23-year-old American model Emily Ratajkowski has moved on from her much-publicised 2012 appearance in Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines video, securing an acting role last year in David Fincher's Gone Girl. Next up, she's in the forthcoming Entourage film.
We spoke with her about what to expect from that, what it is she loves about Instagram and what her perfect date entails.
What was it like going from modelling and music videos to starring alongside Ben Affleck in a David Fincher film?
It felt natural to me because I’ve done acting my whole life. I only pursued modelling because it seemed to be the thing that was taking off for me. I was also really disenchanted with the roles I was being offered as a model, but this was one of the first opportunities where I was excited by what I'd read.
Ben Affleck recommended you for the role – you must be pretty thankful…
Absolutely – but if you ask David, he would say Ben had nothing to do with it. I’m just thankful to them both. To have any actor and director in your corner is a lucky thing.
You have a big Instagram following (last count: 1.8m followers) – what do you like about it so much?
There are a few things I like. I prefer it to other social media platforms because it’s a visual feed you can go to during those in-between moments. I like using it for my career because it’s an opportunity to connect with people. It’s also nice to be able to dictate your image directly as opposed to a filtered version by the press.
Some would say that Robin Thicke song Blurred Lines was an even bigger hit due to your appearance in the music video. Was that something you expected?
Absolutely not – it was a total surprise. I was thrilled that people loved the video so much, but at the time it was just another job. I wasn’t thinking about where it would take me. The viral nature of things exploding so quickly is a phenomenon of our time. It was such a trip.
What do you make of the controversy it caused? It was banned in universities across the UK after being deemed “pro-rape”...
I wasn’t shocked, but 'pro-rape' is a really extreme thing to say. After it all happened, I was curious to read some of the literature as to why people feel that way, and found that others were saying it was actually super-empowering – that the girl in the song is the one in control and he’s saying to her, “You’re in charge, but I can handle you.”
If you could appear in one other musician’s music video, whose would it be?
I would have to say Prince or The Beatles. In terms of now, I’m really interested in what Kanye West is doing with Paul McCartney. It’s very interesting – there’s not a lot of people making music like that today
You’re quoted as saying that you’re a model who "...breaks down traditional body barriers." What do you mean by that?
After the 90s, there was an omnipresent heroin chic at all the fashion weeks, but recently there are a lot of models – including myself – who aren’t your typical A-Cup or 5'9". It's nice to see a lot of diversity in the industry.
What’s the highlight of your modelling career so far?
That’s tough. It’s so rare to work with someone who’s an artist in modelling, but shooting with (American fashion photographer) Bruce Weber and (British photographer) David Simms was a different process. It can be like a film shoot – you're still taking on a part.
Where’s your favourite place to eat and what’s your order?
They have a really great restaurant in the NoMad Hotel in New York; they make this crazy chicken which is really good. It’s a ridiculous amount of money so you have to split it.
What’s the best night out you’ve ever had?
I’ve had some really great nights in New York, especially while living there as a young person. It has an incredible energy. Even going out in Los Angeles, or any other city, you don’t have that vibe on the street. It’s just so alive.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I can read really quickly. I read books like I watch movies – I feel like I have to finish right away, which is good when I’m traveling. I like to cook. I can do anything; I’m one of those recipe chefs.
What’s your perfect date?
I like a good Sunday date – going to a market, getting a brunch, having Mimosas and, if it’s nice weather, going to a park.
What’s your favourite city in the world?
I love London, but I haven’t had enough time to explore it as an adult. I do love Rome too. It’s less perfect than Paris, but I enjoy Italian culture. The best thing to do is to go into the middle of the city, walk around, grab a Buffalo mozzarella and eat it like a fruit.
What’s your desert island film, book and album?
Holy shit. Now we’re playing hardball. I guess Lorrie Moore’s Self-Help short stories. For album, probably Talking Heads: 77. Movie is tough…
I’ll give you two.
Okay, Some Like It Hot… and I’ll pick an Oscar film. I really like Birdman.
Talking of the Oscars, are you disappointed Gone Girl didn’t get more nominations?
It’s a funny thing, because David didn’t make the film for any sort of accolades. He just wanted to make a great movie. The audience’s response to it – and how well he kept the secret – was enough.
Emily in Gone Girl
What can we expect from the new Entourage film?
It's going to be a lot of fun. Anyone who loves the TV series is going to be so excited – it’s a reunion of this perfect crew of guys. I play a funny Hollywood version of myself. The best bits of the series are definitely in the film.
What’s after that?
We Are Your Friends with Zac Efron – it's a Saturday Night Fever type coming-of-age drama set in the LA DJ’ing scene.
Where do you see yourself in ten years time?
It’s so hard to say. If someone had asked me three years ago if I would be acting in a David Fincher film, I would have said no. I’ve been like that all my life; I went to college and thought I was going to be an artist or a professor… so I don’t really know. I would hope to still be doing it all.
Gone Girl is out on Blu-ray and DVD now, from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment