Lola Kirke’s First Blush

The up-and-coming actress talks about her new role in Mistress America.

Photography by Robert Maxwell. Styled by Michelle Cameron.

In June, Lola Kirke scored her first tabloid rumor. “Oh, me and Tom Cruise?” she says, laughing. “It’s as believable as saying ‘I’m the first woman to land on Mars.’ ” But the 24-year-old actress, who recevied multiple accolades for her role in 2014’s Gone Girl, did work with Cruise on the upcoming thriller Mena, and she also landed a coveted role opposite Greta Gerwig in director Noah Baumbach’s Mistress America, in theaters now. In the comedy, Kirke plays Tracy, a college freshman and Manhattan transplant whose provincial life gets a shot of adrenaline after she is introduced to her vivacious future stepsister (Gerwig). Kirke’s own experience was actually the opposite of her character’s: Her family, including big sister Jemima (of Girls fame), has lived in New York since Kirke was 5. She had to acclimate to country life when she moved upstate to attend Bard College. “My freshman year was pretty miserable,” she recalls. “It was figuring out Walmart and how to order pizza at 2 a.m. But after that, it was enchanting.”