Kristine Froseth Is Getting Her Second Chance at High School
The star of Looking for Alaska and The Society is only just getting started.
For a young actress or musician, there are few blessings more valuable than that given by Chanel. The fashion house has a knack for identifying emerging talent, and for helping to usher them along the path to stardom. Kristine Froseth received just such a blessing when she was named an official Chanel ambassador this year, and was invited (along with talent like Kaitlyn Dever, Nesta Cooper, Charlotte Lawrence, and Cailee Spaeny) to Aspen to toast the brand’s "ephemeral" boutique. The space houses the most delightfully over-the-top collection of '80s-inspired ski gear, snow boots, après ski wear, and yes, actual skis, and will be up through Jan. 23.
To celebrate, the crew went on dog sled rides, a sleigh ride to lunch in the mountains, and took the latest Coco Neige (that’s Chanel’s official line of ski and snow wear) collection for test runs on the slopes.
Despite having grown up for over half of her life in Norway, Froseth had reservations about skiing. “I grew up doing cross country skiing, but downhill... not so much!” she says laughing. Her favorite part of the trip? “I loved the dog sledding, it’s such a rare experience.”
As a child, Froseth moved every three or four years between New Jersey and Norway. “I didn’t love it at the time — I had to leave my friends every few years and always be the new girl. And of course the languages and culture are very different,” she says. “In high school, I started off in Norway and had great friends, and loved my school, and then I went to New Jersey to finish and it was so competitive. Everyone was going to Harvard or Princeton — it was just so different.”
Maybe the roles she’s chosen are a chance at a do-over. Best known for starring as the villain-turned-BFF in Sierra Burgess is a Loser, then as the ambitious Kelly in The Society, and most recently as Alaska in the adaptation of John Green’s Looking For Alaska, she’s steeped in teen high-school culture. And it’s not as if, while her peers were applying to the Ivy League, Froseth was just slouching along. She got her start modeling back in Norway, and had already started the long process of landing her role as Alaska.
“It took 13, 14 years maybe? I remember I was on a treadmill in New Jersey and I got an email from my modeling agent asking if I wanted to go out for Alaska. I’d read the book, and I loved it so I was like ‘Of course!’” she says. “I sent in scenes, and the director saw them and really liked them, so then I went to LA for a chemistry read and I was like, ‘It’s going to happen!’ and then it just went away.” Initially it was to be shot as a film, a project which ultimately fell apart. The opportunity returned in the form of a miniseries for Hulu. “I just kept checking every year to be like, is it coming back? It’s such a good story. And obviously I was heartbroken, but I just knew I had to fight for this story. It just had to happen.”
John Green’s novels have a devoted fan base (he wrote The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns) and so there was an aspect of nerves prior to Looking for Alaska coming out. Happily, Froseth counts her costars as some of her closest friends, and was able to rely on them when the project was released. “Having them is everything. We’re like family, and we really had each others backs when [Looking for Alaska] came out,” she said. “It was really nerve-wracking, especially because there were so many fans of the book who had such strong opinions when the teaser came out — everyone was very vocal about how they felt about it.”
While it seems highly unlikely there will be a season two of Looking for Alaska (the book has a pretty definitive ending, and Green has denied wanting to continue the story) Froseth’s fans can look forward to more episodes of The Society, which she’ll start filming this spring. Before then, she’ll star in the film The Assistant (which follows the day in the life of an assistant, played by Julia Garner, in a Weinstein-esque film production office) out in January, and will be working on another secret project this winter.
It’s a lot, shouldering projects as widely beloved and as varied as Froseth’s, but she’s taking it all in stride. And for now, just enjoying a weekend in the snow, “The ski stuff this week was incredible. Getting to ski in Chanel is, I mean, never would I ever have thought that would happen!”