In the horror comedy Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, out October 30, Halston Sage plays Kendall, a popular girl with a heart of gold who is described as having “clearly won the genetic lottery.” It’s a glib assessment that Sage, 22, has had to fight since she came to attention in 2014’s hit comedy Neighbors, in no small part due to an onscreen snog with costar Rose Byrne. The scene earned Sage an MTV Movie Award nomination for Best Kiss. “I’m proud of that!” Sage, who grew up in Los Angeles, says with a disarmingly nerdy chortle. “Getting to kiss Rose was a privilege. I still have a crush on her.”
Sage has been working to add substance to her bombshell roles—a struggle she has in common with Lacey Pemberton, the character she plays in the recent young-adult drama Paper Towns. Lacey, the not-so-clueless BFF of Cara Delevingne’s Margo, can’t seem to shed her ditzy reputation, despite the fact that she’s bound for the Ivy League. Sage’s surprisingly layered performance will no doubt lead to meatier roles for the actress, but for now she is donning the scream-queen crown, starring alongside Jack Black in an upcoming film adaptation of the YA Goosebumps horror books. “I’m ready to walk the streets like in Pretty Woman or get locked up in the loony bin Girl, Interrupted-style,” she insists. “I just have to be patient.”
16 Who What Wear
If we’ve learned anything from The Fault in Our Stars, it’s that a John Green book-to-film adaptation is the young Hollywood stepping stone to superstardom. (See the IMDB pages of Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort.) It should come as no surprise then that all anyone can talk about these days is the budding cast of Green’s follow-up coming-of-age story, Paper Towns—an ensemble that includes Nat Wolff, Cara Delevingne, and the beauty on our radar right now, Halston Sage.
Sage, who you might remember as Zac Efron’s girlfriend in Neighbors, is a standout as Delevingne’s onscreen BFF Lacey Pemberton, a character she describes as real, not a stereotype. “I love how accurately it portrays young adults,” the 22-year-old tells us about Paper Towns. “It’s not the movie version of kids in high school; it’s the real version.” Off screen, the cast formed their own rendition of a high school clique, spending most of their time hanging at the diner up the street from where they lived and singing to Taylor Swift. “Every day on set there was a funny story,” says Sage. “It was such a good group of us. We all got along really well, and we became each other’s family because we were filming on location.” Back in Los Angeles, with the Towns press tour on the brain, the music lover (she names Ryan Adams, The Weekend, and The Black Keys among her favorites) admits she has a lot to look forward to, like reuniting with the cast and, of course, picking out her red carpet look. She’s already racked up an impressive sartorial résumé with past appearances, including the likes of Dior, Miu Miu, and Fausto Puglisi. “It’s one of my favorite parts about the publicity side of things,” she tells us over the phone. It’s a team effort, and I really enjoy the process.”
While Sage often gravitates toward a low-key look off the red carpet—complete with her favorite IRO leather jacket—she’s not afraid to experiment with a bold outfit from time to time, making her the perfect muse for today’s mixed-prints story. From high-impact top-and-skirt combos to captivating layering ideas, the star shows us just how easy (and cool!) it is to amp up your summer style. We dare you to try it!
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