This year has been good to Kristine Froseth. On May 6, the model turned actress made her debut as Chanel’s new U.S. ambassador (major!) while attending her first-ever Met Ball, no less (even more major!). The black feather-and-pearl-adorned Chanel haute couture gown she wore for the prestigious event was, well, major. Four days later, her series The Society premiered on Netflix and was an instant hit for the streamer; a second season was announced in July. But marking this a truly stellar year for the 23-year-old is her leading role in this month’s limited series adaptation of Looking for Alaska, which is available now on Hulu.
It was practically written in the stars for Froseth to play the complicated and mysterious Alaska. Having read and loved the award-winning yet controversial John Green story during her teen years, it was a happy coincidence when, while engaged in a successful modeling career, she was approached by a casting director and encouraged to audition for what was then a film adaptation of the novel. Sadly, that production was shelved, but a few years later, streaming giant Hulu announced that it would be adapting the novel into a limited series, and Froseth was brought in to audition for the role of Alaska again. She nabbed it and earned a place among a brilliant young cast whose fantastic series, dare we say it, rivals the book.
Ahead of the show's premiere, we chatted with Froseth about all things Alaska, working with Chanel, and the most nerve-racking yet exciting night of her life, but not before outfitting the Norwegian actress in some serious party attire for our October fashion feature. With Froseth’s year hitting a high note and the holidays just around the corner, it’s certainly time to celebrate.
Your journey to Looking for Alaska was a long but exciting one. It feels like you were meant to play this character.
Alaska has been with me and I’ve cared about her for so long. She’s always been my dream role, so I definitely am glad it finally came through. It has really come full circle. It’s just unreal to be talking about it.
What do you think it is about John Green’s writing that really resonates with young audiences?
I feel like John Green is really good about putting all of these emotions and thoughts that you have growing up into these really good characters. He just puts it down on paper so well, and when you are reading it, it feels so relatable and so truthful and honest. When I read Looking for Alaska, I just remember feeling so understood. And John Green is such a human too. I think he does a good job of portraying the truth.
The chemistry between you and Charlie Plummer is undeniable. How did you go about building that relationship?
Well, we were really lucky, because me, Charlie, and the first director of our show got to spend a good quality weekend getting to ask John [Green] questions and getting to see the campus. That was really a good first time for us to hang out, Charlie and I. And then we were neighbors living in the same apartment complex, so we would just hang out. But during rehearsals, our director actually didn’t want us to have too much connection, because our characters didn’t know each other, so we didn’t really do too much character preparation. It was more that we would hang out and watch movies and just bond at the Waffle House.
Photo:Mark Lim; Styling: Raisa Vanessa Dress ($4118); Chanel earrings; Christian Louboutin shoes
In the story, Pudge (Plummer) and Alaska are both big on last words. What are your favorite last words?
Rosebud. I guess I will steal that. The ones from the book are obviously really good, but they are all kind of morbid. I don’t know; that’s a tricky question.
Season two of The Society was announced this summer. What do you think is in store for the kids of West Ham going into this next chapter?
I don’t know! I feel like the kids are still processing what is happening, and everyone’s survival character has been coming out, so there is a lot of conflict and struggle. I just hope it becomes less about who is going to try and lead the crowd and more about a compromise and real conversations between the kids. It’s such an interesting plot. There are so many characters and so much happening I don’t really know where to begin. I’m just curious to see where the characters will go after having been in this conflict for a little bit and where they will continue to grow.
Would you say you are more of an Alaska or a Kelly?
I think internally I’m definitely more of an Alaska. We are very different how we act externally, but yeah, I think I relate to Alaska a lot more actually.
Photo:Mark Lim; STYLING: Marc Jacobs dress and tights; Colette earrings; Christian Louboutin shoes
How did the transition from modeling to acting happen? Was acting always part of the plan?
I mean it was really the audition process for Looking for Alaska that opened the doors for me. After having done the audition, I met my manager and then I started auditioning and actually understanding what that world is like. I’ve always been a cinephile and had a lot of respect and desire to be in the industry, but I never knew how one would go about doing that. And I’m a very shy person, so I had no idea where to even begin or didn’t think it would ever be in my world. So it was really getting that audition that pushed me out of my comfort zone. Then I understood what the world really was, and I just fell in love with it.
What are some of the ways you prepare for a role?
I always love to google what other actors I look up to do. I mean it really depends on the role. Like for Alaska, I actually had a playlist I made while I was auditioning for her way back when it was going to be made into a movie, and I actually kept that playlist waiting for it to come back around. Whenever I would hear these songs, I felt like I was in her space. But also, like I said, she is very different from me externally, so with her, I had to do a lot of rehearsals, and we did very weird exercises for me to feel more confident and comfortable being that loud. Sometimes I feel like I really understand it and other times it feels really foreign. I just have to do a lot of research and more rehearsals.
When you are reading a script, what are the elements that usually stand out to you?
It’s usually if [the story] feels really grounded and subtle and truthful in a way. Sometimes scripts can be so on the nose and very overexplained, but I really appreciate when I get to read a script with those subtler moments and you don’t understand everything to begin with, because that just makes me want to explore and dig further. I look for those traits to make sure the character has a human heart and isn’t there just because.
Photo:Mark Lim; Styling: Dolce & Gabbana dress and shoes; Little H White South Sea Keshi Earrings ($500) and ring
You made your debut as a Chanel ambassador earlier this year at the Met Ball. Can you tell me about that experience?
Oh my gosh, it is so crazy to think about! I have always admired [Coco] Chanel and what the brand used to represent and how they have still kept the brand classy and elegant but very modern. And then getting to go to the Met Ball with all these people who I really look up to—it’s a room filled with creative souls; it was intense. I don’t even know where to begin. It was just crazy seeing these people in real life and getting to have conversations with people who I have watched their movies and listened to their music for years. It was really inspiring.
What is the most prized Chanel piece you own?
I can’t decide! They gave me this amazing black bag that I’ve always wanted, so that’s something I’ll wear all the time, but they also gave me these beautiful gold earrings. They are just so simple and elegant and you can dress them up or down.
How would you describe your personal style?
It’s very comfortable. I wish I had all these crazy looks in my closet, but I love to wear sweats and a T-shirt and just be comfortable.
Is there anyone out there whose style you admire?
I just admire anyone who does their own thing and isn’t afraid to be weird.
Now that it’s officially fall, what would you say is your cold-weather staple?
I love turtlenecks, so I just have a bunch of turtlenecks.
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