Don’t Call Miu Miu’s Stacy Martin “Cute”

Plus, the actress on why depression shouldn’t be seen as a weakness

Stacy Martin doesn’t want to be called “cute.” Despite the fact that she’s wearing a red Miu Miu dress with star-shaped buttons and feathered heels that are nothing short of adorable on the day we meet, the 26-year-old actress is nobody’s baby. And she won’t be put in a corner…or, for that matter, a box. Martin played the role of a young and unpredictable nympho in Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac, and in 2017 she’ll appear in a whopping five—yes, five—films. Next year, you’ll find her in the highly anticipated big-screen adaptation of The Bell Jar. There’s a quiet-yet-coquettish quality about her that attracts directors and designers, like the inimitable Miuccia Prada, in droves. 

The face of Miu Miu’s new L’Eau Bleue (a fresh floral blend of lily of the valley, honeysuckle, and rose), Martin embodies the complexity of a brand that isn’t always what it appears on the surface. If you take, for example, the cheerful floral bathing caps, splashy prints, and playful pool slides seen on the house’s Spring 2017 runway at face value you miss the subtle commentary on society, the environment, and the current cultural climate Mrs. Prada weaves throughout out her seemingly sweet collection. Martin is similar in that she may look like an innocent ingénue, but she’s got something to say when it comes to the stigma unfairly attached to women suffering with depression, or the fact that female actors and directors are perceived as “difficult” when they fight for what they believe in on set. She’s also the epitome of a kitten loving, girly-girl in Miu Miu’s Steven Meisel-lensed fragrance campaign, but she’s actually more of a puppy person who doesn’t brush her hair (even though her father is a hairstylist) or mind showing up to work wearing collagen-infused eye patches and pajamas. 

Here, the multifaceted Martin reveals the story behind her bob, the secret to brightening tired eyes, and the feline co-star who never fails to deliver.

She has a monogamous relationship with fragrance:

“I’m the kind of person that just sticks to one scent, so I was wearing [Miu Miu Eau de Parfum] and I just got Miu Miu L’Eau Bleue, so I’m like, well, I might as well wear this one now. I love the fact that it still has the same elements and that it’s kind of not a big jump. It still has lily of the valley and you still smell the same perfume without it being as heavy. This is fresher, cleaner, and just springy.”

She doesn’t mind sharing the spotlight with a cat:

Asked what it’s like to shoot a fragrance campaign with a black and white cat named Truman: “It’s so different because you can’t really tell a kitten what to do. When you’re shooting, you’ve thought about a concept, you’ve thought about how the makeup should be according to the image or the character that you’re trying to portray, you’re thinking about the image. But then in comes a cat that has no idea that you’ve spent hours trying to construct this thing, so it made everything a lot more relaxed and fun and like, well, we have a cat. He would run around and we’d be like, Come back here! But he always delivers.”

As for the understudy on set, Ned, a ginger kitten who didn’t land the leading role: “The cat’s done very well for himself. He might not be in the campaign but he has Guido [Palau].”

But she dreams about owning a dog:

“I don’t hate cats, but I’m definitely a dog person. I change my mind all the time, but at the moment I either want a Goldendoodle or a Sheepadoodle…You can get a big size and you can get mini and then you can get toy size. But the medium one is kind of dreamy.”

She opted for a chop and never looked back:

“I just wanted a change. I was quite bored. I mean, I’ve always had long hair and I just thought, well, I haven’t signed on to any films at the moment so no one can really say don’t cut it. I just wanted to do something for me and it’s something that I thought, Oh, yeah, I want to do this. I want to cut it… I was filming a film called Rosie in New York and afterwards I went to Paris, called my dad, and said, ‘We have two days before I hear back about another film. We’re cutting my hair now.’”

 She never had a bad hair day growing up:

Seeing as Martin’s Dad is a hairstylist in Paris, naturally I had to ask if she’s always had great hair: “Maybe, but in a way where I was so uninterested in it because it was my Dad’s thing. We always had really good shampoo and that’s something I definitely took for granted until I moved out when I was 18 and then tried to buy Redken shampoo and realized it was a bit more than your average one! Also, I wasn’t interested in dying my hair, I wasn’t interested in doing crazy things to it, so I kind of just left it as it was and I think that definitely helped.” 

She speeds through styling:

“It’s so fast. I don’t do anything. I don’t even brush [my hair] anymore…[People always] say, ‘Wow, you must spend so much time on it.’ I’m like, ‘Mmhmm. Hours. Talent and hours and hard work.’ You can do that with short hair.”

She keeps her skincare routine just as simple:

“I use the Kiehl’s Calendula face wash and then Bioderma Crealine and then Eau Précieuse, which is a French toner, and then Kiehl’s oil-free moisturizer…I also do lots of eye patches when I travel—collagen eye patches. I discovered them on my last film. They’re great. I arrived on set in my pajamas with my eye patches on. I’m like, ‘Hey everyone.’ They’re like, ‘Why are you coming in, one, in your pajamas, two, wearing these crazy eye patches?’ I’m like, ‘I don’t care. It’s great.’ The Tracy Martin ones are really good as well. I love putting them all over my face.”

She has the ultimate [illegal] solution for tired eyes:

Mint eye drops from Japan. “They’re the most amazing things. This really cool makeup artist, which, because of jet lag, I can’t remember her name, she’s like, ‘You’re going to hate me for five minutes, but you will love me for the rest of the day.’ I thought: They are eye drops, come on. I felt like I had acid in my eyes! I’m like, ‘I’m on fire. I’m on fire. I’m going to be blind.’ She’s like, ‘Trust me.’ And yes, she was right—it was great. But obviously you can’t find them because I don’t think they’re legal.”

She believes in abolishing the stigma around depression:

“[Depression] is often seen as a sign of weakness. It’s not about weakness or not. If someone has a broken leg you’re not going to say, Well, just deal with it. You go to a hospital. People give you a seat on the train. There’s an understanding that you need help, but it’s not a problem and it’s not against you. But I feel with any mental illness it’s very difficult to find compassion and even respect. To a certain extent, people don’t understand that it doesn’t take away who you are as a person. I think it’s quite difficult to pin down because it’s not like you have a cold, a runny nose, or the flu and this is what you have. It depends on the person. It depends where they are and where they are in their life.”

She’s nobody’s baby and doesn’t take “cute” as a compliment:

Asked what a female director (like Kirsten Dunst, who is directing The Bell Jar) brings to the table in comparison to the opposite sex: “As long as they’re good, woman or man, I’m not bothered. But if it’s a subject that they feel deeply connected to, then that’s what counts. If they can hold a set… I find that women have to fight more for their choices on sets. If a male director asks for something, no one doubts about it and they just do it. But if there’s a female director, there is a lot more discussion: It’s like, Oh, well why’d you want to do this or why’d you want to do that? And for actresses, we’ve become almost sort of babies. I mean, actors are already turned into babies—it’s ridiculous—but sometimes with women you feel like you’re five-years-old again. Like, ‘Oh, you’re so cute.’ Thanks? Is this meant to be nice? There’s a complete change in perception. It really depends on the topic and women have to fight a lot more for their perspective, but when they fight, they’re called difficult. It’s like how do you combine the two? You just have to do the work.”

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