IN CONVERSATION WITH NICOLE BEHARIE
Interview by JANA LETONJA
American actress Nicole Beharie has won critical acclaim and a Gotham Award for her work in film and TV. She studied at Juilliard School and also trained her acting skills in England. With a lot of exciting projects coming up, we talked with her about her passion for acting and what keeps inspiring her.
Nicole, how and when was your passion for acting born?
Acting as a career path was never something I considered. I always loved books and stories. I’d find myself in the stories I heard and saw, from paintings to building full biographies of people on the street. I moved around a great deal as a child and I think that breeds a kind of fascination with what makes people tick.
As a child, I loved entertaining family and friends with little plays, pranks, impersonations and concerts in the living room. Although being an actor seemed unrealistic, I always knew I loved telling stories. But it was always about having fun and laughing, so it’s surprising how dramatic my work is, especially to my friends and family.
How do you feel in this moment of your career?
This moment in time feels like an inflection point, pivotal. It can be a little scary how quickly things change, but I’m here for it.
What inspires you the most, not only in your acting career, but in life in general?
Lately, I’ve been fascinated by the moment we’re living in, where technology is advancing at an unprecedented pace and information is readily available.
full look VERSACE
What are you most passionate about in life, aside from acting?
Aside from acting, I’m interested in sustainability and how we can prepare for environmental problems caused by climate change. I’ve often told stories about the past. I’m curious now about ‘future people’ and what our world will look like decades later. There’s a great song by Alabama Shakes called ‘Future People’.
During the pandemic, I spent some time in nature. I took up the hobby of growing food and studying about farming. One of the most interesting things I’ve discovered is on farms or in gardens that grow with little variety, where one or two things are produced, the soil suffers over time. It lacks nutrients, but locations, where there is biodiversity the micro organisms in the bacteria, support the evolving landscape. And I think we find ourselves in an evolving landscape as human beings. It may be a great time to emulate nature by radically embracing variety in walks of life, perspectives, problem-solving and creativity. It’s a theory untested, but seems to be working for nature.
I also really love music, often finding my way into a character by creating a kind of soundscape. It anchors me. Music takes you to a certain place or quickly shifts the mood on a dime. Sometimes I wish I were a musician.
What are your plans and goals for the future?
Ultimately, I’m grateful to be doing what I love and I hope to continue to evolve, excite and inspire people.
full look ISABEL MARANT
shirt worn as dress GIVENCHY
gloves ROGER VIVIER
shoes SAINT LAURENT
dress ALBERTA FERRETI
dress N 21
shoes GIANVITO ROSSI
full look LANVIN
shirt WILLY CHAVARRIA
top & bottom ZADIG & VOLTAIRE
boots GIANVITO ROSSI
talent NICOLE BEHARIE @nikkibeharie @theledecompany
photographer DAVID ROEMER @david_roemer @ateliermanagement
stylist ARYEH LAPPIN @aryehlappin
makeup CAMILLE THOMPSON @killahcamz @thewallgroup
hair RO MORGAN @hairbyromorgan @thewallgroup
manicurist MARIETTA @huestipsbymarie @opusbeauty using Aprés @apresnailofficial
first photographer assistant ERNESTO URDANETA @ernestourdanetaphotography
styling assistants JAY DIVINE & CARLY GALLAGHER @carlygallagherrr
production agency UPRISING PRODUCTIONS @uprisingproductions_
editor TIMI LETONJA @timiletonja
interview JANA LETONJA @janaletonja
cover design ARTHUR ROELOFFZEN @arthurroeloffzen