For someone who lives out of a suitcase, Mackenzie Davis can't offer much advice on editing a carry-on. "I'm the worst at packing," the Canadian actress says. "I bring everything I own and then only wear the same dirty jeans every single day." Judging by her upcoming filming and promotion schedule, the in-demand starlet (she recently appeared with Zac Efron in That Awkward Moment) can be excused for not taking the time to hone her packing skills. The 27-year-old Vancouver native, who studied English at McGill University in Montreal before pursuing theatre in New York and film work in Los Angeles, is set to catapult further into the limelight this year with roles in two highly anticipated films: Breathe In (a romantic drama by Drake Doremus, the wunderkind director behind the dreamy 2011 indie flick Like Crazy) and The F Word (an Irish-Canadian romance that co-stars Daniel "Harry Potter" Radcliffe and nabbed her a Canadian Screen Award nomination). Recently, Globe Style Advisor caught up with Davis in Atlanta, where she was filming the forthcoming AMC series Halt and Catch Fire. Among the topics of conversation: hitting the road, chilling out and her penchant for armadillo purses.
You're currently filming in Atlanta. How has that been going?
It has been wonderful. I have been working almost every day for five months and rehearsing on the weekends, so I don't know [the city] as well as I assumed I would by this time. I've been living in a bit of a bubble, but the bubble is making me very happy.
Do you have a favourite place where you've filmed so far?
I loved filming in Toronto last September when I shot The F Word. I have family in Toronto but have never gotten to know it outside of a weekend visit, so it was so lovely to spend a month going sunbathing on Toronto Island and shooting all around the city.
Do you enjoy travelling for work?
I grew up in Vancouver, but I haven't lived there for almost 10 years. I love travelling as part of this job. I love getting to live somewhere I'd never have anticipated living for a month or five months. It's a very unusual opportunity and I'm so grateful for it.
You wore some of the biggest spring trends during our fashion shoot. Did you have any favourites among them?
I love Wes Gordon! The chain-mail top and high-waisted white-denim pencil skirt, my god. I'd never worn anything by him before, but he's so talented – and from Atlanta!
Are you a big shopper? Describe your personal style when you're off the clock.
I do a lot of thrifting, but I don't go shopping in a concerted way very often. I find things by accident that I can't talk myself out of, like armadillo purses.
Can you talk about your role in Halt and Catch Fire?
I play Cameron Howe, a computer-programming prodigy who is plucked from college in 1983 by a visionary entrepreneur to write code for a new line of computers. She's a very complicated, willful genius-punk who is thrust into a very corporate atmosphere and is sort of forced to walk the line between anarchist and capitalist.
What other projects do you have on the go right now?
The first movie I ever got cast in, Breathe In, came out in March; What If is being released this summer. Other than that I'm just settling back in … and taking a few weeks to decide what I want to do next.