‘CHiPS’ Star Jessica McNamee’s Exercise Routine Helps Her in the Battle of the Sexes

Donna Freydkin
Jessica McNamee in Balmain at the premiere of <em>CHiPS.</em> (Photo: Getty Images)
Jessica McNamee in Balmain at the premiere of CHiPS. (Photo: Getty Images)

Good cop, bad cop? It doesn’t matter to Jessica McNamee, who dons a uniform in the comedy CHIPS, written and directed by Dax Shepard and now in theaters.

“It felt like I was one of the boys on set. I got to be a bit rough-and-tumble with them. We were dressed the same. It was wonderful to not have to think about it or worry about wardrobe. Once you put your gun belt on, it transforms you a bit. It made me feel more tough. I didn’t have to show any skin, which was a nice change,” McNamee tells Yahoo Style.

The Aussie actress, who got her start in soap operas, also relished having the same call time as the guys, since hair and makeup wasn’t a major issue on set.

Jessica McNamee (Photo: Getty Images)
Jessica McNamee (Photo: Getty Images)

“It did take a minute to get into the uniform. It was a couple of layers,” she says.

In real life, McNamee, 30, is equally relaxed about her attire. Her own uniform, she says, is a favorite pair of Levi’s jeans, paired with sandals and a cute top. Her skin care routine consists largely of that perennial favorite La Mer.

However, exercise gets top billing.

“I like to stay in shape. It’s good for my mental state. I make sure I do something every day, whether it’s hiking or yoga. I love reformer Pilates. I exercise in the morning and get on with my day. I’m good with my diet. I eat a lot of fiber and white meat. I’m pretty well-behaved. I love cheese and wine. That can get me,” she says.

Game day #chipspremiere #chiphappens @daxshepard

A post shared by Jessica McNamee (@jessica_mcnamee) on Mar 20, 2017 at 11:50am PDT

Her attention to her physical fitness served her well in her upcoming movie Battle of the Sexes, out in September. It’s about the epic tennis match in 1973 between Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell). McNamee plays Margaret Court, the first woman to win all four Grand Slam tournaments in one year, 1970.

“It’s an unreal film. It was surreal being involved in that. I had two months of training. I’m wearing a crazy wig, a short wig. No makeup. We all got to transform in that,” she says.

Playing Stone’s total rival in the film didn’t translate to their real-life dynamics.

“Emma is an absolute delight. What you see in interviews is her to a T. The first day I met her, I was getting my wig put on and couldn’t move my head. She stuck her head in front of mine and couldn’t have been more welcoming and friendly,” says McNamee. “I played Emma in a couple of matches. Emma was supercommitted to that film. She was in the gym every day lifting weights. She’s unrecognizable.”

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