Addison Rae Is Living That Life

Addison Rae

Addison Rae wears T-shirt and Shorts Palace Costume. Bikini MCM.

Ever since Addison Rae launched a TikTok revolution in 2020, we haven’t been able to look away. Is she a dancer? A singer? A scream queen? Or is she Gen Z’s answer to Britney Spears—a southern starlet beyond categorization. To find out what makes Addison so appealing, our editor-in-chief Mel Ottenberg caught up with the 23-year-old to talk good wigs, bad dates, and working the paparazzi.


THURSDAY 2:30 PM APRIL 25, 2024 L.A.

MEL OTTENBERG: Hey, Addison.


OTTENBERG: How are you?

RAE: I’m doing good. I’m so nervous. I’m biting my nails.

OTTENBERG: Don’t be nervous. You’re in a safe space. Although some of these questions I’m like, “Fuck. I would not answer this well.” But I’m not here to put you on the spot. I’m not doing a puff piece, but I’m also not doing a hit piece.

RAE: Right, right.

OTTENBERG: Yeah. So she’s living that life. What are you drinking?

RAE: I’m drinking my favorite drink of all time. It’s an iced NOLA with almond milk from Blue Bottle.

OTTENBERG: Oh, wow. I love it.

RAE: This is my religion. I get this every single morning the second I open my eyes.

OTTENBERG: Are you close to a Blue Bottle?

RAE: Ish. I’m like a 12-minute drive.

OTTENBERG: Wow. So is this like an Uber Eats thing?

RAE: I will say, because I like it, the second I wake up, I have to Door-Dash it, and I do that every single morning.

OTTENBERG: You have to text me the order. Maybe I’ll get one tomorrow. You’re wearing a Portishead t-shirt, which is one of the best.

RAE: I know. I love this shirt.

OTTENBERG: I had a lot of fun shooting with you and I just saw a few pictures and they’re really good.

RAE: Really? I want to see them.

OTTENBERG: You did a good job.

Addison Rae

Shorts, Socks, and Roller Skates Palace Costume. Underwear Addison’s Own. On Julian: Jeans Raimundo Langlois.

RAE: I love that.

OTTENBERG: Yeah. Also before I forget, I loved your mix that we were

listening to. Will you make Interview a getting-ready mix?

RAE: Yes. One of my favorite pastimes is making playlists, so this will be an honor.

OTTENBERG: I mean, it’s just a fun thing to do. But I like your music even though you’re, what, 22?

RAE: I’m 23.

OTTENBERG: Okay. I’m 500, but we were really into the same music, because you like the high, high and the low, low. We bonded over Eden Wood. You’re speaking my love language with Eden Wood.

RAE: Yeah.

OTTENBERG: But we’re also talking about fashion things. What are you most obsessed with right now?

RAE: I’m really obsessed with wigs. I feel like—


RAE: You can get away with anything when you’re wearing a wig.

OTTENBERG: Women have told me this.

RAE: Really?

OTTENBERG: Yes. What’s your wig? What does she look like?

RAE: [Laughs] So I wore a wig last weekend and it was a pink little bob moment with bangs, and we called her Ms. Lovely. I love assigning an alter ego to a wig because it really gives me the permission to be bad. I’m like, “Oh, we don’t even have the same name. She’s someone else.”

OTTENBERG: There’s an important picture of Britney Spears in a pink wig with her getting a Red Bull from a refrigerator at a gas station. I feel like you know this picture.

RAE: I know it well.

OTTENBERG: [Laughs] I know you do, babe.

RAE: Louisiana girls love a pink wig.

OTTENBERG: Yes. You’ve got some Britney in you.

RAE: Loving Britney is a huge part of my life. I’m also obsessed with Madonna and Barbra Streisand. I love a woman who does it all.


RAE: I also love fucking Rihanna’s cameo in This Is the End. I love a girl that does it all with no filter, it’s just ingrained in me. And Britney being from Louisiana shows me that I can do it, too.

OTTENBERG: What do you want to do?

RAE: I want to do everything at least twice—

Addison Rae

Vest Palace Costume. Bikini Top Burberry. On Julian: Shorts Palace Costume.


Top, Tiara, and Belt Palace Costume. Watch Stylist’s Own. Shoes Acquired Vintage.


RAE: To know if I really like it. And why not? I feel like I get asked a lot, “Do you want to act or do you want to do music?” I was talking to my acting coach about it. I was like, “Why do you have to box yourself in?” I want to create things that are memorable, that provoke thoughts and feelings in people, and I want to entertain. Britney said it best: “There’s only two types of people in the world, the ones that entertain and the ones that observe.” And I love entertaining.

OTTENBERG: Wow. Britney.

RAE: [Laughs] Period!

OTTENBERG: Is there a blueprint or a muse or an example that you live by that made you think, as you were getting really famous on TikTok in 2020, like, “Oh, I can do whatever I want, I’m not going to be over by the fall of 2020?”

RAE: I think in the beginning I was so naive and fearless, and that was a pretty nice combination to have stepping into it all, because I was willing to experiment. People wanted to say, “Oh, she’s just a TikToker.” Which to me didn’t make sense, because I was like, “What even is that?” Do people grow up and say, “I want to be a TikToker?” Maybe nowadays, but I grew up dancing, and TikTok was just a through line. And I already knew there were other things I was interested in growing up. Even with acting.


RAE: There’s so much that people don’t know about me, and I think I’ll only uncover a few secrets at a time, but nothing that you see now or will see is a departure from who I was as a little girl. It’s not from 2019 to now, it’s my whole existence in the making.

OTTENBERG: What are you doing next? What’s your summer vibe?

RAE: [Laughs] I don’t even know. Nothing’s confirmed for music, but the goal is to have a song coming out.

OTTENBERG: Where are you online these days?

RAE: I’ve been deep on Tumblr. That and Pinterest are kind of my research quarters. You can find some great inspiration.

OTTENBERG: I got to figure out what my Pinterest password is because I need to be in a heavy research moment.

RAE: I respect a heavy research moment. I think you should get back on ASAP.

OTTENBERG: I think I should, too. Do you have a Finsta account?

RAE: What does Finsta even mean? Like a private?

OTTENBERG: Yeah. I guess Finsta is a dead word—do you have a private TikTok and a private Instagram?

RAE: No. I don’t have either, actually. I have my Close Friends story on Instagram, but other than that, everything I share online, I don’t mind who sees it.

OTTENBERG: I like that. What’s one rumor about you that’s true?

RAE: Oh, wow. This is hard. I honestly try not to read rumors these days.

OTTENBERG: It’s a good question. You can get back to me.

RAE: Okay.

OTTENBERG: What’s the most underrated thing about Addison Rae?

RAE: I would like to say my taste, or maybe my intuition—oh, you know what? I’ll say this. The most underrated thing about me is my ability to evolve and transform. People like to say, “Her PR team is working overtime on the rebrand.” And I’m like, “Girl, nobody’s rebranding. This is me.”

OTTENBERG: Well, having worked with you, I totally believe all the stuff you just said. What was the worst date you’ve ever been on? Come on, give it to us.

RAE: Oh, my god. Okay. So I went on a date about two and a half years ago with this guy, he’s a mutual acquaintance. You know how the scene is in L.A. I feel like everybody knows each other or has dated somebody—


Addison Rae

Top, Tiara, and Belt Palace Costume. Watch Stylist’s Own. Shoes Acquired Vintage.

RAE: So I went on this date with this guy and he took me to this really nice restaurant in Malibu. It was gorgeous. The sun was setting. It was written to be perfect. And on the drive home—it’s so funny, because I just know he was trying to be extra romantic. We’re driving down PCH and he’s like, “Should we pull into this parking lot and go for a walk on the beach?” And I was like, “I don’t know.” And he was like, “Okay. Let’s do it.” And he turns into this parking lot and fully runs over the “wrong way” spikes.

OTTENBERG: No. No. No. No.

RAE: Every single tire busted. It was the most embarrassing thing ever. And then it was so awkward because he was in a rental car, for one, and didn’t know how to change a tire. He didn’t know who to call or anything, so I had to call everybody to be, like, “Hi, we need someone to come and fix the tires.” It was the worst thing ever. And then I ended up running into him not long after that, and it was literally the most awkward thing ever. I hid in the bathroom. [Laughs]

OTTENBERG: Wait. How much time passed from the moment that you heard the hideous crunching of the tires to when you got to your front door? Because it sounds like a while.

RAE: Well, I was supposed to go somewhere after, too, so I was like, “Fuck.” And I called everybody, whatever. A tow truck came, and immediately after that I ended up riding home with someone else because I couldn’t bear to face him.


RAE: I had to just cut it off there. From that point on, I was like, “Alright. That chapter has closed. I’m forgetting about that.”


RAE: I can’t ride home from Malibu in that awkwardness.

OTTENBERG: Oh, my god. Wow. Thank you. Alright. So on that note, what’s Addison’s golden rule?

RAE: For dating?

OTTENBERG: Sure. What’s Addison’s golden rule for dating?

RAE: First of all, I always love when someone has their own thing going for them and they’re very dedicated and successful. But the key to a relationship is a good sense of humor. If you can’t make me laugh, don’t look at me.


RAE: I can’t talk to you if I’m not laughing.


RAE: Just have a short memory and a good sense of humor, and we’re on a roll. [Laughs]

OTTENBERG: Have you ever been ghosted?

RAE: Oh, my gosh. I actually don’t think I’ve ever been ghosted. If it’s not a vibe, I’m very quick to be like, “This is not a vibe.” I’m not afraid to say it out loud.

OTTENBERG: I love it. What’s your favorite candy?

RAE: Probably either Nerds Gummy Clusters or Airheads Xtremes. I love Airheads Xtremes.

OTTENBERG: Okay. Sick. What’s your cocktail?

RAE: Ooh. Right now, a spicy skinny marg, but I also love a Cosmo.

OTTENBERG: Wait. I don’t know the answer to this question, but I’m going to ask you. Is there such a thing as too many followers?

RAE: I mean, you know what they say: “Jesus only had seven followers.” So maybe there’s never too many and there’s never too little.

Addison Rae

Dress Stylist’s Own. Shoes Acquired Vintage.

OTTENBERG: Okay. That’s beautifully said. Does TikTok stress you out?

RAE: Ooh.

OTTENBERG: Because you do way less TikToks than you used to. It seems you’re doing one per month.

RAE: Right. Did you see my recent TikTok?

OTTENBERG: Yes. It’s really good. Now that I know you, I’m like, “That’s very Addison-coded.”

RAE: It’s Addisoncore. I only post things when they have value to me. When I used to post a million videos a day, I was just always on my phone. I’ve learned to live a little bit more, not be afraid to be off of my phone, to just get up and experience life.


RAE: Whenever there’s drama online, it stresses me out, because then I’m like, “What if I post something wrong?” But it doesn’t stress me out like it did at one point. I feel like I don’t even think about it.

OTTENBERG: What’s the most L.A. thing about you?

RAE: Oh, gosh. Probably that I love shopping. Is that super L.A.? Being from Louisiana and then coming to L.A., so much shifted just generally. Even my accent—it’s so L.A. to lose your accent when you move here. And I haven’t even lived here that long, so it’s kind of embarrassing. But when I go back home or when I’m blackout drunk, you can hear my accent again.

OTTENBERG: Do you work out?

RAE: I work out pretty consistently. I love working out. I feel like I’m my sexiest when I’m at the gym, actually.

OTTENBERG: What’s the regimen?

RAE: I like to run a few miles, I do intervals with sprints. I do HIIT training. I go to this one gym in Beverly Hills and it’s my favorite place ever. I go there literally every single day when I’m in town.

OTTENBERG: Where do you want to go if you want to get papped?

RAE: Honestly, probably All Time in Los Feliz. It’s so funny because people always think that I call the paps, and I’m like, “Girl…” I’ll tell you what. The reason why I get papped so much is because I’m not afraid to go out to the places that are popular. And the picture of me—Croft Alley too, that’s another place—but that one picture of me with the Britney memoir, I did not call the paps.

OTTENBERG: Oh, you were reading in Croft Alley?

RAE: Yes. I did not call the paps for that fucking photo. But I will say I was sobbing at Croft Alley right before that photo happened and I had already finished the book. I finished it in one night and people for some reason think that is unbelievable. I’m like, “Girl, have you ever read a good book or a book about someone you like? It’s easy to read it fast.” I had read it and I was with my managers, actually, at Croft Alley, and I was reading quotes out of it that I liked. Quotes that stood out to me really deeply. Then we were walking back to our cars and I was still being, like, “Oh, and then this.” And people are, like, “Bitch, we know you’re not reading and walking.” I’m like, “Girl, even if I was, let me read and walk in peace.” But honestly, it happens to the best of us. It’s a funny photo. And also shout-out Britney again.

OTTENBERG: What are the top five Britney songs? It doesn’t have to be in order.

Dress Stylist’s Own. Shoes Acquired Vintage.


Addison Rae

Dress Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello. Bracelets Palace Costume.

RAE: Okay. “Slave 4 U.”

OTTENBERG: One hundred percent.

RAE: “Overprotected.”

OTTENBERG: Great song.

RAE: “Me Against the Music.”

OTTENBERG: I don’t remember it. I’m sorry.

RAE: With Madonna.


RAE: “Toxic.”

OTTENBERG: Incredible.

RAE: And just for the classics, I’ll say “Hit Me Baby One More Time.”

OTTENBERG: That’s beautiful.

RAE: Wait—I’m going to replace “Hit Me Baby One More Time” and say “Showdown.”

OTTENBERG: “Showdown” is very good. What is the moment you felt the hottest ever?

RAE: I definitely feel the hottest after a workout or when I have a tan. When I have a tan, I feel hot and sexy and with no makeup. But I love the post-gym moment, like looking at my body naked after a workout, taking off my clothes, my hair’s wet. I have super flushed cheeks and I can tell my body just worked so hard for me. I feel like that’s when I feel the sexiest.

OTTENBERG: Have you ever seen Fast Times at Ridgemont High?

RAE: Yes.

OTTENBERG: I’m just visualizing you like Phoebe Cates slowly taking her—

RAE: Oh, my god. I love that.

OTTENBERG: It’s so you.

RAE: I appreciate that. I love that scene. The red bikini is so iconic.

OTTENBERG: It’s so fucking good. Alright. I’m done with all my questions. Is there anything else I should ask you? You can control the narrative.

RAE: Honestly, I like when you take control.

OTTENBERG: Okay. I feel like we got it.

RAE: Yeah. I feel like it, too.

OTTENBERG: Alright. Well, have a great rest of your afternoon. Thanks for hanging out with me today.

RAE: Thank you, Mel. I love you.

OTTENBERG: I love you too. Bye, baby.

Addison Rae

T-shirt Stylist’s Own. Bra, Shorts, and Bracelets Palace Costume. Gloves Balenciaga. Jeans Raimundo Langlois.