Barbie Ferreira Risked It All — and It Paid Off | Cowl Interview
Very like her character on the groundbreaking HBO sequence Euphoria, Barbie Ferreira is not any stranger to taking daring probabilities. The rising Gen-Z icon talks about threat, reward, and her tattoo philosophy.
BY: Dianna Mazzone
PHOTOGRAPHED BY: Jennifer Livingston
Final 12 months, Barbie Ferreira thought that life as we knew it was ending. So she did as any 20-something with a rebellious streak and a way of urgency would do: She received a tattoo. “I’ve a spiral on my butt, as a result of I used to be spiraling,” she says. “I used to be like, ‘Fuck it. I can’t die and never have tattoos.’”
After all, the world didn’t finish. However the sudden change in its tempo was a jolt for the 24 12 months outdated. “It was simply bizarre to come back off of one thing that modified my life and the very subsequent 12 months, growth, nothing,” she says.
That one thing, being Euphoria, is the HBO hit that follows a gaggle of teenagers as they navigate intercourse, love, identification, habit, and trauma. The hour-long episodes evoke each sympathy and empathy, relying in your standpoint. The truth that all the solid (which incorporates Zendaya, Hunter Schafer, and Jacob Elordi) is achingly handsome is icing on the cake.
Collina Strada gown. Agmes earrings. To create the same make-up look: Metropolis Mini Eyeshadow Palette in City Jungle, Cheek Warmth Gel-Cream Blush in Rose Flush, and SuperStay Ink Crayon in Hustle In Heels by Maybelline New York. Sand Tropez and Licorice nail polish by Essie. Photographed by Jennifer Livingston. Vogue stylist: Chris Horan. Hair: Orlando Pita. Make-up: Maki Ryoke. Nails: Mei Kawajiri. Set design: Griffin Frazen. Manufacturing: Hudson Hill Manufacturing.
Ferreira performs Kat Hernandez, who flips the script after footage of her dropping her virginity will get posted on-line: She reclaims her sexuality by changing into a camgirl who videochats with shoppers — a few of whom pay her to degrade them — whereas in numerous states of undress. As her confidence skyrockets, Kat overhauls her model, ditching polo shirts and denims for mesh tops and bondage-inspired harnesses.
Out of character, Ferreira can also be no stranger to transformation. Born in New York Metropolis’s East Harlem, she spent her early years in Queens earlier than transferring to New Jersey. “I used to be the form of lady in eighth grade who was coming in with an electric-blue smoky eye and pretend lashes and everybody’s like, ‘Who the fuck is that?’” At 16, she received a job at American Attire, a model identified for its body-hugging leggings and tanks. “I threw out all my garments and began carrying garments that have been extra formfitting,” says Ferreira. “[Before that], I was actually insecure and I solely wore actually particular outfits that may cowl my physique.”
The shop typically used its workers as fashions, and Ferreira (who on the time glided by Barbara) was tapped for a shoot. Even then, she noticed it merely as a way to an finish. “I did it as a result of I wished to behave,” she says. “[But] I shortly realized it’s actually laborious to get into this business and make your self identified.”
She went all in, selecting to choose out of faculty: “I did it with out anybody figuring out…. My mother is an immigrant [from Brazil], so she had no thought about SATs, ACTs, or school prep. To today, she’ll warn her associates who’re additionally immigrants who’ve kids. She’ll be like, ‘There’s this factor referred to as the SATs. Don’t allow them to skip it!’” As a substitute, Ferreira spent the subsequent a number of years modeling for manufacturers like H&M and Aerie and gained a fair bigger on-line following after an unretouched advert marketing campaign for the latter went viral. Nonetheless, behind her thoughts, she says, she knew she wasn’t “going to be doing this modeling factor without end.”
When Ferreira received the decision that she’d landed the function in Euphoria, she was at her therapist’s workplace. (“It was good timing as a result of in the event that they stated no, then it could even have been a terrific place to be.”) The information marked the top of her life as Barbie the Mannequin (and a grueling two-month audition course of) and the beginning of her appearing profession. “I made a number of choices at a younger age that compelled me — with no backup plan — to only go for it, and it labored, thank God.”
Although to say Ferreira’s plan to turn into an actor “labored” is a bit like saying an area launch “labored.” She didn’t land simply any present, she landed the present. Euphoria has pulled again the curtain on what it means to be a modern-day teenager, welcoming in viewers of all ages.
In reality, the present has garnered a fandom of super-enthusiasts who collect in teams on the web to dissect plot factors, publish memes, and customarily obsess over each side of Euphoria, together with its actors. Ferreira is unrattled by this, if solely as a result of she’s been on the opposite facet: “Harry Potter was my past love. I used to go to conventions and meet and greets. Then, after I was a younger teen, I beloved One Path. I used to be an enormous fan of Panic! At The Disco after they have been a band,” Ferreira says. “I, very like Kat, escaped into a distinct world after I might. I completely get when individuals like one thing. I attempt to be very understanding of that.”
Lower than half an hour later, as if destiny is testing whether or not or not she actually does bear in mind her days wielding a magic wand at Harry Potter conventions, a fan approaches as we exit the restaurant the place Ferreira and I simply cut up a plate of mini cannolis. The fan asks to take a selfie with Ferreira, after which, extra sheepishly, if she’ll make a video she will be able to ship to her sister. Ferreira smiles and says, “Let’s do it,” then asks for her sister’s identify. There haven’t been any Euphoria fan conventions due to the pandemic, however I get the sense Ferreira could be the sort to greet everybody ready in line.
However for now, when she’s not filming the present’s second season, Ferreira is fortunately at dwelling in Los Angeles together with her three cats (Mortimer, Magdalena, and Thomas) and associate, Elle. Elle was the artist behind the aforementioned tattoo, which was created utilizing the stick-and-poke approach. “[Doing tattoos] was a brand new factor for them, however now they’re actually good,” says Ferreira.
Ferreira, too, has picked up new habits over the previous 18 months. Following that preliminary spiral, she says, “I really feel like I did a number of work on myself that I’d not have accomplished if I wasn’t paused.” She frolicked in remedy and began going to the gymnasium. “I simply received my shit collectively.”
That included shopping for a home. “My dream in life was to personal a home,” she says. “I needed to study so much. I’m 24. I began on the lookout for homes at 23. Earlier than the pandemic, it was very laborious to do. However throughout the pandemic, everybody was fleeing, [so] I managed to get a home with no credit score. Not one lick of credit score,” she says. Then she provides, leaning into my recorder, “I’ve good credit score now, everybody!”
The renovations took seven months. “I really like theme rooms,” Ferreira says. “I need each room to look completely different.” Her front room is mild and ethereal, she explains, whereas the kitchen, with its seafoam inexperienced, checkerboard flooring, is all camp. Subsequent up for a makeover is her closet-slash-glam room, for which she’s bought a lighted storage vainness referred to as a SlayStation. Earlier than setting it up, although, “I must rebuy all my make-up. It’s been in packing containers for actually months now.” (Dior Without end Pores and skin Glow Basis, Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Forehead Gel, and Sunnies Face Airblush are all on her checklist.)
However at dwelling, Ferreira wears little make-up and favors tracksuits. “After I’m off, I’m off, child. Even that is like me dressing up,” she says, gesturing to the T-shirt and cutoffs she’s carrying.
Ferreira will not be involved in something othering, be it clothes (“Should you don’t need to make garments my measurement and also you’re a giant trend home, no matter. There are such a lot of indie designers now which might be actually fucking good and make garments that match”) or social media. “I really feel like Instagram is gatekept,” she says. Lately, she’s extra into TikTok: “I really like the web. I grew up on it. [But] I feel at this level in my life, as a grown grownup, it’s not the identical factor for me because it was as an agonizing, emo teen. I simply use it to giggle. I see such humorous issues [on TikTok]. The algorithm is healthier. I’ll discover a humorous video that has 50 likes.”
I like issues that shock and in addition deeply encourage.
Ferreira says she largely simply watches, however she’ll publish movies sometimes on an incognito account, @borbiana. “Daily my publicist is like, ‘Would you like me to confirm you on TikTok?’ And I’m like, ‘I don’t assume so.’ I’m preserving it mild.”
She has, nonetheless, posted just a few movies that provide fuzzy glimpses into Euphoria’s second season, certainly one of which alludes to a intercourse scene. That stated, in the case of intimacy, Ferreira notes, “My character is unquestionably extra toned-down this season. There’s no latex.” The make-up seems to be — colourful eyeliner and glowing decals — that got here to outline the primary season can even be “very completely different,” she says with a figuring out smile. “That’s all I can say.”
Because the world eagerly waits for season two’s debut in 2022, Ferreira is preserving a watch out for her subsequent challenge after simply wrapping a movie function in Jordan Peele’s Nope, slated for 2022. “I like issues that shock and in addition deeply encourage,” she says. That’s what attracted her to the function of Bailey Butler in final 12 months’s Unpregnant, which adopted two teenagers who needed to cross state strains for one to get an abortion. “I knew it could ruffle feathers…however I form of like that.”
Ferreira believes in a single’s proper to make choices about their very own physique, which brings us again to tattoos. She received one other one — her first by machine, not stick-and-poke — close to her breasts. “The artist, Pix, does these actually cool strains. So I [had her do] one thing round my boobies. I all the time do issues round my boobies. I feel it’s as a result of I grew up not liking my boobs,” she muses. “So now it form of makes me really feel cute.”
Do the tattoo strains characterize something to her? “Completely not,” she says. “Nicely…I actually felt like I couldn’t do something [to my body] for thus lengthy. I couldn’t even lower my hair one inch or I’d lose shoppers after I was a mannequin. So I suppose it does characterize one thing — me taking on my very own self.”
Photographed by: Jennifer Livingston
Vogue stylist: Chris Horan
Hair: Orlando Pita
Make-up: Maki Ryoke
Manicure: Mei Kawajiri
Set design: Griffin Frazen
Manufacturing: Hudson Hill Manufacturing
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