“Can you make sure people know I’m not a Scorpio?” asks Rowan Blanchard. It’s a trippy request, but we are in Laurel Canyon-a California landmark home to so much psych rock history, even the tap water is rumored to make you high.
For the record, Blanchard is a Libra (“which makes me crazy”) who is still just 17. She’s also an official Women’s March speaker, a Miu Miu campaign face, and a special ambassador for H&M’s Conscious Collection, which explains why her leather mini-dress is actually made from pineapple bark. (“Cool, right?” she asks, and yes, it really is.)
Here, more from the World of Rowan, including college plans, book recommendations, and the trouble with activism in Hollywood.
We’re at a party where everything-the food, the furniture, and the clothes-are sustainable. Are you trying to shop with more eco-consciousness?
I’d like to educate myself more on how to dress sustainably, but if you follow me on Instagram, you know that I only spend real money on vintage clothes. I don’t know how those clothes were made originally, but it’s obviously a sustainable way to shop-buy things that are already out in the world.
As a young Hollywood activist, you campaign for a lot of causes. Do you think climate change will get as big a platform as feminism or gun safety?
I hope so, but also, I’m not an activist anymore! I won’t call myself that anyway. I would say I’m an actress and I read books. So I’m smart, but I’m not claiming the mantle of activism anymore.
How did you decide that?
I decided against it probably a year ago, but I didn’t tell anyone. It’s just a personal thing I’ve been deciding for myself, you know? But I don’t want to be labeled as an activist. That was something I self-identified with for a long time. But I was always struggling with the fact that, the reality is, I still want to be an actress; I want to be a director; I want to be active and help create real change, but I’m still playing this very mainstream game. And it gets to the point where ethics cross each other. It became harder to touch what it meant to truly be an “activist” in my life. Maybe I’ll identify with that label again at some point, but for now, I think I’m just me. I lost the meaning for a second.
What do you think about college?
I absolutely do want to go. I think since I’ve lived in LA my whole life, I’d like to come to New York for college and try it out there. And I’d like to study something arts related, like art history because it’s all-encompassing. And then I want to minor in something really academic, maybe philosophy? Science? Something like that. But I haven’t done too much research into the application process yet, or where, specifically, I might want to go. I’m going to take a year and figure it out.
You shadowed Ava Duvernay when she directed Wrinkle in Time. Are you thinking about directing more in the future, too?
I would like to! Oh gosh, I so hope I can do it. The hope and prayer is to make something with [visual artist] Alia [Penner, aka Alia Pop]. I want to write it; I want her to direct it. We want to make something fantasy-based. I mean, real fantasy-fairies, unicorns, everything.
Are you reading a bunch of unicorn fan fiction right now?
Ha, no! I’m getting into Susan Sontag’s diaries from when she was a teenage girl. They are so good, obviously.
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