Lauren Ridloff, Marvel’s First Deaf Superhero, Talks About Her Personal Tastes
My personal style signifier this is my hair, usually worn natural and loose, although I have braids at the moment. My hair is the first thing people notice about me and I’m proud of my curls. I also love the 70s look and tend to wear high waisted, wide leg Jesse Kamm pants. I am an advocate of supporting women-owned small businesses. jessekamm.world
The last thing I bought and liked was a full set of TRX kettlebells. My personal trainer, Anne Reuss, does strength work with me using these weights. They make me feel athletic, strong and graceful. Anne Reus, hearanneout.com
I have a collection of Makkari figurines. Makkari is the superhero I played in Marvel Eternals and being deaf is one of her powers. I’m so proud of this character. My collection has a Funko Pop version, one I got from a McDonald’s Happy Meal, a Hasbro with posable arms and legs, and a Lego figure.
The place that means a lot to me is a small beach cottage in the Hamptons that has been owned by my husband’s family for years. It’s on a quiet bay where we go clam fishing, and my two boys love it more than anywhere on earth.
The best book I’ve read in the last year East Confidential kitchen by the late Anthony Bourdain. I loved his CNN series, Unknown parts, and his writing is so raw and funny. Equally important was a book called Being Heumann: Unrepentant Memory of a Disability Rights Activist by Judith Heummann. This is the fascinating story of Heumann’s struggle for basic human rights such as education and the right to work.
The best gift I’ve given recently is packing cubes for my husband. My publicist gave me hints on them and they make travel so much easier. He can now separate his clothes – activewear, tops, sweaters – and put the cubes directly in a hotel drawer instead of unboxing them.
My favorite apps include Cardzilla and Philips Hue. Cardzilla is a simple texting app that lets me chat with people who don’t sign. It’s so easy to use with my cast mates or in restaurants. I also love the Hue lighting app which lets you change colors throughout the house – from room to room and by floor. My family is deaf, so we sometimes communicate with each other through the different bright colors we choose, and my kids love it.
In my fridge you will always find fresh herbs. They transform any dish and I like to add mint, cilantro and basil to make soups and herb salads, dressings and smoothies.
The thing I couldn’t do without is my purple Moleskine journal. It has graph paper that allows me to take notes and to-do lists, and log exercise in a very specific way. I take it everywhere with me with brightly colored, fine point Le Pen pens in orange, red and green that fit perfectly on the side. uchida.com
An indulgence I’ll never give up is running. Whether I’m feeling stuck or upset, a run is always the answer. Running gives me time to troubleshoot and get into a zone. I often run past Domino Park, along the East River to Greenpoint, or over the Williamsburg Bridge and back across the Brooklyn Bridge. It keeps me feeling fit and capable and most importantly relaxed, so that’s a real priority for me. I’m currently filming in Atlanta and find a run in Piedmont Park to be a form of meditation.
An object that I would never part with is an heirloom charm bracelet given to me by my mother that belonged to my grandmother. There are many different golden charms on it – when I was a teacher my students could always hear me coming.
The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe was a large, warm blue turtleneck sweater from enduring Spanish brand Babaà. It has exaggerated long sleeves and is very Brooklyn-Mom chic. babaa.es
The grooming staple I never part with is a Tangle Teezer detangling hairbrush. It fits in the palm of the hand, so it is very handy. I also use it on my boys.
The best advice I’ve ever received was from Tony Award-winning director Kenny Leon. He said to “always come from a place of love” – meaning have the best of intentions and you’ll be fine.
The best memory I brought home is a teak stool that my husband and I bought on our honeymoon in Thailand. It’s a simple, portable stool that grew with us and is now used by our boys in the kitchen. It is a reminder of our beautiful trip to the Golden Triangle 16 years ago.
My style icon is Frida Kahlo. She embraced her disabilities — and her back brace and prosthetic leg — and asserted them by wearing bold, colorful skirts and chunky jewelry. And, of course, there were her big eyebrows. She had a uniform and I identify with that too.
The best gift I have received is a Le Creuset teapot from my mother-in-law. This glazed stoneware pot has been a gateway to many other Le Creuset dutch ovens and saucepans – in Caribbean blue, orange and cherry red. I love the bold pops of color in my otherwise all white kitchen.
The only artist whose work I would collect if I could is difficult to choose. I would really like to bring together the work of several artists to create a symphony: a calming painting by Alice Neel for my bedroom; a portrait of Frida Kahlo for the living room; and a painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat in the dining room. Together they would really spark conversation.
My favorite room in my house is our brownstone kitchen in Williamsburg. It has great light and is the central hub for our family. We bought the house in 2009 during the financial meltdown, and it was the best decision we ever made. Luckily we had a great architect reimagine this space from a closed kitchen to a sunny open kitchen with huge windows that open onto the back garden.
My favorite building is La Casa Azul in Mexico City. It was Frida Kahlo’s childhood home and the place where she learned to paint and spent much of the rest of her life. With its beautiful bright blue exterior, central courtyard and pond, it is a magical place. museofridakahlo.org.mx
My beauty and grooming gurus are my group of close friends who advise me on everything from style to fitness to food. Plus, I lean on LA-based hairstylist Vernon François. He specializes in curly hair, and while I love my curls, I don’t like the frizz. Vernon taught me to embrace it fully. vernonfrancois.com
In another life I would have been a ballet dancer. My older sister was a professional dancer and choreographer in Chicago – I would have liked to continue in the dance world.