Hollywood"s Model Invasion Continues Apace
Did you know that Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Lange both began their careers as models? Lauren Hutton and Cameron Diaz, Lauren Bacall and Charlize Theron, too. And then theres Jaime King, Milla Jovovich, Ashton Kutcher-and the list goes on. And while nowadays the concept of models trying for longevity (or at least longer careers) through turns on the silver screen isn"t exactly new, it seems that the path from the runway to the big screen is shorter than ever. With successful models turning up everywhere from Netflix dramas to award-winning films, this year alone promises to find catwalkers and campaign stars like Cara Delevingne, Suki Waterhouse, and Tao Okamoto all set to appear on the big screen, while newcomers like Kelly Rohrbach are leveraging their success (and high-profile romantic lives) into prominent roles.
On television, the wealth of dramatic series and opportunity for nuanced roles has proved to be an irresistible draw, particularly for models eager to reinvent themselves. It would be hard to recognize Outlander star Caitriona Balfe from her early days on the Victoria"s Secret runway, or confuse the warrior Travis Fimmel plays on Vikings with the pretty-boy persona he adopted for his Calvin Klein ads. Boyd Holbrook"s past as an androgynous Dior Homme model seems irrelevant in the face of his powerhouse turn as a DEA agent on Narcos, and Hari Nefs pivotal Transparent character, Tante Gittel, is a successful bit of casting, Nefs previous modeling career (and appearance in the pages of Vogue ) something of a nice cherry on top. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley has made a nice little side career playing various damsels in distress, most recently in the critically acclaimed Mad Max: Fury Road alongside fellow catwalker Abbey Lee. And models are doing more than just walking across the screen in fabulous outfits: Naomi Campbell has a recurring-and increasingly central-role on Empire, and Lee has what looks like to be a major part in Nicolas Winding Refns new film, The Neon Demon, starring opposite Elle Fanning.
For Cara Delevingne, who has said that she has retired from the runway, her latest cinematic step is into super-villain territory, with her role as Enchantress in DC Comicss highly anticipated Suicide Squad. Starring alongside Hollywood heavy hitters like Jared Leto, Will Smith, and Viola Davis offers Delevingne a chance to shine, and to prove that shes got blockbuster-worthy acting chops. Fellow Londoner Suki Waterhouse has three films slated for 2016, including a small role in comic-horror adaptation Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and a spot opposite Keanu Reeves in The Bad Batch, a dystopian love story set in a cannibal community in Texas. Tao Okamoto, who is coming off the success of her role in Amazons The Man in the High Castle, follows with a part in Zack Snyders Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which, due to its subject matter, seems destined to be among the years buzziest blockbuster films. And while Delevingne, Okamoto, and Waterhouse may have very well-publicized parts, they arent the only ones with plum roles on the horizon: Georgetown student�turned�swimsuit model Kelly Rohrbach is set to fill s iconic red one-piece in the Baywatch movie opposite Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Zac Efron, while Emily Ratajkowski is following her roles in Gone Girl and We Are Your Friends (also with Zac Efron) with a leading role in the forthcoming 1980s romantic drama Cruise. Which is all to say that given the relatively short shelf life of the average model, the history of others successes in the forum, and the fact that casting directors are always in search of that next telegenic and talented new face, you can certainly expect to see even more models making their way to a screen near you. So keep your eyes peeled next Fashion Week-you never know wholl be next to make the leap.