Getting Ready For The Oscars 2022 With Star Of 'You' And Eco-Ambassador Tati Gabrielle

·5-min read
Photo credit: ANGELA  WEISS
Photo credit: ANGELA WEISS

'I'm so excited, but I'm so nervous, in the best way,' beams Tati Gabrielle - 26-year-old star of Netflix's hit serial killer drama You - about her first time attending the Oscars.

In the show, Gabrielle plays Joe Goldberg's (Penn Badgley) season three love interest Marienne Bellamy, a cooly composed, almost aloof (she has her reasons) librarian and single mother. In real life, the actor couldn't be more of a departure from her character. Speaking to ELLE UK from a brightly lit loft in London, where she's filming an upcoming project, her energy can be best described as bouncy. She's opens with a wide smile and she laughs at an ice-breaker joke about a pebble collection in a way that is full bodied and completely delightful. And she speaks of her awards invite with unabashed gratitude.

'I'm looking forward to the inspiration that I'll get from a night of seeing all the people nominated that are in the industry and paving the way. I'm looking forward to who I'm going to be able to meet and speak to. I don't really know what to expect, but I am walking into it with a very open mind and heart,' she gushes, wide eyed.

Photo credit: ANGELA  WEISS
Photo credit: ANGELA WEISS

'If I could just bump into Will Smith that would be so awesome,' she adds. 'That's the biggest person I have in my head of like, "Oh my gosh, if I meet Will Smith, that would be a childhood dream ticked off."'

Gabrielle is attending the 94th Academy Awards in 2022 in an ambassadorial capacity. She's been chosen as one of two young actors to represent RCGD Global™ - a female founded change-making organisation looking to push the sustainability agenda - and TENCEL™ the eco-friendly textile brand, to champion better, more planet conscious fashion choices.

For the Oscars night, she's been working with Sylvie Millstein, Founder and Creative Director of American luxury fashion house HELLESSY, to create a red carpet gown using TENCEL's botanic origin and biodegradable quality fabrics.

Photo credit: Jeff Kravitz
Photo credit: Jeff Kravitz

'Well, first my stylist [Jean Chung] and I got together and said, 'OK, what's the vibe that we're going for?' and she was like 'I want to do goddess' and I thought yes, let's do it. And so it's this beautiful, off-the-shoulder caped gown, which has this fringing on it. It gives very old Hollywood vibes. And the TENCEL™ is a very soft fabric. It's a flowy fabric, so you'll see me gliding or floating down the carpet. Also, it's made from wood so it's very organic and the fact that it can be biodegradable is the coolest thing in the world.'

Of the fashion house that's constructed her dress, she says: 'I love the timelessness of HELLESSY's collections, and that they are both sustainable, not only in their practices but also in the fact they last forever, it's a piece you can keep forever.

Photo credit: Jeff Kravitz
Photo credit: Jeff Kravitz

'I wanted to be surprised though, to a certain extent. So I was in the dark for about the first week and a half, which I enjoyed. It was a very quick but inspiring collaboration and I'm so excited to wear it on the red carpet,' she concludes.

Having caught up with Millstein before meeting Gabrielle, she speaks just as highly of the partnership: 'I've admired Tati since first seeing her in You and working with her for this important occasion has been an absolute honour. She looks stunning in this sustainable HELLESSY gown... I'm sure she'll continue to be a voice to be heard, both in the fashion and entertainment industry.'

Of fashion more generally, Gabrielle is an actor through-and-through, in that everything, including getting dressed for the day, is an opportunity for performance, the chance to think about the part you want to play. And this commitment leads to playful, boundary pushing choices. We've seen her at fashion month shows in neon green Prabal Gurung, with forehead spray-painted in the same hue like some sort of beautiful alien, or in a rainbow of tiered tulle by Elisabetta Franchi at the Captain Marvel premiere.

Photo credit: Roy Rochlin - Getty Images
Photo credit: Roy Rochlin - Getty Images

'When I get dressed, I fully go based on like, what am I feeling today? How do I like what's the what's the character that I want to play today? And, and just sort of make it as creative as possible and find different facets of myself even within it,' she explains.

Circling back to her Oscars attendance on Sunday, Gabrielle says, 'I would love to see West Side Story win a few. That's one of my childhood favourite musicals. To see it be redone was incredible. I'm also looking forward to seeing King Richard be recognised. I also really, really, really hope Denzel Washington wins for The Tragedy of Macbeth. And I am rooting for our actors and filmmakers of colour. But really, I'm just along for the ride. Happy to be there.'

Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

And finally, if she were to hand pick people for another viral Oscars audience selfie, a la Ellen Degeneres' 2014 snap? 'I would want Zendaya to be there,' she says without a beat, 'just because we grew up together and that would be an awesome memory moment. I don't know if Jack Black will be at the Oscars but I think it would be incredibly funny to have Jack Black at the back of the photo. Judi Dench. Oh my god. To have her and if she fully committed with some like... [pulls face with tongue out], it would make my life. Oh and Rita Moreno. That would make my life.'

And with that she was off to get herself organised before she makes the trip from her temporary London pad to Los Angeles for the big event.

Click here to see more of ELLE UK's Academy Awards coverage.



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