By Cait Rohan | October 6, 2016 | People
We sat down with Broadway and TV star Sutton Foster to talk this season of Younger, an upcoming role on the Gilmore Girls reboot, and her fun partnership with HomeGoods, interior designer Mike Harrison, and theater dresser Julien Havard, to make backstage dressing rooms feel like home.
Sutton Foster and Julien Havard.
Sutton Foster is no stranger to reinvention. In addition to her ever-changing and varied roles on the stage and screen—as everyone from Anything Goes’ iconic Reno Sweeney to TV Land’s beloved Liza Miller on Younger—she recently revamped her New York City apartment in partnership with HomeGoods. The result is a whimsical and highly personalized space that features tons of color, original artworks, and retro accents that accurately reflect Foster’s open and exuberant personality.
But with Foster’s hectic schedule—which will bring her back to the stage this November as a part of Sweet Charity—she often spends more time in her dressing room than she does at home. So HomeGoods tapped Foster, interior designer Mike Harrison, and Broadway dresser/Foster BFF Julien Havard to turn a dressing room into a homey space too.
We caught up with Foster to find out how she personalizes her dressing rooms, home decor favorites, and her roles in Younger, Sweet Charity, and Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.
You use lot of color in your home and your dressing room. What is your advice to others on how to use color without going overboard?
SUTTON FOSTER: I think just to not be afraid of it, and a lot of it has to do with your personal style and how you want to feel in your surroundings. I like to surround myself with a lot color because I want to feel happy. Little pops of color are great. In my apartment I have a hot pink couch but my [other] couch is very neutral. Mixing neutrals with colors and patterns is really good.
What do you love about shopping for home decor at HomeGoods?
SF: I always find something new. That’s one of the things I love about the store, their inventory is constantly changing and evolving and it’s so eclectic. I can go to 50 different stores but you go to HomeGoods and it’s like 50 stores in one, they have so many different options. It’s always been my go-to place, it’s my happy place.
Sutton Foster shopping at HomeGoods.
Any favorite HomeGoods pieces for fall now that it’s getting a little chillier outside?
SF: I get excited because they always bring out their holiday spreads. For Halloween I’m going to make Halloween cupcakes, and they have these really cute cupcakes holders with sprinkles. As we’re starting to move into fall it’s starting to get more toward the holidays. All the candles are changing; the scents are warmer and chestnut-y as opposed to floral and fruity. I’m excited about the holidays, and HomeGoods is always my go-to place for décor and all those little accents.
Your partnership with HomeGoods, Mike Harrison, and Julien Havard to make Broadway dressing rooms feel like home is really fun! For you, what are the must-have items for a good Broadway dressing room?
SF: Mostly they have to do with things to stay healthy. Being on Broadway and performing eight shows a week, part of my job is to stay in tip-top shape. So, the number one things would be like, a humidifier, an air purifier, and a teakettle. I have to have a super cozy place to stretch and warm-up. We make sure to get a cozy rug on the floor. Julien and I also love to sit on the floor a lot, so we get big floor pillows. I do a lot of craft projects and stuff, also, in the dressing rooms so anything to put my craft stuff on. I love to crotchet and I love to draw.
We realize that a lot of things come in and out of a dressing room so places to put things, like cards and mementos, just so things don’t get too clutter-y. I tend to get very clutter-y so if I can keep things organized it helps. Nothing that feels too stuffy, or cold, or that I wouldn’t want to hang out in, because I spend a lot of time in the dressing room. I really want it to be a place that feels like a second home and a place that’s mine, it’s my space, and it’s a place where I’m creating art, you know? It needs to feel special.
Sutton Foster in her dressing room.
Do dressing rooms vary with the character you’re playing at the moment?
SF: They all tend to be kind of the same. Sometimes the things that are around my mirror might change, like I might put some different type of photographs or some inspirational quotes. When I did Anything Goes I put words on my mirror, I remember I had ‘badass’ written everywhere because I was like, ‘You’re a badass!’ trying to convince myself to get out there and do it. But, mostly my dressing rooms stay very similar. They all kind of are reflections of who I am, as opposed to the characters I’m playing.
You’re playing the lead role in Sweet Charity this November—congrats! What does your dressing room look like for that show, or what do you plan to make it look like?
SF: All the girls share the room together, which I’m actually kind of excited about because I haven’t done that in a long time. The show is very much about this group of women, so I think it’s going be a real bonding experience. But, I’m sure we’re going to have to have some type of dressing room décor. It’ll be a communal effort as opposed to one person, so I’ll be curious. [We’ll] each have a station and people will decorate their own little station, it’s like decorating your locker at school.
Hilary Duff and Sutton Foster attend the Younger Season 3 on September 27, 2016.
And congratulations on the new season of Younger! What can viewers expect from season three?
SF: I think it’s our best season yet. I think it’s sexier, smarter, and funnier. The writing is awesome. I think the first two seasons we really took the time to grow and establish these characters and these relationships and now we’re hitting our stride. I’m super excited for people to tune in; I think they won’t be disappointed.
You’re also in the highly anticipated Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life—can you tell us a little bit about your role?
SF: I am in the summer episode and I play someone who’s been hired to act out the story of Stars Hallow, the musical. I’m basically an actor in the local town musical, but it’s the story of Stars Hallow and it’s absolutely ridiculous and wonderful. It’s four original songs written by Jeanine Tesori, who I’ve worked with many times. It’s really a lot of fun and I can’t wait to see it.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY GARY GERSHOFF/WIREIMAGE (YOUNGER SEASON 3 PREMIERE); Matt Harrington for HomeGoods