Petal to the metal

Hav­ing wrapped the lat­est sea­son of TV drama Dy­nasty, Aussie ac­tor Mad­di­son Brown stars in a Stel­lar fash­ion shoot to show­case what hap­pens when flo­rals go high oc­tane

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents - Interview SASKIA TILLERS

Aussie ac­tor Mad­di­son Brown mod­els for Stel­lar in high­oc­tane flo­rals and tells of gain­ing big-time Hol­ly­wood sup­port from peers Mar­got Rob­bie and Ni­cole Kid­man.

Eight years have passed, but Mad­di­son Brown still owes Mar­got Rob­bie a thank you. When they crossed paths in 2011, Brown was just 14, a year into her mod­el­ling ca­reer, and still hop­ing to break into act­ing. “We met [while] work­shop­ping Mad Max [Fury Road],” Brown tells Stel­lar. “And it turns out that she’s ac­tu­ally the rea­son I’m with my man­agers in the States. I didn’t know this [at the time], but they had asked [Mar­got] if there was any­one in­ter­est­ing they should keep an eye out for. And she was like, ‘Oh yeah, Mad­di­son Brown.’ The rest is his­tory, I guess.”

She now has two seasons film­ing a main role in a TV re­boot of the glitzy ’80s soap Dy­nasty un­der her belt, an achievemen­t that Brown says “feels very sur­real at times. I [also] feel very lucky, but I worked hard – don’t get me wrong. It was a grind,

and will con­tinue to be. But I feel proud for the five-year-old me who had a lisp and was go­ing to act­ing classes – like, ‘You did it!’”

Brown, 22, was not even born when the first it­er­a­tion of Dy­nasty aired, an irony that is not lost on her. “It’s to­tally strange,” she says, adding that she did her home­work and binged the en­tire se­ries be­fore the new one (which screens in Aus­tralia on Net­flix) started film­ing. “I love Joan Collins, she’s so fab­u­lous. There’s a Prince song [‘Kiss’] where he says, ‘You don’t have to watch Dy­nasty to have an at­ti­tude.’ That re­ally made me re­alise just how mas­sive the orig­i­nal show was. It’s cool to be part of some­thing that has such a legacy.”

For her shoot with Stel­lar, Brown tough­ened up flo­rals and la­dy­like sil­hou­ettes with a smoky eye and slept-in hair, echo­ing the lav­ish cos­tum­ing on Dy­nasty. While ac­cus­tomed to play­ing dress-ups for a liv­ing, Brown’s per­sonal style is geared to achieve “com­fort over ex­trav­a­gant style – denim and linen with a few key pieces, like my R.M. Wil­liams boots”.

A third sea­son is slated to film and air later this year and the se­ries con­tin­ues to gain fans around the world, but Brown main­tains that life hasn’t changed all that much. Never one to feel in­tim­i­dated by lofty as­pi­ra­tions, Brown started au­di­tion­ing

for com­mer­cials and small roles from her NSW home­town of Du­ral, a sub­urb about 30km north­west of Syd­ney, as a child. At 13, she signed with a mod­el­ling agency whose scouts were im­pressed by her ethe­real beauty, wide-set eyes, pil­lowy lips and Bambi-like limbs. Act­ing took a brief back seat as she walked in shows for Calvin Klein, Ja­son Wu, Mul­berry and March­esa. A Chanel cam­paign, Vogue Por­tu­gal cover and a star­ring role in Steven Meisel’s short film for Miu Miu’s A/W ’15 cam­paign fol­lowed.

In 2015, Brown turned down a Paris-based gig for Louis Vuit­ton to in­stead come home to Aus­tralia and au­di­tion for the film thriller Stranger­land. The risk paid off, and soon she was in the out­back along­side Ni­cole Kid­man, Hugo Weav­ing and Joseph Fi­ennes. “That changed my life,” says Brown. “[Ni­cole] re­ally opened the door to start­ing a ca­reer in the US for me. She’s a won­der­ful hu­man be­ing, and is all about sup­port­ing women. She wanted to keep in touch and make sure that I was al­ways happy and doing well, in a very ma­ter­nal and men­tor­ing way.”

Travelling since child­hood has had its ob­vi­ous perks, but Brown ad­mits it did also mean she missed key mile­stones. “I do look back and part of me kind of wishes that I’d stayed and fin­ished Year 12 and had that rite of pas­sage,” she muses. “But at the same time, it re­ally wasn’t where my head or heart were at. So I wouldn’t change any­thing if I were to go back and do it all again. Not a thing.”

“Ni­cole Kid­man opened the door to the US for me”

Pho­tog­ra­phy SASKIA WIL­SON Styling KELLY HUME

Rixo dress, $569, david­jones.com; Ro­mance Was Born body­suit, $254, ro­mance­was­born.com; Prada socks (worn through­out), $220, (02) 9223 1688; Marni shoes (worn through­out), $995, (02) 9327 3809

Ro­mance Was Born top, $595, ro­mance­was born.com; Zara skirt, $69.95, zara.com/au; (opposite, above) Prada body­suit, $2150, and skirt, $4860, (02) 9223 1688; (opposite, be­low) Gucci jacket, $5200, and dress, POA, 1300 442 878

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