Culture

Emily Ratajkowski: "I like to curate my own image"

The lines are blurred for model and actress Emily Ratajkowski who refuses to be typecast as the 'hot girl'

At the beginning of We Are Your Friends it says 99 per cent of people are looking for a party, one per cent are the party. Which are you?

I don’t know if I could be the judge of that.

I think you are probably in the one per cent.

Okay…

People who watch the film might recognise your dance moves from the Blurred Lines music video. Did you have any idea of the impact it would have?

Not really. I had a good relationship with the director. That was really the thing that made the video what it was. We had some ideas but I had no idea it was going to be a success.

It led to your first major role in David Fincher’s Gone Girl.

Looking back, it felt like I nailed an audition and got a part – now I realise just how lucky that was for me. Having David Fincher’s stamp of approval has been really useful. I didn’t realise the perception Hollywood has of models coming into acting.

Is having a modelling background an advantage or hindrance in Hollywood?

It depends what you want to do. If you want to do a lot of romantic comedies where you play the hot girl it can be really great – but that’s not what I’m interested in so in some ways it’s a hindrance. I get it, there are actors who have worked really hard just on acting and I imagine it’s frustrating to have someone come in who’s a model and is now competing for roles because people know their name.

Do you describe yourself as an actress or a model or something else?

I haven’t come up with a word. Everyone throws the word ‘brand’ around now. Branding sounds like there is something you have to sell, which is sort of accurate… There is still a lot of pigeonholing going on but it’s a much more flux environment.

Does having over 12 million followers on Instagram allow you to have more control over your image?

There are a lot of young celebrities – from Kim Kardashian to Rooney Mara – who cross disciplines and are becoming something we haven’t seen before. I really like the idea you are able to curate your own image in a way that suits you. It’s really about what kind of career you want to create.

We Are Your Friends is your first lead role. More than about partying, the film is a coming-of-age story.

That’s the part I definitely related to. It’s a little bit like Saturday Night Fever in a different time period and setting.

For those who have not experienced the LA party scene, is the film an accurate depiction of the lifestyle?

Yeah but I think even in small towns there is the bar that everyone loves. If you’re underage it seems like the coolest, most exciting place then when you get to be a part of it you maybe overdo it. You have to realise how that fits into your life.

We might not live that lifestyle but is your character Sophie’s journey relatable?

Absolutely. A lot of people my age go to college, are not able to afford it and have no guarantees for work afterwards, only crazy debt. Our parents come from a different generation where college guaranteed a job. As a young person, that can be a lot to handle.

You were born and spent the first couple of years of your life in the UK. When you visit does it feel like coming home?

I was really young but I spent the time you have your earliest memories here. When I come back it feels like a return to something that I really like holding close to me.

What do you remember?

I remember my dad always going to the pub on the corner. I used to say, “Dad’s gone to get a jar”, which definitely no American kids say. The Tube was a big part of my earliest memories of getting around. That was very different from my experiences in California where there is no public transportation.

We Are Your Friends is out now in cinemas

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