Julia Jones for Byrdie Zoom Date

Julia Jones On Prioritizing Self-Care and Her Biggest Role Yet

Plus how she keeps her skin glowing.

Julia Jones isn't new to the acting world, and despite a career with projects spanning from Twilight to Westworld, things are still heating. Jones plays Angela Bishop in the Showtime special event series Dexter: New Blood, an extension of the cult-classic drama that explores the creepy yet oddly charming serial killer, Dexter Morgan, played by Michael C. Hall. In the new series, Jones plays Hall's love interest and the police chief of her Iron Lake, New York small town. 

According to Jones, her role in the hit franchise is different from anything else she's ever done, and she's super proud of it. Ahead, we talk to Jones about her Dexter debut, her self-care rituals, and how she stays centered with a busy career. From saunas to doubling-down on self-care, read more of what she had to say.

Julia Jones for Byrdie Zoom Date

Photographed by Kate Parfet/Designed By Tiana Crispino for Byrdie

I am a huge Dexter fan. Can you talk to me about how your role in the show's revival came about?

About one year ago, I heard that this show was happening, and some scripts ended up being sent my way. Before reading them, I had not seen Dexter, but I heard incredible things about the show. So as a total newbie, the scripts were fun and complete page-turners. It almost felt like I was binging the show. The writing was intriguing and unlike anything I've ever done before, so I was excited to get the opportunity to come on board.

You play the first Native American police chief in your town, which is such a great representation moment. How do you connect to your character?

That was one of the things that drew me to the project. It was an incredible opportunity for representation. Angela is such a layered character who has a lot going on. She's juggling a lot and straddling two worlds. She has an adopted daughter she's struggling to raise on her own and she's preoccupied with the loss of someone close to her. On top of that, she's -Dexter's girlfriend.

My roles in the past have been primarily love interests or best friends. However, with Angela, I tried to have her stand on her own and not be a product of someone's story with her own narrative. It was a big challenge and the most dynamic, largest role story-wise that I've had the opportunity to play.

How have you created any balance or boundaries to practice self-care while preparing for an important role?

The filming of Dexter was incredibly intense. It was a six-month shoot and we were outside for the first three months because the show was set in the winter and we needed the snow. So, it was freezing and it was at the height of COVID-19. We were in a bubble, isolated, and there were very long hours. When you're in that cycle it's easy to be in go-mode constantly. However, for me, the key is always fitting in massive amounts of self-care when possible. During filming, I would try to go out into the woods as often as I could to take a break and unplug. That made a huge difference for me.

Julia Jones for Byrdie Zoom Date

Photographed by Kate Parfet/Designed By Tiana Crispino for Byrdie

Do you have any self-care or beauty practices you lean into on personal days?

I love a good massage and I'm a big fan of infrared saunas. I also run a lot and try to at least three to four times a week. That is really necessary for me. Whenever I am on set I try to find the closest infrared sauna. It's a great bodily experience, but it also has great benefits for your skin, too.

When we filmed Dexter, it was great because I could run outdoors, which is my preference. We stayed in a beautiful area, and there were a lot of trails I was able to explore. I use this app called Trails which shows you different paths around you and how difficult they are. On some days when I couldn't go out, I'd share a treadmill in our indoor gym with my co-star Jennifer Carpenter.

I've also learned over the years the importance of hydration internally and externally. It's more important than I'd like to acknowledge because I really don't enjoy drinking water, but I see the difference when I am doing a good job. I'm a firm believer in the connection between how you feel and look. So I also try to prioritize rest and hydration because I feel confident and calm when I am rested.

Running is a non-negotiable for you, but what are some of your absolute favorite beauty products?

I really love OSEA—that line is definitely one of my favorites. I also recently discovered the line Ayond that I've been enjoying. Arcona also has some great products that are refreshing. Kiehl's is also always in rotation in my routine, and so is pure castile soap. Mario Badescu also has a lot of products I love. My collection takes up space, and packing gets real quickly, so I try to keep a separate pile of items I grab when I'm on the go and indulge in my standard routine at home.

Julia Jones for Byrdie Zoom Date

Photographed by Kate Parfet/Designed By Tiana Crispino for Byrdie

This past year has been full of highs and lows. What are you looking forward to next in the new year?

Before filming Dexter, I was filming another project in a different state, so I just got back home for the first time in a while. I am looking forward to starting to work on films in Los Angeles, where I live. I'm looking forward to being in my space and focusing on my actual life versus pretend lives—though I guess I'll be doing both.

One thing that I miss about pre-pandemic life that I hope returns more in my life is spontaneous gatherings. Before this period, I'd run into people outside of my core group much more more. I still feel slightly isolated and mainly unaware of what people are up to regularly because there aren't many unexpected opportunities to see them in person, so that would be nice.

You can catch Julia Jones in Dexter: New Blood on Showtime on Sundays.

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