CANNES, France — Puffing on a cigarette in a floaty Miu Miu dress and star-spangled platforms, actress Nathalie Press could pass for a modern-day Alice in Wonderland. Or you might tag her a British Chloë Sevigny, given her penchant for offbeat roles and quirky personal style.
“Miu Miu has been incredibly supportive of me from the beginning,” says the self-described “fashion-obsessed” 26-year-old, perched on a terrace high above the bustling Croisette.
Still, she confesses to feeling a bit anxious when she worked with the Italian brand for her red-carpet appearance for the Cannes premiere of “Red Road.” The film is a thriller about a woman who stalks a man for a sin he has committed, which is not revealed until the end. It’s the first of a trilogy — she’ll play the lead role in the second film — commissioned by Lars von Trier for a project dubbed “Advance Party.”
“When I called [Miu Miu], they told me things were going great and that the dress was…green,” says Press, pausing for dramatic effect. “I said, ‘Wonderful! Could we change the color?’” The result was a hot pink minidress the actress deemed “right up my street.”
Press also concedes she had butterflies about ascending Cannes’ famous red steps. “Each time I reach the steps, I experience a mini panic attack whereby I don’t see steps, I see this massive blur,” she says. “Because it’s all red and there’s no definition, it becomes a kind of cliff.”
The fame game hasn’t put her off, though. Besides doing several auditions in L.A., the rising star recently wrapped up filming “In Transit” with John Malkovich in St. Petersburg, Russia. “We froze to death filming, but it was absolutely magical seeing the snow always slowly falling. It was like living out a ballet,” says Press, stretching out her fingers to display her souvenirs: two kitsch enamel children’s rings she picked up at a Russian newsstand.
“I suppose you could call my style quirky, but I would like to think that I’m also a bit chic,” she muses, lowering her bubble-gum-pink sunglasses against the Riviera’s rays. “How about calling it quirky chic?”