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She may play a digital influencer with over a million followers in the darkly hilarious social media satire Ingrid Goes West — but in real life, French-Korean actress Pom Klementieff would rather take fashion inspiration from androgynous icons like Tilda Swinton. As it happens, the two have quite a bit in common, from their icy blonde hair to their shared appreciation of all things Chanel.
And although Klementieff — who’s best known for her role as Mantis in the Guardians of the Galaxy films — now has the opportunity to wear couture to her premieres, she prefers to stock her own closet with simpler, more streamlined pieces from brands like Acne and Rag & Bone. More on that, along with the scoop on her beloved Chanel “turtle bag,” below.
What was it like playing a famous Instagrammer in Ingrid Goes West?
It was really fun, because I really dislike those people. They piss me off! I actually brought some stuff from my own wardrobe [to wear in the movie], though — some sunglasses and heels, and a few Acne pieces, to mix with the costume designer’s stuff.
So I take it you don’t follow any fashion influencers yourself?
No. I do follow some celebrity stylists and some actresses. But the people whose job it is to post stuff for brands, it’s tiring! I’ll sometimes follow them, and [I always wind up] unfollowing because it’s just too much. I mean, I get it, people make a living doing this, but it just feels like advertising.
Fair enough. Who are some of your favorite follows?
There’s this mom [Laura Izumikawa] who posts pictures and videos of her kid dressed in different outfits that are really cute and artistic and funny. I love [Takashi] Murakami; I love following artists. And Chef Ludo posts amazing pictures of French food.
My stylist, Petra Flannery, has a great Instagram too, because she doesn’t post everything, just the best of what she does. There’s not too much behind-the-scenes stuff. It’s good to be a mystery, I think, and not to let people know everything that’s going on in your life.
What’s your personal style like?
It depends on my mood, you know? Sometimes I like to dress really casual and comfortable, sometimes I like to be girly, and sometimes I like to be badass. I don’t like wearing anything too revealing; it’s just not interesting when you show everything. Some girls in LA do that, and I think it’s kind of sad.
What are a few of your favorite stores and sites to shop?
I don’t really do online shopping, because I like to touch the material and try things on. I love Rag & Bone — their jeans suit me really well — and I like Acne a lot. I actually don’t really shop that much, to be honest.
You always look pretty sharp on the red carpet, though...
Yes, but you know how it is — that’s all stuff that I wear once, and I don’t even own it. I’m pretty lucky to have that, though, and to have brands that are interested in dressing me. But it’s sort of like Cinderella syndrome: You go out and look amazing, and when you get home [and change] you look like shit! [Laughs]
Are there any recent red carpet looks you wish you’d been able to keep?
I wore a really cute red Giambattista Valli dress at Comic-Con recently; his stuff really suits me, the way it’s cut. I also really loved the Louis Vuitton look I wore for the D23 Expo. We did it with a pair of black boots, so it was chic but also a bit rock ‘n’ roll.
And of course I love wearing Chanel. For the premiere of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, I wore a Chanel dress that was really beautiful and so amazingly made. The work that they put into those dresses is crazy. Like, of course it looks nice in the red carpet photos, but up close it’s just incredible.
Have you treated yourself to anything fancy since the second Guardians movie came out?
To be honest, I feel bad buying myself anything that’s really expensive! Maybe that’ll change at some point, but for now, I buy myself food to celebrate. I go to a lot of nice restaurants.
Okay, so what would you say is your most prized possession in your closet right now?
Well, Chanel did give me a bag... and it’s a really nice bag! I love it and I wear it all the time, because it goes with everything.
It is one of the classic flap bags?
It’s actually not, and that’s what I love about it! It’s more original. It’s one of the Gabrielle bags, and I love the shape of it — it’s got a shell. It looks like a little turtle!
Do you have any style icons?
Tilda Swinton. I think she’s incredible: so talented and smart and unique. No matter what she wears, she always looks so fucking beautiful. And she has an aura, too, when you meet her — or even when you’re just in the same room as her. She radiates.
I’ve also always loved Jane Birkin. She wears no makeup, or almost no makeup; she’s just beautiful and simple and natural. I’m inspired by women who are comfortable in their own skin.
Speaking of makeup, I have to ask: How long does it take for you to get into Mantis mode for Guardians?
It’s actually not that bad! Because that makeup matches my own skin tone, it’s just like regular beauty makeup, which makes things easier. I can be completely ready — hair, makeup, and clothes — in two hours. I’m pretty lucky there.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Ingrid Goes West hits theaters on August 11th.