Cara Delevingne Interview
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