Whether you went to the movies this weekend or have been living under a rock, you may have heard of the sensational success of Jurassic World: Dominion, which, as of Monday’s box office reports, was ringing in with a $145 million-dollar weekend opening. While the series holds a lot of nostalgia, one very-welcome addition to the mix is Australian actress and producer Dichen Lachman, who plays the villainous dinosaur smuggler, Soyona Santos. As Lachman recently told us, while getting the role was “surreal,” it may have been written in the stars.
What was it like stepping into such a well-known franchise for the first time?
“It was a dream come true. I feel like my daughter may have manifested it for me. She used to sing the theme in her crib. I still can’t really believe how fortunate I am to be a part of it. I think people forget sometimes how that first film made everyone feel. A child-like wonder and awe that you were left with after seeing it. No one had made anything like it. To be in that company almost 30 years later was surreal.”
How did you prepare for the role?
“I did a lot of research just out of curiosity about smuggling dinosaur bones—it’s actually a thing. It probably wasn’t necessary, but I created a whole back story for the character. I just wanted so much to do my best.”
Is there anything behind-the-scenes beauty and fitness that you did to get into character?
“Colin Trevorrow, the director, very kindly provided a trainer, Ash Bailey, for the supporting cast. Due to the fact we were not able to leave the hotel, I took him up on the offer and started strength-training. I absolutely love it now. I love feeling strong and am enjoying taking care of myself. I thought strength training would make me bulky, but it did the opposite. I feel lean and powerful. Ash has become a big part of our lives now and has transformed us and, subsequently, our friends, who love working with him. Also, the hair and makeup on this character was so well-done. I think the team did such an amazing job. We were so lucky to have such an amazing crew.”
You have had a very global upbringing. Can you share any beauty-related differences from where you’ve lived and worked that stick with you the most?
“I think every culture has its own unique and special way of expressing what they think is beautiful when it comes to makeup and beauty. The history of beauty and makeup goes back thousands of years—it’s always been a part of our human experience. When I was in Kathmandu, it was customary to put kajal on babies’ eyes to ward off evil spirits. Whether it’s spiritual, cultural, or just aesthetic, I find it interesting to learn about the origin of beauty norms.”
Do you have any favorite Australian skin-care products?
“There’s an amazing sunscreen called Blue Lizard. It’s nontoxic and environmentally friendly for sea life and for you. Also, PawPaw is amazing for almost everything.”
Is there anything “out there” you do for beauty?
“I’ve worn eye patches on flights before, which is kind of a silly look. I used to love snail slime—that reminds me, I should get some! I think the key is drink lots of water, exercise, and sleep is so important. I never get enough. I was told to get a silk pillowcase and sleep on your back. Sadly, I can’t sleep on my back. It’s such a shame!”
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