You might not recognize her out of her Zombeaver—that's zombie beaver for those of you not yet caught up on the cult classic in the making—getup, but Lexi Atkins cleans up quite nicely. The up-and-coming actress, who you can also spot in The CW's new series The Messengers as well as The Boy Next Door and Ted 2, recently stopped by the StyleBistro office to walk us through all her roles and ended up schooling us on healthy habits. Kickstart Earth Week with the stylish star's green beauty and wellness tips.
You have a lot of sci-fi roles. How do you get into character? "Well, I went to school to learn to be a zombeaver—just kidding. Once you’re in prosthetics—all the hair and makeup took about three hours before you could go on set—with your face, the teeth and tail and you’re kind of gross-looking, you get into character just naturally. [Still,] we’d start the scene and then I’d be like, ‘I really have to growl and scratch the walls? That’s not going to happen.’ That was really interesting for my first [role]. But for The Messengers, I just play a regular high school girl, so I didn’t really have to do anything that different."
What's it like working on films with A-listers? "While you’re doing it, it seems so normal and then I’d leave set and have to pinch myself. I used be in my room in Illinois listening to "Jenny from the Block," and I was just working with her on a project—that’s so cool. Both directors would let me come on set when I [wasn't] working. That was one of my favorite memories on both, just getting to watch them and see how they work instead of being in character and not really focusing on what they’re doing."
Who are your acting icons? “My favorite ever is Meryl Streep for obvious reasons, and I love Jennifer Lawrence too. I’ve always looked up to her, her career and how she handles herself in this industry. She’s so talented, but at the same time she’s still herself.”
Of all the characters you’ve played, whose style do you relate to the most? "The Messengers' Alice: she is stylish, but she has an earthy side to her. I really, really loved everything that she wore: a lot of Free People dresses and outfits. Jenn is mostly a zombeaver and in swimsuits the whole time, so not her."
How about your personal, off-duty style? "I just love workout wear. Dressing up all the time, I can’t wait to just take everything off and put something comfortable on. I basically live in yoga pants and any kind of Lululemon top—and then I think I’m working out when I wear it. I feel like if I can get that close, the next step is maybe next year I’ll get in the gym and the next year I’ll actually be working out."
But you are a big advocate for health and wellness. How did you get involved with Essential Living Foods? "I grew up with two fridges: my dad’s side, which was not really healthy, and my mom’s, who's always been into organic, Ayurvedic medicine and everything, so I would go back and forth. But I never understood what healthy meant, especially being from Illinois where you’re like, ‘Fat free, diet soda, zero calories? That’s got to be good for you!’ And then I moved to LA, [where] I went from being 100 percent raw vegan to wanting to get into Chinese medicine to being totally Paleo. Going to extremes of all these healthy fads made me really sick, [but] those stages got me to where I am now and made me really passionate about finding a balance. Right now, I’m taking classes to be an herbalist. Each step each year [brought] me where I am now and introduced me to these amazing lines that they work with."
What is your advice for someone wanting to eat healthier but not sure which route to take? "I would start off with just trying to eat as clean as possible and a balanced diet. I mean, people are vegan, raw or eat meat and are healthy, but find what is healthy for you. When you can, buy organic, grass-fed protein and then juicing—but not fruits because it can be really hard on people. Green juicing is really important."
What are some of your green beauty essentials? "I love coconut oil. You can use it in your hair, as body lotion and makeup remover, [as well as] for cooking. And then I like to make my own shampoo and face wash because things can get so expensive and I want to use something really natural. My really big go-to is honey—you can use it [alone] as shampoo. It’s an antimicrobial and antifungal. Once you get it wet and in your hair, it washes right out. You can [also] use it as a mask and face wash, which is really awesome. I swear, just get it a little wet, rub it on your face and it comes right off. I also work with Zao, which is the first certified-organic makeup line in the US."
Any other healthy must-haves? "Do you drink Bulletproof coffee? It’s Paleo—low carb, low sugar, high protein and high fat—and the beans are mycotoxin-free. You add butter or ghee and MCT oil, and blend it. It tastes like the best latte you’ve ever had in your life. It’s a lot of fat but good fats, and then the caffeine takes the fat to your brain right away. Instead of just getting a rush and crashing, it lasts for a few hours and you can do intermittent fasting with it. Since you’re so full from all the good fats in the morning, you don’t eat until one or two. You feel like a super-human: so amazing, smart and sharp. You get addicted to it and can’t wait to wake up—you get to be a coffee snob, too."
See more of Atkins on The Messengers Friday nights at 9pm EDT on The CW.