is that many people, men mostly, are utterly repressed. LA is a flowery fucking city. There's a lot of bullshit here, but bullshit is elastic and it’s malleable. I get to express myself here in a way I don't get to back home. 

When moving somewhere new, my advice would be to lean into the parts of you that are malnourished by the scrutiny of home. Seek out the things that interest you and pursue them. Be honest but also flowery. Fuck it. You'll either grow out of it or find it suits you.

 

  Top: Vintage via American Rag, Pants: Vintage via Worship, Belt: Vintage via Silverlake Flea, Boots: Topshop, Earrings: Vintage via Jewelry Arcade in Mexico

Top: Vintage via American Rag, Pants: Vintage via Worship, Belt: Vintage via Silverlake Flea, Boots: Topshop, Earrings: Vintage via Jewelry Arcade in Mexico

   Amusing Ourselves to Death  by Neil Postman,  Take It Easy, Charlie Brown  by Charles M. Schulz,  How to Be Both  by Ali Smith,  The Icepick in Ollie Birk  by Eunice Sudak

Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman, Take It Easy, Charlie Brown by Charles M. Schulz, How to Be Both by Ali Smith, The Icepick in Ollie Birk by Eunice Sudak

I’ve started using a little point and shoot film camera (Rollei Prego Zoom) which has harvested some incredible shots and also a lot of disappointment. I do love how the photos come out and the intention with which they’ve been taken. I also love shooting on my iPhone as it’s super accessible and high quality. I make little videos or collages with images I’ve taken, not for any purpose other than to refine some composition skills.
— on personal creative pursuits
  Top: Vintage via American Rag, Pants: Vintage via Worship, Belt: Vintage via Silverlake Flea, Boots: Topshop, Earrings: Vintage via Jewelry Arcade in Mexico

Top: Vintage via American Rag, Pants: Vintage via Worship, Belt: Vintage via Silverlake Flea, Boots: Topshop, Earrings: Vintage via Jewelry Arcade in Mexico

  Top: Vintage via American Rag, Pants: Vintage via Worship, Belt: Vintage via Silverlake Flea, Boots: Topshop, Earrings: Vintage via Jewelry Arcade in Mexico

Top: Vintage via American Rag, Pants: Vintage via Worship, Belt: Vintage via Silverlake Flea, Boots: Topshop, Earrings: Vintage via Jewelry Arcade in Mexico

on her nightly routine

I use some overpriced but highly effective topical ointments: Retin-A Micro Micro Pump Gel, Humane Benzoyl Peroxide (never together or it'll burn), and a lot of rosehip oil. If I'm feeling particularly sticky or stinky, I'll shower. I also recommend Maison Louis Marie No.04 Bois de Balincourt Perfume OilAesop Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser and Egyptian Magic.

on her makeup routine, or lack thereof

I know this sounds like a bullshit thing to say, but I don't really wear makeup. I'm just not very good at it and don't look great when I try. I have an old MAC blush I've been using for years as both an eyeshadow and blush. I use MAC fake eyelash enhancer as an eyebrow wrangler and whatever mascara I have. Even when my acne was particularly bad I didn't wear makeup as it irritated my skin. Since buying the aforementioned overpriced topicals, I've been able to maintain a pretty good balance. I use oil based cleansers as stripping my skin of oil was a huge factor in my acne...or at least some derms have told me. I love Aesop oil facial cleanser. I generally just YELP a dermatologist, and go from there

on her personal ethics and food

It's not easy, I don't even think it’s necessarily essential either. I was a hardline vegan for a while before I realised that eating meat isn't an inherent evil. How we overproduce and over consume it is. If you go full vegan you remove yourself from an economy of ethical farming that is reliant on you. Small farms can't flourish and treat their livestock with dignity if there's no customer base. I think eating meat every day is absurd. All forms of agriculture need to be reframed and reimagined. We also do not need to eat pigs or fish. Pigs have no nutritional value, and we are overfishing at such an astonishing rate that there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050. If you aren't moved to think about where you buy your meat after knowing that, then maybe you're beyond convincing. My new policy is that I only eat meat once a week or if someone is cooking it for me as a gesture, like a dinner party.

 

 

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The more I work, the less “Acting with a capital A” appeals to me. The truth is funnier, more moving, shocking, and surprising than any trick you can pull. I’m not a character actor. I just do a version of me, so I always ask myself, “How would I honestly respond to this situation?” Often, the answer is much smaller than my initial instinct. You can apply that to any character and it seems obvious, but having a camera in your face can change and warp your reactions. The nature of something changes once it knows it is being observed. Try to shed the burden of that observation and just respond truthfully. As David Lynch once said, in a show we’re not allowed to talk about anymore, “Look ‘em in the eyes and speak from the heart.”
— on becoming a better actor
  Top: Vintage via Bearded Beagle, Shorts: Vintage Reebok via Rebel Closet, Jewelry via Flea Markets

Top: Vintage via Bearded Beagle, Shorts: Vintage Reebok via Rebel Closet, Jewelry via Flea Markets

caitlin's favorite books

Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman, Take It Easy, Charlie Brown by Charles M. Schulz, How to Be Both by Ali Smith, The Icepick in Ollie Birk by Eunice Sudak

caitlin's favorite movies

The Mermaid by Stephen Chow, Let the Right One In by Tomas Alfredson, Raising Arizona by The Coen Brothers, Mad Max Fury Road by George Miller

caitlin's favorite places in los angeles

The Silverlake Farmers Market on Saturdays has some great stalls like Rebel Closet and Golden Threads Vintage

Cliftons is a hilarious, multi level, multi theme club, bar, restaurant downtown and it's insane. It has a tiki bar upstairs that is always packed, a swing band on the second level, and a rainforest themed restaurant on the ground floor. 

Coffee sucks in this city (country), but Amara in Highland Park does some cool stuff with dandelion powder.

For breakfast, visit Kitchen Mouse and Pollen

Shop super street is a great spot for Rachel Comey, Opening Ceremony, Daisy, Mimi Wade, Isabel Marant, and Maryam Nassir Zadeh

Recess in Hollywood is incredible and not insanely overpriced

Vegan spots that I recommend are SageGreen Leaves Vegan, Sun Cafe, and Little Pine.

  Dress: Daisy, Jacket: Isabel Marant, Shoes:  Skechers , Sunglasses: Vintage via Flea Market, Bag: Vintage via Catwalk

Dress: Daisy, Jacket: Isabel Marant, Shoes: Skechers, Sunglasses: Vintage via Flea Market, Bag: Vintage via Catwalk

 

 

─ Photography by Maggie Shannon