Jennifer Cooper, E!
Come Monday night we have a feeling there will be a lot of puns about how Gugu Mbatha-Raw is the "belle of the ball."
But we also wouldn't be surprised if that statement turns out to be true. After all, it couldn't be a more perfect year for the Belle actress to attend her first Met Gala. The Charles James theme is ideal for the 30-year-old Brit who already has plenty of practice dressing up in couture ball gowns, thanks to her role in the upcoming period drama.
So before she hits the red carpet, we caught up with the rising star and even got her to spill which designer she's wearing to fashion's biggest night of the year!
Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images
What are you most excited about for the MET Gala?
For me, I've never been before so it's a really exciting opportunity to kind of explore the whole fashion world. I am having a dress made for me and I've never had a couture dress made to measure—so it's sort of like a Cinderella fantasy coming true! With Belle coming out its just such great timing to celebrate, so I am just really excited to see everybody in their outfits and take in all the scenes.
Can you drop some hints about your dress?
Well, its not finished yet...It's by Lanvin but I don't know exactly what it looks like. I seen a few cut fabrics and things like that but its not finished so I don't want to spoil it.
How would you describe your red carpet style?It's evolving. I love anything that is classic and feminine and elegant and, of course, it depends on the event. I love a gown, a gown anything like my character Belle, like a corset silhouette. I love the styles by Vivienne Westwood that make it like a contemporary corset that's comfortable. It depends on the event as well because sometimes its fun especially in LA, for example, its a lighter culture and the weather is lighter so its fun to play around with different lengths and colors. But I do prefer a corset demure look. I have yet to wear Alexander McQueen and I would love to wear something from the brand on the red carpet. I also love Dior I think it's timelessly elegant.
Who do you look up to in Hollywood?
In terms of actresses, I admire Meryl Streep. Cate Blanchett's red carpet style is amazing I always think she looks very striking. They are both real chameleons and they have had such varied careers.
The costumes in Belle are amazing! How was it working in those gowns?
I was wearing a corset everyday! The only time Sarah (Gadon) and I were not wearing a corset was when we had scenes in our nighties. We were like "Ahh!" because the sense of freedom you felt was like little girls again because we been bound up in these lace corsets for days. To have those bedroom scenes were really liberating.
Painful corset aside, did you have any favorite looks?
My favorite costume was probably the gray hooded outfit with the buttons cause it was sort of like an eighteen-century hoodie. The romance and the mystery of wearing a hood was really fun. I also loved the bright fuchsia dress and the fans and those things we don't really have today.
Speaking of modern day fashion… How would you describe your every day style?
Oh my gosh, well it depends; I am pretty casual everyday unless I am working. I like to be comfortable if I don't have to dress up. I do wear a lot of black but I feel very comfortable in it and in the UK I am very much into beanies and scarfs and layers. I find that it sort of seems to work for me over there—same with New York. In LA, it's a bit more yoga influenced and bohemian.
You just finished working with Channing Tatum. Any memorable moments with you and him on set of Jupiter Ascending?
Yes! Oh my God, yes! I only had a couple of scenes with him but in Jupiter. My charter is kind of half-human half-deer and his charter has some wolf in him (laughs) so we both actually had prosthetic ears. So that was a process we both went through in the mornings on set. His ears were a little more discreet then mine because my prosthetics were so big. He was really great and professional. He had a lot of stunts to do and I was kind of admiring all the stunts he'd take on himself.