This Next Generation Arquette Is Your New Vampire Queen [Exclusive]
Artist Zoë Bleu never thought she would be an actress. As the daughter of movie star Rosanna Arquette, Bleu comes from a clan of Oscar winners and scene-stealers (Patricia, David, Alexis), but she didn’t think that she would ever join their ranks. That is, until a few weeks ago, when she was cast in James Franco’s newest film, Mother May I Sleep With Danger (Franco is producing, with Melanie Aitkenhead to direct). Mother is reportedly a remake of the best Lifetime movie of all time, which starred Tori Spelling as a girl dating a potential–gasp–murderer. We loved the original camp classic so, so much. But Bleu, who called us from the movie studio in Los Angeles, described the updated version a bit differently.
“It’s basically a lesbian vampire movie, and I play the vampire queen,” she said. “Everybody tells me I look like a vampire, like I need to be hooked up to an IV and replenished with blood.” It was the perfect role. “I really hate the industry, but it was such a funny thing,” said Bleu. “It’ll be a good opportunity to laugh with everyone, at me.”
“Everybody tells me I look like a vampire, like I need to be hooked up to an IV and replenished with blood.”
Bleu grew up surrounded by the movie industry, but she says that she wasn’t really pressured into an acting career. “It’s not like ‘gooble-goble one of us.’ But I did a lot of theater growing up, and it was always my thing. I really loved it. And then there was a lot of ‘Oh, you should meet this person, you should meet this director,’ and I’d always say that I prefer to be behind the scenes.”
“You have to have an ego to be in the business, and I don’t think I have that ego,” she said. “I’m really nervous about that.”
And even though profiles always say this, Bleu really, really doesn’t seem to have that ego, which she credits to a childhood partially spent at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur. Esalen is a retreat center and “intentional community”—it’s also where Don Draper meditated to create that Coke ad on the Mad Men finale. “Esalen is like a hippie salvation. In a lot of ways it saved me from being a complete Hollywood nightmare,” she laughed. “Not that I’m the shiniest button in the bowl, but it really saved me in a lot of ways. Because it’s really easy to be shallow [in LA], and unrealistic and ungrateful.”
Bleu isn’t a Hollywood nightmare; she’s self-deprecating and easy to talk to. She’s also an original artist whose aesthetic incorporates stuff like Elizabethan neck ruffs and ASMR, those YouTube videos that are designed to create a relaxing tingle in your brain. “My computer crashed right in the middle of [curating the tumblr for Nick Knight’s SHOWstudio], and I wanted very specific themes. I lost everything, and I was desperately calling friends and artists, asking for materials. I ended up looking up weird videos, like ASMR. I love it. There was this great one I posted of a man who was trying to give you an eye exam. It was really like a piece of art!”
After the ASMR, Knight and Bleu have continued to collaborate. They’re going to create a video together, showcasing the new collection for her clothing collective, Nautae, which Bleu creates along with artists Arielle Chiara and Darius Khonsary. “What we’ve shown so far is nothing compared to what we want Nautae to be,” she said. “It’s more of a performance, and our next collection is going to be something like a play. It’s going to be interactive. The garments are made for characters. A lot of it is going to be very intricate and totally unwearable. It’s exciting.”
Nautae is planning to show at New York Fashion Week in the fall. Bleu is based between New York and LA, and thinks she’ll return to live in NYC around February. But who knows? There may be more bloody movies. We think she’d make a good Elizabeth Bathory. Tell Franco.
Photographer: Maya Fuhr
Stylist: Hali Christou