The Norwegian model and actor starred in last year’s Hulu hit, Looking for Alaska
‘Oh my God, I was so, so scared I was shaking,’ says actor KRISTINE FROSETH, recalling her first time on a film set. ‘I remember being so overwhelmed seeing the camera and how it all works. It’s inches away. The actor is so vulnerable and present and there’s so much chaos happening around. There are so many moving parts that I had no idea of.’ Kristine is currently mopping up the teen tears from her extraordinary performance in the Hulu adaptation of the heart-breaking high-school classic, Looking For Alaska. ‘This has opened so many doors, connections and possibilities for me. But work is so out of our control. I just want to explore new worlds.’
The Norwegian model and actor starred in last year’s Hulu hit, Looking for Alaska
Looking for Alaska
The first thing I ever auditioned for was Looking for Alaska, and I booked it. I felt a lot of pressure because there are so many expectations and opinions online about my character, Alaska. People are fascinated by her. She’s mysterious.
What posters did you have on your bedroom walls?
Horse posters. I used to ride and be in that world. Horses were my life. I did have a crush on Shia LaBeouf. And now I have a crush on Steve Carell. I love him in everything.
Kristine Froseth shows up to the Elite Daily office alone. An actor arriving for a photoshoot without at least one publicist or assistant on hand is so unheard of that I second-guess whether the 5-foot-7-inch blonde, wearing a shimmery, purple turtleneck and purple flares to match, is in fact the Looking for Alaska star. But it is Froseth, the 23-year-old who’s been racking up roles in some of the buzziest projects on streaming TV.
The nonchalant way Froseth travels is a product of her Norwegian upbringing, she says. She bounced between Norway and the United States throughout her childhood, and was struck by the discovery that the other kids she knew in New Jersey had controlling “helicopter parents.”
“I vividly remember how much freedom you have as a kid in Norway, and how independent you are compared to [kids in the U.S.],” she tells me. “I would always just roam around by myself.”
Froseth moves around the set unselfconsciously and, when Arizona Zervas’ “Roxanne” plays, breaks into a groovy dance. “Are you a model?” someone asks, and she laughs. Yes, Froseth is a model. Or she was, before she switched to acting full-time. As a teenager, she was scouted at a mall in Oslo, Norway, and she moved to New York a few months later. She landed gigs with major brands like H&M and Armani, but by 2015, she decided to focus mainly on acting.
She yearned for a creative outlet, which she wasn’t finding on modeling jobs. “There was a lot of creative energy around me, but I wasn’t necessarily able to be a part of that as much as I am now. Now, I can be a part of building a character,” Froseth says. “When you’re on set and so present with each other and whoever you’re working with, and you sort of get swept away — that’s so magical to me.”
That’s not to say that her transition from modeling to acting was smooth. She’s terrified of disappointing her audience, which she says made her feel especially connected to Alaska Young, the character she plays in Hulu’s adaptation of John Green’s first novel, Looking for Alaska, and Veronica, her character in the Netflix film Sierra Burgess Is a Loser.
“[Neither of the characters] trust themselves enough to be who they really are, so they keep up this very consistent front to protect themselves, because if people want to judge them, then they’ll judge that. They won’t actually judge them,” she explains. Having moved around so much as a kid, Froseth says she understood why the characters she played would want to put up walls. And it’s hard to blame Froseth for keeping her own guard up. Looking for Alaska, which centers around a mysterious death at a boarding school, may not be as well-known as Green’s other books, The Fault in Our Stars or Paper Towns, but as his first, it has a particularly passionate cult following. News that the novel would become a streaming show was immediately followed by a barrage of chatter from fans. They “were very vocal about who they wanted Alaska to be… and what energy she was supposed to [have],” Froseth says.
Full interview: elitedaily.com
For a young actress or musician, there are few blessings more valuable than that given by Chanel. The fashion house has a knack for identifying emerging talent, and for helping to usher them along the path to stardom. Kristine Froseth received just such a blessing when she was named an official Chanel ambassador this year, and was invited (along with talent like Kaitlyn Dever, Nesta Cooper, Charlotte Lawrence, and Cailee Spaeny) to Aspen to toast the brand’s “ephemeral” boutique. The space houses the most delightfully over-the-top collection of ’80s-inspired ski gear, snow boots, après ski wear, and yes, actual skis, and will be up through Jan. 23.
To celebrate, the crew went on dog sled rides, a sleigh ride to lunch in the mountains, and took the latest Coco Neige (that’s Chanel’s official line of ski and snow wear) collection for test runs on the slopes.
Despite having grown up for over half of her life in Norway, Froseth had reservations about skiing. “I grew up doing cross country skiing, but downhill… not so much!” she says laughing. Her favorite part of the trip? “I loved the dog sledding, it’s such a rare experience.”
As a child, Froseth moved every three or four years between New Jersey and Norway. “I didn’t love it at the time — I had to leave my friends every few years and always be the new girl. And of course the languages and culture are very different,” she says. “In high school, I started off in Norway and had great friends, and loved my school, and then I went to New Jersey to finish and it was so competitive. Everyone was going to Harvard or Princeton — it was just so different.”
Maybe the roles she’s chosen are a chance at a do-over. Best known for starring as the villain-turned-BFF in Sierra Burgess is a Loser, then as the ambitious Kelly in The Society, and most recently as Alaska in the adaptation of John Green’s Looking For Alaska, she’s steeped in teen high-school culture. And it’s not as if, while her peers were applying to the Ivy League, Froseth was just slouching along. She got her start modeling back in Norway, and had already started the long process of landing her role as Alaska.
“It took 13, 14 years maybe? I remember I was on a treadmill in New Jersey and I got an email from my modeling agent asking if I wanted to go out for Alaska. I’d read the book, and I loved it so I was like ‘Of course!’” she says. “I sent in scenes, and the director saw them and really liked them, so then I went to LA for a chemistry read and I was like, ‘It’s going to happen!’ and then it just went away.” Initially it was to be shot as a film, a project which ultimately fell apart. The opportunity returned in the form of a miniseries for Hulu. “I just kept checking every year to be like, is it coming back? It’s such a good story. And obviously I was heartbroken, but I just knew I had to fight for this story. It just had to happen.”
John Green’s novels have a devoted fan base (he wrote The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns) and so there was an aspect of nerves prior to Looking for Alaska coming out. Happily, Froseth counts her costars as some of her closest friends, and was able to rely on them when the project was released. “Having them is everything. We’re like family, and we really had each others backs when [Looking for Alaska] came out,” she said. “It was really nerve-wracking, especially because there were so many fans of the book who had such strong opinions when the teaser came out — everyone was very vocal about how they felt about it.”
While it seems highly unlikely there will be a season two of Looking for Alaska (the book has a pretty definitive ending, and Green has denied wanting to continue the story) Froseth’s fans can look forward to more episodes of The Society, which she’ll start filming this spring. Before then, she’ll star in the film The Assistant (which follows the day in the life of an assistant, played by Julia Garner, in a Weinstein-esque film production office) out in January, and will be working on another secret project this winter.
It’s a lot, shouldering projects as widely beloved and as varied as Froseth’s, but she’s taking it all in stride. And for now, just enjoying a weekend in the snow, “The ski stuff this week was incredible. Getting to ski in Chanel is, I mean, never would I ever have thought that would happen!”