First thing in the morning,” says Louise Lombard, “I have a cup of coffee and a cigarette.” Given her tastes, the 23-year-old British actress with the rose-petal cheeks and skin so dewily luminous it puts summer mornings to shame is mighty amused that anyone would want to hear about her thoughts on beauty. After the caffeine and nicotine, she scrubs her face with water, eschewing soap. End of story. “I’m just not very concerned about my looks.” she says.
With looks like hers, who needs to be? For three seasons, as heartbreak-prone couturiere Evangeline Eliott, Lombard has bowled over the cultish fans of the BBC’s high-fashion 1920s’ soap The House of Eliott (currently being shown here on A&E cable network) with her remarkable visage. “We subjected her to the closest of close-ups, but she always looked radiant,” says series producer Jeremy Gwilt. “Her face just sucks up the light.”
The fifth of seven children in an Irish-Catholic clan, Lombard is single and available. (Tip to guys: “I go for the eyes. They tell a lot about the person—intelligence, whether they’ve got humor.”) With the final episodes of HOE in the can, London-reared Lombard is now hanging out in Hollywood in hopes of finding work in American movies or TV But hold the diet caffè latte and the Stairmaster: Lombard doesn’t plan to follow the typical L.A. lifestyle. “I hate exercise, and I eat all the wrong things, like chocolate,” she says. “Whatever is considered healthy, I do the opposite.” And Rodeo Drive merchants shouldn’t count on her business either. “Going shopping,” says Lombard, “is a form of torture.”