The second season of CBS's drama Zoo, based on James Patterson's bestseller, is underway, and we're majorly roothing for the lead character Chloe Tousignant. Played by Nora Arnezeder, Tousignant is an intelligence officer attempting to crack the mystery behind a plague that’s afflicting the world’s animals. Before setting our DVRs, we caught up with the French actress and singer to get the scoop on what inspires her, whose style she'd most like to steal, and why she she's trying to perfect her American accent. Here's what we learned.
She embraces all things artistic
Nora Arnezeder comes from an eclectic family of dabblers, and the 27-year-old is no exception. Whether she’s singing opera-inspired ballads or penning cynical comedy scripts, Arnezeder loves to experiment. “My mom has a fortune-teller vibe,” she says. “She reads cards, and she’s always encouraged me to do anything I want in my life as long as I am happy and fulfilled.”
Her style is clean and classic
Though Arnezeder grew up in a “hippie family,” she shies away from boho flair. During our interview, she’s decked out in a smartly cut black blazer paired with skinny jeans, a loose white blouse, and a black Miu Miu purse slung over her shoulder. “I’m not too flashy or extravagant,” she explains. “I prefer a simple tank top with a cool leather jacket.” She applies the same principles of restraint on the red carpet. “I like working with Dior and Valentino,” says Arnezeder, adding that the Italian fashion brand “is just the best. And it’s very, very feminine.”
Marion Cotillard and Diane Kruger are inspirations
She considers actresses like Marion Cotillard and Diane Kruger style muses: “I think Diane shows a lot of dignity in her beauty and style,” Arnezeder says.
She splits her time between Paris and Los Angeles
Arnezeder's family home is in Paris and she recently purchased a château in the Hollywood Hills. When she’s in the City of Light, she likes to attend art openings and plays, but back in Los Angeles, she’s working on upcoming projects, such as her electronica-, opera-, and hip-hop-inspired début solo album.
She has a penchant for the "American accent"
Arnezeder says she hopes to do more “sassy” comedies, but her top priority is perfecting her American accent, something she got to practice when she played Gael García Bernal’s ex-flame, violin virtuosa Anna Maria, in Amazon’s Mozart in the Jungle. “I love the way Americans talk,” she swoons. “It’s so smooth and melodic.”
Catch Zoo Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.
Hair: Dennis Gots/Devries/The Wall Group; makeup: Fiona Stiles/Fiona Stiles Beauty/The Wall Group; styling: Jordy Huinder/EE Agency; manicure: Debbie Leavitt/Essie in Bride to Be/Nailing Hollywood; set design: Kelly Fondry; production: GE Projects.
—With reporting by Natasha Vargas-Cooper