Cara Delev­ingne In­ter­view

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L et’s be hon­est: we’re se­ri­ously in awe of Cara Delev­ingne right now. The 24-year-old has al­ways been des­tined for big things – and right now she’s smash­ing her ca­reer goals. The model-cum-ac­tress-cum-au­thor is about to re­lease a new sci-fi movie, Va­le­rian and the City Of A Thou­sand Plan­ets (at cin­e­mas from 2 Au­gust). Star­ring along­side Ri­hanna, Cara plays Lau­re­line, a spe­cial op­er­a­tive tasked with safe­guard­ing the fu­ture of the uni­verse.

On the red car­pet, Cara opened up about her act­ing ca­reer, how she’s chan­nelled her per­sonal strug­gles and the mo­ment she was of­fered her dream role. She might still want to con­quer the act­ing world, but in our eyes she’s al­ready done it...

Hi, Cara! Con­grats on your new role. Didy­oures­onate with this char­ac­ter on a per­sonal level? Def­i­nitely. For me, she’s a hopeless ro­man­tic and very old­fash­ioned in that sense, so I think that’s what we have in com­mon. She’s very hard-work­ing, very strong and isn’t scared to speak her mind – which is a trait I have too. But she’s a lot more se­ri­ous than me. Talk­ing about se­ri­ous­ness, I see your new plat­inum blonde hair… I’m about to do a film where I have to shave my head [Life In A Year, with Jay­den Smith] so I just thought: ‘Why not bleach it?’ When did it all start with Va­le­rian – how did you get the part? I’ve been a fan of the di­rec­tor [Luc Bes­son] ever since I can re­mem­ber. To even meet the man, let alone be in one of his films, was a dream come true. The way he spoke about the film was like a child speak­ing about their fan­tasy. From that mo­ment on, I fell in love with it. I knew I needed to do it. I re­ally wanted to prove to him that I’d do what­ever it took. Did you au­di­tion? No, we just met in LA and then I went to see him in Paris and he put me through an ac­tor’s test where you pre­tend to be an an­i­mal. It was about phys­i­cal­ity and throw­ing your­self into some­thing. The script was so top se­cret it had to be sent with its own body­guard and I had to sit there and read it all (300 pages) while the body­guard was there. Do you have cri­te­ria for choos­ing roles? Is it dif­fi­cult to say no to mod­el­ling jobs that con­flict? I’ve been lucky with the parts I’ve had. They’re all strong fe­male char­ac­ters. It’s very im­por­tant for me to be a role model for young girls. There isn’t any limit in terms of what I want to do as an ac­tress. So you’re not look­ing to go with one genre? No. I re­ally want to do some com­edy, scary movies, even mu­si­cals. I’m a big film buff. Any movie that comes my way, I’d be happy to look at. Va­le­rian is about a dark force that threat­ens civil­i­sa­tion – you’ve been vo­cal in the past about hur­dles you’ve over­come and your own dark forces, with pso­ri­a­sis and de­pres­sion. Do you chan­nel that strength to your film roles? Yeah. As an ac­tor, ev­ery ex­pe­ri­ence you have in life is act­ing school. When you have

I’m not scared to speak my mind

a char­ac­ter, you take pieces of your­self to build it. You take what you need to make that char­ac­ter and throw away the bits you don’t. Fun­nily enough, when I was film­ing I had pso­ri­a­sis quite badly. There’s a scene in the film where I have to wear a bikini and I felt so pres­sured to get rid of it that the pres­sure was mak­ing it worse. It’s all stress-re­lated, so I had to take a week’s break be­fore film­ing that scene. You re­cently an­nounced you’re writ­ing a book, Mir­ror Mir­ror. Is it about your own child­hood? When I was a kid, keep­ing a diary was so im­por­tant. I al­ways write down how I feel and it’s been a dream of mine to do this. There isn’t re­ally any­thing based on my life in there, though. Do you suf­fer from writer’s block at all? All the time. I write mu­sic and poetry too. I write a lot on planes – that’s where I shut off. What can you tell us about the out-of-this-world cos­tumes you got to wear in Va­le­rian? The cos­tumes are so in­cred­i­ble! I think Luc’s style – and Olivier, who he works with – is just im­pec­ca­ble. They man­aged to draw from so many eras and they made space into this eclec­tic, fu­tur­is­tic, amaz­ing style. Ab­so­lutely no one else could do it like him. You men­tioned it’s im­por­tant for you to be a role model. Does that weigh heav­ily on you? Yeah. Grow­ing up, I felt very lonely and I didn’t know ex­actly who to look up to. So when kids say I’ve helped them achieve some­thing or fol­low a dream, that’s amaz­ing. You have a rep­u­ta­tion as the life of the party – do you have to rein that in now? I’m hu­man – I am who I am and I’m not pre­tend­ing to be per­fect at all. I have flaws – ev­ery­one does – so of course I try to be hon­est about them. I try to teach kids that if they want to fol­low their dreams they have to work hard. Has that lone­li­ness from your child­hood gone now? Def­i­nitely. I’m liv­ing my dream, but those mem­o­ries are part of me and they make me stronger. They make me who I am.

Cara plays Lau­re­line in the film, along­side Dane Dehaan

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