Fresh in theaters, The Bling Ring tells the true-life tale of a group of L.A. teenagers who burglarize the homes of celebrities they hope to emulate by helping themselves to their extensive designer stashes. Two of the movie’s lead actors, Katie Chang and Israel Broussard (both teenagers themselves), were in town for the Seattle International Film Festival and stopped by Nordstrom Bellevue Square to sign posters. With fans—some lining up as early as 11am for the 6pm event—standing by, we caught five minutes with the budding stars, who graciously answered our burning beauty questions.
Ready for their close-ups: The official movie poster and a promo still shot of Katie and Israel.
(Images courtesy of SIFF)
BEAUTY 24/7: Israel, you’re from Mississippi and you’ve talked about how fashion was not a big concern for you. What about the whole grooming thing—did you rock the hair gel or use a blow dryer or anything like that?
ISRAEL: No, not really; I kind of just wore whatever and set my hair…free! People used to tell me I had a squirrel’s nest on my head. I definitely wasn’t that into it. It’s different now, though.
So tell us—what do you use now that you never thought you’d use, that you’d never tell the guys back home about?
ISRAEL: I do put on makeup every now and then—foundation I guess you call it.
Really? Just to go out to the mall?
ISRAEL: (laughs) No, when I’ve got work to do, like tonight. It just clears up the skin, makes it look better, so why not?
Katie, what’s your beauty routine now versus how it was before?
KATIE: I started wearing makeup way too early, like around sixth grade. Imagine me as an 11-year-old walking around with sparkly eyeshadow—I looked awful! Now I use more natural colors and eyeshadows and a natural powder because I don’t like to look made up all the time—especially now that I’m living this life where I get my makeup done a lot. When I do my own makeup I like to look like myself.
And how about your hair?
KATIE: In January I cut off six inches and it was the best thing ever. I tend to curl it with my straightener—you know, wrap it around the straightener and pull it down—or sometimes, like tonight, I have a bun. This is my bad-hair-day look!
Fresh faces: Katie and Israel at Nordstrom Bellevue Square. (P.S. Katie’s hair looked totally fine.)
Katie, you grew up in Chicago—talk about Midwest beauty.
KATIE: It’s funny, the first day I was in L.A. to do the movie, I went to Whole Foods at 6am to get some food, and there was this woman in full ‘face’ and stiletto heels. It was just so foreign to me! People in the Midwest try to look nice, but we’re not as glitzy and glamorous as New York or L.A. My friends and I like a lot of lipsticks and stuff—we focus more on that than our eyes.
So are you a lipstick or a gloss girl?
KATIE: I’m a gloss girl. My best friend is a ‘stick girl, so it’s a bit of an issue.
Israel, what was the weirdest part of the makeup experience on set for you?
ISRAEL: I didn’t really find it that weird. I just considered myself a rag doll for the wardrobe and hair and makeup people, and just let them do their thing—I trusted them. I didn’t like how they sprayed sunscreen on me every morning though—it was freezing!
Wow, that’s interesting they think about things like sunscreen when they’re making a movie.
KATIE: They took care of us! They realized we’re just kids…
You two grew up in the age of YouTube/Facebook/Instagram where everyone is constantly posing or on display. Do you think that helped you feel more comfortable on set?
KATIE: I was definitely more conscious about how I looked, which angles looked good and which didn’t. It’s difficult when you’re trying to act and let go of yourself and be your character. I wasn’t that comfortable being on camera initially, but I definitely wasn’t unfamiliar with it. It was just like taking a picture and thinking about how it’s going to look on Facebook.
Israel, what about you?
ISRAEL: I’m very self-conscious. I don’t like having mirrors on set, to see myself after I’m all dressed up and, um, beautified, if you will. But I have been paying more attention to how I look, definitely, especially since the movie came out—even back home.
Speaking of which: Katie, you still live at home; Israel, you don’t—what do you miss most about it?
ISRAEL: I miss my family, my little brother.
You can share all of your new grooming tips with him when you go back.
ISRAEL: (laughs) Yeah, right!