Models in FilmFrom catwalk to cinema, we look at some of the highest profile model-to-actress converts.
Models, they’ve already won the gene pool lottery. And just when we thought there wasn’t enough for us mere mortals to become jealous of, a select few go and flaunt just how talented they are by making the leap to acting and directing. And kicking ass at it nonetheless. You want to hate them. Your therapist says you should. But like a three-day old box of donuts, they’re just too damn good to despise. Sure, some have bombed harder than a sumo deep diver. But for every robotic or up-talking effort by the likes of Gisele Bundchen, Naomi Campbell or Tyra Banks, there are countless others who have changed cinema forever - or, you know, made a pretty good impression. FYI - Charlize Theron was too obvious.
She’s featured on more billboards than you’d ever be able to circumnavigate the globe to see. And walked more miles for big campaigns than you do on your daily commute, effectively making her the biggest name in modern modeling. Born to UK socialites, she seemed to have it all - then decided she wanted even more. Disgusting, right? But with her 2015 debut leading role in Paper Towns came proof she had it all and more. She was a shining light in an otherwise average film and has since locked in roles in anticipated upcomers Suicide Squad and Ab Fab: The Movie.
Even covered in blood and guts as Daryl on AMC’s The Walking Dead, if you listen quietly you can hear a collective swoon from women and men across the country every time Reedus graces the screen. But before the phenomenon that is TWD and the kick-assery that was Boondock Saints, Daryl was a walker himself - for Prada and various other high-end brands in the 1990s. Fun fact: he has a kid with model Helena Christensen.
If there’s been one convert who led the way for the likes of Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Brooklyn Decker and Kate Upton to make the leap - though not as successfully - it’s Rebecca Romijn. She walked among the original, and still the best, supermodels of the early 1990s and smashed the divide between modeling and acting forever with her turn as Mystique in 2000’s X-Men. She’s starred in many a film and television show since. All that despite being married to the now-redeemed John Stamos for nearly a decade.
You don’t have to agree with some of the diatribe on her Twitter feed, but on the screen Em Rata is making her presence felt as an actress. Along with likes of Abbey Lee, Dree Hemingway and a whole host of others, Rata is leading the way for a new generation of converts with roles in titles such as Gone Girl, Entourage and Will Ferrell’s obscure IFC comedy, The Spoils Before Dying. Only time will tell if she has the goods. Fun fact: Before that Blurred Lines video, Rata featured in two episodes of Nickelodeon’s iCarly.
If there’s a more accomplished model in the entertainment industry than the House of Cards star, we haven’t found one. Because harder than breaking into television as a model was breaking out of daytime soaps to become a genuine film star in cult favorite The Princess Bride. She went on to play the restless hedonist Jenny in Forrest Gump and now not only stars in the award-winning House of Cards, but has directed many episodes as well.