British actress Annabelle Wallis appears to be the definition of regal, refined elegance. So when people meet her for the first time, she doesn’t blame them for being, well, a bit thrown off.
“I grew up following my brother around. I joined a paintball team. So much of me is a tomboy and I love to offset that with the fashion element,” she tells Yahoo Style. “I have this classic blond aesthetic but I can do a wheelie on a motorbike and ride a dirt bike.” So while people expect her to be the “lady in the corset,” she jokes, they instead get a woman who’s at home on a skateboard and riding rollercoasters.
But on the red carpet, Wallis brings the glam. Big time. She works with top stylist Elizabeth Stewart, and gravitates towards bright colors and bold cuts. She and Stewart eat donuts during fittings, and Wallis loves every step of the process — something many other actors moan about.
“It’s so fun to play dress-up. It’s such an honor to go to a red carpet event and to think that people want to dress you,” she says. “It’s important to go for it. Hollywood is lacking a little glamour at the moment. I like to go for it.”
That’s apparently true in every way. In The Mummy, opening Friday, she’s a fearless archeologist with zero interest in anything resembling fashion, as she’s too busy fighting a mutinous corpse that comes to life. That means she kept pace with her famously tireless costar Tom Cruise — who in this film plays a soldier of fortune, and is the same guy who scaled the world’s tallest building in Dubai while shooting Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol.
“I did my own stunts and competed with Tom Cruise in the running scenes. I’d like to make a statement that I was right there about to take off, but he has a turbo-charge button. He just plowed through. He says he’s faster now than when he was in his 20s, because of the techniques he’s learned,” she says of her costar.
At 54, Cruise is eternally youthful, like some sort of mythical creature, she says, joking, “I did see one or two unicorns on the set.”
The actress, who was raised in Portugal and broke out in the BBC drama Peaky Blinders, is rumored to be dating Chris Martin, something she doesn’t address either in interviews or on social media. Which is actually refreshing, at a time when there’s no such thing as oversharing and when many stars use their personal lives to build their brands.
“I wasn’t brought up to talk about my life or show off. You lose the element of mystery that’s so much your currency as an actor. You are there to play a role and to be believable as other people. If you share too much, you lose that fourth wall,” she says. “It’s dangerous. It’s wonderful to support causes and charities and use your voice. You can choose the pictures that represent you the best.”
Ultimately, believes Wallis, rambling on about yourself is just tacky and boring, noting, “It’s not classy to talk too much about stuff that’s not about work.”
But when it comes to style, Wallis is more than happy to let her clothes speak for themselves, or tell a story to someone who doesn’t know her. Much of what she owns, she scooped up while traveling. “I’m a little bit of a chameleon. I go from minimal to bohemian to tomboy to girlie. I use that when I go to meetings. I’m strategic about what I wear when I am meeting with a director,” she says. Below, a beautiful sampling of her style.
Read more from Yahoo Beauty + Style:
- Jenna Dewan Tatum Is ‘Very Comfortable’ With Her Body, Loves Looking ‘Sensual & Sexy’
- ‘Wonder Woman’ Gal Gadot Feels ‘Very Sexy and Very Strong’ in Her Costume
- The Insulting Roles ‘Pirates’ Star Kaya Scodelario, 25, Won’t Take