Meteoric rises to fame are Broadway’s bread and butter, so much so that, well, innumerable plays have been penned about meteoric rises to fame on Broadway. The breakout star of 2010 was Nina Arianda, a 26-year-old actor from Clifton, New Jersey, whose twisty, hilarious, hot-and-cold performance as Vanda in David Ives’ Venus in Fur earned her a mantel’s worth of awards. After wrapping a Tony-nominated turn in Born Yesterday over the summer, Arianda, who has an endearing Betty Boop voice and a heart-shaped face, will reprise her role in Venus, this time on the Great White Way.
“This is such a rare opportunity,” she says. “Every part of playing Vanda is challenging. David Ives has written such a beautifully layered, ornate, and complex character. It’s so important to me to honor that.” Arianda is also making inroads where Hollywood is concerned, with parts in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, the underrated Win Win, and Vera Farmiga’s Higher Ground, among others. With all those personalities to channel—all the costumes and makeup to cycle through—what does her off-duty beauty routine consist of? “I’m mildly obsessed with skin care,” she says. “I do a lot of homemade masks and use an embarrassingly wide variety of creams.” Fortunately, her time in the makeup chair is brief where Venus in Fur is concerned. “But I’m sure if I was doing Wicked I’d be getting a couple of extra facials a month.”