'I just got off of this big press tour for Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, which was insane. It was a plane journey every single day and it just knackered me because we were going from city to city in America—we’d be in Chicago for 20 hours and then we’d be rushed off to go to Austin. It was just this weird cycle where you’d wake up and not know what city you were in. Hotel to hotel to radio station. It was hard, but it was exciting—after that tour is done, we're off to do it in Europe.
When they were auditioning actresses for the movie, it was never said that the actress would have to shave her head—it was like 'Oh no, you know, wear a bald cap, it’ll be fine.' But then two weeks before filming, going into production, I sent the director a really panicked email saying bald caps look awful even if you use the best makeup artist and hairstylist in the world. I’ve got so much hair and it’s going to look so bulbous...it’s going to take everyone out of the movie and I don’t want anything that I’m doing to tamper with the honesty of the script. So we shaved my head, and it was the best thing I ever did for the role and for the performance. There’s a scene in the movie when I tell the main character that I just feel so ugly and repulsive and we had just shaved my head the night before—it felt very real. Rubbing your head for the first time and feeling a bald scalp is just...I’ve never experienced anything like it. I didn’t realize how much I needed my hair in order to make myself feel beautiful—it should have just come from me. Also, I think my people skills developed a lot because of the shave. When a woman with a buzz cut comes up to you, you have to start a conversation with her. It was kind of fun breaking that barrier with people.
When I got here for the tour, my eczema was just raging. Now it’s not too bad but I really had to focus on what products I was using. I only wash my face with a blemish controlling face wash and a toner and a moisturizer at night. Then in the morning I just rinse my face in the shower and leave it because I think, for me, less is more. But this morning—because I knew I was going to get pictures taken—I put on this Laura Mercier Caviar Stick that I just smudged on my eyes with a brush and made it into more of a flick. Then I have black Dior mascara on my top lashes and brown eyeliner. I don’t really like to wear foundation, so I just dot concealer on my spots and around my eyes and put a bit of bronzer on for some shimmer. And Glossier Balm Dotcom is really good. I'm replacing my Lucas Pawpaw Ointment with it.
I love Instagram—particularly the fact that I can follow fashion houses and beauty brands and photographers and tattoo artists and also my friends at the same time. Keep it all so close. I have a private Instagram that’s just for me and my friends. I don’t have anything else. I don’t have Facebook, not even a private Facebook or a private Twitter. For me, social media is for stalking my friends and seeing what they're up to. It’s the quickest way to see if they’re around. I never entered this profession to be a celebrity or to be a spokeswoman or to have my opinion heard. If I’ve got something to say, then I’ll say it, but I don’t think it needs to resonate with millions of people. Also, if I’m not getting work because I don’t have two million followers on Twitter then fuck it. I don’t want to be doing that sort of stuff anyway.”
—as told to ITG
Olivia Cooke photographed by Tom Newton.