Actress Brie Larson on Her Low-Maintenence Style and Rebellious Teenage Years

Entertainment Intern

Brie Larson is quite the chameleon. Her role as Grace, a compassionate (and complicated) counselor to a group of foster kids in the indie Short Term 12 (in theaters August 23), is nothing like the parts she's best known for—Jonah Hill's crush in 21 Jump Street, Michael Cera's rebellious ex-girlfriend in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, the effervesently quirky Kate from The United States of Tara, or Cassidy, the pretty, popular (but thankfully unstereotypically relatable) teenage girl inThe Spectaular Now.

A quick Google session reveals that Larson is every bit the style chameleon as well. From brightly-hued leather dresses and floral-printed pants, to embroidered cocktail dresses and quasi Gatsby-era frocks for red-carpet events, Larson is an equal opportunity fashion risk-taker. It's clear her style is evolving, but perhaps like her career choices, they'll never be quite one-note. And we like that.

"It wasn't until very recently I've realized that I really feel most comfortable truly in jeans and a t-shirt. It's the best," says the actress, who nonetheless has been turning up on more and more best-dressed lists as of late (at an L.A. screening of the film, she wore a slightly retro-feeling, webbed teal dress), Her go-to denim brand is Levi's ("There's really something satisfying abot a pair of Levi's.") but her other favorite designer picks, Ralph Lauren and Maison Kitsune, reveal how effortlesslys she boomerangs from classic to cool.

Larson, who is quickly becoming a regular Hollywood's scene stealer (she plays Joseph Gordon-Levitt's sister in his upcoming directorial debut Don Jon) is drawn to hard-to-pin-down characters and Grace fit the bill to a T.  She runs the foster home as smoothly as she can considering the kids' troubled pasts, handling every runaway, fight and meltdown, with, well, grace. But, on the inside, she is a mess. "I was so excited and interested to read a movie about a woman who is beautiful and fighting and strong, but also crumbling at the same time," says Larson, "I think that that's something that a lot of people and a lot of women can so deeply relate to."  To prepare for the role, Larson shadowed a real life foster care employee. "I followed her around, to understand what it takes to survive a day in a place like this and what off hours looks like. You start to piece it together."

While Larson doesn't share the same tragic history as some of kids in the film, she did go through a rebellious teenage phase. "My anger came from the fact that I needed to be creative and didn't know how to be," she says, "There was this one time where my parents came home from the movies and I had painted 'I like you' in big black letters across in the living room walls, which I thought was totally interesting. I thought, well why can't we do this? It's a positive message, it should be something that we remind each other of and it should be in the living room. Why can't living rooms have this?" Her parents were not appreciative, "It didn't go with the couch," she jokes.

To see Larson spread her acting wings, check out Short Term 12 this week. And click through the slideshow above to shop some of Larson's style staples.

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