A Crash Course in the Names to Know in Film and Theater This Fall

Working on the talent side of things here at Who What Wear, I get particularly thrilled when the fall season rolls around, as it’s during this time of year that I really get to celebrate the up-and-coming talent I’m most excited about. Last month, it was all about the ladies poised to make it big with notable television projects (anyone else obsessed with The Politician yet?!), but now it’s time to focus on the wonderful ladies in film (and one special woman on Broadway) who we can’t stop talking about. 

Before you break out the popcorn, let us help you get better acquainted with these five women, whose projects range from the highly anticipated next take on Little Women to an important true story of an Indian warrior queen. There’s also the exciting new female lead from the next chapter of the Terminator series (for all you action film lovers out there), the ridiculously talented women stepping into Tina Turner’s shoes, and a new scream queen taking on a Stephen King adaptation. With talent in spades and cool projects to boot, these ladies have been placed firmly on our radar and should definitely be on yours too.

Ahead, we asked the women to give us the details on their upcoming projects and also give us a sneak peek of the items they're eyeing for fall.

Photo:

Photographer: Stephanie Diani; Stylist: Merritt Rea; Hair: Josue Perez; Makeup: Janice Kinjo

WHO: Devika Bhise

WHAT: When I see the words “warrior queen” in a film title, my first thought is Heck yes! Much to my delight, The Warrior Queen of Jhansi is so much more than just an action-packed tale; it’s the true story of a real-life superwoman. Devika Bhise is the inspiring force behind the project, serving as the film’s executive producer, co-writer, and star, while her mother, Swati Bhise, is the director. The goal: to bring the incredible story of Indian queen Rani Lakshmibai to a global stage. You’ll definitely want to keep an eye out for this one, which is coming to screens in November.

The Warrior Queen of Jhansi is an important story for audiences to see today because… “We live in such an exciting time where female superheroes and new kinds of female protagonists are entering the cinematic landscape, so I think it’s important to tell true stories of real-life superheroes, as well. Not many people know the story of Rani Lakshmibai, and sharing it with a global audience may inspire people to learn about all of the extraordinary women throughout history who have changed the world against all odds. Telling these stories reminds all women that we have the strength, courage, and determination to break down barriers that women have been breaking for decades before us and certainly will be for decades to come.”

The best part about working with my mother on this project was… “Having absolutely no formality on set. There’s a huge amount of trust and intimacy required in an actor-director relationship, and having my mother in that role took that to another level. Our interests were always aligned, and even through our disagreements we had a very clear end-goal in mind, which removed any of the clutter that can get in the way of the work. We had both been developing this project for so long that we really had to count on each other not to sink the ship!”

The most challenging part of this role was… “Definitely speaking in 19th century Hindi and Marathi. As an American, I knew there would be a lot of scrutiny about my dialect, so I practiced with the most discerning critic I knew: my grandmother! If it didn’t sound perfect to her, I wasn’t ready for the take.”

The women I look up to in Hollywood are… “Julianne Moore, Emily Blunt, and Frances McDormand. I admire them deeply—they carry themselves with tremendous grace and humility, are striving toward real progress and inclusion within the industry, and their performances are always flawless! I met Emily Blunt at a premiere a couple of years ago and was properly gobsmacked!”

The stories I want to tell as an actor are… “The ones that encourage people to see the world from a different perspective.”

My favorite outfit I’ve ever worn for a project would have to be… “The nine-yard nauvari saris I wore for this film! They had to start hand-weaving the saris one year before we started production, with intricate pearl inlay or fine lace and gold thread hand-stitching. There’s nothing like carefully being draped into a heavily embroidered sari fit only for royalty, jumping on horseback, galloping toward camera, and praying nothing rips!”

However, if you catch me off-duty, chances are I’m wearing… “A bathrobe. I have a few silk kimonos that I bought in Japan that I live out of. I rarely wear real clothes in my apartment and usually get comfy the second I walk through the door.”

When it comes to fashion, I’m a total sucker for… “Cheetah print! I have the most fun when I’m wearing animal prints. It makes you feel primal and outrageous all at once, which is why I’m so thrilled that so many designers are coming out with animal-themed lines this fall.”

My fall wardrobe would not be complete without these three pieces…

“Hello, cheetah print! This company is amazing because its patterns are rad and its stuff is incredibly soft, but it’s completely faux and animal-friendly.”

“I love a good oversize sweater, and this one is super comfortable (and soft)! Basically, if it can double as a blanket, I’m in.”

“It’s always easy to glam up an outfit with a statement jacket, and this one is fabulous while also being classic… and pink is my favorite color.”

Photo:

Cat Gwynn

WHO: Abby Quinn

WHAT: My first introduction to Abby Quinn was a few months back while watching the film After the Wedding. In it, Quinn plays Julianne Moore’s daughter who gets caught up in a doozy of a plot twist involving Michelle Williams. (It’s a good watch, I highly recommend.) But that was simply the beginning of noteworthy projects to come for this fresh face. You can also find Quinn making the most of her final days of high school in the comedy Good Girls Get High and hanging around the March sisters in Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of Little Women. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough to keep Quinn busy, she is also joining the Mad About You TV series reboot.

The thing that surprised me most about Julianne Moore while working together on After the Wedding was… “That she and her husband, Bart Freundlich, who directed the film, are both very good at using Snapchat.”

My first thought reading the Good Girls Get High script was… “This is hilarious, and even if I don’t get the part, I know it will be one of my favorite movies of all time when it comes out.”

The best part of filming this project was… “Getting to work with the director Laura Terruso and also working with Stefanie Scott, who is now one of my very best friends.”

Greta Gerwig’s take on Little Women is… “Spectacular and incredibly heartfelt.” 

The most valuable lesson I learned from Greta Gerwig as a director is… “How important it is to collaborate and to listen. Greta really gives actors the space to create and to bring their ideas about a character or a scene to life. She gives the actors the freedom to explore and to invent. This way of working created a very exciting energy on set.” 

As an actor, the characters I love to play are… “All very different from one another.”

My favorite outfit I’ve ever worn for a project would have to be… “My all-corduroy outfit in Landline.”

However, if you catch me off-duty, chances are I’m wearing… “A large jean jacket and Mary Jane Doc Martens. I will usually find an outfit that I love and then wear it for a week straight. So if I’m being honest, if you catch me off-duty, chances are I’m wearing whatever I was wearing the day before.”

My fall wardrobe would not be complete without these three pieces…

“Part of the reason fall is my favorite season is because it means it’s finally that time of year again when I get to wear coats that look like this! It’s definitely still too hot in L.A. to wear this, but… 'tis the season!”

“A good sweater is definitely a staple for me in the fall. I love this one because it looks super comfortable and is also a beautiful bright color. It can turn a simple outfit into something much more exciting (while still providing comfort, which, to me, is always most important).”

“Clogs are a year-round shoe for me, but I think they’re especially cute in the fall.” 

Photo:

Tiffany Nicholson

WHO: Adrienne Warren

WHAT: While I realize musical theater doesn’t necessarily fit under the film category, sometimes you have to make an exception when someone truly special comes along, and that is Adrienne Warren. On November 7, Tina—the Tina Turner Musical will open on Broadway (after a successful run in London’s West End) and Warren will reprise her role as the eponymous singer. The Tony nominee received critical praise for her performance, and when you hear her belt out Turner favorites like “River Deep” and “Mountain High,” you’ll understand why. Basically, what I’m saying is it’s time to secure tickets and book a trip to NYC stat.

I’m most excited to bring Tina—the Tina Turner Musical to Broadway because… “It is a homecoming for Tina! I believe her American fans have missed her presence and music.”

The one thing you can expect from this show is… “Power! Power in the music, power in the emotional journey, power in the dancing, etc.”

Working with the legendary Tina Turner on this project has been… “Life-changing. I am so blessed to have spent time with her, and in that time I learned so much.” 

My favorite Tina Turner song to perform is… “‘We Don’t Need Another Hero.’ I’ve grown to love singing this song. It has one of my favorite bridges of all time.”

The most nervous I’ve ever been on stage was… “Performing Tina for Tina Turner. Do I even need to explain?”

The most confident I’ve ever been on stage was... “Performing Tina on a normal show day. This role requires all the confidence I can muster up. It’s the most difficult yet most rewarding role I’ve had in my career thus far.”

My favorite outfit I’ve ever worn for a project would have to be… “All of my incredible custom dresses designed by the incomparable Ann Roth, while performing in the Broadway production of Shuffle Along.” 

However, if you catch me off-duty, chances are I’m wearing… “Mom or boyfriend jeans.”

When it comes to fashion, I’m a total sucker for… “Statement jackets or dusters.”

My fall wardrobe would not be complete without these three pieces… 

“I love this color lens for fall!” 

“I love to put [a bandana] around my hair, my neck, or drape it around a button-down to add some color.”

Photo:

Crimson Crazed

WHO: Natalia Reyes

WHAT: When the Terminator: Dark Fate trailer hit the interwebs back in May, fans lost it over the return of Linda Hamilton as franchise favorite Sarah Connor. But there was another female lead grabbing my attention: Natalia Reyes. A household name in Latin America, the Colombian actress is set to make her U.S. debut with this role. And although details are still under wraps surrounding her character, Dani Ramos, we're excited to see what she brings to the franchise.    

Terminator: Dark Fate in five words is… “Epic, exciting, action, relevant, and diverse.”

Joining Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger to tell this next chapter was… “Such a surreal experience and an honor. Meeting those legends and the human beings behind them was unforgettable.”

I can’t reveal much about my character Dani, but what I can say is… “She is a brave young Latina, a go-getter, she says what she thinks, and does everything for her family. She’s now the one being chased by the new Terminator.”

This being my first American role, the thing that surprised me most working in Hollywood was… “The scale of this production. Having 600 hundred professionals behind the scenes was impressive.”

The actor/actress I’m dying to work with next is… “Meryl Streep.”

My favorite outfit I’ve ever worn for a project would have to be… “The beautiful indigenous dresses I wore for Birds of Passage, a movie we premiered in Cannes last year. They were all handmade and full of colors and symbols of the Wayuu culture.”

However, if you catch me off-duty, chances are I’m wearing… “Jeans, sneakers and a faux-leather jacket.”

The people and/or fashion accounts I love to follow on Instagram are… “Fashion Revolution (@fash_rev) is a really useful platform that has made me more conscious and gives great data about the fashion industry. FashionKind (@fashionkind) ‘cause luxury can also be sustainable. Disfunkshion Mag (@disfunkshionmag) for those who like a colorful boho style.”

My fall wardrobe would not be complete without these three pieces…

“I love this top from one of my favorite Colombian designers; it’s all about sleeves! You can wear this to upgrade a casual jeans outfit.”

Pepa Pombo Oicata Dress (price upon request)

“This is a great Colombian luxury knitwear brand, and I’m in love with this dress, the colors, shape and how cozy it looks. I think it’s absolutely perfect for a dinner or cocktail.”

“This vegan leather harness from Rooney Mara’s brand is such a powerful piece. Would make any basic dress or even T-shirt look really badass.”

Photo:

Photographer: Rie Rasmussen; Stylist: David Gangel; Hair: Matt Fugate; Makeup: Harriet Hadfield

WHO: Laysla De Oliveira

WHAT: I’m usually the person covering my eyes during a scary movie, but come October I do enjoy throwing on a horror film or two—'tis the season, after all. Considering that, might I recommend Netflix’s In the Tall Grass, based on the Stephen King and Joe Hill novella? While the film will have you avoiding any kind of grass field for the foreseeable future, it happens to be a great introduction to Laysla De Oliveira, someone you will be seeing quite a lot of over the next few months. The Canadian-Brazilian actress is also starring in Guest of Honour, which premiered at the Venice and Toronto film festivals last month, and will appear again on Netflix with the series Locke & Key, due out next year.

The best part about premiering Guest of Honour at the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals was… ”Getting to witness some of my dreams coming true while being able to celebrate it with family and friends. Also the clothes. THE CLOTHES!” 

I love this film because… “It challenged me. I would say Veronica’s personality is very different from my own, so to be able to explore the depths of that with a director like Atom Egoyan was a very fulfilling acting experience.”

Next I have In the Tall Grass, which is sure to have audiences… “Mowing their lawns!”

The scariest moment for me filming In the Tall Grass had to be… “Being hidden in actual 10-foot tall grass waiting for Vincenzo Natali to call ‘action’ while I hear what I assume was some type of creepy creature getting closer to me by the second. No acting required when he called ‘action.’ I definitely ran for my life.”

The stories I want to tell as an actor are… “Any stories with compelling women where their truths are being told.”

The actor/actress I’m dying to work with next is… “There are so many I’m inspired by, but I would probably faint if I got to work with Julia Roberts. She was my idol growing up. That laugh!”

My favorite outfit I’ve ever worn for a project would have to be… “All of my outfits for Netflix’s upcoming Locke & Key were pretty epic. There’s this one YSL trench coat, in particular, that had me feeling some type of way. I think of it often.” 

However, if you catch me off-duty, chances are I’m wearing… “A bodysuit/T-shirt, jeans, and chunky sneakers.”

The people and/or fashion accounts I love to follow on Instagram are… “I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the Vogue accounts. Also Law Roach, who I now get to call my stylist, is a total fashion guru. And last but not least, @dog makes me so happy.” 

My fall wardrobe would not be complete without these three pieces… 

“I’m obsessed with coats. I think trench coats, in particular, are so elegant, classy, and really elevate an outfit. They have a trench coat that is also a cardigan?! Say no more. Sign me up.” 

“I’m also obsessed with hats! I think they really make an outfit pop. A hat with a long coat is kind of my fall go-to because you can dress it up or down and feel super stylish no matter where you’re going. Teressa is actually a friend of mine and I have two of her hats. I’m in love with every hat in her store. I want to wear a cosmic latte on my head!” 

“I can’t get enough of these serums. I love to mix and match different ones throughout the seasons. For the fall, I like to use the Po+R (Pomegranate Rose Geranium) with the Bu+L (Buriti-Lime) in the morning and at night I use the Pa+G (Papaya - Geranium). They smell amazing and make my skin so dewy, which is very important when you’re wearing a kick-ass cardigan trench coat and a Teressa Foglia hat.”