The She Hulk actress goes deep into her vintage archive with Wild Elements.
By Faran Krentcil
As Nikki in the new She-Hulk series on Disney+, Ginger Gonzaga does not actually turn green. “That’s Tatiana [Maslany] and Mark [Ruffalo]’s thing,” she laughs. “But on the show, Nikki actually is pretty green, because she’s always wearing these amazing outfits from the ‘80s and ‘90s. Secondhand fashion is one of my main obsessions,” says the California native, who’s currently filming the True Lies reboot for Netflix. “So when they told me this character is really into style, I was like, ‘Great. Let’s make sure it’s vintage.’”
Here’s how the Marvel sidekick gets dressed, her vegan bakery obsession, and why she’s (finally) an “outdoor person.”
You’re obsessed with vintage clothes. Why?
Because I am very competitive. [Laughing.] I’m serious. I want something that nobody else will have… There’s also the practical element, because most actresses do not have stylists, especially at the start of their careers. I certainly didn’t! And I wanted to look amazing, but I couldn’t spend a ton of money. Instead, I’d go to a flea market and see something incredible for $35. It’s kind of a triple win, because you’re not making a trash pile of disposable clothes, you’re saving money, and you’re wearing something unique and cool. So you win, and nature wins.
Do you consider yourself an “outdoor person?”
I wasn’t really as a kid, but the older I get, the more I become one! It’s just so good for my headspace.
Can you talk about how nature affects your mental health?
It happens in so many ways. I mean, I'm ADHD, and one of the best pieces of advice I got to manage it was, “Get your sun and your vitamin D in the morning.” It’s such an antidepressant, and it sets your whole clock for the day, and helps you sleep better. Nature is this really healing thing that sometimes I forget to tap into, and once I realize I just need to go outside, it makes an instant difference.
When did you realize that?
It happened the most during the pandemic lockdown. I was living in Venice Beach, and because there were so few people on the beach at the beginning of the pandemic, we had bioluminescence for the first time in a while. I felt so lucky to see it—it was like being in the middle of magic, but the magic is just nature, if you leave it alone!
What about your creative process? Does nature help you that way?
It’s actually helping me right now. I’m writing a feminist feature script, and I’ve realized that the ocean is a really critical piece of inspiration for the film. So I’m getting proof-of-concept shots in the water, and getting my color palette and camera angles informed by the natural behavior of the ocean. It’s giving me endless ideas, because it’s always changing.
Do you have a favorite vegan swap?
I mean, yeah, there’s this raw vegan tiramisu that I am so obsessed with. It’s like $18, which is not okay, but it’s also quite possibly the best thing I’ve ever eaten. It’s becoming trendy in LA, I guess. There’s one at Erehwon and one at Erin McKenna’s in California. I need to learn how to make it myself because it is heaven.
Please tell us your favorite animal fact?
Don’t you think it’s cool that giraffes have black tongues? Giraffes in general are just marvels of nature, but the fact that besides being the tallest animal, and in my opinion, one of the absolute coolest-looking creatures, they have kind of a goth, emo tongue? It’s too much. I love it.
At Wild Elements, our motto is “Let good grow wild.” What does that mean to you?
Don’t be afraid to be a little weird, a little wild and out there, if it’s part of who you are and how you share your joy with the world. We’re so focused on being “good” or being “right,” but being natural sometimes means doing our own thing. That’s how good can flourish, too.