With a recurring role in the Amazon series Z: The beginning of Everything, Natalie Knepp starred as Eugenia Bankhead, sister of world-class actress Tallulah Bankhead, born into a wealthy and politically powerful family.
The series is based on Therese Anne Fowler’s book Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, and follows the life of Zelda (Christina Ricci) just before she meets the unpublished writer F. Scott Fitzgerald and moves through their love affair and marriage.
Knepp starred recently in Nicholas Brooks’ made in America romantic comedy, Sam, a story that follows a New York City alpha male (Brock Harris) who is suddenly transformed into a beautiful woman named Samantha (Knepp). Mel Brooks is the executive producer of the film, which also stars Stacy Keach, Morgan Fairchild, and Bryan Batt.
Check out what this rising star tells Chilled about her latest thriller and her very short stint behind the bar.
Tell us a bit about the projects you are working on.
I recently shot a new feature titled Impossible Monsters, written and directed by Nathan Catucci. The psychological thriller kept me on the edge of my seat when I read the script, and with Santino Fontana and Devika Bhise in the cast, I couldn’t resist being part of it. I’m reading several scripts presently, and am excited to see what new TV and film projects come my way, even as I am writing and developing a series I plan to produce and star in as well.
With your busy schedule, what do you like to do with your downtime?
Music has always been a great inspiration in my work and my personal life. I grew up playing the harp, have dabbled with guitar but my new favorite go-to when traveling is a guitalele (half-guitar, half-ukulele). I love writing (and have been developing my own scripts), living in New York, outstanding plays, music festivals, and great new restaurants (I love food!)
When you go out to eat, where do you like to dine?
Living in NYC gives me some of the best options in the world for dining. My personal favorite—my own personal “Cheers!” was this Italian place on Cornelia Street in the West Village called Po. The ambiance and service was unmatched in the Village, and the menu, exceptional. When I want a fun place to hang with friends and grab a quick bite and a drink, it’s Fish or Ditch Plains.
What types of dishes do you usually order?
I could honestly eat breakfast all day. When it comes to lunch or dinner, I order pretty light, as I like to eat smaller meals throughout the day rather than one big meal at a time. For dinner, I default to protein like chicken breast or a filet minion and include the standard potatoes and veggies. And of course, it’s hard to resist chocolate in cake, mousse, tart, or any form after any meal but breakfast.
Do you cook?
I spent many years NOT cooking and relying on Seamless for delivery of most of my meals, until my mother commented my apartment was more like a hotel with 24/7 room service. A Christmas gift of fabulous kitchenware inspired me to put them to use, and now I’m cooking at home all the time. Fresh Direct is a great resource for convenient delivery of fresh produce and other groceries in Manhattan, where having no car makes it a challenge to keep a kitchen stocked with fresh food.
What types of drinks do you order when out?
Pure and simple, I love wine! In the summer, a nice sparkling rose or a dry white wine, but in the winter, I usually go for a Malbec or a Pinot Noir, depending on the dish it accompanies. Occasionally, I enjoy sipping on a nice bourbon, especially when there’s a fire going and absolutely when I’m listening to jazz.
Do you prepare drinks at home?
Very rarely, and mostly when I have people over for a party. When friends pop in, I just make sure there’s always good—I mean, good, wine ready to pour. My mother always taught me, life is too short for cheap wine.
Do you own a home bar?
Sadly, no. I live in Manhattan, so it would mean sacrificing another vital living space. But with so many great bars steps away in the Village, who needs one?
What would your home bar be like?
Warm and inviting, with a mirrored and colorfully lit back bar. I would pick liquor bottles based not only on the quality of the contents, but the beauty of the labels, so it’s as inviting as any piece of art adorning the other seating areas of my apartment. Besides comfortable and uniquely artistic bar stools, I’d make sure there’s an adjacent bistro table where the wine drinkers can have their own space. It would be just as lovely.
What is your favorite cocktail?
Have you ever been a bartender?
Funny enough, yes. I bartended once, for about an hour, until they realized I had no business behind the bar and had no clue how to even make an Apple Martini.