Austin Way Magazine - GreenGale Publishing - There is a place beyond the crowds, beyond the ropes, where dreams are realized and success is celebrated. You are invited.
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TO KNOW BROOKLYN DECKER, you simply have to scroll through her flawlessly unfiltered Instagram and Twitter feeds, and it's all there. She's a woman who embraces the goofy expression, the sans-makeup selfie, the sly political statement, and the occasional homage to bathroom humor. "I joined Twitter in 2009 when I was exclusively modeling, and as a model at that time, you didn't have a voice," says the former Sports Illustrated cover star over an afternoon cocktail at the sun- dappled South Congress Hotel bar. "People didn't know who you were, so there were a lot of judgments made based [only] on image. I loved having a tool to say what I wanted to say. I see it as so liberating because you can just put yourself out there." What started as a mode of self-expression is now a vehicle for her many passions. The actress, who stars in the Netflix series Grace and Frankie with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, is her own inte- rior designer for the West Austin home she shares with tennis champion Andy Roddick and their toddler, Hank. In between the red carpet photos you'll find a sketch of a sink, a snapshot of newly installed windows, and a whimsical portrait of Decker, wearing all black, wrapped around her brand-new bath fixtures, a la John Lennon and Yoko Ono in Rolling Stone ("Hello, new bath taps. You are the Yoko to my John," reads her playful caption). Decker's followers (which on both channels combined sur- pass 1 million) also know that she has helped expand the philanthropic reach of the Andy Roddick Foundation, which provides after-school and summer programs for children from low-income families. And they recently followed along as she unveiled the new tech startup Finery, an app that virtually orga- nizes your closet. Decker, the site's chief design officer, and close friend Whitney Casey, founder and CEO, launched the "world's first wardrobe operating system" in March during a media tour that included a panel at South by Southwest. "My day job—acting-—is wonderful, and I love it," says Decker. "[But] when you're tied to a show and you're not working, you can't really do anything else... so I have a lot of downtime in Austin. And while I love that, I get a little stir-crazy. I'm a bit of a workaholic." In addition to Finery's launch, spring also saw the third-sea- son debut of Grace and Frankie. In the middle of this whirlwind, Decker turned 30 on April 12, a birthday the North Carolina native shares with her mother and maternal grandmother. Decker's looking forward to her next decade: "I am having more fun as I'm getting older, so I'm excited about it. I'm in a really fortunate place right now, so going into 30, I have zero complaints." Her role as Fonda's daughter on the critically acclaimed Grace and Frankie solidified Decker's transition from model to actress. With her quirky sense of humor, Decker is drawn to comedy and admires the work of women like Dolly Parton, Kristen Wiig, and Melissa McCarthy. "That doesn't necessarily mean I'm very good at it," she adds with a smile, "but I've found it to be a comfortable medium for me. I audition for dramatic parts, and I still find the comedy in scenes where it might be inappro- priate but for me feels very natural." Not only has the actress learned much on set from the sea- soned cast, which also includes Sam Waterson and Martin Sheen, but being around the show's powerful women has made an impact on Decker politically and professionally. "They've really set a standard for their work," she says of Fonda and Tomlin. "We're in this really charged political cli- mate, and they're strong, iconic feminists, so it couldn't be more fascinating to be on set with them during this time. They're just incredible women to be around." She also enjoys a special chemistry with June Diane Raphael, who plays her sister, Brianna. "[Raphael] is fiercely confident with what she throws out there, and sometimes it falls flat on its face, but she usually gets some- thing great out of it," says Decker. "A lot of comedy is being fearless with what you throw out there, and it usually works. If you're confident, people believe you." What can't she do? As if being an actress, home designer, social media star, and philanthropist wasn't enough, Austin's Brooklyn Decker can now whip your wardrobe into shape, too. by KATHY BLACKWELL photography by SHAYNA FONTANA DOMESTIC GODDESS DOMESTIC DOMESTIC DOMESTIC S GODDESS GODDESS GODDESS AUSTINWAY.COM 61 WOMEN of POWER