FIC­TION IS NOW A MOD­ERN RE­AL­ITY

Cara Delev­ingne has moved from the cat­walk to the sil­ver screen with seam­less suc­cess, her lat­est role mak­ing her a star among the plan­ets

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY - LEXIE CARTWRIGHT

To her le­gion of diehard fans, Cara Delev­ingne is known as the “queen of the eye­brows” who shot to fame as a Vic­to­ria’s Se­cret model and forms part of Tay­lor Swift’s fa­mous girl squad.

And while high-end mod­el­ling has built her an im­pres­sive ca­reer on the cat­walk and a string of fash­ion and beauty cam­paigns over the years, Delev­ingne fi­nally feels like she’s found where she truly be­longs on the big screen.

Af­ter be­ing part of the en­sem­ble cast in last year’s box of­fice smash Sui­cide Squad, the 24-year-old Brit is the lead­ing lady in Euro­pean big bud­get film Va­le­rian and the City of a Thou­sand Plan­ets, a pas­sion project of renowned French di­rec­tor Luc Bes­son.

Set in the 28th cen­tury, the story fol­lows space agents Va­le­rian, played by Amer­i­can ac­tor Dane DeHaan, and his love in­ter­est Lau­re­line (Delev­ingne) as they work to­gether to di­min­ish an evil in their galaxy.

The pair are sent on a mis­sion to in­ves­ti­gate a dark force that is threat­en­ing the peace at Al­pha, a grow­ing city with a thou­sand plan­ets, where dif­fer­ent species have come to­gether to share their knowl­edge and in­tel­li­gence to build a me­trop­o­lis.

The film, which is an adap­ta­tion of French comic book Va­le­rian and Lau­re­line, is said to have cost a whop­ping $180 mil­lion to make and also fea­tures an­other big name in pop star Ri­hanna.

In an in­ter­view with Watch, Delev­ingne says bag­ging the role as the strong and in­de­pen­dent fe­male char­ac­ter was a “dream come true”.

“It re­ally was,” she says. “She’s such a great char­ac­ter. I love that she’s equally as strong as Va­le­rian.

“It was so much fun get­ting to play this amazing, strong and funny woman. She’s a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of what I think women are. They are strong, they are mul­ti­fac­eted and they have a voice. Luc has this amazing way of show­ing women as they are and Lau­re­line is a woman that I as­pire to be.”

Delev­ingne, who is be­com­ing a reg­u­lar face in big movies, in­clud­ing Pa­per Towns (2015) and Sui­cide Squad (2016), says act­ing has be­come her main fo­cus, amid re­ports she quit mod­el­ling.

“I don’t think I like the word quit,” she says. “I don’t think I need to stop any­thing.

“Act­ing is some­thing I’ve wanted to do my en­tire life. But it’s not some­thing I need to stop any­thing for. It’s more about prov­ing my­self.

“Peo­ple al­ways ask me about mod­el­ling. It doesn’t stop me. It only fu­els me to work harder. I want to con­tinue work­ing and be the best I can be.”

DeHaan, who plays the hero of the film, says scor­ing the role of Va­le­rian has been his big­gest ca­reer high­light to date, de­spite the many big projects he’s al­ready been in­volved in. He says it was par­tic­u­larly re­ward­ing be­cause he had the op­por­tu­nity to work with Bes­son.

“I got a phone call and the next thing I know I was at a ta­ble at break­fast with Luc and he said, ‘I’m mak­ing a movie I’ve been want­ing to make my en­tire life and I want you to star in it’,” DeHaan says.

“It was so mind-blow­ing, I couldn’t com­pre­hend what was hap­pen­ing at the time. It was like winning the lot­tery.

“I know so many ac­tors who can’t get work, and they work so hard, and it just re­ally makes me feel priv­i­leged to have op­por­tu­ni­ties like this. I just never take it for granted.”

DeHaan, 31, who has just wel­comed his first child, Bowie Rose, with his ac­tress wife Anna Wood, is best known for his break­out roles in the sci­ence-fic­tion thriller Chron­i­cle (2012) as well as The Amazing Spi­der-Man 2 (2015) and acclaimed indie films such as Kill Your Dar­lings (2013) and Life (2015).

But, de­spite be­ing no stranger to phys­i­cal roles, he says play­ing the tough su­per­hero char­ac­ter of Va­le­rian was on an­other level.

“I’ve been in the best shape of my life do­ing this film. I was train­ing three months be­fore I started film­ing,” he says. “Ev­ery morn­ing, I would come to the stu­dio early in the morn­ing and go to the gym be­fore head­ing to the set. We had to be in great shape.”

But was the phys­i­cal­ity of play­ing a de­tec­tive agent as in­tense as fa­ther­hood?

“Noth­ing can pre­pare you for be­ing a par­ent,” he says. “But, to be hon­est, it’s amazing. It’s changed me in so many ways. I thought it would be like, how much I love my dog. It would just be the same tran­si­tion.

“But as soon as I saw her face, ev­ery­thing changed. I’m lov­ing be­ing a dad.”

He, along with Delev­ingne, spent more than six months film­ing the sci-fi flick at Cite du Cin­ema in Paris, the 62,000m sq stu­dio com­plex built by Bes­son.

The pair are hope­ful their hard work and long hours mak­ing movie magic will pay off.

“I mean I guess we hope peo­ple love it as much as we loved mak­ing it,” Delev­ingne says. “It was so much fun com­ing onto this set ev­ery day. We re­ally did have such a great time mak­ing this movie.

“The ma­te­rial was so rich in terms of the comic books and Luc has wanted to make this his en­tire life, so he had ev­ery­thing painted out, ev­ery char­ac­ter, ev­ery sce­nario.

“We had all the pic­tures pasted up in our dress­ing rooms so we could imag­ine the sit­u­a­tion be­fore go­ing into it.

“The film is like a dip into his imag­i­na­tion.” Va­le­rian and the City of a Thou­sand Plan­ets is out in ma­jor cin­e­mas now

IT WAS SO MUCH FUN GET­TING TO PLAY THIS AMAZING, STRONG AND FUNNY WOMAN

Cara Delevinge in a scene from Luc Bes­son’s new sci-fi block­buster Va­le­rian and the City of a Thou­sand Plan­ets.

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