Amber Midthunder likens herself to a turtle — a creature with her home on her back, carrying her own comfort in a space just big enough for her to crawl inside at a moment’s notice. “I am a huge homebody,” she tells Teen Vogue with a grin. “I love to be home, I love being in one place.”
The 25-year-old finds it ironic that she ended up choosing a career that requires so much travel and temporary displacement, whether it’s for premieres and press tours or spending months on set in a brand new city. Ahead of her six-month stay in Canada to star in Hulu’s hit 2022 summer release, Prey, she was apprehensive about being away from home, and away from family, for so long. And since they’d be shooting during the COVID-19 pandemic, no one would be permitted to visit. Midthunder turned to her Roswell costar Jeanine Mason for advice (which Mason originally got from Christine Baranski, the mom of Roswell costar Lily Cowles): make whatever new space you’re in feel like home as soon as you get there.
So Midthunder brought a few things — candles, a blanket, her skincare — all items that activate her senses and remind her of the family, friends, and places she holds close. The routine nature of her skincare regimen feels grounding, she says, but it’s the mixture of aromas, especially, that makes her feel at home. She feels similarly about her candles; pleasant, familiar fragrances make her feel rooted in something real, no matter where she is.
“I think that as a woman, as a young person, as somebody of color, learning that stuff and holding onto those things has been really important for me,” says Midthunder. “Just for self-preservation, I think that finding what makes you feel grounded and what makes you feel rooted, whether that's routine or it's a person or it's a book or whatever that is. Making sure that you have that thing that makes you feel like you, whether it's being inside your home and making sure some things don't enter your space. Or if you have to leave your home and you bring them with you.”