If you’ve ever skipped watching a science-fiction series because you thought the genre wasn’t for you, Nicole Beharie makes a compelling case for why it’s worth reconsidering. “I love everything sci-fi,” the Miss Juneteenth and 42 actor tells me over Zoom. “I just think it leads people to talk about so many things in an interesting way, and to imagine ourselves in new situations. It’s so expansive.”
Expansive is a good word to describe Solos, the new anthology series on Amazon Prime Video that Beharie stars in alongside Anthony Mackie, Constance Wu, Helen Mirran, Dan Stevens, Uzo Aduba, Morgan Freeman, and Anne Hathaway. Each character-focused episode tackles themes of loneliness and seclusion—timely, considering we’ve all spent the past year and change experiencing some form of that ourselves.
For Beharie, that was just another way to connect to her character. “We both love solitude and music,” she says. “The episode does get a little sci-fi spooky, maybe a little heavy, but there’s a moment where she’s singing a song in the middle of the kitchen and it was like, ‘Oh, that’s me. I get you, girl.’”
But what else does Nicole Beharie love these days? Ahead of the Solos premiere on May 21, the star shares the clean beauty products she uses the most, the last book she read, and more. Read on for our latest installment of Your Fave’s Faves.
The books that first got me interested in science fiction
I love this writer by the name of Octavia E. Butler. She created so much interesting Black feminine science fiction that I started reading as a young person. She sort of started me on the journey, and from there it’s been no holds barred. I recommend Parable of the Sower, Fledgling, Wild Seed…I can go on and on.
But the last book I read was…
I’m working on a script that led me to read In Search of the Miraculous: The Teachings of G.I. Gurdjieffof. I was fascinated after watching Wild Wild Country [Russian mystic G.I. Gurdjieff’s teachings were a model for Osho’s ashram, the subject of Wild Wild Country] and wanted to read more. There are so many fascinating insights, but then you watch the documentary and it’s like, “You were poisoning people!” How does that exist in one person? When someone has the capacity for an incredible amount of charisma and greatness, they also have the capacity for likewise in the dark space. This was an example of that for me. It’s an amazing read.
How I self-care
I go outside, I keep the windows open, I garden, I put my feet in the grass. I’m also a huge believer in cuddle and human touch, as well as laughter—jokes, comedy, being around good people. Those are the things that reset for me.
It was cooking, but for some reason recently it started to become stressful. I was really finding my relaxation in cooking earlier on in the pandemic, but now I’m sick of my own cooking.
The one thing you should get for your kitchen
Even though I’m sick of cooking, I’m obsessed with spiralizers. I think they’re incredible. Even if you can’t cook, you can just do salad with some sweet potatoes and carrots. Or put a sauce on it, and then people think you really did something when you didn’t. You can do the same veggie over and over again, but do it with peanut sauce or some soy and then suddenly it’s pad thai. Do it with basil, and it’s a pesto pasta. I’m in love.
The life hack item everyone should have in their home
I love coconut oil. It’s the best thing ever. You can use it on anything! You can cook with it, put it on your body, put in your hair…just, everything.
My go-to clean beauty products
I’m not a huge makeup person, but I do believe in skin health and gravitate largely toward natural and clean products. I just feel like the toxic load in a lot of products slowly catches up to us. Anything that you put on your body, you might as well just eat with a spoon. So I use fragrance-free, paraben-free products, all that kind of stuff.
I swear by the Dr. Hauschka volume mascara. It really does the trick and fills your lashes out, and it washes off easily. I’ve been wearing it all the time. Juice Beauty is also really incredible, and I also rely on simple cleansers like Dr. Bronner’s. It’s an all-purpose product that you can use on your body as well as around the house. Good for babies, dogs, floors—everything!
My latest fashion discovery
Because we had more time in the pandemic, I rediscovered that my grandmother gave me a bunch of clothing back in the day. At the time I was in my early 20s and was like, “I don’t want this stuff. What is this?” But I finally went back through it, and I’ve actually been using bits and pieces for press and things like that. I found a pair of wooden, white Valentino sandals that I was obsessed with. My grandmother used to run a boutique in West Palm Beach, Florida. She loves fashion.