When she was 19, Haley Bennett was, in the actress’s own words, “like a deer caught in the headlights.” Not long after arriving in Los Angeles from Akron, Ohio, she was discovered by Drew Barrymore, who cast her as a Britney Spears–esque pop vixen in the 2007 rom-com Music and Lyrics. Suddenly Bennett was being touted as a rising star. (Haley’s Comet, went one magazine headline.) » “I had no idea what I was doing,” Bennett recalls of her whirlwind welcome to Hollywood. “But I’m a lot more comfortable with myself now.”
At 25, Bennett is claiming her turf. In the past year and a half, she’s carried a film (Kristy, a thriller that the Weinstein Company is releasing this fall), starred in a pedigreed indie (the forthcoming Deep Powder), and tangled with Christian Bale and Michael Fassbender in a love triangle in Terrence Malick’s next opus.
Redheads Sissy Spacek and Jessica Chastain were propelled to superstardom via Malick’s films, and coincidentally or not, Bennett, a natural blonde, recently went ginger. “Everybody wanted me to go back to blonde, but I refused,” she says. “And now I feel like I kind of own it.”
Hair by Laini Reeves for Tracey Mattingly; makeup by Fara Homidi for Chanel Beaute at Frank Reps; special thanks to Siren Studios-Tower, Hollywood, CA; Digital Technician: Justin Ruhl; Photography Assistants: Seth Gudmunson, Justin Schaefers; Fashion Assistant: Nicole Deutsch