“I like peace between people, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I don’t like people expressing their emotions”
Rebecca and I first met at a private photo studio in Brooklyn. She is beautiful and has a very European way about her — perfect for her role as Sister Emmanuel in Novitiate, directed by Margaret Betts. This 1960s-era film about becoming a nun is a slow and steady build, examining one woman’s struggle with faith and her desire for affection. Starring alongside an all-female cast, Rebecca splashes onto the screen inhabiting a disruptive character that makes you crave for more.
Ricky Kim: How do you select the films that you’re in?
Rebecca Dayan: Well, I think it starts with the general message and story. I mean, in this particular case, it was a lot of things. It was a whole universe that I didn’t know anything about. What made me take on this project was also the fact that it was a completely female-driven project. And it’s really rare to stumble upon these kinds of projects where literally any role in the movie is interesting.
RK: Working with an all-women cast — how was that energy different from other films?
RD: It was great. It was really great. Everyone was very supportive of each other and just super generous. We all stayed good friends. I was really sad when it ended because I was done a little sooner than the other girls. It felt like a family.
RK: Do you have a favorite beauty product? Anything specific that you like using at the moment?
RD: I love everything from RMS. It’s all chemical free, coconut oil based, and eco-friendly. It’s really nice. I use a lot of her stuff. I love the NARS lip pencils; they’re like lipsticks but they’re a big pencil. I have one of the best colors.
RK: What are some of the fashions brands you are really drawn to?
RD: There are so many brands that I like. I really like Maria Grazia Chiuri at Dior. I really like what Natacha Ramsay is doing at Chloe now. I’m really excited for that. I love Raf Simons at Calvin Klein. I really like Ellery also. I love Olivier Theyskens who is a dear friend of mine, and I think he’s doing amazing things at the moment.
RK: I know painting is a passion of yours, and I am just curious about your very current stuff that no one has seen yet…. Are you working on anything privately at the moment?
RD: I have a series of paintings that is coming out exclusively for a magazine called The Masters. I did three pieces for them. Right now looking for a space to start painting again.
RK: What would you be doing if you weren’t acting? If I wasn’t acting or painting? For me, I think if I wasn’t doing this or being an art director — if everything fell apart — I’d have a dog business.”
RD: A dog business? Interesting.
RK: Yeah I love dogs. I have a grand dream — you know Harrods in London? It would like to start a big luxury shopping mall of dog goods. It would be the Harrods of dogs.
RD: That’s amazing. People love their pets. I’m sure it would be successful. I don’t know what else I would want to do. Are we talking something completely imaginary?
RD: I don’t know. Maybe working on a boat and traveling around the world or being a photojournalist. I think being a photojournalist would be amazing actually.
RK: Do you take any pictures now?
RD: I used to. I haven’t in a while. I had this great camera that was my Moms. I fixed it and it was working perfectly, and I took some beautiful pictures with it.
RK: Do you feel like you’re drawn to dramatic instances in life, or only on screen?
Rebecca Dayan: I don’t like drama between people.
RK: That’s exactly what I was looking for.
RD: No. I like peace between people, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I don’t like people expressing their emotions. I think that’s very important. I am a very intense person, so maybe I am drawn to that in my work. Human emotions are very interesting to me.
RK: Can you tell me about your very first break and if you remember that experience, what that was like?
RD: Has it been the moment yet? I don’t know. I don’t know if I ever really had that feeling because each step is important and is proving that there is so much to do and learn. How do people usually answer?
RK: Well it’s very different for everyone. Like, five years ago, you probably didn’t think you’d be here.
RD: I’m sure that there are people who feel differently, but I don’t think I’ve ever met an actor at my level who had complete peace of mind.
RK: Can you share some directors that you really like?
RD: Obviously Lars Von Trier and David Lynch. I love Claire Denis. I’d love to work with Luca Guadagnino; I think he’s a great director. I have some friends that are directors, that I am excited to work with, hopefully, in the near future: Brady Corbet, Mona Fastvold or Antonio Campos, Paul Thomas Anderson…
RK: Those are great.
RD: I’ve mainly named male directors and I feel bad now. Except for Clair Denis and Mona.
RK: Only 7% of Hollywood directors are female.
RD: I also think a lot of the directors I named are not necessarily Hollywood directors.
RK: Yeah. That’s okay. I feel like you’re very into independent filmmaking and European filmmakers. I’m always interested in flexing creative energy, but there are so many ways of expressing yourself. Would you ever be interested in taking pictures? Maybe you could take a portrait for us?
RD: Yeah, I would love that.
RD: I would love to do a whole shoot, or direct and style. I studied art and then I was interested in fashion design and I assisted a fashion designer when I was younger. I’ve been in fashion a good bit. It would be very cool to do a whole shoot.
Rebecca Dayan on Creative Expressions | Team Credits
Photographer: Victoria Stevens @vsteves
Stylist: Shibon Kennedy @shibonleigh
Hair Stylist: David Colvin @davidcolvinhair
Makeup Artist: Aya Nihei @ayaka_nihei
Set Design: Devin Rutz @devinrutz
Production: Sanna Backstrom @sannabackstrom, Tova Wahlin @tovwah
Featuring: Rebecca Dayan @rebecca_dayan @ Shelter PR