Stephanie Sigman is having breakfast on a hotel balcony in Miami when I call her. She’s just jetted in from Toronto and the day before that she was in LA. The week before that it was London. However, it’s not the jet lag that’s getting to her, it’s the lack of access to her wardrobe that’s frustrating: ‘I’m wearing the same leggings as yesterday because I don’t have enough. I don’t want to wear them but I don’t have any other options. Travelling is hard, but travelling and still having style is even harder,’ she sighs. The jet-set lifestyle is something Stephanie is fast getting used to. Growing up in northern Mexico – dad was a Yankees scout, mum was a homemaker – the 29-year-old has quickly gone from starring in local independent films to becoming a fully fledged Bond girl, playing Estrella in Spectre. Then there’s her role as the fiery Valeria Velez in Netflix sensation Narcos. Not bad for a girl who, growing up, never even thought about being an actor.
So acting wasn’t always the plan?
Not at all. When I was a little girl I wanted to be a rock star. I wanted to be Steven Tyler. It was really strange but as a little girl you think anything is possible and it is. I never even thought about being an actress.
You started out modelling?
I moved to Mexico City when I was 15 to do it. Then I stumbled across an acting school and went there every day for three years. At the end, I was like, ‘Oh, I really like this.’ So I started doing some independent movies and fell in love with film.
What drew you to the role of Valeria Velez in the Netflix series Narcos?
I was originally meant to play Escobar’s wife which I was happy about, but then they told me they wanted me to play Valeria instead, and I was even more excited. She’s such a complicated character, so complex. It was very unusual for a woman in Colombia in the 80s to be involved in politics.
She was inspired by Escobar’s lover, Virginia Vallejo. Did the role involve research?
Most of my research focused on Vallejo’s book. I took a lot from it to build the character. During my research I felt bad because Escobar became a monster – he wanted more power. I don’t think it was about the money, he just went crazy over power and I think that’s really sad for someone.
And now you’re a Bond girl…
I filmed my audition at a friend’s house on her video camera then sent it off to the casting director. I was filming Narcos in Colombia when I got a call to tell me that the director, Sam Mendes, wanted to meet with me in Mexico City. So we met and he told me I had the role of Estrella. I was super, super happy!
Did you learn anything from working with Daniel Craig?
I think that it’s hard not to learn from him. It was a pleasure just watching him work, because he’s such a passionate actor and you can see the experience. I think what’s the most important thing about Daniel is that he makes everybody feel comfortable on set. That’s not an easy thing to do, but it’s just part of his personality.
You must be becoming something of a red carpet pro…
I’m pretty spoilt when it comes to having a glam team. Being a girl, there are some days when I’m not feeling pretty, but after hair and make-up I’ll go look in the mirror and be like, I may not feel great but I look amazing, so that’s pretty cool.
Did the InStyle shoot differ from your usual look?
My usual style is all over the place – like me! I loved the Calvin Klein suit. It looks really sexy but it’s not too tight.
What’s your day-to-day beauty routine like?
I’m usually really fast. I don’t use a lot of products. I don’t even like to wear make-up when I’m not working. It’s good for my skin. I’m even faster at getting ready than my guy friends!
How are you finding keeping fit on the go?
I haven’t done anything for a couple of months because I’ve been working and
travelling so much. I usually like to go running three times a week, and I also
do boxing or yoga, so I’m feeling pretty unfit right now.
Photographs by Anne Pique