Grace Victoria Cox Is Reviving the Classics

Grace Victoria Cox Is Reviving the Classics

The rising actress went from being deathly scared of 'Heathers' to starring in its highly anticipated reboot.

The rising actress went from being deathly scared of 'Heathers' to starring in its highly anticipated reboot.

Photography: Ben Hassett

Styling: Anna Trevelyan

Text: Lisa Mischianti

This article appears in the pages of V112, on newsstands now. Order your copy now at vmagazineshop.com.

“I watched Heathers for the first time when I was 11 or so, and I thought it was so scary that I remember finishing it and feeling like, I never want to think about this ever again,” recalls Grace Victoria Cox with a laugh. And yet here she is, playing the iconic character Veronica Sawyer in a modern-day reimagining of the aforementioned ’80s cult classic. Cox, who was born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky, first took the stage at age nine as a troll in a school production of The Hobbit, and it’s all been on the up from there, including appearances in Under the Dome, Manson’s Lost Girls, and Twin Peaks. But embodying Veronica Sawyer marks her most significant role to date.

Fortunately, upon a fresh viewing of the film at a more suitable age, her love for the pitch-black comedy blossomed, as did her admiration for the original Veronica, the inimitable Winona Ryder. “Winona Ryder is a brilliant actress. She was the most perfect Veronica Sawyer,” gushes Cox. “So I had all of this fear, comparing myself to her because she was so magnificent as this character. I had to accept that I’m not Winona Ryder and I’m never going to be Winona Ryder—I can only be me. Once I wrapped my mind around that, I started looking at her portrayal of the character not as something to be scared of, but as this really amazing blueprint from a wonderful actress that I could follow.”

Indeed, the Heathers of 2018—a TV series rather than a feature film—is very much its own creature, and Cox’s Veronica a fresh take on the character. “When people watch it, they’ll see that the Veronica in our show is really similar to the one from the movie, but still really different. We went from two hours of material to 10, so there’s a lot of new stuff in there, and she’s fleshed out in a different way than before,” explains Cox. Even the story’s most fundamental trappings—including the nature of its namesake clique and how they operate—get an update. “Making it modern was really important if we wanted the show to affect people the same way the movie did, because, it’s satire, but it’s a really intense look at teenagers and what their lives are like. If we hadn’t included social media, or how things are different today, I don’t think it would have been as honest of a look into the lives of young people.”

That said, Cox promises viewers’ appetites for the original’s twisted humor will be satisfied and then some: “It is way darker. Like, way, way, way darker [laughs]. I would get some of the script for the episodes and say, Wow, we’re really doing this."

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Credits: Makeup Marla Belt (Streeters)  Hair Joey George (Management+Artists)  Manicure Naomi Yasuda (Management+Artists)  Digital technician Carlo Barreto  Photo assistants Roeg Cohen, Eric Hobbs  Makeup assistant Alex Almeida  Location VSCO Studio

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