Category: Press

Haley Lu Richardson on why ‘Columbus’ is her most fulfilling film yet

V sat down with the actor at the Sundance Film Festival where the new film was met with critical praise.

Although 22-year-old Haley Lu Richardson recently starred in M. Night Shyamalan’s trippy hit thriller Split, and The Edge of Seventeen, she’s more eager to see how fans will respond to her upcoming role in the indie flick Columbus. The first feature-length film by Korean director Kogonada (the auteur’s chosen nom d’artiste) has a quiet, Before Sunrise-esque plot: Richardson plays a recent high school grad named Casey who befriends Jin (played by John Cho), a visitor to Casey’s hometown of Columbus, Indiana. In real life, the city has a massive amount of modernist architecture and public art, setting a gorgeous backdrop for the characters’ heavy conversations.

Columbus is, according to Richardson, “the most fulfilling role I’ve ever done.” She also notes that she was initially pretty freaked out about taking it on. “There’s no intense explosion or special effects, just talking. You have nowhere to hide…you’re fully exposed to yourself as that character.” That Richardson had to be so emotionally raw for her role left her wondering “why they didn’t hire Dakota Fanning.” She adds, “It’s super refreshing to sit down and read a pure story of two people just going through life.”

Following her role in Columbus, Richardson hopes to have a career like fellow actors Shailene Woodley and Emma Watson: “Those are girls that kind of look like me and have had similar experiences, but they’re bad ass human beings and inspire me.”

In her downtime, Richardson enjoys crocheting. She even has her own Etsy shop, Hooked By Haley Lu, which sells fringed bikini tops and off-the-shoulder minidresses fit for Coachella. “I should set up a booth. I’ll get my friends to model,” she jokes. As for her own style, it’s still evolving: “It’s a little all over the place, kind of like my personality.”


Flaunt – Photoshoot

The “Split” and “The Edge of Seventeen” star tells us about dancing professionally and her respect for sisterhood

Haley Lu Richardson licks banana pudding off her spoon, her hazel eyes popping. It’s love at first sample. Giddy, intoxicated with the sweet perfumes of Magnolia Bakery, the young rising star orders the pudding with a side of red velvet cheesecake. Donning slip-ons embellished with avocados, post-photo shoot athleisure, and her golden hair wrapped in a loose bun, it is apparent that this is her safe space: comfy with dessert on the way. At a time when millennials are losing their social cues to awkward phone pauses, Richardson’s dynamic personality makes for vibrant conversation.

Most recently starring in M. Night Shyamalan’s Split opposite a psychopathic James McAvoy, and in 2016’s critically-acclaimed The Edge of Seventeen opposite former Flaunt cover Hailee Steinfeld. Richardson’s acting career is unfolding just as she dreamed it would when she moved to Los Angeles five years ago, transitioning from aspirations of a career in dance.

“The thing I loved most about dance and doing all these competitions was telling stories,” says Richardson. “Emoting, and taking the lyrics of a song and turning it into some sort of art that hopefully affects people, that’s what acting is, just not physically – it’s more of an intimate thing.”

Now 21, after dancing competitively for ten years in her hometown of Phoenix, Arizona, Richardson met her first best friend in Los Angeles, Emily, after partnering with her at a dance class.

She decided to pursue acting after realizing that the physical strain on the body would only give her a short career in professional dance. Watching the young stars on Disney Channel shows, and seeing the rise of Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games series (2012-2015), not only proved to Richardson that becoming an actress was possible, but it showed her that it could also be a fulfilling career. She moved to Los Angeles with no idea how to search for auditions or agents. Utilizing her competitive dance contacts, she spent her first year dancing in the background for TV shows and playing the love interest in music videos.

“It was doing the same thing over and over like a prop-kind of dance,” Richardson begins, while I slice a piece of the red velvet cheesecake. “It’s interesting because the thing that I can do as a career, that is also storytelling and emoting, like dance, is acting. The higher you go in acting, the more you get to dig deep in telling a story.”

Both of her roles in Split and The Edge of Seventeen challenged Richardson to translate true friendship on camera. Her deeply rooted respect for sisterhood is what breathes her characters to life. When she talks about her best friends from dance, she refers to them as her future bridesmaids. When she talks of her costars, she references the immediate sense of trust she felt, and how that allowed her to overcome the trials and tribulations her characters faced.

“In Split, me, Jess [Sula], and Anya [Taylor-Joy] had that trust between the three of us. We had to cry, we had to scream, we had to hit things in these uncomfortably-high stakes,” says Richardson. Conversely, “The Edge of Seventeen is such a perfect representation of what it means to have a girlfriend that’s a best friend. It’s so important because it is kind of like a sister. And having a group of girls is a sisterhood, only not in the sorority kind of way, but in the actual family kind of way.”

While many aspiring actresses change their style, their look, and their entire attitude to fit a generic Hollywood starlet mold, it’s refreshing to see Haley Lu Richardson making a name for herself by being unapologetically her: laughing loudly and stuffing her face with cake.


Get to know Split Star Haley Lu Richardson (Elle Canada)

“Goofy” seems like such an old-fashioned word, but after a 30-minute conversation with Haley Lu Richardson, we felt it was the most apropos adjective to describe the 21-year-old—that and “delightfully, disarmingly unaffected.” This is one young
actress who is not “cool,” and she’s not even pretending otherwise. Case in point: Within 30 seconds of our getting Richardson on the phone, she’s laughing as she tells the story of her ill-fated tenure on the high-school track team. “It was my first race at my first meet,” she recalls. “I looked behind me to see if anyone was catching up to me…and then I just dove into the ground and did like five somersaults. I finished rolling a few inches from the finish line. I sat there criss-cross apple sauce as all these people ran by me.”
Richardson, an Arizona native, has lived in Los Angeles since she was 16, wedging her foot in the door with momentum-building-type roles such as a lead part on the short-lived TV show Ravenswood, a critically acclaimed turn in indie film The Bronze and most recently as Hailee Steinfeld’s BFF in the buzzy The Edge of Seventeen.

“Slow and steady wins the race,” she says of her career thus far. “I see people who work really hard and don’t get a break until they’re 50, and then I see people who book the first thing they audition for and then get really busy and overworked and burned out.”
Next stop on that path? A lead role in M. Night Shyamalan’s latest film, Split, out now. “I thought you were supposed to call him ‘M. Night,’ so in all my emails to him and on the phone before we met I was calling him that,” says Richardson of working with the director best known for The Sixth Sense…who goes by “Night.” “I was an idiot.”

In the film, Richardson plays a woman abducted by a man with dissoci-ative identity disorder. If this sounds a bit like 2015’s Oscar-nominated Room…. “It’s very different,” protests Richardson, unfortunately hamstrung by not wanting to give away the twist. “It’s really cool and creepy.”
When she’s not on-set, Richardson says she can be found “eating and crocheting”—usually at the same time. “Right after a meal I’m full, and then I burp and it kind of releases and I’m hungry again,” she says. “And I crochet pretty much all the time too. I always bring my yarn on-set.” (In fact, she stocks an Etsy store, called Hooked by Haley Lu, with her handicrafts.)
If you’re wondering about the “Lu” in her name, so is she. “I honestly don’t know why, but my dad came up with it,” she says. Like Cindy Lou Who in How the Grinch Stole Christmas? “Exactly!” she says. “I kind of look like her because I’ve got one of those noses with a ball at the end. If they do a remake, I could definitely play her.”


Interview TheNewPotato

Actress Haley Lu Richardson
On Nightly Routines, Barre Workouts & French Toast

Haley Lu Richardson is the kind of woman we want as our new best friend. We’re not exaggerating when we say that her ideal food day matches up perfectly with our’s (She even makes us want to start taking regular barre classes). We sat down with the up-and-comer to get the scoop on her new movie, Split (from the amazing M. Night Shyamalan), her favorite on-set snacks, and nightly routines. Read below for more from Richardson; she’s officially an honorary Potatohead…

From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?
Oh my God, this is the best question I’ve ever been asked. I’m so passionate about food.

For breakfast, I’d go all out and make two fried eggs with sweet potatoes (diced really small so they get crispy) and bacon. Also, I’d make a side of stuffed French toast filled with cream cheese and berries!

Then, I would take an hour to digest and eat some sort of sushi for lunch. I love eel.

After that, I would probably just keep snacking all night until I fell asleep. My boyfriend makes these amazing roasted beans on a cookie sheet in the oven, so I’d have about three cans of that. Then some goat cheese and wine. If I get really hungry later I’d go to some steakhouse and order crab and lobster mac n cheese.

That just made me so hungry.

How do you practice beauty from the inside out?
I really do think the better you feel the better you look, not the other way around. So, I just try to not focus on the outer stuff and just do things that make me happy! I feel like I’d be miserable if I had to lift weights under the fluorescent lights at the gym every day, so I do things like dancing and hiking, which makes me sweat, but more importantly make me a happier person.

What are your morning and nightly beauty routines?
My friends have always made fun of me for having such a specific nightly routine! Even in high school if we would come home in the middle of the night and be sleeping at a friend’s house everyone would just pass out with their makeup on and I was that one kid who had a huge organized toiletry bag with my retainer, electric tooth brush, special toothpaste “for sensitive gums” and all my facial products.

I have been using the same products since I was twelve. I really love the oil-free Olay moisturizer, it also has sunscreen in it. I used to think that the more lotion I put on, the more oily I would get and the more zits I would get. But, I figured out that the more lotion I use the more my skin doesn’t feel like it has to overcompensate for the dryness and I don’t break out as much. I use coconut oil now too – you can use that stuff for everything.

What is a beauty mainstay that hasn’t changed since your teen years? Are there any beauty products you can’t live without?
I had my braces removed in 8th grade and I pretty much have worn my retainer every night since then. I swear I’m going to be eighty-five and still using that same one. It has the Beatles on the plastic part.

What are some of your go-to workouts? Workouts you find overrated?
I did competitive dance for ten years before I moved to LA so that is definitely still a big part of my life and how I stay healthy. I go to this place called Cardiobarre, which is a ballet inspired workout class with no impact. I have a couple of injuries from dance so I’m really thankful for that place.

How did you prep for your role in Split?
There honestly wasn’t much prep time because Night was really secretive, and I didn’t get the script until after I had accepted the role. By that time, we were filming in a couple of weeks. When you are doing a movie as crazy and intense as this, with a director as specific and experienced as Night, you just have to know your character inside and out and then show up and go with it.

The Split trailer has us totally spooked – Was shooting ever scary?
I never felt scared doing any of the scenes. Everyone around you makes it very clear you’re in good hands and you feel safe. But when the stakes are that high and you’re working against an actor that is so in it like James [McAvoy], it does feel pretty real. There were moments when I was off camera for someone’s eye line and at the end of the take I would be crying because I was so affected by everyone’s acting and the world we were living in.

What was it like working with M. Night Shyamalan?
Night is the first director I’ve done a movie with that has so much prior experience. He is an honest director who knows what he wants and gives specific directions.

How do you always start your day? What’s your go-to breakfast?
I try not to look at my phone first thing in the morning. I’m working this year on being less brainwashed by those things. I always drink a huge glass of water in the morning and either make a peanut butter smoothie or eggs.

Where do you love to travel? What won’t you travel without?
I love traveling with my boyfriend; it’s the best. Wherever we are we always want to do the same things and see the same places, so it’s like traveling alone but a lot more fun. I love nature and seeing different spots of the actual earth – not just a bunch of concrete and bricks.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
I think the best advice is to just remember everything passes. You can and will get through anything – which automatically makes you feel strong and capable.

You didn’t like X until you tried Y….
I didn’t like Birkenstocks until I tried Birkenstocks.

In the same vein as what is the new black in fashion, what’s the new potato right now?
Having a butt and thighs AMEN.

Source TheNewPotato

Verge List Sundance 2017: Haley Lu Richardson

Where are you from?
I am from Phoenix and I definitely have an Arizona vibe; I like nature and heat. I feel like Arizona in general is way more chill than anywhere else. It’s laid back and spread out and there are mountains. I’ve lived here in LA for like five years now and every year I realize more and more that I’m not made for a city environment. I get really intimidated by big cities. In New York, I have a panic attack after two days.

Are you a Sundance virgin?
Is this list only for virgins? Are you guys finding all the virgins? And gathering them on one list? [laughs.] I went two years ago for a movie called The Bronze, and it actually opened the film festival.

So how does it feel to be a Sundance sensation?
I won’t 100% reject you saying that, but I’m not identifying with it, either.

What’s the buzz?
It reminds me of Lost In Translation. We filmed it in a small town in Indiana called Columbus which is a supercool because it’s number 5 or 6 in the world for modern architecture. So it has modern buildings but small town vibes. The architecture is the lead character in the movie.

How would you describe your character?
She’s a dreamer but she’s been through a lot. She’s the kind of person who has potential everyone else can see but she doesn’t have time for because she has so many responsibilities and worries and she’s only nineteen.

Do you relate to your character?
I definitely feel like I relate to her — that’s why I really wanted to do this movie so bad. I’m a dreamer almost to a fault. I wouldn’t say I’m super-confident because I’m really hard on myself and I have a lot of problems. But when I dream something, I dream really big and that’s the only thing that I want to do. There’s no plan B, no other option. I get something in my head and I just have to do it: Go big or go home! When I moved to LA, I met all these people who said: “Don’t get your hopes up, honey. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” So I’m like: I don’t need you to tell me it’s gonna take 20 years. I’m not going to think about time and focus on doing it. Mindset is such a huge part of getting anywhere. We all create our own realities.

And look at you now! You’re a Sundance sensation.
I am a Sundance sensation. I’m pretty much the best!

What was your first acting experience?
My big acting debut was Chicken Little in a school play when I was in first grade. I was covered in feathered boas with a little chicken beak on and I said: “The sky is falling, the sky is falling.” My parents even have it on videotape.

What was your big break?
If that ever happens, I won’t even maybe realize it. I broke my ankle once when I danced — does that count?

Did you ever have a normal job?
I baby sat friend’s younger cousins. Here’s the thing with me and kids: They really like me for the most part because I kind of am a kid still. But after a certain amount of time, I become a bad influence. I’m like that fun aunt who teaches you the word poop and then you go home and the parents are mad at me for doing that. As a babysitter I sat around and ate Otter Pops with them and baked cookies and talked about farting. So at the end of the night, the kid would be on a sugar high and say to his parents: “I learned a new word: Penis!” And I’d be like: Sorry. And then I’d peace out and take my hundred bucks and leave.

What are you going to pack?
I crochet, so I will bring a bunch of hats and scarves that I made. My mom taught me to crochet when I was eight. Now I sell them on Etsy. So when people ask me what I’m wearing, I say: Me! I’m wearing me! I make fun little pom-pom hats and beanies and cozy scarves. I might even make a sweater but they’re very time-consuming.

What’s more important: Looking stylish or staying warm?
I don’t ever really care about looking stylish. I care about looking like me — how I feel on the inside.

And how do you feel on the inside?
It changes. Every second. I do outfit changes for every different emotion.

What do you think of Robert Redford?
Honestly, I hadn’t seen any of his films before I went two years ago. Then when we found out that the movie got in, my parents were like: “Hailey we need to sit you down and show you all of Robert Redford’s movies!”

Source Verge.IS

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