This is not the Mireille Enos you knew in The Killing. Complex and captivating, yes, but the auburn-tressed beauty’s latest role in super-producer Shonda Rhimes’s slick new drama The Catch is decidedly more polished (major wardrobe envy here!), with a turned-on charm that seduces friends and foes alike–and leads her down a rabbit hole of trouble, of course.
“I spent all those years doing Sarah Linden (on The Killing) and loved her and her very drab demeanor,” Enos told InStyle during a whirlwind day of interviews, after which she would be en route to pick up her daughter from school. “But change is good and when given the opportunity to play this beautiful, powerful, sexy girl living in Los Angeles, strutting around in heels and the perfect shade of lipstick, why wouldn’t you want to do that for awhile?”
And we’re glad she is. In The Catch, Enos leads an exclusive team of private investigators on a mission to find the one con man who’s seemingly outwitted them all: her character Alice Vaughan’s ex-fiance, played brilliantly by Peter Krause. Enos and Krause’s chemistry is irresistible as they ping pong through an ultra-chic L.A.–think of The Catch as a modern Thomas Crown Affair with all the swagger and style of a big Hollywood whodunit.
And with the Midas-touch of Shondaland (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder), the series is likely to achieve Olivia Pope-level success, too.
“I almost fell out of my chair when I got the phone call saying ‘Would you be willing to read this pilot, it’s Shonda Rhimes.’” Enos said. “She shows people that are really fallible–they have big dramas in their life, they make crazy choices, that I think audiences can recognize their own crazy choices they’ve made in their lives and it makes it entertaining.”
While Enos hasn’t experienced the depth of deceit her character has, she relates to Alice’s willingness to dive into life head first. “I haven’t been conned, but I think everyone has experiences from their journey in love where they took a leap of faith and it maybe didn’t work out so well. And I definitely have those stories. But I still maintain that even if you get burned, it’s better to make a leap because otherwise, you know, a life half-lived is not so interesting.”
Sound advice from a woman who’s topping our list of leading ladies this year. Want to know more? Here’s Enos’s take on everyday style, being an L.A. mom with French-girl roots, and Brad Pitt (because, yeah, she’s worked with him, too).
Your character on The Catch has an amazing wardrobe. Is your personal style similar?
My day-to-day style is very relaxed. I love a pair of yoga pants, I love flip-flops, I love a comfy cotton T-shirt. But I came to (showrunner) Allan Heinberg and was like, we need to imbue Alice Vaughan with a flair for the ’60s. She needs to have some great mini dresses, she needs to have some perfectly awesome, poppy cardigans, she needs to have flair. And that’s when I feel best, when I’m dressing myself I definitely like to have there be a little bit of edge and kind of sassy style. I love a pair of really tall wedges, I love a pop of color, I love a little bit of big hair; just clothes and colors that make me feel free and powerful.
There’s some physicality to this role, and chase scenes. What kind of workouts do you do to prepare?
In my own life I study tae kwon do, that’s my preferred way of working out. You know, when you’re doing these kinds of hours, you do your best. Actually there’s this wonderful girl, Ashlynn, and we were bemoaning the other day that it’s so hard to work out with these hours, so she pulled up this app, seven minute workout. And so now, every day she and I find seven minutes in my mini skirts, in my good makeup, in whatever I am in, to hit the deck and pound out seven minutes of planks and pushups, and squats and whatever we are doing, and it’s actually becoming like, a phenomenon. The wardrobe girl is in on it now, script team shows up sometimes. It’s really, really fun and it’s made it like summer camp a little bit.
You’re a mother, and you’re working these crazy hours. The big question that women get asked is how do you balance it all? And can you have it all?
In my experience, I am getting to have it all. I could not do it without the husband that I have. You can’t have it all and do it by yourself. Like, impossible. So I have the most supportive, most incredible husband and father of my kids who, while I’m working the crazy hours, he is definitely doing the brunt of the parenting. And then, you know, my freetime is sacrificed, and that’s just what’s true when I’m working. When I’m home, I’m 100 percent mom, and once they’re asleep then I learn my lines, and then I get four hours, and I show up and do my work. But the balance is that I get long breaks where I’m not working and then we kind of do a change of the guard and I’m full-time mom and he’s doing other things… You just take it a day at a time and stay in the flow, and stay creative and flexible, and hopefully what your kids get out of that is they see the value of choosing work that is fulfilling and that hard work has rewards.
What advice would you give to your kids as they’re trying to achieve their dreams?
What is true about life and the world is everybody has to work. Work is part of the deal, and I think it’s essential to the human spirit. The trick is choosing work that does allow you to grow instead of just allows you to survive. So my advice to my daughter and will be to my son when he’s old enough to understand is to be really honest with yourself about the things that turn you on, that make your mind feel alive, and then to give as much of yourself as possible to whatever the activity is that you’re endeavoring to accomplish.
If you weren’t acting, what would your dream job be?
My French grandparents owned a café in Nice; there’s something very romantic about that.
You live in L.A. and the show is based in L.A., what do you love about the city?
I love L.A. because it is sunny most every day of the year and you can wander down the street in a pair of flip-flops, and eat a banana, and feel healthy and happy.
Your go-to restaurants?
I’m obsessed with the new Joan’s on Third in Studio City. My little girl takes tae kwon do on that side of the hill and I love going in and getting an almond croissant from there. The end of a baguette, the very end, the pointy part, is called the quignon, that’s the French word for the end. So I walk in with my baby son and he points to the baguettes and he says, “quignon, quignon, quignon!”
You have a lot of other things in the works including another World War Z with Brad Pitt. What is it like working with him?
He’s just awesome. He’s so hardworking, he’s so lovely, his family is so important to him, you feel that everyday with his interactions with the kids that were on the set. He is completely magnanimous; he is nice to everyone that he meets. There is like, seemingly no ego, no power trip, no… I mean, he’s just a dream. So getting to do that again, why wouldn’t I want to do that? He really believes in everybody having a voice and feeling empowered and he would not allow World War Z to get put out to the world until it was right.
What are your go-to beauty products right now?
I have all these different versions of this Tarte lip crayon. I love those. And I love bold colors. Like, right now, I’m pulling them out of my little makeup bag. I have a bright orange one (Tarte LipSurgence in Spirited) and I have a super cherry pink one (Clinique Chubby Stick in Cherry).
If you could steal one piece of clothing from your character’s wardrobe on The Catch what would it be?
Alice has this really amazing pencil skirt that’s a really heavy, stretchy fabric. I’m wearing it in the flashback of the pilot where I climb on Peter and make out on the couch in my office. It’s really binding, you know, so it just makes your shape look so perfect.
Tune in to The Catch premiere tonight, Thursday, March 24, at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.