Zoe Kazan On Sample Sales, Online Shopping and Playing Identical Twins

What if you could become a better version version of yourself by pretending to be someone else? In The Pretty One, which aired at the Tribeca Film Festival, Zoe Kazan plays Laurel, an awkward shut-in who takes on the identity of her more cosmopolitan twin, Audrey, after Audrey dies. Laurel begins to find her true self by masquerading as her sister, and must finally decide whether to live as Audrey forever or reveal her secret. Written and directed by Jenee LaMarque, The Pretty One is garnering raves reviews as a light-hearted and touching comedy about grief and coming of age.

Today, Kazan is getting over bronchitis and is charmingly apologetic about not shaking hands. "I just don't want to infect you! Just know I am mentally shaking your hand," she says. The 29-year-old actress and screenwriter (last year she wrote and starred in Ruby Sparks) definitely has quirk appeal. Kazan is retro in a colorful floral sundress, fitted jean jacket and suede Rachel Comey boots. Kazan's outfit looks vintage, but is mostly from the Pasadena Flea Market. "My dress was a gift from Jenee," she says. "She bought it for the movie and then they ended up not using it.  She was so sweet to give it to me!" Always as stickler for a good deal, Kazan talked to Lucky at Babyliss Arts & Cinema studio about her favorite designers, what she can't wait to wear this spring, and why the movie Clueless has stuck with her.

Lucky:  What was the difference between the wardrobes of the prettier twin versus the more awkward twin?

Costumes were a huge part of it. Audrey, who is the more vivacious, outgoing twin, who lives in the city, has really cultivated her own identity. It’s very retro but also very sexy and bold. Laurel, who lives at home, and is sort of a shut-in, wears mostly her mother’s clothes, she is someone who is holding onto the past, because her mother is dead. It’s a lot of dresses from the ‘70s that are faded in color and more modest. When she assumes her sister’s identity she is wearing her sister’s clothes, so it is all about how Laurel is different from Audrey, and how Laurel puts these clothes together. There is this really revealing red dress, it’s a Thakoon red dress that Laurel wears on a date, and it has a really low neckline, and we had Laurel wear a really pretty pink bra under it because she isn’t comfortable. Whereas her sister would probably wear it with no underwear underneath.

Where your personal style is concerned, do you shop high or low?

I very very rarely shop high. It’s not something I feel comfortable spending a lot of money on. I definitely care about clothes and I care about my wardrobe, it makes me feel good to feel creative in the way that I dress. But, spending an exorbitant amount of money on a piece of clothing I think makes me feel too self conscious. I’d much rather save that money and use it down the road for travel. I tend to mix medium and low.

Since you don’t like shopping high, do you shop a lot of sales?

These boots are Rachel Comey. I got them at a sample sale. So I try to keep my eyes on sample sales and stuff like that to find a way to get more long term staples in my wardrobe.

What brands you are drawn to?

I do a lot of trolling online and looking at things I can’t afford. I look at everything on Rag & Bone, and I am like, “I want to dress like that my whole life.” I am such a fan of Miu Miu and Prada I think their clothes are so ladylike and beautiful. I think the Rodarte girls are really cool and I love their sense of style. I am excited Vena Cava is putting out a lower priced line. I sort of like aesthetics more than I do particular brands. I love the French New Wave aesthetic and the California ‘70s aesthetic really appeals to me as well, I think I get that from growing up in LA in the ‘80s and 90’s. I watch Shampoo and I am like, “Yes, that is how I want to live my life.”

What are your wardrobe essentials this spring?

I have a wonderful wonderful boyfriend (Paul Dano) who bought me an Isabel Marant jacket last year for my birthday. It’s been too cold to wear it. It’s more of a spring jacket. So I am really excited to wear that. I am always excited when I can put the tights away and just break out skirts and dresses and not have to worry about coordinating with undergarments for warmth. I am cold all the time, so I am really grateful when it starts to get warm.

The Pretty One is all about transformation. Do you have a favorite transformation movie from childhood?

I will never forget the makeover scene in Clueless. I was probably 12 when that came out, and it hit me just in that sweet spot. I wanted a Cher to come down and transform me from a little frizzy-haired, tiny seventh grader into a grown up teenager. This is going way back, you know that movie The Heiress? It’s based on a book called Washington Square by Henry James. They just did a play of it on Broadway. It’s about a girl who is also very shy and a shut –in and she’s learning to find herself. That’s a much darker movie than this movie is.

What else do you have coming up?

I am taking some time to write. I shot four movies in the last year, so I didn’t have any time to write, and that’s such a big part of my life. I am just trying to use this little break in my life to work on that. It’s a balance to me. Acting always comes first for me, but writing saves me for going completely bananas when I don’t have a job or I’m in a job that’s boring. It’s my balance.


Click through to see Kazan's wardrobe essentials and favorite runway looks.

Kazan as Audrey (top) the more fashionable twin, and Laurel (bottom) the twin who starts off as a shut-in before assuming Laurel's identity.

Check out the trailer for The Pretty One below!