Does it bother Carla Juri that the first scene of her most memorable role to date—Helen, protagonist of the intensely visceral Wetlands—begins with her naked from the waist down, gyrating on a toilet seat? Not at all, the 31-year-old actress says. "It's not about the physical shock, it's about emotional nudity. Those scenes helped viewers understand Helen's awkwardness."
Juri says she takes chances not only with her choice of roles (she stars in Morris from America, about the misadventures of an American teen living in Germany, and she's preparing for the remake of dystopian fantasy Blade Runner) but also in her personal style. "Simple provocation can be boring, but irritation can be so enjoyable," she notes. "When I see someone wearing a piece that doesn't quite fit, or that exposes a significant amount of skin, I think it's beautiful."
Today, perched at a picnic table in London's Victoria Park, the Swiss-born Juri is dressed practically, having just biked along the adjacent canal's leafy path. She wears a striped tunic from department store offshoot Therapy and a black Anthropologie wrap. Her brown tousled hair is tied up in a scarf she found at a flea market in New York. Juri explains that she actually doesn't own much clothing because her London home is so small: "When it's summer, I have to put my winter clothes in storage. It doesn't all fit in one closet." What she lacks in square footage at home, she makes up for with the generosity of friends. "Instead of buying new, we exchange," she says. "It's like, 'What are you bored of that I can get in on?'"
An admirer of Valentino "and the surrealist fashion aesthetic of Fellini films," Juri also gravitates toward the influence of other cultures' handiwork, referencing a favorite embroidered skirt she picked up on a recent trip to Guatemala. "Some places like South America and Africa are so colorful, while the U.S. and the U.K. are set on neutrals." With a cockney inflection, she adds, "It's a bit safe, innit?"