we hung out with natalie dormer

photos by zoey grossman

and she’s winning at life.

At a photo shoot in Los Angeles, in between various sultry and balletic poses, Natalie Dormer isn’t afraid to try goofy things. Dressed in sharp black angles, she peeks out from behind a big plant with her jungle-cat eyes. She grabs a leaf and fashions a quick mustache—“like Dali?” she ventures. When the photographer kindly nixes her improv, Dormer breaks out into her signature lusty laugh and, undeterred, launches into the next pose, saying, “You’ve got to try these things, you know?”

From cinching herself into corsets as Margaery Tyrell on HBO’s epic series Game of Thrones to running after revolutionaries as documentarian Cressida in the upcoming Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, giving it a go is how Dormer has gained a reputation as a quick-witted and full-throttle actress.

She claims she isn’t blessed with the cunning her wannabe queen possesses: “I wish I had Margaery’s knack for opportunistically manipulating a situation on the spot, but I don’t.” Nor was she favored with the industry connections that have shot some of her contemporaries into the spotlight. Dormer’s childhood in Reading, England, where she occasionally suffered taunts from bullies, saw her secretly fantasizing about an acting career—with no idea how to pursue it. Performing at Starmaker, the same theater school that trained Kate Winslet, was her biggest claim to fame.

Eventually, her ambition drove her to London, partly to follow her then-boyfriend, but also to sink herself into the intensity of drama school. “They break you to make you,” says Dormer, 32. Drama school also taught her the value of restraint, which she credits as the foundation of her two breakout performances for American audiences. Her portrayals of Anne Boleyn in The Tudors and Tyrell in Game of Thrones—two scheming women—have both been praised for their understated quality.

Still, after both of these high-profile turns, one of which is ongoing (she’s in the middle of shooting season five of Game of Thrones) Dormer admits to tiring a little of playing the prettily conniving maiden. “I must have a variation on resting bitch face, like, maybe I have resting manipulative face, through no fault of my own,” she says. Manipulative isn’t the word, but it’s true that Dormer doesn’t look like anyone’s fool. In person, she radiates confidence, almost swashbuckling with gusto. 

Despite her considerable presence, typecasting still rears its head for Dormer. “Don’t overestimate the occasional laziness and lack of imagination that can be found in this industry that continuously recasts you in roles you’ve already played,” she says. 

She’s the first to admit, though, that she’s sometimes scooped up those roles—for the right director. When Ridley Scott came calling for The Counselor, Dormer said yes, despite feeling that she’d played enough, as she describes them, “femme fatale/honey trap” roles. Later this year, she’ll lace herself back up in a corset, that garment she forbade from ever constricting her waistline again, to play the wife in an as-yet-unnamed BBC show about the first celebrity divorce case in 18th-century England.

Her true personality, it turns out, may run closer to House Stark than Tyrell. One of Dormer’s friends sent her a “Which Game of Thrones Character Are You?” online quiz a few months ago, and she got Arya Stark, the feistiest survivor of the decimated noble family. “It was particularly amusing because Maisie Williams and I were doing a panel together at San Diego’s Comic-Con, and we were asked that question,” she says. “I was able to answer right away.” Dormer is quick to point out that she doesn’t attribute too much psychological gravity to a multiple-choice quiz. “I suppose that I’m a bit of a tomboy, and I probably say things out loud that I shouldn’t,” she admits. “I’m quite a straightforward person, not underhanded like my character.” Cressida, however, marks an entirely new direction. As Dormer points out proudly, “She’s a woman who’s not defined by any romance; she’s defined by her job. That’s her raison d’être.” Shaving off half of her hair to play the role of the ambitious filmmaker who first follows Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) out of professional interest, then transforms into a believer, was an especially nervy stunt. “There were one too many polar vortexes in New York for this kind of haircut, but I enjoyed doing it. That’s a fun part of this job. You get taken out of your comfort zone physically, geographically, whatever.” She also had her head inked regularly and waded through “neck-deep waters with semi-automatic rifles,” though audiences won’t see these soggy battles until Mockingjay - Part 2.

“I don’t know if I’m a daredevil exactly,” she says, “but I do enjoy a good challenge. It’s the only way you grow.” When asked if there’s anything she wouldn’t do, Dormer falls silent before unleashing a bout of laughter. “I don’t know. I will let you know when someone walks me up to the line.”

 Not to say that Dormer doesn’t have her boundaries. Though she’s engaged to Irish director Anthony Byrne, Dormer doesn’t field questions about her relationships or her family. While she loves the idea of connecting with fans by offering “something encouraging in an interview, whether it’s about bullying or not looking perfect,” she doesn’t participate in social media. 

“To each their own, and I say that with no judgment of other actors. But I try to keep my private life private.”

Perhaps, in part, because she’s seen what the media can do with intimate material. “What Jen [Lawrence] went through recently was just horrific,” says Dormer. “And I don’t think there’s any level of fame that can justify that kind of invasion into privacy, not to mention laws being broken. I mean, people just need to get a grip if they think that’s even halfway acceptable.”

So for now her private life remains tucked away—though little bits come out in casual conversation. In her rare downtime, Dormer relishes quiet connection, especially with non-industry friends. “I like hearing about their lives and their problems. It puts things into perspective.” As far as she’s concerned, the fantasies can all stay in King’s Landing. “I like to run and do some yoga and cook—all those very simple things that just keep it real.”

Photographed by Zoey Grossman. Styled by Zoe Costello. Hair by Luke Chamberlain at the Magnet Agency. Makeup by Jake Bailey at the Wall Group. Nails by Nettie Davis at the Wall Group. 

Look one: vest and top by Louis Vuitton, earrings by Azlee. Look two: coat and dress by Carven, shoes by Topshop. Looks three and five: jacket by Sandro, dress by Preen by Thornton Bregazzi, shoes by Michael Michael Kors, rings by Selin Kent, ear cuff by Daniela Swaebe, earrings by Logan Hollowell. Look four: jacket by Prada, shirt by H&M, jeans by Levi's. 

We also see Margot Robbie take on Sharon Tate

The new trailer for Quentin Tarantino's upcoming movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood gives a look at the Manson Family. In the previous clip, we saw Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio at their funniest. Now, we get to see Margot Robbie take on actress Sharon Tate, Lena Dunham become a cult member, and how the fictional and real-life story lines will intersect in the film.

Per a press release, the film—that follows a fictional story set around the time of the real-life Manson murders—"visits 1969 Los Angeles, where everything is changing, as TV star Rick Dalton (DiCaprio) and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Pitt) make their way around an industry they hardly recognize anymore."

In this clip, after being introduced to Dalton and Booth, viewers get to see how the latter ends up mingling with the Manson Family. As Booth picks up a girl (Margaret Qualley) on the side of the road, he unknowingly welcomes a Manson family member into his life and begins to visit their ranch. The fiction and real-life stories intersect when we find out that Dalton lives next store to Tate, who was murdered by the members of Charles Manson's cult in 1969.

Watch the new trailer for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood ahead of its July 26 theatrical release, below.


Photos by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

This photo proves that they are the chillest onscreen family

Sophie Turner just posted a photo of herself, Maisie Williams, and Isaac Hempstead Wright—aka the Stark siblings—to her Instagram, showing just what the three used to get up to when the Game of Thrones cameras weren't rolling.

The photo shows Wright looking quite pleased with himself while sitting on a makeshift throne, wearing no pants. As he should be, seeing as (spoiler) his character, Bran, won the Iron Throne this weekend. Williams, meanwhile, is looking way too cool to be involved in the shenanigans, wearing a pair of black sunglasses and staring absently off-camera. As for Turner, she's looking away from her onscreen brother, too, nervously smoking a Juul.

"The pack survived," Turner captioned the photo.

This photo just goes to prove that the Stark siblings are the chillest onscreen family. (It also proves, yet again, that Turner's social media is an absolute delight.)

We're actually a little sad that this footage didn't make it into the final season, considering how many modern-day objects have been spotted in the show's last few episodes.

Photo via @mileycyrus on Twitter

Meet Ashley

Miley Cyrus shared the trailer for her forthcoming Black Mirror episode, and it's basically Hannah Montana set in a dystopian future. Cyrus is a pink wig-wearing pop star named Ashley who is rolling out an in-home virtual assistant, named Ashley Too, that looks like her and shares her voice. But, as is the case with every Black Mirror episode, this technology is not as cute and fun as it's advertised to be.

In the trailer, we get the idea that Ashley is all about wanting fans to "believe" in themselves—but underneath that pink wig, maybe she doesn't feel that same self-love. After Ashley Too introduces herself to fan and new owner Rachel, promising to be her friend, we get a look at Ashley's darker side. She's depressed and tired of the pop star life. A record label executive says to several people in the room, "She doesn't understand how fragile all this is." As they consider upping her dose of medication, Ashley's life is on a downward slope. "It's getting so hard to keep doing this," she voices over glimpses of a police car chase, performances, and breakdowns backstage.

But back to the technology: Does Ashley's breakdown also mean the breakdown of Ashley Too? Looks like it. We see Rachel's virtual assistant screaming, "Get that cable out of my ass! Holy shit! Pull it out," breathing a sigh of relief as soon as they pull it out. A title card then reveals the episode name, "Rachel, Jack, and Ashley Too."

Watch the full trailer and get a full view of Cyrus' cyborg-esque pop star look, below. Black Mirror returns to Netflix on June 5.

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Photo by Paras Griffin / Stringer / Getty Images.

Several actresses allegedly had "issues" with him

Lena Waithe's Showtime series, The Chi, just lost one of its main characters. Jason Mitchell, who was also set to appear in the Netflix film Desperados, has been dropped from both projects following multiple allegations of misconduct. He has also been dropped by his agent and manager.

Hollywood Reporter heard from a source "with knowledge" of The Chi, who says that Tiffany Boone, the actress who plays Mitchell's girlfriend on the show, is just one of several actresses who had "issues" with him. She eventually told producers at Fox21 that she could no longer work with him after filing several sexual harassment complaints. Apparently, her fiancé, Dear White People co-star Marque Richardson, would join her on set when she would shoot with Mitchell.

While news of Mitchell's alleged misconduct is just now beginning to surface, it looks like the ball started rolling on the fallout weeks ago. He was dropped from Desperados and replaced by Lamorne Morris before filming began. A source from the production team said that the producers received "specific information" that they reviewed and acted on quickly. Similarly, a source familiar with Mitchell's former agent, UTA, said the decision to drop him a few weeks ago was very quick following the allegations.

Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images

Prior to the college admissions scandal, she said she doesn't "care about school"

Apparently, Olivia Jade wants to go back to school despite all those YouTube videos that suggested otherwise. Back in March, it was revealed that her mom, Fuller House actress Lori Loughlin, and dad, Mossimo Giannulli, had scammed Jade's way into the University of Southern California. Now, Loughlin faces jail time, and Jade lost out on plenty of lucrative ad partnerships.

According to Us Weekly, "Olivia Jade wants to go back to USC," per a source. "She didn't get officially kicked out and she is begging the school to let her back in." Another source though ousted Jade's real motivation to the publication. "She knows they won't let her in, so she's hoping this info gets out," they shared. "She wants to come out looking like she's changed, learned life lessons and is growing as a person, so she for sure wants people to think she is interested in her education."

Jade previously shared in a YouTube video she's in college for the "experience of like game days, partying" rather than the education. She also said, "I don't know how much of school I'm going to attend... I don't really care about school, as you guys all know." Though these statements were made prior to the scandal coming to light, her brand partnerships didn't come into question until her parents were indicted.

Right now, despite previous reports that Jade and her sister would both be dropping out of USC, Jade's enrollment has been placed on hold—meaning she cannot register for classes, or even withdraw from the school—until her parents' court case comes to a close. Then, the school will make its own decision as to how Jade will be affected. I think, either way, she should have to pay off a few of her classmates' loans for all the BS she pulled.