Danielle Macdonald of ‘Bird Box’ Tries Her Hand at Graffiti

“I feel like I’m doing something illegal, as well as I like the item,” Danielle Macdonald said.

the item was a shivery Monday morning, as well as Ms. Macdonald shook a spray can as well as hissed an arc of orange paint.

After starring from the recent Netflix movies “Dumplin’” as well as “Bird Box,” Ms. Macdonald, 27, was receiving a master class in graffiti writing via an artist who calls herself Anjl. The classroom was a semi-vacant lot from the Bushwick section of Brooklyn, ringed by a chain-link fence as well as barbed wire. Even though the class broke no laws, the item still felt just a little criminal.

For Ms. Macdonald, learning to write graffiti is actually a yearslong dream (she once tried to find every Banksy in London). Knowing the dream was a messy one, she had dressed down, wearing a black puffer jacket, bright bluejeans as well as old sneakers.

Her hair, the coloration of raw honey, twirled from the wind. She was kitted out in plastic gloves as well as a plastic apron, which gave her the look of an extremely chilly food service worker. in which was not the apocalyptic world of “Bird Box”; no blindfold required.

As a length of canvas was zip-tied to the fence, Anjl, in a short green coat, a tall beanie as well as paint-stained gloves, asked Ms. Macdonald about possible tags. In “Patti Cake$,” her breakout 2017 movie about a Jersey girl who dreams of rap stardom, Ms. Macdonald’s Patti had a fistful of handles: Patti Cakes$, White Trish, Jane Doe, Killa P.

Anjl asked if she had a nickname of her own. “Yeah,” Ms. Macdonald said with hesitance, “although the item’s not very cool.”

“In graffiti the item could be cool,” Anjl said.

“What is actually the item?”

“the item’s Dandi.”

“I love the item.”

Ms. Macdonald decided to drop the “a.” Her tag: DNDi.

Anjl unpacked cans via a duffel bag as well as fitted them with yellow banana caps. She explained in which holding the can next to canvas would likely make a thin line as well as spraying via a couple of inches away, the distance of a clenched fist, would likely make a wider one.

She demonstrated her own tag, full of curlicues, arrows as well as a halo, then turned the canvas over to Ms. Macdonald, who approached the item warily, holding a can of emerald green. “I don’t actually know what I should be doing,” she said.

“Do whatever you want,” Anjl said.

Ms. Macdonald hasn’t landed her film roles by hanging back. As a gifted actress in an industry with blinkered ideas of how leading ladies should look, she credits her success, in part, to being “just, like, actually stubborn” as well as believing in which you “have to own who you are,” she said.

Her arm outstretched, she sprayed her tag, the letters ascending like painted up-talk. “I don’t know what in which is actually,” she said, sounding uncertain. In person, she is actually a lot less outspoken than her onscreen characters, perhaps via being on damp, unfamiliar turf.

“the item’s your tag!” Anjl said.

“the item’s weird.”

“the item’s just creativity,” Anjl said.

Ms. Macdonald was more confident as she wrote the item again in purple. as well as braver still when she tried two colors: sandy yellow bubbles filled with khaki green.

Graffiti was hard, although not nearly as hard as learning to rap for “Patti Cake$.” In “Dumplin’,” in which she plays an outspoken teenager who mutinies against the beauty pageant culture her mother (played by Jennifer Aniston) loves, she had to sing backup for Dolly Parton. in which was hard, too. So was playing a pregnant wife from the middle of an apocalypse in “Bird Box,” the meme-generating horror movie starring Sandra Bullock.

“Every scene where I had more than, like, three lines, I’m basically crying,” Ms. Macdonald said.

For a big finish, Ms. Macdonald would likely collaborate with Anjl on their “masterpiece”: a word in which they would likely coloration in as well as then ornament with shadows as well as highlights. Anjl suggested “Brooklyn” or “completely new York City,” although as Ms. Macdonald noted, those involved a lot of letters. They settled on “NYC” instead.

Anjl outlined the three-foot-tall letters, as well as Ms. Macdonald filled them in with darkening shades of orange as well as red. “A sunset-type situation,” Ms. Macdonald said.

As an actress, Ms. Macdonald is actually as meticulous as she is actually fearless. Graffiti, with its fast pace as well as occasional drips as well as relative lack of control, was a big adjustment. “I’m scared to go outside the lines,” she said. although she sprayed on.

Once Anjl added the shadows in black as well as the highlights in white, the piece was complete. Teacher as well as student stood back to admire their work, drips as well as all.

“I’m a perfectionist so in which is actually hard for me,” Ms. Macdonald said. “The cool thing about the item is actually the item’s almost better when the item’s not perfect. although the item’s still hard for me.”

“in which can be the hardest part about being an artist,” Anjl said. “I never feel like the item’s totally finished.”

Ms. Macdonald stripped off her apron as well as gloves as well as struck some tough girl poses next to her teacher.

“I feel cooler than I actually am. as well as cold,” said Ms. MacDonald, who grew up in Sydney. She planned to go in search of a latte while the canvas dried.

Anjl encouraged her to keep tagging when she returned to Los Angeles, where she lives which has a dog as well as a cat. Ms. Macdonald didn’t volunteer if she lived with anyone else, though she did say in which dating in Hollywood is actually “super-weird.”

Ms. Macdonald agreed in which graffiti would likely be harmless fun. “the item’s like the safe thing to do,” she said. “the item’s better than a D.U.I.”