LOGAN POLISH STAR OF APPLE TV+ THE MOSQUITO COAST

T-shirt by Adidas, Necklaces Stylist’s Own, Earring by Notte

 

Logan Polish was born to be in the entertainment industry. The young actress was raised behind the scenes, her father and uncle both writers, producers and directors have a long list of successful projects. As a child actor, Polish was cast in the 2006 acclaimed film, The Astronaut Farmer starring Billy Bob Thornton, Virginia Madsen and written, directed and produced by the Polish brothers.

Logan made her American television debut with the launch of Apple TV’s hit series The Mosquito Coast, starring opposite Justin Theroux. You might be familiar with the novel by the same name which was written by Paul Theroux (Justin’s Uncle) and adapted into the 1986 film starring Harrison Ford. The success of the premier season led Apple TV+ to approve a second season which will began filming this year. 

Logan spent the day with Iris Covet Book during her photoshoot at friend and co-star Justin Theroux’s Lower East Side bar, Ray’s to chat about coping with anxiety, filming in Mexico, and her favorite 80’s playlist. 

Photographer: Hao Zeng
Stylist: Rachel Gilman
Location: Ray’s NYC

 

Shirt by Victoria Beckham, Sweater by Chloé, Earring by Notte

Being surrounded by parents and family in the film industry, how much do you think you were influenced by their careers to start acting? 

I was heavily influenced. I grew up on my dad‘s film sets and he was always working on new projects around me. So, I couldn’t really imagine doing anything else, I still can’t. I think it’s sort of in my DNA, at this point. I have always loved the community within film, it something I constantly yearn for; those connections, those bonds that are created.

Your first acting job as a child was playing opposite Billy Bob Thornton and Virginia Madsen in The Astronaut Farmer. You then took a break from acting until you were scouted at the age of thirteen by your now agent. What was it about this incident that reignited your passion for acting? 

I was so excited when I met my agents because I had been wanting to act for a while, but my parents were definitely hesitant to push me into the industry. I think they wanted to preserve my childhood as much as possible and I’m really glad that they did. It was super exciting to finally be able to pursue the one thing I’d wanted to do for such a long time.

 

Sweater by Esteban Cortázar, Skirt By Paco Rabanne, Earrings by Notte

You star opposite Justin Theroux in the Apple TV series Mosquito Coast which was just picked up for a second season. Tell us about your character Dina Fox and how you relate to her. 

I really related to Dina’s maturity. She is put in many difficult situations and has to make many grown-up decisions for herself, and I think that’s something that I could relate to. I could also just relate to growing up in such an eccentric family because my dad started out making indie films and, in a way, he was sort of an inventor. My mom is also an artist, so similar to Dina, I was used to seeing my parents ‘invent’ new things every day.

What has been the most rewarding part of filming the first season? 

Wow, I mean there are so many things that have been very rewarding about the show. I think the first thing that comes to mind is just how amazing it’s been to work with such talented people. From the actors to the directors, it was an eye-opening experience to be around that level of talent. It’s also been so rewarding to be able to work on my craft for a whole season. I had never gotten so much time to be that serious about acting and really practice, get better, and grow.

 

Jeans by Levi Strauss & Co., Bodysuit, Stylist’s Own Necklaces by Notte, Rings by Keane

What was the biggest lesson you learned from filming? 

I think filming always teaches me and continues to teach me how to be present. It can be such an overwhelming process with all of the different schedules and lines and things that we’re having to do within a day. Mosquito Coast really taught me how to take it day by day, hour by hour, and really focus on the task at hand.

I was reading an article where you said you learned not to be too stressed out about working with new people after filming The Mosquito Coast.  What are some things that help you cope with the anxiety of working on new projects? 

One of the biggest things that really helped me with my anxiety was expressing how stressed out I was to the people around me, like Justin or Gabriel. I think keeping in my nervousness or reservations really made it worse, but whenever I was able to confess to people that I wasn’t feeling good about certain scenes, it took the pressure off. It became a good habit of mine to go to a cast-member anytime I had any stress and tell them what I was feeling, and they always had some sort of advice that immediately got rid of my anxiety.

I think one big misconception I had about acting was that ‘I’m going to know how to do everything and do it perfectly’ and that ultimately created so much pressure. On Mosquito Coast I quickly learned that I’m not going to always have all the answers but there’s a director, a writer, and other actors around to help. By the end of the season, I had become really comfortable with confiding in and being vulnerable with the people around me.

 

Vest by Chloé, Romper by The Row, Rings by Keane, Tights by We Love Colors

Various parts of Mosquito Coast were filmed in Mexico.  What were some of the cities you filmed in, and did you have a chance to explore and experience the culture?

We shot in so many places from Mexico City, Puebla, to Guadalajara and Punta Mita. I feel like the one city I spent the most time exploring was Puebla and I’m so happy that we got to go there. It’s so colorful and there is a church on every corner and it’s a very historical town. So, I spent the weekends just walking down each street trying to go to as many churches as possible and that was very fun.

You are following your family into the movie business. Writing and directing your first short film entitled Margot.  Do you see influences from your father’s process, or have you found your own way of working? 

I do see a sprinkle of his process within my own but the one great thing about my dad is that he has really let me figure out my own voice. Whenever he’s helped me with my writing or working on my own sets, he’s kind of been a guide for me to go to if I need help but he’s always sort of just let me figure it out on my own. But ultimately, we are related so I definitely think there will always be connections between our work and things that we like.

 

Dress by Versace, Necklace – Stylist’s Own, Socks by We Love Colors, Shoes by Manolo Blahnik

Do you enjoy working behind the scenes as much as in front of the camera?

I do enjoy working behind the camera, if not sometimes even more. I am a bit of a control freak, so I like being able to follow a movie from the page to the set to the editing process to it being promoted. I love every part of the process and so when I’m just acting it’s sometimes hard for me to let go and not join in on every part of the creative side.

Your aunt is Kate Bosworth.  What was the best acting advice she has ever given you?

She’s always been a good example on how to navigate the business side of everything, and how valuable it is to understand it.

Who is on your wish list of directors to work with?

Christopher Nolan! He has been on my list for such a long time. I’m also very keen on working with Yorgos Lanthimos or Sam Esmail.

Jacket by Prada, Skirt by Jacquemus, Vintage Top – stylists’ own, Shoes by Nicholas Kirkwood

Do you believe in astrology and if so, what is your sign, and do you think it’s fitting to your personality?

Yes, I do! I am an Aquarius, with a Scorpio moon and Taurus rising. I do heavily relate to my sign, but I think I am very influenced by having a Scorpio Moon. I can get very dark, and emo and I sometimes lean more into that than I do my fun Aquarian side.

During the shoot you requested 80’s music on set.  Who is currently on your music playlist?

Everything 80’s!!! Currently I have The Smiths, New Order, English beat, Cocteau Twins, Duran Duran… with a sprinkle of Interpol and Sade.

IN THE HEIGHTS STAR MELISSA BARRERA

Dress – Paco Rabanne

Photography by Dennis Tejero @ ADB Agency

Styling by Marc Sifuentes

Makeup by Talia Sparrow @ Kalpana NYC

Hair by Cameron Rains @ Forward Artists

Interview by Evan Ross Katz 

Melissa Barrera, one of the leads on Starz’s Vida and the upcoming film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In The Heights, opens up about her journey to success and prioritizing her Latin roots within and outside of her work.

Dress, Belt and Boots by Versace

“It feels like so much more than an acting job,” Melissa Barrera says of her starring role on Starz’s hit series Vida. “I feel like it was a gift that I was given.” Barrera stars as Lyn Hernandez on the series which was recently renewed for a third season. “Barrera’s performance in particular blooms with searing clarity,” Vox wrote. The Hollywood Reporter called Barrera’s performance “absurdly funny.” The A.V. Club called the actress “a force to be reckoned with.” 

“It’s important to see Latin stories out there and to see the dreams that our people have and how hard we work. There’s more to us than just the negative things you see in the media or what certain people want to say about Latinx people.” But it’s not just Barrera’s work on Vida. Whether her upcoming role in the film adaptation of the Broadway musical In the Heights, her time on popular telenovelas like Siempre Tuya Acapulco and Tanto Amor or in regional theater productions in her hometown of Monterrey, Mexico, much of the conversation with Barrera seems to circle back to her Mexican roots—and it’s no coincidence.  

“I’m Mexican. I’m fully Mexican. I was born and raised in Mexico and now I happen to work in the United States. And I am proud to be a part of this Latinx wave of shows and films that are finally starting to get made and people that have never seen themselves represented on screen are finally getting to see themselves and I get to be a part of it. So I feel that it is important to wear my identity on my sleeve and be one of the faces of this movement and help people see themselves because a lot of people have felt erased in their stories or their stories are never told. I feel like it’s a responsibility of mine to be a voice for those people who have not had one for so long. And I want to.” 

Dress by Off-White

It’s this passion that emanates from Barrera, who thinks long and hard before responding to questions, constantly aware of the possibilities and pitfalls of a first impression and desiring to represent both herself and her roots with pride. This, according to her friends that I spoke with, is the Melissa they’ve always known. 

Though acting and singing seemed like the natural trajectory from an early age, Barrera did not limit her possibilities. “There was a point where I wanted to be a doctor,” she says, adding that architecture, interior design, even biomedical engineering were all career aspirations at various times. “I even at one point wanted to be a secret agent. I’ve wanted to be so many different things throughout my life. But that’s the thing about being an actor, you get to be everything.” 

She started auditioning for local regional productions in high school and was quickly cast in a musical version of Romeo and Juliet in Monterrey. That was her first taste of the rigor of the theater: working six days a week, with two-shows a day often the norm. It didn’t dissuade her, only making her hungry for more. She furthered her education attending New York University to study theater. She left New York University’s prestigious CAP21 musical theater program two years in after making it into the top 20 on La Academia, a popular Mexican competition reality series that catapulted her star meter. 

“That show definitely prepared me for the industry. It was a very difficult experience because it brought all my insecurities to the surface. It made me doubt if I had what it took to be in this business. It made me fight for it really hard. I’m very grateful I had that experience, even though sometimes I have PTSD about it. Whenever I have to sing in public I get stage fright and I never feel good enough because of all of the harsh judgments I had while I was on that show.” But she’s careful to stress the positives that came from it, like learning to fight for her dream. It’s also the place where she met her future husband, musician Paco Zazueta. 

Dress by Georgine

That show proved a career springboard, landing her roles in a number of popular telenovelas. “I’ve always felt that telenovelas, especially in Mexico, are looked down upon as a genre….but I personally love them,” she says, describing the rigor of the production process as boot camp. “It’s literally shooting 30 scenes a day, one after the other, and it forces you to go through a crazy rollercoaster of emotions, more so than anything else I’ve ever done. I think because of that school of telenovela, it made everything that’s come after much easier for me.”

And thankfully, the “everything” that has come after has been plentiful, from Vida to a recently-announced contemporary reimagining of the opera Carmen opposite Fifty Shades of Grey star Jamie Dornan, to the upcoming In the Heights, a role Barrera has been eyeing for over a decade before she was cast. “I remember going to see it on Broadway at least ten times. I remember the first time that I saw it, what I felt, it was as though my heart was going to explode with pride and hope. All my dreams of being on Broadway after seeing that show just felt so much more tangible.” From there, she set out to be casted, attending open calls for the show, but never quite landing a spot…until now, nearly a dozen years after the show’s first bow on the Great White Way. 

Dress by Tom Ford

“It’s going to be very different from the stage version,” she says of the movie, set for release next summer. “It’s been updated to reflect the situation of immigrants today, so it has appropriately been adapted to take place in 2020.” For Barrera, it’s about leveling out the audience with the content, noting the disparity between Latinx content consumption and shows casting Latinx actors, created by Latinx people and/or telling Latinx stories. To that end, Barrera says she hopes to begin producing her own work down the line. “Because [Vida creator] Tanya [Saracho] gave opportunities to people like me, I’m going to make sure that I follow in her footsteps.”

And with that, Barrera is back to set to shoot the final week of filming In The Heights. Though she’s not filming any scenes on this particular day, she says she just wants to be around it all, near the cast, watching the process unfold around her. Like much of the pride Barrera so often spoke about, it’s not necessarily about her, but about who she can be to and for those who come after her.

Dress by Victoria Hayes

 

Interview from Issue 12 of IRIS COVET BOOK available in stores and online by clicking —> HERE! 

SISTERS ARE DOING IT FOR THEMSELVES

Dress – N°21, Poncho – Red Valentino, Earrings – Federica Tosi, Gloves – Duecci, Bracelet – Darkai, Ring – Aurèlie Bidermann, Boots – Red Valentino

 

Photography – Mirko Morelli @mirkomorelliphoto / Styling – Eugenia Book @eubook / Hair – Cosimo Bellomo @cosimo_bellomo / Make-up – Martina Gentili @martina.gentilii
Model – Amina Roveda @amina.roveda / Model – Nika Groh @nikasogo both at Special management @special_management

 

Dress – Brognano, Belt – N°21

 

Dress – N°21, Earrings – Federica Tosi, Gloves – Duecci, Bracelet – Darkai, Ring – Aurèlie Bidermann, Boots – Red Valentino

 

Dress – Brognano,  Belt and Bracelets – Ambush and Darkai

 

Nika:  Jacket – Max Mara, Shirt and Pant – Nanushka, Gloves – Duecci, Bracelets – Darkai, Earrings – Paco Rabanne

Amina:  Blazer – Red Valentino, Shirt – Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini, Skirt – MSGM, Gloves – Duecci, Earrings – Federica Tosi and Gibot

 

Dress – Erika Cavallini, Hat – Ruslan Baginskiy, Earrings – Federica Tosi

 

Amina: Dress – Paco Rabanne, Earrings – Federica Tosi and Gibot, Bracelet – Darkai, Ring – Aurèlie Bidermann
Nika: Dress – Paco Rabanne, Earrings – Federica Tosi,  Bracelet – Darkai