PHOTO: BEN COPE
She’s not in Kansas anymore. Inde Navarrette plays Smallville teen Sarah Cushing on Superman & Lois, but in real life, this Mexican-Australian actress has logged a lot of the world in her 22 years. Born in Arizona to a military family, the Pisces moved around the country before settling in Los Angeles—then picked up again to film the hit series in British Columbia.
“You actually learn to use nature when you move as much as I did,” Inde says. “No matter where we lived, I could find the smell of a pine tree I remembered from a school trip to the mountains in California, and it gave me a huge sense of comfort. When I lived in North Carolina, I’d wake up early and smell the fresh air, and it was like my own piece of home… When I started working on TV, there’s a lot of pressure, and you’re up so early. But I’ve learned I can take a big breath and find that feeling of being grounded.”
Here’s how Inde connects with the ocean, how the Superman & Lois set stays sustainable, and which plant oils keep her hair from breaking during a blow dry.
You juggle a lot on TV—mental health, romance, alien invasions… Does anything in the natural world help keep you grounded off-set?
My grandfather used to tell my mom, “When you don’t feel good, go into the ocean.” And so literally, whenever I get home from filming, I jump in the ocean. My mom picks me up from the airport, we go to her house, and I throw down my stuff and just run into the water. It's a good way to remind yourself where you are and to kind of give your body a physical change.
Do you have a favorite natural beauty hack?
My grandma is extremely holistic—not like she’d call herself that! She just does things naturally. She taught my mom that Vitamin E oil is really good for healing, because it helps prevent scarring. Whenever I’d have acne, I would put Vitamin E oil all over my face, and I attribute it to a lot! Almond oil is also really good for your skin and your hands, and if you use too much, you just put it on the rest of your body. You don't have to waste anything. And rosemary oil is really good for your hair… It grows really fast when I use it on my scalp. You can also add it to your shampoo or put it in a spray bottle with water and use it as a mist. I find that going the national route with things is the best. Literally, it just works the best.
How about a favorite outdoor workout?
Have you ever done a Bulgarian Squat? You have one leg up at a 90-degree angle, and you have a weight in your opposite hand. It’s amazing for strength but it’s a pain in the ass—pun massively intended. If you want to, like, do something outside, I love to ride bikes. But the first time I did it at work, it was with [Superman & Lois actor] Alex [Garfin]. We make trips to Stanley Park, which is three times the size of Central Park; it's gorgeous, but it’s a commitment… Alex made it seem like we were going on a normal bike ride. No. It was in Stanley Park, uphill, and uphill, and more uphill. I was literally shedding tears.
Are there things the Superman & Lois set does to make it more sustainable?
We reuse props so nothing has to get rebought or reshipped, which I really admire, and we also recycle sets. I’m not kidding. We have a huge studio that we use as a [hospital] and a school—that way, we don’t have to travel between different sets, or ship props or furniture from one place to another. And obviously, everyone has giant reusable water bottles and Hydroflasks that they use instead of plastic ones. We’re very serious about that. Tyler [Hoechlin] even has one for his protein shake, and I think Sofia [Hasmik] has two. She keeps them in her Gucci bag, which is gigantic. I’m obsessed with it.
Please tell us your favorite animal fact.
Am I allowed to say penis?
Okay, well ducks have corkscrew penises. I’m not going to go into any more depth, people can look it up. But it’s real!