While the hit HBO series The White Lotus may be the first time you’ve seen Alexandra Daddario, it’s certainly not her first time on screen. The actress has been acting since she was a kid: first starring in commercials and then booking her first soap opera, All My Children, at the young age of 16.
In the twenty years since, she’s appeared on several TV series including Law & Order and True Detective, and become a fan favorite playing Annabeth in Percy Jackson, a role which the actress says she won’t be returning to in the new Disney+ TV adaptation of the movie series. “I’m forever grateful for Christopher Columbus for taking a chance on me to play Annabeth, especially since her character has been and continues to be so inspiring to many young women,” Daddario tells Forbes. “I’m thrilled for the next generation to tell their version of the series, and for so many people to enjoy it on TV.”
Leaving Percy Jackson behind, Daddario continues to build her resume of diverse roles. Her latest venture? Starring alongside Jean Smart in the upcoming film, Wildflower. Forbes caught up with the rising star for details on filming The White Lotus, how she manages her stress during the pandemic and her go-to’s when it comes to fashion and skincare.
What was it like filming The White Lotus during the pandemic?
It was amazing to get to do what I love to do with such incredible people, and I think the focus on health and the world around us made us appreciate what we were doing so much more. There was gratitude and also the pain of being quarantined away from family and friends, so we all supported each other and helped each other while also feeling immense joy and gratitude.
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What life experiences did you draw inspiration from for your role as Rachel? Did you relate to your character?
I know what it’s like to be trapped in a situation that you don’t have the self-confidence to get out of. Those feelings of confusion that Rachel has—the constant over-thinking of “oh everything is ok, this is somehow my fault,” and oscillating between that and “I have to get out and I have to make the other person understand how I feel,” only to realize you’re up against a wall—those are very familiar to me, and very painful.
She feels trapped and she doesn’t know how to get out. I relate to that and I also drew inspiration from seeing friends in similar situations. And it’s not just romantic – sometimes it’s career and family too.
With the Four Seasons Resort all to yourself, did your time there ever feel like a vacation, especially from the pandemic?
It didn’t feel like a proper vacation, no. But there were such amazing moments of relaxation and peace. We were right on the beach, so every evening watching the sunset felt like a kind of mediation. Not being able to leave the property made me view resort vacations very differently. And as we’ve all discovered, there isn’t a vacation from the pandemic.
Where do you vacation to unwind?
I love going on adventures and seeing new things—any place I haven’t been before that I have the opportunity to explore and learn more about. It doesn’t have to be warm and sunny and perfect, I just love experiencing something I’ve never experienced before. It brings a little extra magic into my life to have that sense of wonder.
While most people were quarantined, you were busy working. How have you managed your stress over the last two years?
Yoga helped once the studios opened again, but the people I love were my medicine. I was lucky to have such wonderful people around me, we lifted each other up when times got tough. Sometimes we would just get out of the house and go for a drive, we would make little fun videos, we would cry to each other, listen to each other, and love each other. That and accepting that you’re not always going to feel good and that’s ok.
Tell us about your skincare routine, do you have any go-to products?
I ALWAYS take my makeup off. Maybe once a year I will forget or fall asleep on the couch before I manage to get ready for bed properly. I love Vintner’s Daughter Botanical Serum—it has saved my skin. I also do yoga and try to nourish my mind as much as my body. I think that goes far.
Have you been taking advantage of the loungewear trend during the pandemic or do you prefer to dress up? What are your favourite pieces for the new year?
Oh, I definitely took advantage of the sweats and pajamas uniform over the last few years. So much so that I have a newfound appreciation for style and getting dressed up, actually.
Being where we are now in the pandemic; travelling, getting glam with hair and makeup, and just being around other people feels like such a gift. I’m forever a t-shirt and old jeans kind of girl, but there’s no better feeling than slipping into a good dress, a gorgeous pair of heels, putting on a red lip, and soaking up the company of the people you love (with a Grey Goose martini or two).
Did you make New Year’s Resolutions this year?
I am heading into the new year with a plan to be easier on myself and just have fun. I want to take full advantage of all the special moments this year, and cheers-ing to each one with only the best of the best dirty martinis.
That was how I started the New Year: celebrating with a sexy, homemade Grey Goose martini. I bought these incredible vintage-inspired martini glasses from a little store in downtown LA and I love to serve my martinis in them, with an extra olive for good measure.
After these last few years, we deserve to treat ourselves when we can.