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United Talent Agency, which reps Johnny Depp, Harrison Ford, and Gwyneth Paltrow, among others, surprised the entertainment world this July when it announced that Tavi Gevinson, the 16-year-old Oak Park fashion blogger turned online magazine editor, had been cast in an as-yet-untitled movie directed by Nicole Holofcener (Friends with Money, Lovely and Amazing) and starring James Gandolfini and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
The role will be just another line on an already precocious resumé. While most of her Oak Park and River Forest High School classmates spent their summer vacation at camp or learning to drive, Gevinson went on a coast-to-coast road trip to promote her online magazine, Rookie, and her new book, Rookie Yearbook One, a collection of articles, musings, photographs, and illustrations from the magazine’s first year. At presstime, the book’s Chicago launch was scheduled for September 20 at Unity Temple in Oak Park with the Book Table, a local independent bookstore.
Before she left, Gevinson sat down with Chicago over breakfast in a Forest Park coffee shop. She explained that acting was something she had always hoped to explore; she was even considering taking a gap year in Los Angeles between high school and college. Clad in a yellow band shirt (Seattle hip-hop duo THEESatisfaction), blue shorts, and black patent leather penny loafers, the rising high-school junior admitted she has doubts about the icon she’s become.
“It’s a little terrifying that this kind of influential voice is in the hands of someone who is still changing and finding her own [voice],” she said. “But . . . that is something you just come to terms with if you want to put yourself out there in any way.”
Illustration: Sean McCabe; Photography: (Tavi with Lagerfeld) Eric Ryan/Getty Images; (Tavi with floral headpiece) Solimene Photography/Getty Images