Whenever Claire Danes talks about My So-Called Life it lights up a very specific nostalgia spot and so this comment in the December issue of Allure feels like it could be directly referencing me “they loved the show, that it was really meaningful to them when they were going through a bad, chaotic, murky time of being a teenager” Yep all of that is very accurate and the MSCL’s pop culture position stretches far beyond its 18-episode run (it got to the final in Vulture’s recent High School TV Showdown) and Danes discusses how this has impacted her “I feel a real loyalty to my generation. I think your identity is sort of set in your teenage years. And my cultural identity was set at that same time.”
What struck me about the shot used here of Claire Danes and Winona Ryder from 1996 is how I had forgotten that I didn’t just model my hairstyle on Michelle Williams, but Danes was a HUGE influence too – I was too scared to go for the full Winona pixie cut – and this barrette/zigzag side parting became one of my signature looks. In fact I’m actually wearing a barrette right now while typing this as like Danes my hair constantly falls in front of my face and I really need a haircut. This whole slideshow is a delight going from on and off screen style from MSCL to now including some rather dreamy takes about her relationship with Hugh Dancy.
The cover image goes full 90s with a darker lip color (Winona would approve) and this silk Lanvin dress is a stunning shade of blue; even if I would love to see a photo shoot in Danes endorsed overalls. Or maybe a little bit of plaid. But as far as glam editorials go this one is good, if not a little run of the mill. And while one of the topics covered is the much discussed cry face phenomenon, my favorite shot is on the other end of the facial expression scale.
I love a good cry face and one day I will set up the Cry Face Olympics of which there will many contenders from television and film. Danes will be a big hitter and even though I’m sure it is irritating to discuss this part of her acting style in every interview, she has softened her position from annoyance to yeah this is just what I do “I’m very vain about my performance. I want to give as honest a performance as I can. But I’m not so worried about being regarded as beautiful when I’m playing a character.” What she says about body image is also pretty inspiring and how there are all these different factors at play. We can be more than one thing.
“It’s just so ingrained in us, the idea that we should take up the right amount of space, literally and figuratively. I’ve wrestled with this my whole life, as just a person in the world and as somebody who makes images. It’s OK to want to look and feel your best. It’s OK to work at being attractive, whatever that means to you. And it’s also OK to not expect to be defined by that. It’s OK to be powerful in every way: to be big, to take up space. To breathe and thrive.”
For more from the Claire Danes Allure interview including this video where she goes through many of her famous looks such as Angela’s red hair and those angel wings head here.
There’s enough time for one more magazine for Claire Danes to cover before the end of the year and Glamour’s first 2014 issue goes to the Homeland star. For any regular visitors you will know that Danes is a TV Ate My Wardrobe favorite and we’re always pleased with how forthcoming she is in interviews. In Glamour she discusses both personal and work related aspects of her life including her much memed cry face.
One question that can produce a lot of umming and ahing from female celebrities is “Are you a feminist?” Is it because they worry about alienating some fans? Or do they simply think that feminism equates to being a man hater? Whatever the reason it is frustrating, so it’s always refreshing to see someone answer this question with clarity and passion:
“I am a feminist. And I’m so glad that Lena Dunham exists, because she is one too, and she’s quite vocal about it. Yes, women have more freedom and more influence than ever, but it’s hardly equal. It’s just not. It’s really f–king crazy. I’m sorry I’m cursing. But it’s wild that women are underrepresented [in Hollywood]. I have real anxiety about directing, and that’s something to question and challenge and correct.”
I mean not everyone will necessarily be happy with the Dunham reference as she is incredibly polarizing, but Danes has been a vehement supporter of the Girls creator – she wrote about Dunham earlier this year for Time magazine and they had this super cute Seacrest interrupting moment together on the Emmy red carpet:
Claire Danes’ cry face has been mesmerizing since Angela Chase (over at This Was TV we talked about it a lot) and when her chin begins to quiver it pretty much guarantees that I will get the misty eyes. In past interviews Danes has come across as a tad annoyed at the attention this gets, this isn’t so much the case this time as she talks about it in terms of the character she is portraying “I think people are made uncomfortable by uncensored expressions of emotion. But, you know, that’s my job. I don’t have those fears. I really have never been concerned about being beautiful on-screen. That’s just not my jam. I’m concerned about it if I’m playing a beautiful character. But it’s not relevant for Carrie.”
Oh hey it’s a super cute dog.
Moving on to Carrie’s wardrobe and the brand they favor for this character “Carrie wears a lot of Theory. That is her brand. She’s a Theory girl. It’s a lot of navy. A lot of navy. I actually forget how to wear my own clothing when I’m filming because I wear basically the same pair of jeans and a long-sleeve T-shirt and then change out of it and immediately into my pantsuit.” It makes sense for who Carrie is as a character that her clothes are very functional as her life is chaotic enough; can you imagine if they put her in the pattern clashing costumes of Mindy Lahiri? Or all the polka dots of Jess Day? Now I want to create paper dolls to switch outfits between sitcom and drama characters. Sounds like a job for Kyle Hilton.
For more Claire Danes in Glamour you can pick up an issue of the magazine on newsstands December 10.