"I don't wear red often," says Kate Mara, "but I'm always attracted to it."
A few hours ago, Mara was sitting front row, channeling Marilyn Monroe in a gray alpaca-wool Max Mara wrap coat, as the guest of honor at the label's runway show during Milan Fashion Week. But the runway isn't the only place the two Maras intersect.
This month, Women in Film, an organization that promotes equal opportunities in the industry, will present the 32-year-old actress with the 2015 Women in Film Max Mara Face of the Future Award. "Kate has invested in the sustainability of her career by choosing to play courageous and enduring characters," explains Cathy Schulman, the president of Women in Film.
This year alone, Mara stars in four major projects: as Sue Storm, the Invisible Woman, in Fantastic Four; a single mother held hostage in Captive; a soldier's wife in the post-apocalyptic Man Down; and an astronaut in Ridley Scott's The Martian.
"Now that I'm older, I crave working with more women," says Mara. "For so long, 'feminist' was a scary word, but the more comfortable we can be calling ourselves that, the more changes we can make." As for whether dressing the part of a bombshell on occasion can also be seen as feminist, Mara says, "Absolutely. I don't understand why you can't dress sexy and be looked at as a smart, sophisticated person. That's ridiculous."
For more of our feature with Kate Mara, pick up the June issue of InStyle, available on newsstands and for digital download now.