You’re starring in the Jimmy Choo holiday campaign, what is your idea of the perfect Christmas?
Friends, family, food, feast, fiesta and obviously lots of presents!
Do you have any family traditions that you would never let go of?
We love a good Christmas cracker. Putting the angel on top of the tree, decorating the tree and opening the stockings on Christmas morning with all the kids are all traditions. Also putting carrots, a little glass of whiskey and mince pies out for Father Christmas to eat—because he’s so greedy!
When it comes to gifting what are your failsafe tips?
I love giving presents all year around. My favourite thing about gifting it that it actually doesn’t matter how much money you spend. I think sentimental presents are really special. I like to do a mixture of fun, crazy, whacky presents and then also give something that really means something to someone.
Hand in hand with Christmas comes party season and New Year. What makes the perfect party outfit?
Glitter, sparkles, a feather boa if you’re interested. Obviously, a Santa hat or funny glasses. I like a good outfit change, so if you have a little Santa bag stockpiled with different outfits which you can put on and swap with people, I think that’s fun.
Do you have any party traditions? Christmas Eve in the pub in your home town or friends that you get together with every year/ a special dinner?
Usually, because my family is so big, we have a ‘fake’ Christmas where we go to a place in the countryside and have our own little celebration before Christmas all together. Of course, I love a good pub gathering around Christmas time and drinking eggnog, which is disgusting but you have to drink it because it’s Christmas! I also do like a bit of caroling while I’m there.
What makes a holiday party invitation irresistible?
Glitter! The notion of celebrating togetherness and coming together with your family and friends as much as possible for Christmas is the appeal for me. So, any invitation is a good invitation.
Can you describe your favourite party season outfit of all time?
I really love to dress up – and I’m not just talking about looking nice. I do like to put on a crazy outfit and be an elf or a reindeer. Or even if I just wear a nice sparkly dress with a red nose, it’ something different and quirky—it’s not just a normal party outfit. I like to have some sort of accessory, even if it’s just horns.
Is there anything you wouldn’t wear—are you pro or anti Christmas jumpers for example?
I’m very much pro Christmas jumpers – you are obliged at Christmas to look stupid because you’re with your family. So, everyone should wear a Christmas jumper at some point.
How do you think your style has changed as you’ve got older and changed the emphasis of your career?
As I’ve grown up, my style has changed. I guess I wear less statement T-shirts and baseball caps and it’s more about a beret and leather jacket. I think it’s just matured in a way, but I still like to be comfortable in what I wear.
The collection includes several unisex styles, some of which you were pictured wearing—androgyny has become such a staple in stylish women’s wardrobes, what is your top tip for mastering the look?
As I feel about life, being male or female is less ‘opposite’ now than it ever has been. I don’t think it’s necessarily about picking something that a man would wear. I think it’s about feeling comfortable whether it is masculine or feminine. If you decide to wear a suit I don’t think that necessarily has to be a masculine thing to wear. To master that look, it’s just about being comfortable with whatever you feel that day whether you decide to wear a ball gown or you decide to wear whatever you think a man would wear.
Which were your favourite shoes from the shoot and why?
My favourite shoes form the shoot were definitely the black MAINE heeled boots with the multi-coloured gems. I think they really represent cities, New York and the different coloured lights—that flashy outer layer. With New York being the city that never sleeps, they are the perfect shoes to wear and they’re also extremely comfortable.
You’re currently working on a really varied range of projects including a book, a TV series and a few different films in various stages of production—as a creative did you always want to be a polymath?
It wasn’t really a decision that I made. I just think as a kid I grew up being creative and making things I really enjoyed. The thing about labels is that if you are an actress is doesn’t mean that YOU ARE AN ACTRESS; that you can only be an actress, or only be a writer. I feel anyone has the right to create whatever they feel. You can have an office job, but one day want to be a painter and that’s totally fine. It just depends on how your heart feels and what you want to do. I think the more people have the freedom to create whatever they want, the more people will be able to express themselves and the more art and light can be brought to the world.
Do you have any good holiday season reads?
At the moment, apart from my book [Mirror Mirror, Harper Collins], I’ve really enjoyed reading Esther Perel’s The State of Affairs. I do also love a good holiday murder crime novel – A Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson is a good one I’ve read recently and Liane Moriaty’s Big Little Lies.
Three films in 2017 and already another two scheduled for 2018—from a work/life balance, how are you finding work now in comparison to when you were modelling full-time?
I feel a lot less busy only because I’m finally doing all the different things I wanted to do. When I had just one job being a model, it kind of felt quite monotonous—not in a bad way—but it was just a lot more travel and a lot more stress on me. Being able to create more and express emotions are the most important things for me, and it now doesn’t feel that I’m that busy at all because I’m doing what I love.
If you could play any character in a movie that has already been released who would it be any why?
I always wanted to be Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, who is played by Elizabeth Taylor. I think I’m very much too young for the role right now, but I would love to have done that at some point. Or Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music. God, I love that movie so much!
If you could be based anywhere (with commute to work not an issue) where would be prefer to live?
I’m a definite traveler. I love to be in different places at different times of the year depending on climate, so I would find it very hard to pick one place to live. I feel very lucky being able to travel so much. But it would probably still be England, because I love it and it’s my home.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been give and by whom?
I was remembering a piece of advice that I was given by Will Smith, who said that even though we’re actors—and this applies really whatever job you do—it’s still important to treat yourself as though you’re an athlete, especially if you work a lot and have a demanding schedule. You have to treat your body as if you were a professional athlete. Look after yourself, sleep a lot and do all the things that will help you be able to do your job to the best of your abilities.
Do you have any future career aspirations and if so, what would you still like to achieve?
I would love to continue writing whether it’s for a book or to make a film or a TV show. I’d love to get more behind the camera and hopefully be a director one day to give a voice to the women’s stories which haven’t been told—which is a lot of them.
You actively support the Lady Garden campaign—tell us about it and why you are so passionate about it.
It’s something I’m definitely passionate about. The Lady Garden campaign is so important. My sister became a big part of it because she had a scare which was obviously terrifying for her. But after a while she was able to take that moment of fear and doubt and turn it into something amazing and remind women how important it is to talk about the things that people are uncomfortable talking about—their Lady Gardens for instance. You know, it’s so important for us to be able to constantly checking these things and also be aware of symptoms and certain things that can happen as you get older and to not be ashamed about it.
Tell us about a time when you were really awestruck by someone whilst working.
The list could go on and on. There are some people that have a certain energy about them and for me, I’ve been inspired by so many people I have worked with. The people who helped me start my career like Christopher Bailey, Luc Besson or Pharell. Or people who have given me a chance, like Karl Lagerfeld and all the directors that I’ve worked with—David Ayer and Paul McGuigan, who I’m working with now.
I met Whitney Huston and that completely dumb-struck me—I didn’t know what to say. And Mariah Carey at the same time. That was pretty crazy. All of those people have really inspired me through what they’ve done and how they’ve changed the movements and the evolution of the world. Especially people working in the ‘60s and ‘70s, you know they started a revolution and I think that’s incredible.
Tell us one thing that you’ve got on your bucket list.
I would love to go to every country in the world and actually go there because the world is a vast and magnificent place with so many cultures to discover and understand.
What do you think makes you successful?
I think success is more about happiness. You know, I don’t think that it’s the best job, or the most money or the most friends that makes a person most successful. I think success comes from a deep-down happiness about who you are and what you are doing.
What do you like to do in your spare time to relax?
Sleeping is great. Sitting on my back and watching TV, especially English TV at the moment which I’m really enjoying. And just doing nice things – yoga, meditating, catching up with old friends. I have such a long move list that I need to get through.
Your friend Adwoa Aboah has just done a huge season of modelling after moving over from casting. Did you give her any advice before she made that leap?
I am so proud of Adowa. Not only has she had an incredible season for modelling, she’s also doing so much to help girls and allowing them to have a voice about things like mental illness and addiction. Just getting young girls talking, is for me, incredibly inspiring. I think we have come from the same place of wanting to help teenagers because we both struggled in different ways at that point in our lives. I don’t think I ever sat her down and gave her advice because she is extremely capable, but there have been times when we have both given advice to each other.
What is your favourite cocktail?
My favourite cocktail is Sex on the Beach, I don’t know what’s in it, I just like the name. It sounds exotic.
It’s hard. It depends on what kind of mood I’m in. I might go for something very fruity if I’m feeling fruity, or something a lot sourer. I like something sparkly, maybe with some elderflower. That’s what I’m really in to. And lots and lot of ice.
What is a song guaranteed to get you on the dancefloor?
Anything with Justin Timberlake. Or I’m into Wild Thoughts, it’s the anthem.
Everybody Dance Now just popped into my head. I like drums, I like a base. Any music generally. If you put on a classic tune, I’ll probably dance to it. You know even if there’s no music, I’ll probably dance anyway. So really anything. What’s really guaranteed to do it is anything 90s, old school, disco, funk. You name it.
What would be a signature dance move we might see from you?
I’m into ‘The Sprinkler’, or the classic ‘Shopping Trolley’. Or the ‘Big Fish, Little Fish, Cardboard Box’.
I like a good dance routine. I like a good electric slide moment put on Cameo’s Candy and get everyone doing the electric slide. I like a good *NSYNC boyband 90s move.
Who is you party partner in crime?
I’m going to say my gals, broad range.
The most memorable party that you have attended?
It was probably my 25th birthday – lots of fun-filled adventure: sky diving, whale and shark diving.
If you could have dinner with anybody who would be your dream guests?
Stephen Fry, David Attenborough, Judi Dench and Barack Obama. God, that’s a fun dinner. It’s next Thursday. I’ll send out the invites tomorrow.
What would you cook for them?
I like finger food, so a lot of appetizers, get everything in there from all corners of the earth.
What’s your favourite New York hotspot?
I just like being on the streets in New York, because the energy is so amazing. You can see so many amazing things and meet so many amazing people.
What is your pizza order?
It depends on what time of day it is. Sometimes I like an egg. Olives, bacon, tomato and cheese. There is something they do here in New York called a vodka pizza which is apparently quite interesting, but I’ve never tried it. But it’s one for my list.
Which superpower do you wish you had?
To be able to transform into anything whether it was any person throughout time or just any object.
How many shoes do you own?
A lot. I think shoes are really important. I do like to get one pair of shoes and wear them in and out until they are broken. I will repair them, but wear them until the end!
What’s your tip for taking the perfect selfie?
To just have fun and not care too much. And have as many people in it as possible. And use a fun filter.
What surprises you about acting?
How much you learn about humanity and other people, yourself and how much it reflects so many other things. And what you can portray with it. It’s a really interesting craft which I am very excited to be able to do.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
To tell the people in your life that you love them more and to write down things every day that you’re grateful for. Also: sleep more, drink more water.