Meet Mackenzie Davis! The 25-year-old Vancouver native broke out onto the scene at this year’s Sundance Film Festival as one of the stars of Drake Doremus’ sophomore movie Breathe In (Doremus directed previous fest fave Like Crazy that launched Brit it girl Felicity Jones) and already has critics at the Toronto Film Festival this week about buzzing about her latest projects. Up next for the actress? Starring alongside Zac Efron in the rom-com Are We Officially Dating. While you’re sure to see plenty of Davis onscreen, we wouldn’t be surprised if the stunner lands on a series of best-dressed lists, too. The newcomer tells us why she wants a red carpet uniform, what she thought she’d never touch, and more.
Tell us about your films that premiere at the Toronto Film Festival?
I have two films that are going: one is a movie that I shot in Toronto, called The F Word. It stars Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan as friends who see a potential for something more, and then Adam Driver and I play friends who meet around the same time, but our relationship moves very fast. It’s really funny and amazingly written. I think it’s a really great romantic comedy. The second film is We Gotta Get Out of This Place, which I shot over a year ago just outside of Corpus Christi, Texas. It’s a really cool script about these three kids that have just graduated from high school and are getting ready to leave their small town, but get embroiled in this sort of heist. It’s a very scary world of gangsters with the backdrop of cotton farms and windmills.
What was it like working with Daniel Radcliffe and Adam Driver?
Daniel and Adam were wonderful, as was Zoe. They’re all really smart and funny. We shot all over Toronto together and it was just the four of us being outside late at night and having campfires on the beach.
How would you describe your personal style?
I think it’s a mix between sheer laziness and tomboy, and then lots of fur. I usually wear a uniform, but I like coats a lot. Whatever effort I lack in the rest of my outfit, I’ll always find a great coat to put on.
Have you always been into fashion?
I’ve always loved clothes and dressing up; I’ve really been into vintage clothes. More recently I’ve been able to access beautiful, well-made clothes by Miu Miu and Prada and Louis Vuitton, which is stuff I never really thought I would be able to touch with my own hands. Lately, I’ve felt a lot like a soccer coach with long trench coats. I’ve been doing a lot of, you know, sports coach things inspiration lately.
Do you have a go-to red carpet look?
No, I still feel so new to it that I’m trying to understand what that should be. I really like the idea of having a uniform that I just go to every single time so that I don’t have to worry about it as much, and I can just be myself and not have to have massive amounts of anxiety before I go on the red carpet.
Is there a certain uniform that you’ve been trying out recently or are you going to experiment in Toronto?
I haven’t really found my uniform yet. I’ve really only done like two or three red carpet things, so each time it’s been sort of a shock to the system. I think it’ll be somewhere in the world of high-waisted skirts and crop tops.
Which designers are you loving right now?
I love Miu Miu and Prada. I think Miuccia Prada is an absolutely inspirational woman, and what she does is so intelligent and thoughtful, so I would love wearing anything by her.
What is your favorite piece that you own?
A pair of vintage Ferragamo loafers that were much too small for me when I got them, but I put in the time and wore them every single day and now they fit me. They’re my favorite. I got them on eBay.
Is there an actor or an actress you would love to work with in the future?
I have so much to learn from Tilda Swinton and Laura Dern and Julianne Moore. Those are three people that I’m really fascinated with everything they do. I also think Elle Fanning is the most talented actress working today. She’s just incredible. I’m interested in people who have long, steady careers and keep choosing projects based on what moves them and what’s interesting to them rather than what’s going to make them the biggest star, make them the most money.
What movie always makes you cry?
This is sort of a pretentious answer, but Rocco and His Brothers by Visconti always makes me cry. There’s this scene where this prostitute, after she’s been raped, is talking to Alain Delon and it just kills me.
What movie always cheers you up?
Beetlejuice. There’s just nothing I don’t like about that movie. I’ve seen it a million times. and I think it’s an absolute masterpiece.
Photographer: Justin Coit
Hair: Charles McNair at Jed Root
Makeup: Kristina Brown at Jed Root
At the Los Angeles premiere of Like Crazy.
Hanging out at the Samsung Galaxy Lounge during the Sundance Film Festival.
At the Dress Gatsby cocktail party in New York.
Attending the Breathe In premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.
Arriving at the New York screening of The Bling Ring.