It’s possible Peyton List might have an avocado in her purse right now, at this very second — although, I’m too afraid to ask.
The California-based actress has, indeed, a produce of surprises wrapped around her finger, from quietly segueing into a part-time musician amidst a schedule busy with both karate buffing [Cobra Kai] and sitting atop a giant bottle of eyeliner for Too-Faced’s Better Than Sex, to housing an emergency avocado within her belongings — at least during a session of Refinery29’s ‘What’s in My Bag?’ — because… why not?
Though nevertheless, aside from all of the aforementioned displayed and called to attention, there are a few things Ms. List would like to keep private, anyway. Like mainly, her talent for memorizing rap lyrics on the fly.
‘Oh my God, no. Absolutely not,’ she panics when I ask her if she’d like to freestyle during our interview together.
Just a little bar or two?
Nope, I’m gonna spare you.
Fair enough. How about something easier then, like who’s got her vote at the end of the year?
Oh my gosh. Uhm, well, all I know right now is that my vote is going Democratic but I’m still trying to keep an eye out and whenever I drive, I’m listening to podcasts and different interviews and I’m trying to just make the best decision. But right now, I’m not really sure yet, but I know it’s going for a Democrat.
And something you dreamed about last night?
I have the most random dreams. What’s one I had recently last night? [Pauses] Uhm, I’m trying to think. I had one where… Oh! It was really random like I just kept seeing all my friends talking. It was a very random dream; it was a bunch of my friends and it was like my birthday.
Lately, I’ve been having a lot of lighter dreams and they’ve been a lot more fun, and I’m so grateful because normally I have really scary dreams. Like I’ve had dreams where my little brother is killed in my arms and I wake up sobbing. Or I have really scary dreams where I’m just falling through the sky. Like usually, when I’m on a plane, I’ll have dreams where I’m falling through the sky, and I’ll wake up and I’m just like, ‘Heee!’ really loud, in my seat. And people are just looking at me like, ‘What the hell?’
So, I’ll have really weird dreams of like falling through the air on an airplane, or all of my teeth are like falling out — so I’m just like, ‘Wow, great. A birthday party!’
I think I got jealous because my boyfriend was like talking to someone and I was like, ‘Wow, that’s hilarious. I’m getting jealous in my dreams’ [laughs]. And then I was just like having fun and running around, but I was really grateful for that dream instead of all the dead ones I usually have [laughs].
What’s the absolute, hardest part about being a childhood actress?
It’s so funny because it was a lot harder when I thought about it within the last year than when I was actually in it. When I was in it, I was having so much fun and I was just kind of in my own bubble, like I felt so normal and I didn’t even realize people knew who I was. Like the idea of people knowing me or having some sort of fame is a really weird concept that I haven’t really grasped. And I think that when I was a kid, kids my own age would just come up to me and I would just hang out and talk to them and feel like I had a bunch of friends. And I didn’t really understand it. And then this past year, I’ve just been like, ‘Man. People still really know me from that show.’ And they grew up with me. Like I’ll go hang out with my friends who’re in college and go to a party, and people are like ‘I watched your show! You’re my childhood!’ And it gets harder dealing with that I think because I feel like I’m so normal when I go out, and I’m just like ‘Oh, that’s so weird.’ But yeah.
Any memory of how much your first acting paycheck was for?
Oh my gosh, I’m trying to think… I really don’t. You know, I didn’t really even start thinking about money until about this year, because I was a kid. So, I was doing it for fun, and I didn’t really understand. And my dad was just like, ‘Okay. If you wanna go to college, we’re putting this away for you and you can use it then.’ And then instead of going to college, I invested in buying property and then buying my own house, and so now I have my own little house in LA. But until then, I really didn’t even think about money at all and I still don’t even know how much is in my bank account — which I’m a little embarrassed about.
With ‘combat skills’ accumulated from Cobra Kai, do you ever want to get in a fight with someone just so your training doesn’t necessarily go to waste?
[Laughs] Oh my gosh, yes. The character really does rub off on you, and so I was at a party and this girl thought she could just push through people, and she’s just pushing through people. Hard. To get through. And after having a couple of drinks, I was like, ‘I want justice! She shouldn’t be pushing people. If she wants to fight, I’ll give her the same energy she’s giving me. I’m ready to fight, I know how!’
And everyone was like, ‘Okay, calm down. You’re on a TV show, like, you’re not actually a fighter.’
But yeah, I definitely find that now I’m suddenly wanting to, and even with my brothers, I’m like, ‘Oh yeah? Come at me.’ But I don’t actually know how to truly fight. I’m not fighting on the show to hurt people, I’m doing it more — like it’s almost a dance.
Walk us through the history of Claude List, the bunny. She was adopted before she became a director’s dinner?
Yes! Oh my gosh, yes. I was working on this movie called The Outcasts, and one of the producers who named Claude; he’s this French guy who owns a farm in upstate New York and he raises these bunnies to eat them and, for some reason, I just started crying when he told me. I don’t even know why I was crying like, obviously people raise animals and then they eat them. And so then, he was like [Peyton’s voice drops into a workable French accent] ‘No, no, no, no. Peyton, I am going to stop this. I am going to fix this.’ And I didn’t really know what he was doing but the next day he comes with one of the bunnies from the farm, like he made his assistant drive all the way to the farm and go get one for me [laughs].
It’s pretty funny, I had to bring her through TSA at the airport. And I didn’t have any of the paperwork, so my heart was racing the whole time. I was freaking out, and she was super nervous too; her eyes looked like they were gonna pop out of her head. And so, we’re going through TSA and the people are like, ‘Whoa, whoa whoa. Is that a rabbit? And I’m like, ‘Uhh, Yeahhh.’ And they said, ‘We’ve NEVER seen a rabbit go through TSA before, that’s so fun.’
And so, I got through just because they’d never seen one before and then I got on the plane and the same exact thing happened. So, I just made it through. It was a miracle.
What’s your biggest insecurity?
Sometimes I think my biggest insecurity is the fact people know me, because then I feel like sometimes people are watching me or that I can feel them talking about me. Sometimes I’ll even start sweating and I’ll look down and be like, ‘Okay!’ But other times it doesn’t bother me at all. So yeah, sometimes that’s a little bit of an insecurity, which is odd.
Thoughts about wearing mismatched socks?
You know, I’m all about it. I really support mismatched socks.
You know what, they’re actually matching right now. Now that I live alone like I tell my mom, ‘That’s the only perk of living alone. I have matched socks. Because I don’t move them now.’ It’s great.