Lily McInerny has gotten in plenty of miles. Her first major film alone, 2022’s Palm Trees and Power Lines, had her filming all around Los Angeles, hitting Salt Lake City for its Sundance premiere, and then doing a victory lap back in Santa Monica for the Independent Spirit Awards, where she was nominated for Best Breakthrough Performance. Her follow-up, the recently-wrapped Bonjour Tristesse, filmed in the south of France. And yet there’s one city that has alluded her: Miami. That is, until now.
“I know,” the 25-year-old native New Yorker says, shaking her head incredulously at the fact. But no mind — she’s officially made it, and for good reason: to celebrate Celine’s newly redesigned flagship store in the Design District. The two-story store features an architectural design concept by Hedi Slimane, the brand’s creative, artistic and image director; think lots of natural materials and stone, including antique marble, a gleaming staircase lit by full-length mirrors, and a “perfume organ” at it’s base, showing off all of the brand’s covetable scents. When we chat, McInerny fits right into the surroundings, dressed in a sparkling black crochet dress and combat boots. She gazes around the first floor’s expansive leather goods displays, trying to spot her favorite bag from the most recent collection. “I have always been a fan of Hedi's work. They've been so supportive of me since my very first carpets, my very first festivals and yeah...,” she says, trailing off. “I couldn't have wished for this.”
Here, McInerny shares her experience as a New Yorker in Miami.
What did you do with your one day in Miami?
My friend Mitch lives here, so he kind of was able to show me around from a local's perspective. We saw a couple cute classic spots. I'm a big fan of architecture. I'm a really big fan of the Art Deco period and I saw similarities in LA, just in terms of the backdrops and the palm trees, but it borrowed all of my favorite parts of the LA landscape. It was a kind of anomaly of a day, thought, since it was freezing and windy. Couldn't have had worse weather for my first trip to Miami.
I can’t believe this is your first time here!
I know. I love it. Even with the gloom. I wanted to see it all. I went to a tourist shop in South Beath and saw some bike shorts and I Love Miami merch that I definitely need to pick up on my next trip.
Your look today is kind of perfectly New Yorker in Miami, between the black and the sheer crochet.
I know, it’s really… [McInemy gets up to do a full spin]. I had to do a twirl.
Do you have any other favorite Celine pieces in your wardrobe?
I really love just their classic bags. I have a calfskin one with the gold seams that I wear probably the most out of all of my bags. What I love so much about Celine is that it's subtle. I love their jackets, which are so simple. They're so wearable and they're so punk, but also very elegant.
What has been your favorite memory working with the brand? You got to go to the Wiltern show, where The Strokes played, right? I am incredibly jealous.
It was sort of like a FOMO machine. It was kind of like everybody's best night of their lives, myself included. I wish I could tell you it sucked, but it was just awesome. They kept all the acts sort of under wraps until the night of, you just heard whispers, and then when they came on it was like, "Holy shit!" And that was also just a stunning collection. I remember the finale was just all sparkles.
You are also a life-long New Yorker… as a native, what are your go-to spots?
I lived in the East Village during Covid, but besides that, I just have always lived in Greenwich Village. It's extremely nostalgic for me, which is really fun and hard to replace. A lot has changed, but I mean, I still go to Porto Rico for my coffee, which is the beans my parents bought growing up. I still go to Joe's for pizza, Raffetto's for fresh pasta on Houston Street. It's my favorite. Vesuvio Bakery has changed a few times over the years, but I still love it. Whatever's there, I usually love it. Oh, and Olive's for lunch.
Are there any new spots that have opened that you wish would go away?
There’s this weird Instagram popup that is the closest storefront to me and is the most useless store I've ever seen. Basically, it was made to shop brands that you only see online. They don't sell milk, they don't sell eggs, they don't sell butter, they don't sell coffee. It's just deep cuts that you see on TikTok and you think, "oh, maybe I'd try that once,” — but you don't want that to be your main bodega. It just enrages me.
You’re starring in a new play, The Animal Kingdom, which is opening on January 25th – how has preparing for that type of performance been for you so far?
It’'s a very, very tough play, about a very serious subject matter. It takes place in a family therapy session following a suicide attempt of the eldest son, and every rehearsal feels like a five-hour therapy session. It's so draining, but it's so rewarding at the same time. And I love theater. I fell in love with acting on stage. I went to LaGuardia. My background is in theater and you don't have as many opportunities to get back in as you do on-screen… I feel bad, I'm kind of playing hooky for this trip. But we’re on a good track and it's a really amazing group.
You’ll also soon be back on the festival scene with Bonjour Tristesse, which you got to shoot in the South of France with Chloë Sevigny which is… the dream.
We shot that in a small fishing town for two months last spring, which really is as nice as it sounds. And it's a very visual, very beautiful, sensual, striking film. It's based off of a novel by the same name and it was already adapted into a film in the ‘50s. We're taking a very different approach, but the original film I actually got a chance to watch at The Roxy recently. Seeing it on the big screen, it's a beautiful film and I hope ours is.
I play the female lead Cécile. She's an 18-year-old girl finishing up high school, kind of transitioning from adolescence into adulthood. It's a dramatic coming of age story, though Idon't know if I could really define it as that, but because there's a lot of generations of women interacting with each other. There's an amazing character named Elsa, played by Nailia Harzoune, who's this wonderful French actress. And then Chloë Sevigny is, yeah, a dream.
Had you ever crossed paths in New York before?
No. And she is the coolest. She’s just as cool as she seems. And so talented and so elegant and so hilarious. The film was so fun to shoot. It was a challenging role, but I find I'm attracted to very challenging roles. I always find the more I'm being pushed, the more you learn about yourself.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
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