There’s no mistaking Odeya Rush’s beauty, what with her big blue eyes, milky skin, and bee-stung lips. A young Mila Kunis comes to mind. But let us examine her appeal a bit further, like the Israel-born Los Angeles native’s affinity for statement-making red carpet looks and the fact that she’s already directed her first short film. To say Rush is talented beyond her 18 years would be an understatement.
Before Rush became the It-girl-in-the-making she is today, breaking onto the scene in 2012’s The Odd Life of Timothy Green and again in 2014’s The Giver—a role that would earn her a Teen Choice Award, a number of ones-to-watch list titles, as well as a Coach campaign—she was an aspiring actress putting on plays and creating films on iMovie for her younger siblings in Haifa, Israel. It wasn’t until her family relocated to New Jersey when she was 9 that her dream would become a reality.
This month, Rush is back on the big screen, starring alongside Jack Black as a fictionalized R.L. Stine in Goosebumps, a film based on the popular young-adult horror books. Rush plays Hannah, Stine’s daughter, who, when monsters and ghosts from her father’s books are unexpectedly released, must team up with friends to capture them and put them back in their place. “The script is kind of like a combination of an adventure and a comedy and a scary movie altogether,” she tells us. With that in mind, Rush served as the perfect muse to take on fall’s Victorian trend, a look that is at once innocent and hauntingly beautiful.
Ahead, 10 things you should know about this star on the rise.
She’s not a girly girl.
“I have six brothers, so I grew up with a big family. I’m not athletic, that’s for sure, but I can just deal with things, like I’m tough emotionally. Nothing anyone says [bothers me], because I got bullied every day from my brothers, and I bullied them back. And nothing really grosses me out—I’ve seen it all. I’m boyish in that way, but I’m not very coordinated.”
Her first job was on Curb Your Enthusiasm.
“I played David’s first girlfriend; she was the first person that makes fun of him. For the audition, they gave you a strip of paper that said what you had to do, and mine said pretend that you’re playing strip poker. My dad had just dropped me off, it was in New York and there was no parking, so he was around the block searching. I called him and said, ‘What does strip poker mean?’ He had to explain it to me, but it was okay because my character always won.”
Credits: Valentino Silk Tulle Dress With Embroidered White Lace Edges and Micro Beads ($17,000); Hanut Singh Pyramid Earrings With Black Diamond Beads, Vintage Pearls, and Diamonds ($12,500).
She’s an aspiring director.
“I just directed my first short film that I wrote, and now we’re editing it. It’s called Thanks. It was a cool first experience, and I slept for two days after—I did a lot of work. [I’m inspired by] Lena Dunham, Julie Delpy, Natalie Portman, and Lake Bell. I just like people who do stuff without having anyone’s permission, just go to the beat of their own drum. That’s why their careers are so great, because they’re just following their heart.”
She’s learned from some of the best in the business.
“From Jack Black, I’ve learned how to treat people on set. He’s just the coolest person ever and has the best energy, and that trickles down to everybody else on set. [Meryl Streep] makes you appreciate the fact that you can mess up and you can forget your lines sometimes. And she laughs at herself a lot. And Jeff Bridges always says not to take life too seriously.”
She has her sights set on college.
“I really hope to get to go NYU for psychology. I don’t know when exactly. I have to see what my career looks like, but both of my parents are encouraging it, so I have to see.”
She plays a fearless female in Goosebumps.
“I play Jack [Black’s] daughter, and I’m very closed off in the beginning because my dad doesn’t want people to know his identity, so he moves me to a different town as soon as someone gets suspicious. It’s not like the stereotypical thing where the girl has to be saved. In a lot of it, my character is teasing Zack [played by Dylan Minnette]; he’s asking to hold her hand. I’m the brave one and I have to find solutions and be on the spot. I’m not asking the guys to help me out.”
Credits: Dior Silk Cadi Dress ($5200, available at Dior boutiques nationwide, (800) 929-DIOR).
She studies the runways.
“I definitely look out for fashion shows now because I think of what I’m going to wear to an event. I’ll go to my stylist and say I’d really like to wear this to Comic-Con, I would like to wear this for press day, or for a premiere, I like that. But in my own life, I like really like comfortable things because I have to wear heels and stuff like that for work.”
Credits: Vivienne Westwood Red Label Green Tailored Evening Jacket ($1645).
Her go-to piece for fall is a leather jacket.
“A leather jacket looks good with everything. Just layering in general, I love doing that.”
A red lip is her staple.
“I love lipsticks now. I feel naked without it sometimes. Dior has a really nice raspberry lipstick.”
Credits: Self-Portrait Embroidered Tulle Gown ($655); Gintare One-of-a-Kind Oval Drop Quartz Medium Necklace ($2075) and One-of-a-Kind Oval Drop Quartz Large Necklace ($2625); Sophia Webster Lacey Leather Heels ($695) in Rose Gold.
Her future looks bright.
“I’m excited to see Hunter’s [Prayer, her new movie with Sam Worthington], how that does, and I’m filming a movie called Holding Patterns now, which I love working on. It’s so different. It’s a coming-of-age, personal situation. I’ve never done a movie that dealt with that sort of thing, and a lot of the cast is very young, so I’m just excited to see how those movies unfold.”
Photographer: Naj Jamai; Hair: Kylee Heath; Makeup: Beau Nelson; Stylist: Dani + Emma.
Are you going to see Goosebumps this weekend? Sound off in the comments below!