The star of The Society and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania goes from Marvel superhero to 90s supermodel.
Directed & Photographed by: Emman Montalvan
Styled by: Molly Dickson
Written by: Christine Whitney
Kathryn Newton is having the time of her life. It’s her birthday season, (Aquarius), she’s just wrapped a 90s supermodel-inspired shoot (replete with Chanel and David Webb jewelry) for Only Natural Diamonds, and her latest movie, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. hits theaters February 17th. For her initiation into the Marvel Comics Universe, Newton plays superhero Cassie Lang, the daughter of Paul Rudd’s titular Ant Man. It’s a queen-making role for Newton, who started acting at age four after a teacher expressed concern about her shyness in school. “It gave me a lot of confidence,” Newton says of her initial experiences with her craft. “Everyone on set just really wants everyone to do a really great job.”
She quickly landed a role on All My Children, and hasn’t slowed down since. Check her IMDb profile and you’ll find a list of credits as long as your arm, including turns in Netflix’s cult dystopian show The Society, Greta Gerwig’s Ladybird; Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and as Abigail Carlson on HBO’s Big Little Lies. “I’m really attracted to characters that are misunderstood, that make people laugh and cry. To be able to do that to an audience, to inspire people, really makes me excited,” Newton says. “I couldn’t have dreamed up a better role than Cassie Lang.”
Newton has been making the rounds promoting the film, and stands out at every turn for her personal style on the red carpet — Newton loves the 90s and they love her back. “That’s my favorite era of fashion — I have a lot of Chanel 1995. There’s just something about the colors; there was so much hope and everyone looked happy.” She also knows her way around a good diamond. “Diamonds go with everything,” she says.
As a kid growing up in Y2K-era Miami, there was much inspiration to be found. “There’s a Versace look that I wore in this shoot that’s pink velvet and I had a Roberto Cavalli sequin pant and crop top that’s the same exact fit when I was eight years old,” she says. “Everyone in Miami wears lots of colors. Everyone’s super extra.”
Her approach to fashion? Exactly that. “It doesn’t matter if I’m in sweatpants. I’ll probably have on high heels, diamonds and Chanel sunglasses. They distract from a bad hair day,” she quips, but she’s also kind of not joking.
Newton is also the proud owner of three poodles: Large, standard, and miniature, though she wouldn’t describe them as quite regal. “People think poodles are these fancy dogs and trust me, they have their moments, but they’re more like me. They have their glam moments and then in reality, they’re just dogs who like to hike and get dirty,” she says, as her largest, Jack King, Ruler of all Floof, barks at her. “He runs my life,” she laughs.
Below, Newton opens up about BTS details from her cover shoot, iconic moments in diamonds, and what it’s really like playing a superhero. Read on for the Q&A.
“It doesn’t matter if I’m in sweatpants. I’ll probably have on high heels, diamonds and Chanel sunglasses. They distract from a bad hair day.”BROOCH, BRACELET, RING: CHANEL EARRINGS: DAVID WEBB JACKET AND BELT: CHANEL TIGHTS: CALZEDONIA HAT: ZARA
Only Natural Diamonds: What were your favorite natural diamonds you wore on set?
Kathryn Newton: I love the Chanel — I’ve always been a fan of their shooting star. I can’t wait til one day when I can get my own and make a wish. And then there were these major rings, covered in diamonds all the way around by David Webb. Diamonds go with everything.
OND: What’s the first natural diamond you owned?
KN: A diamond tennis necklace — I was 18 and it was a graduation gift to myself. I brought it with me everywhere. About ten years later I was in London and I had it in my purse, and I lost it. So word to the wise — wear your diamonds. Don’t put them in your purse.
OND: Any other diamond memories?
KN: On a press tour, Chrome Hearts just loaned me all these diamonds, no bodyguard — and I was traveling internationally with just luggage full of Chrome Hearts diamonds. But the rings I had on my fingers could really hurt somebody.
OND: How do you style your diamonds for red carpet vs everyday?
KN: Diamonds go with any outfit. You could wear them on your hike and you could wear them to a red carpet. I wore my diamond necklace on a press tour with a Maison Valentino outfit and then golfing with a sweater vest and my poodle. [The Valentino] was a very bare-necked look, so I pulled those diamonds out of my closet. I think on camera it made a big difference.
OND: How would you describe your personal style now?
KN: Casual, comfortable, and extremely extra.
OND: What were some of your favorite moments from your shoot?
KN: Molly Dickson was the stylist and she killed it — all the colors, all the shapes. And then my hairstylist, Renato Campora, did Mugler fashion in the nineties and was there in Paris, so he knew how to do my hair like nothing. He didn’t even use heat. I don’t even know how he got my hair like that. And then Gina Brooke, my makeup artist, is famous for doing Madonna then. The photographer, Emman Montalvan, was wonderful — he made me look like a supermodel. It was a dream team.
OND: You came up with the concept of 90s supermodels for the shoot — who’s your favorite?
Claudia Schiffer was a big inspiration, the Versace 1990 campaign is something that I’ve been inspired by since I was little. Those are the looks that I love, the metallic miniskirts and the pastel colors. It also inspired my look for Comic-Con.
OND: That was a great outfit.
KN: It was a risk. My agents were like, ‘I don’t know. I don’t know.’ But I was like, ‘If you knew me since I was little, you’d know that this is just me living out my dream.’ It has nothing to do with trying to look like a supermodel. If that’s what you want to wear, you should wear it, whether it’s hiking or on a carpet—wherever your runway is.
“Put your jewelry on, celebrate it and have fun wearing it.”RING (LEFT): HYDE PARK RING (RIGHT): VHERNIER GLOVES: PAULA ROWAN
OND: What are your favorite diamond moments from Hollywood history?
KN: Elizabeth Taylor. Someone asked her in an interview, ‘Why do you deserve to have all these diamonds?’ And she said, ‘Well, trust me. No one would’ve had as much fun wearing them as I did.’ I just love that. Put your jewelry on, celebrate it and have fun wearing it. When I get to dress up like I did yesterday on the photo shoot, I don’t take it for granted.
OND: What was it like playing a superhero?
KN: Cassie Lang is my introduction to the Marvel Comics Universe and it’s a complete dream come true. They just posted my character poster and my phone is blowing up right now. I went to Marvel movies with my dad when I was a kid, and after we went to see Iron Man, I remember being like, ‘I want to be the biggest Marvel superhero of all time,’ which I now find ironic because Cassie Lang literally grows 40 feet tall and shrinks to the size of an ant.
OND: How did you get into acting?
KN: My mom says that I was really shy. They would say it in school, like, ‘Kathryn is a little not socializing. She’s just happy in her corner playing with rocks.’ All I remember is once you’re on a set, everyone there just wanted me to bring it. So it becomes a really safe space to shine in a healthy way. You learn about being on a team. Everyone has their moment to shine.
I also started with art lessons, painting, and then I did ballet and then I played golf too. So I was doing a bunch of things my whole life. I haven’t quit any of them.
OND: Your golf game is pretty serious as well.
KN: I was eight when I started playing in tournaments. My dad would caddy for me. All those girls that I played with at eight years old, they’re still my friends. I was a killer in high school and wanted to play in college. Golf is the hardest thing in the world to really, really be great at. I play for fun now. I have a lot of charities that I support; I work with the LPGA; and I’m the ambassador for TaylorMade Women’s Golf. My main goal is to just grow the game because I have so many friends my age who don’t know that they’re even allowed to get out there, mostly girls. I just want to encourage more girls to play because I think any sport gives you confidence.
OND: What makes you feel powerful?
KN: A good meal makes me feel powerful. I felt really powerful on set, being able to run around for 10 hours a day and then go work out after hurting myself or pushing myself too hard. So I love that I’m strong. I don’t diet; I’m not trying to look a certain way. But I love that I was able to use my body for this part.
“I’m really attracted to characters that are misunderstood, that make people laugh and cry. To be able to do that to an audience, to inspire people, really makes me excited.”
OND: What were some of your favorite moments from filming?
KN: I had to run through this tunnel. They were like, ‘Okay, so there’s going to be some sparks that are going to go off.’ And then we did it and it was genuine explosions, walls exploding, fire bombs. I was running so fast. They were like, ‘If we had told you what was going to happen, I don’t think you would’ve done it.’ I wouldn’t have. It was exhilarating. It’s no different than carrying my golf bag for 18 holes. I have the stamina to do it. And, I got to wear a super suit — it was purple, my favorite color. It made me feel invincible.
OND: One would imagine it would be a really high-stakes project.
KN: That’s what I thought it was going to be and it wasn’t. From the very beginning, I came to set very quiet. I didn’t want to get fired. I didn’t want to be noticed because I was so excited to be there. I just didn’t want to mess up. I wanted everyone to be proud. And then all it took was Peyton Reed to say he believed in me and because he believed in me, I believed that I was Cassie. He showed me where to go and I just trusted him. Then Paul Rudd gave me the space to play and to take risks and laugh. It really took the pressure off and then I just didn’t hold back. I didn’t want to let this moment slip. There’s never going to be another first time to be Cassie. I keep telling Paul, ‘You guys have ruined my life. Nothing’s going to be better.’
OND: What else do you love to do?
KN: I love to sketch and draw fashion, so after every fashion show I do, I’ll paint a picture and I’ll send it as a thank you card to the designer. Right now I’m sending one to Walter Chiapponi, the creative director of Tod’s. I drew my look from the fashion show that I went to in Milan. Someone told me recently that she still has it on her fridge and that just makes me really happy.
OND: What’s the last great thing you watched?
KN: The Banshees of Inisherin was a film that I just loved. It was perfect and Martin McDonagh’s characters are hilarious. I worked with him on Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. And I loved Triangle of Sadness, as well. I love the dating part. I’ve used her exact dialogue on dates and it worked.
OND: What was last thing that made you emotional?
KN: I get emotional every morning. Just looking at my dogs sometimes makes me cry. I don’t know what it is about morning. I can go outside and cry. But this morning, what made me emotional was seeing my poster.
I woke up at 4:00 AM today. I don’t know why. And then I saw the poster was released and I was like, wow, my dream has come true. You need to feel that, because I don’t think people celebrate themselves. I certainly don’t. I’m always onto the next. So I took a little second to celebrate that moment.
OND: What did you do to celebrate?
KN: I just hugged my dogs and took them out. That’s it. And then posted it on Instagram and watched my phone blow up because I’m addicted to Instagram. I can’t even lie about it.
Photographer/Director: Emman Montalvan
Creative Director: Lizzy Oppenheimer
Bookings Editor: Glynis Costin
Stylist: Molly Dickson
Hair: Renato Campora
Makeup: Gina Brooke Beauty at The Wall Group
Manicurist: Vanessa Sanchez McCullough
Director of Photography: Mark Underwood
Video Editor: Bruno Alves
Colorist: Natasha Wong
Assistant Camera: Justice Vaughn Ott
Photo Assistants: Patrick Molina and Justin Brooks
Digital Tech: Alex Woods
Stylist Assistant: Jenna Filingeri
Produced by: Petty Cash Production