We grew up with both the Griswolds of National Lampoon’s Vacation and with Christina Applegate, so to see her step into the role of Debbie Griswold in Vacation—which hits theatres July 29th—is a cinematic treat. The movie follows Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms) as he follows in his father’s (Chevy Chase) footsteps and surprises his wife (Christina Applegate) and sons with a cross-country road trip to America’s best theme park, Walley World. Applegate brings her natural comedic flair to the misadventure, which also includes Kristen Wiig, Chris Hemsworth, and Leslie Mann.
Applegate’s own experience with road trips is no more successful than the Griswolds. “I’ve only done one road trip, and it was from San Francisco to L.A. when I was younger,” Applegate told us. “I was so tired from being at a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert, and think I nearly fell asleep on the freeway with my eyes open. Don’t do that!” If she could have a do-over, she wouldn’t be the driver. “A road trip to me is being in a big RV—not driven by me—with a bathroom, a kitchen and food, not stuck in a car with a bunch of people à la Griswold style!”
Speaking of style, Applegate’s made many a character into a style icon, from Sue Ellen Crandell’s ‘80s shoulder pads in Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead to Veronica Corningstone’s newsroom suiting in Anchorman. As for her own style, she considers Katherine Hepburn an icon and favors comfortable classics for her busy L.A. lifestyle, which includes running breast cancer foundation Right Action For Women. “Since becoming a mother, I wear sweatpants—enough said!” she admits with a laugh. Here, she shares her Barneys shopping list, featuring a chic mix of modern classics.