At 25 years old, Antonia Gentry has about 10 years on Ginny Miller, the teenage character she plays on Netflix's Ginny and Georgia. Between the fuzziness of our Zoom call and Gentry's flawless skin, though, it's hard to tell. "I wear SPF 100 every day religiously," confesses Gentry while spilling her skincare secrets. "Look, aging happens to everyone, and it's beautiful, but it's a little hard to believe a 16-year-old has crow's feet and laugh lines," she says while laughing.
Outside of her skincare routine, however, Gentry's daily life is far from rigid. Think: mid-afternoon wake-up times and lots of mental health walks around her neighborhood in Brooklyn. "When I am working, it's go-go-go-go-go," she says. "[My life is] the opposite of that when I'm on hiatus because I can do whatever I want."
Gentry is relatively new at adulting. She graduated from Emory University in 2019, almost immediately got cast on Ginny and Georgia, and wrapped production on the first season just before the pandemic prompted her to move back in with her parents. But she's already a pro at something most people take decades to learn: balancing have-to-dos with adequate self-care. To that effect, Gentry excitedly chatted with me about her affinity for bubble baths, life at home with her cat, and how she maintains balance.
I see some cool wall art in the background. Can you take me on a tour of your decor?
Yeah, sure. I'm not good at decorating walls, so I just put a bunch of record jackets on the wall and called it unique. I was like, "Well, if I have a record player, let me show the records." They're just shoddily pinned to the wall, so they fall off every week.
Are you a big music person?
Yeah, I've played piano since I was a kid and have always been into music. My brother heavily influenced me with jazz and funk and things like that, so growing up, I just listened to all kinds of things.
Are you interested in making music?
Like, as a thing that I do? No. [laughs] I love karaoke, don't get me wrong. I will drop everything to go to karaoke, but that's about as far as I go when it comes to performing music for anybody other than my cat.
What's your cat's name?
Buttersworth—Butters. He's this fluffy, white piece of work, but I love him so much. I got him three or four years ago. I lived in Atlanta until last year, and I went to a cat café my senior year of college, and I was like, "I'm so stressed; I need a cat!" So I went to the cat café, and he was up in the rafters because he was afraid. I looked up and saw this blur of giant white fur.
When did you move to New York?
I moved last September, but I was only here for two months before we went to film in Toronto. So, I've really only lived here for seven months now. But I love it. I'm in Williamsburg, and it's been a good transition coming from Atlanta to New York. A neighborhood like Williamsburg is less dense than Manhattan, and all my friends live here, so it's been nice.
How have you been settling in over the last year?
It's so bizarre because when I got here in September, it was still really hot, and then October hit, and it was finally getting colder. As soon as November hit, I went to Toronto, and I was there until May, and it was winter the whole time. I didn't see sunlight for six months. So by the time I got back here, it was fully spring in New York, and I was drinking in the sun. I walked around, sat in the park, and sunbathed. Then, it got oppressively hot in July.
It's foul in the height of summer.
My parents visited me in July during a heat wave, and I was like, "Guys, I know you wanna do a lot of things, but I cannot step outside of my apartment without melting." My mom wanted to go to The Metropolitan Museum of Art and do all this stuff, but she's had a heatstroke before, so I told her to stay inside.
This is your first time living far away from home aside from filming, right? What has it been like having your own space?
It's nice, but it's also challenging. I didn't realize I needed structure. When you're a kid, you go to school, and everything is set up for you. Even when you get to college, you [have a schedule]. Then, as soon as I graduated from university, I went to film. And that's a whole thing: you know what you're doing 12+ hours a day, and you're taken care of. When I get home, it's hard to remind myself to make breakfast or not watch TV all day. So, creating structure has definitely been the hardest transition while being on my own.
I think watching TV all day is called self-care.
I'm very late to the game, but over the summer, my boyfriend got me into Love Island, and I am obsessed with it. That's the only reality TV I've gotten into. But a self-care day for me means I'll spend the morning at home doing my hair. Many people have complicated skincare routines, but I'm extremely lazy. I respect people who can wake up every day and do a five to 10-step routine.
What does your simple routine look like?
I wash my face, moisturize with a serum, use a cream moisturizer, and then apply sunscreen. I love La Roche-Posay and Caudalie products. I've also recently added retinol to my routine, so if I remember at night, I'll put it on before I go to bed. I can't do much more than that.
I also love bubble baths, and I try to do one once a week. There's this wonderful store called Soap Cherie in Brooklyn that I go to because they make bath bombs, body scrubs, and lotions. My hair goes through a lot, too, but I've been loving Tracee Ellis Ross' line, Pattern. Olaplex also helps heal all of my split ends. I've been trying to do better with my hair, but I'm still very lazy.
What else do you do for self-care?
For me, de-stressing is very important. I'll wake up, do my skincare, make some green tea, go for a nice walk to get some fresh air, and read a book. I feel self-care is more than what you put on or into your body—it's also how you use it.
What are you reading and watching right now?
I just finished reading Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami, and it's so sad, but I loved it. And then, just the other night, I watched In the Mood for Love by Wong Kar-Wai. It's such a beautiful film. I recently finished Succession, which is a very stressful show.
What's one thing you've learned about yourself recently?
I've been relearning how to spend time with myself during my downtime, and I think I've been successful in that. It's easy for us to compare ourselves and see what other people have and what we don't—I know I can fall into that very easily. But it's very important to at least try things that you maybe wouldn't have tried and get out of your comfort zone so you can discover what you're capable of. I think that's a huge step toward self-love and self-care.