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
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”
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