Melia Kreiling is not Swiss, a fact she has listed at the top of her Instagram page, and a major detail I overlook before we meet. Her accent is so good in Mammals, a new Prime Video bingeable series where she stars alongside James Corden, that I believe what the internet says about her Swiss roots. “I’m actually half American and half Greek,” she says patiently laughing with good humor. It’s an oversight on my part, but Kreiling doesn’t skip a beat. “It’s OK, I was born there so everyone just assumes. I was raised in Greece.” Despite my faux pas, she graciously moves on.
She stars as Amandine, the mysterious French wife at the center of a comedic tale of love, marriage and betrayal. “I can’t tell if she’s good or bad yet,” I tell her. “That’s it. There’s no clear good or bad because that’s not really how we are as human beings,” she says wisely. “We are flawed in the most fascinating of ways and we’re also good in the most fascinating of ways. What I love about this character is that she is unwavering in her determination to keep this marriage going and to believe in this very deep, profound love without explanations or apologies.”
Next month she’ll have us binging on Netflix, too, as she joins the cast of Emily in Paris season 3. Here, the 32-year-old stream queen gives us the rundown on what she’s learned about messy relationships, her skin-care secrets and where she feels the most beautiful.
Mammals takes a blunt look at monogamy in today’s age. What are your thoughts on relationships and monogamy after playing this out on screen?
“It’s increasingly complicated, because we’re no longer living in a time where people don’t travel and women don’t work. We’re online a lot and it’s a strange thing. I was thinking about dating apps the other day and this feature of scrolling through human beings the way you would scroll through a shopping catalog. It’s a new era and I think I don’t think we’ve quite landed on what it all means. The question comes up of ‘What is what is an affair? What is cheating? How do we even define it today?’ There are so many questions, but I don’t have any strong feelings about what is right and wrong.”
Amandine is French. Do you notice a different approach to beauty playing characters from diverse backgrounds?
“I love this question. There are definitely different approaches depending on where you are in the world. She’s French but has been living in England for a very long time. So, there were a lot of questions about how she presents herself. I was diving into the Vogue archives and all that stuff. It’s fun to see how women portray confidence in different parts of the world. I see it in myself when I’m in the States. When I’m in L.A,. I reach for the lip gloss more often than I do when I’m in Europe. I conceal my eyebags much more when I’m here. I’m just more aware of that side of me when I’m here than when I’m, for example, on a summer holiday in Greece, where I’m just completely free, frizzy curls and barely using a moisturizer.”
What does your routine look like? Are there treatments and products you swear by?
“I kind of developed a little bit of rosacea on my skin over the last few years which I think was triggered by the stress of COVID. So I now have this very, very strict routine of of cleansing with tea tree oil wash in the morning and then putting use the Bioderma Sensibo Anti-Redness Moisturizer ($28) and follow it with the Rosalique 3-in-1 Anti-Redness Miracle Redness Miracle Formula ($34)—it’s got a green tint and totally neutralizes the redness. It’s calming and soothing and has SPF protection, so I love using that. Twice a year I’ll go to my dermatologist for a good facial. I also like a light enzyme peel. It makes my skin feel really good afterwards.”
You also star in Emily in Paris season 3. What was it like joining the beloved show?
“It was just as awesome as starting in a new show, but in the complete opposite way. You’re walking into something that’s already established and so loved and they’ve got it down, they know what they’re doing. There’s a beautiful safety of trusting that you’re in safe hands. I can’t talk about Emily in Paris without talking about the great clothes I got to try on and wear, too. The little girl in me who used to love dressing up with my mom’s clothes was in heaven. They’re so creative about how they do that, and Darren Star just has such a grasp on this kind of thing. It’s mesmerizing to be in the presence of that. The whole cast on that show is just beautifully welcoming and fun to work with.”
And in that one you get to have a Greek accent, right?
“Yeah, I’ve never done it before. It was actually quite scary because I grew up bilingual so I don’t have a thick, heavy Greek accent. I was like, ‘Am I getting this right?’ That’s a funny thing to wonder if you’re getting your own accent right, but I was really proud to represent that part of my culture.”
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