WEB EXCLUSIVE – WAITING ON A FRIEND

Photography by David Mollé  | Styling and Creative Direction by Donté McGuine
Hair by Wade Lee | Makeup by Juan Jaar | Casting Director and Production by Sahtia Rivers
Models – Noah @DNA , Rocky (Rockwell) @IMG, Darius @IMG, Jack @Ford, and Gareth @Fusion
BTS Video Clips by Benjamin Price

Rocky – Full Look by Cedric Charlier, Shoes by Florsheim | Gareth – Full Look by Cedric Charlier, Shoes by Syro

Darius – Full Look by Cedric Charlier, Shoes by Florsheim | Jack – Top by Selected Homme, Pants by Cedric Charlier, Shoes by Syro

Noah – Top by David Hart, Pants by Cedric Charlier, Shoes by Syro

Left Image: Rocky – Top by Viden, Scarf: Stylist’s own, Pants by David Hart, Shoes by Syro | Darius – Shirt by Krammer and Stoudt, Inner Shirt: Devereaux, Pants by Selected Homme, Shoes by Gucci
Right Image: Rocky – Full Look by Cedric Charlier, Shoes by Florsheim

Top Image: Rocky – Jacketby Private Policy, Shirt by Cedric Charlier

Bottom Image: Noah – Top by Viden, Pants by Private Policy, Scarf: Stylist’s own

 

Rocky – Top by Viden, Scarf: Stylist’s own, Vintage Louis Vuitton Monogram Leather Soccer Ball

Darius – Top by David Hart, Jeans by Levi’s

Jack – Sweater by Viden, Pants by Selected Homme, Shoes by Syro

Gareth -Pants by Private Policy, Shirt by Krammer and Stoudt, Pants by David Hart, Shoes by Syro

Gareth – Suit by Krammer and Stoudt

Noah – Pants by Private Policy , Shoes by Syro

Photographer’s Assistant Will Glaser | Hair Stylist’s Assistant Melissa Styles
Special thanks to Annabel Claire Schwartz and Felipe Araujo for providing their SOHO Loft for the location of this shoot

WEB EXCLUSIVE – IT’S A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD!

Photography by Tiffany Nicholson | Styling by Jennifer Park | Hair by Rubi Jones | Makeup by Kim Weber
Model 
Roza Figueira @ Elite

Fur Vest by GeorgineSweater by Champion, Skirt by Off White, Leather Choker by Materia Prima NY

Top and Pants by Henrik Vibskov 

Shirt by Vfiles, Dress by Amur, Necklace by COS 

Dress by Amur, Hat by Kangol, Sunglasses by Pawaka, Bag by Marc Jacobs, Shoes by Tibi  

Sunglasses by Henrik Vibskov x Gentle Monster, Dress by Allina Liu

Blouse by Amur, Coat by Allina Liu, Pants by Marc Jacobs, Leather Choker by Materia Prima NY, High Top by Vans

Hoodie by Sandro, Pants by Amur , Fur by Georgine

Dress by Carven, Jacket and Earrings by Victoria Hayes

 

HERE’S HOW TO HELP HOUSTON

The roots of IRIS Covet Book are planted in Houston, and it breaks our hearts to see the impact that this storm has had on the citizens of Texas. With more rainfall and subsequent damage, health risks, and loss of life and property to come, it will be an upward battle for the resilient Lone Star state. Luckily, many celebrities, philanthropists, activists, politicians, etc. have reached out and donated to relief funds all over the country. Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook has promised to match donations for relief through the Center of Disaster Philanthropy for up to a million dollars, Kim Kardashian and her family have pledged $500,000, and many other notable figures have gone even beyond that in order to help those in need.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BYYergyAYU5/?taken-by=jlo

Jennifer Lopez and partner, Alex Rodriguez, donate $25,000 (x2) as part of the celebrity social media challenge to raise money for relief

In a statement to the Houston Chronicle, Beyoncé said, “My heart goes out to my hometown, Houston, and I remain in constant prayer for those affected and for the rescuers who have been so brave and determined to do so much to help. I am working closely with my team at BeyGOOD as well as my pastor [Rudy Rasmus at St. John’s in downtown Houston] to implement a plan to help as many as we can.”

A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

In these uncertain times of what seems like constant breaking news and socio-political strife, it is heart-warming to know that even when things seem to be the darkest, we can count on each other to shed light and give aid. In the meantime, during these recovery efforts, we can continue to donate, volunteer, and pray for a speedy recovery to those affected. 

 

– Irma Brindis, Publisher

To donate to the organizations, see the links below.

Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund – Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has established the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund that will accept tax deductible flood relief donations for victims that have been affected by the recent floods.

Southern Baptist Disaster Relief – Meets the urgent needs of communities in crisis, from serving food to volunteers in rebuilding communities.

Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County – Provides shelter and resources for the homeless of Houston and surrounding areas.

Texas Diaper Bank – Provides diapers to those in need. In everyday life, and especially in times of crisis, diapers are an essential that is incredibly hard to afford.

SPCA Of Texas – Works to rescue and relocate animals caught in Hurricane Harvey.

Portlight – a disaster response organization specifically serving individuals with disabilities.

The Galveston Food Bank

Food Bank Of Corpus Christi

Houston Food Bank

Driscoll Children’s Hospital – This hospital will be taking in evacuated NICU babies.

American Red Cross

 

BLONDIE

On the brink of a summer tour promoting the release of her 11th studio album with Blondie, the punk/new-wave/rock goddess, Debbie Harry,
shows no signs of slowing down.

Blazer by Vivienne Westwood | Fox Fur Leopard Print Boa by Georgine | Sunglasses by Le Specs Luxe

Photography by Nicolas Kern | Styling by Britt McCamey | Interview by Roger Padilha

Ever since she injected New York City’s ground-breaking, underground music scene with her infectious presence, Debbie Harry found her rightful place as Queen of Cool, and for the past 41 years has reigned as a trailblazing pioneer within the realms of pop culture, fine art, high fashion, and music. Arriving at Splashlight studios with an entourage of one, the low key Harry informs us there is no need for the more discreet side entrance. Instead she prefers to stand in line and check in with the front desk security like everyone else. This drama free attitude seems in line with her polite demeanor upon entering the set with a shopping bag full of past Blondie tour t-shirts and introducing herself to everyone on the crew. “Hi, I’m Debbie. Would anyone like a t-shirt?”

At the age of 71, Harry and her world-famous, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band, Blondie, have released their eleventh studio album entitled Pollinator. Since their debut album in 1976, through the band’s signature look and pioneering new wave/punk music, Blondie has become an internationally recognized and praised band. With her photogenic face, two-toned hair, and punk style Harry quickly rose to the level of fashion and pop culture icon. Debbie quickly became a muse for Andy Warhol, the late fashion designer Stephen Sprouse, and famed fashion photographer Steven Meisel, to name a few. She was and remains very influential across music genres, and Blondie’s song Rapture became the first #1 song in the US to feature rap, thanks to her influence by friends Fab Five Freddy, and hip- hop pioneer, Grandmaster Flash.

Frontwoman Harry and guitarist/conceptual mastermind Chris Stein were the founding members of Blondie, along with drummer Clem Burke, whose powerhouse playing always distinguished Blondie’s sound. Their newest project, Pollinator, is a fusion of pop and disco with that ineffable Blondie sound. The newly released album is mostly comprised of collaborations with outside performers and songwriters. The list of collaborators include Dev Hynes of Blood Orange, Johnny Marr of the Smiths, Charlie XCX, Sia, Laurie Anderson, Joan Jett, The Strokes’ Nick Valensi, comedian John Roberts, and Dave Sitek from TV on the Radio. The album’s first single, “Fun”, sets the tone for the album, with a music video that features technicolor footage of an astronaut flying to Mars cut with scenes of the band performing at a psychedelic rave in space.

The album title, Pollinator, refers to Blondie’s creative cross-pollination over the years with many other icons in the industry. With the fabulous collaborations between Blondie and other artists throughout the studio album, Pollinator is a veritable hive of delicious tracks and beats to enjoy. The Rage and Rapture Tour kicks off on July 5th and features the acclaimed alternative rock band Garbage.

Though the tunes were culled from disparate sources, the feel of the album is impressively unified, with a playful nod to 1978’s groundbreaking Parallel Lines. Harry, Stein, Burke, and company took this raw material and deftly transformed it in the studio into an album that’s quintessentially Blondie. The emphasis is on arrangements that are fast and fun, lyrics that are romantic and teasing, and synth-stoked hooks that evoke the New Wave era. It was Grammy-winning producer John Congleton (Franz Ferdinand, St. Vincent, Sigur Ros, David Byrne, War on Drugs) that brought the late 70’s attitude out of Blondie again. He found himself having breakfast with Debbie and Chris in the summer of 2015. “We hung out for an hour, talked about music, about where they were as people and what they thought a Blondie record should sound like these days. We were simpatico on that.”

“I had more of a deliberate agenda than they did,” says John. “Their agenda was the best agenda: they still love each other; they like playing music, so let’s have fun. At the end of the day Blondie doesn’t have anything to prove. My agenda was more dogmatic. I didn’t want to make a pastiche lifestyle record or a modern pop record that sounded like Blondie being influenced by what’s happening now. I wanted to know what it’s like to be Blondie at this age.” Debbie, Chris, and Clem joined by band members bassist Leigh Foxx, guitarist Tommy Kessler and keyboardist Matt Katz-Bohen have embarked on a new Blondie summer tour.

Leather Trench by Georgine | Bloomers by Miu Miu | Tights by Falke | Patent Pumps by Laurence Dacade | Earrings by Orchid & Art Deco

We were fortunate enough to chat with the legendary rockstar at Splashlight Studios in Manhattan during her exclusive Iris Covet Book photoshoot.

How have you managed fame as an artist? Do you find that the commercial aspect of making music gets in the way of artistry?

Being a more private type, fame has sometimes been disturbing. But as a commercial artist, it is the goal isn’t it? To become known and get your music out into the world market.

I feel like I see your face and image every day on t-shirts and instagram. Are you ever overwhelmed by the global impact of the band and the image you played a definitive part in creating?

If I stop to think about it, yes it is overwhelming. That’s all part of the game though, isn’t it?

You’ve always seemed to be very reserved and a bit of an introvert in person, but yet you have been able to get onstage and perform in huge venues in front of millions throughout your career. What is the process you undergo to change into that onstage, larger-than-life persona?

I don’t really think of myself as an introvert but I have been described as being very polite. I was encouraged growing up to be well mannered and able to listen to others. To not always have to be the center of attention when in social situations. On stage it’s a different story…….it’s MY stage.

On Debbie: Jacket by Marc Jacobs | Skirt (Worn as a dress) by Comme des Garçons from New York Vintage | Tights by Falke | Pumps by Laurence Dacade 
On Chris: His Own Clothing

Never satisfied to rest on your laurels, Blondie’s incessant need to fly the flag for cross-genre rock never relinquishes because your punk spirit never died. How do you keep your punk spirit alive?

Punk spirit…just stubborn I guess. Always have been. Independence has always been important to me. I grew up in a sheltered home and was always wanting to see more of the big bad world.

How was it collaborating with all of these amazing, boundary-pushing artists such as Sia, Dev Hynes of Blood Orange, and Joan Jett?

Collaboration has always been something I enjoy doing. It can be so much fun tossing ideas around. I loved working with Dev Hynes and Joan Jett, whom I’ve known for years. Sia actually wrote the song [on the new album] and I only met her briefly at a Saturday Night Live party. I’m happy the way it all came together. It was a different approach for us, to draw in all of these things. I feel like we did what we did back then, and we put out these sounds and ideas and now have come full circle. We are pulling it back in, continuing this ongoing chain of events, this circular motion.

You will be touring the country with the legendary rock band, Garbage, fronted by Shirley Manson. Tell us about how this tour collaboration came to be, have you worked together before?

I don’t think we ever worked together before, but I met Shirley many years ago in Scotland when she was singing with Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie. Years later we ran into each other at Gary Kurfirst’s office. We were both being managed by Gary at the time. Shirley and her band Garbage are one of my faves.

40 million album sales and countless accolades later (including a Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction in 2006 and NME Godlike Genius Award in 2014) has cemented the band’s importance. After all of the success, what inspires you to keep creating new music?

One of the most inspiring things to happen in the last year has been the David Bowie release after his death. I only hope that I can be one-tenth as creative as he has been, and to leave a parting gift of music or art is truly what art is about.

Jacket by Song Seoyoon | T-Shirt by Han københavn

Two of the original members of the band have been replaced with other musicians over the years, how has the new dynamic of Blondie shifted the energy of the band?

Good question. Blondie has always been, or tried to be, a true ensemble situation. Input by musicians or actors in a group is extremely valuable, but not always easy. We have one fucking great band now, and I can’t wait for everyone to hear us play the new material.

When you first moved to New York, it was a much more dangerous and rough city, but that energy also helped fuel many creatives at the time. Now that NYC has gone through so much gentrification and commercialism, do you think it’s possible for artists to make profound music and art in the “new” New York City?

Food for thought…that’s what cities and colleges supply. So why not, in spite of all the odds against it, why can’t a fresh, alert mind be creative in any circumstance. Although chaos is famous for being the founder of great creativity.

Which album or song are you most proud of? And beyond that, what are you most proud of in your life?

I don’t think I can limit myself to one album or song, they all seem connected to each other for me. As for my life, I’m amazed that I actually achieved my dreams and that I’m still at it.

You’ve done 11 albums with Blondie and 5 albums as a solo artist, not to mention compilations and collaborations on other artists’ albums. How do you stay inspired? Is there anything you feel you haven’t said through your art yet?

Knowing what you like and what excites you is the most important part and Blondie is really the only group I’ve ever been in with the exception of singing with the Jazz Passengers for about four years. Fortunately, now I’m on a collision course with environmental issues. As I’ve gotten older and climate, clean air and water have become more important issues for us, I want to do my part to draw attention to these problems and their solutions.

The world lost a great contributor to the arts recently with the passing of your friend Glenn O’Brien. Glenn was very supportive of Iris Covet Book and agreed to be interviewed for our first issue. He was always very generous to emerging creatives. Can you share a favorite memory you had with Glenn?

Oh yes, Glenn was a great writer and a keen observer of the arts. He had such a wonderful style: dry and funny, so sharp. I will miss him. Before he passed he gave me his newest book, LIKE ART which I have enjoyed thoroughly. I have had lots of good times hanging out with Glenn and Chris. Just talking and making fun of things like on TV Party when they were co-hosts. I feel lucky to have known him.

Blondie really incorporated so many different genres and types of music that it seems unfair to call you just a Punk pioneer as many people do. What would you like your music legacy to be?

A lot of the music that I’ve made over the years was never even recorded and maybe this is something special. Food for the spheres. Blondie albums and Deborah Harry albums have had a lot of different musical and cultural influences but this is the city we live in and the world of today. Let’s face it, we can know as much as we want about all the cultures of the world. What we need is time travel.

Patent Coat by Miu Miu | Earrings by Ana Khori

Buy Pollinator at http://www.blondie.net/ or stream on Spotify, Apple Music, or Amazon

Art Direction by Louis Liu | Editor Marc Sifuentes | Hair by Adam Markarian | Makeup by Yumi Lee @ Streeters | Manicure by Narina Chan @ Wilhelmina Artists for Chanel Le Vernis in Roubachka | Set Design by Mila Taylor Young @ D+V Management | Editor’s assistant Ben Price | Filming by Scott Keenan | Video editor/post production YaYa Xu | Special Thanks to Splashlight Studios NYC

 

BEAUTY IN ALL

Today’s models challenge the traditional norms that have long defined our industry’s concept of beauty. An inclusive spectrum of models diversified in race, age, form, gender, and sexuality. In an industry that defines beauty, they are shaping a new point of view of what is beautiful.

IRIS07_BeautyInAll-18

Photography by Greg Swales | Styling by Marc Anthony George | Casting by Gabriel Rey | Creative Direction by Louis Liu | Poem and Edit by Dustin Mansyur

 

Light Source
When the darkness has drawn near and
the Shadow of our fear’s grown real,
do not be afraid, for it is the Shadow
which offers the direction of the Source of Light.
Turn around and bask in the beauty in All.
Humanity is not separate,
but cells comprising the Body of Source Energy,
celebrating Itself through our Human experiences.
Collectively, we expand with Light,
unifying under these truths:
That Love is the only path to triumph Fear.
Where there is Light, the Dark is driven out.
Still your heart, so you may hear it say,
“Celebrate Humanity.”

IRIS07_BeautyInAll-11From Left To Right: Hua @ Wilhelmina Models Instagram @huaever | Meghan Collison @ New York Models, Instagram @omgitsmeg | Alima @ Supreme Instagram @alimalaf | All Clothing by Roberto Cavalli

IRIS07_BeautyInAll-16From Left to Right: Antonino Russo @ Request Models Instagram @antonino_russo | Sweater, Jacket, Pants, and Sneakers by Versace | Saloman Diaz @ Soul Artists Management Instagram @salomon.diaz | Jacket and Pants by Versace Boots by Dior Homme | Vito Basso @ Soul Artists Management Instagram @vitobss | Sweater and pants by Versace, Vintage Boots, Stylist’s studio

IRIS07_BeautyInAll-15

Shaughnessy @ New York Models Instagram @ shaughnessybrown | Jacket, skirt and boots by JW Anderson, Bra by Prada

IRIS07_BeautyInAll-23Jillian Mercado @ IMG Models Instagram @jilly_peppa | Bra and Choker by Zana Bayne, Vintage Jean Paul Gaultier dress from Screaming Mimi’s Vintage, Socks and boots, model’s own


IRIS07_BeautyInAll-24Deion Smith @ IMG Models Instagram @deiondsmith | Jacket and pants by Prada Suspenders, stylist’s studio, Shoes by Roberto Cavalli


IRIS07_BeautyInAll-22From Left to Right: Armand Puszta @ Soul Artist Management Instagram @armandpuszta | Jacket and shoes by Roberto Cavalli, Shirt and Pants by Valentino | Avie Acosta Instagram @avie.acosta | Trench Coat by Valentino, Bra by Zana Bayne, Shoes by Roberto Cavalli | Jordan Paris @ Soul Artist Management Instagram @jordanwparis | Tuxedo and Shoes by Valentino, Shirt by Levi’s

IRIS07_BeautyInAll-21Daisuke Ueda @ IMG Models Instagram @uedaisuke | Harness by Zana Bayne Shirt, pants, and shoes by Burberry

IRIS07_BeautyInAll-20From Left to Right: Dustin Bice @ ANTI MGT Instagram @biceofficial | Kiara @ Elite Models Instagram @kikibarnez | Shirts and Pants by Hood by Air, Boots, stylist’s studio

IRIS07_BeautyInAll-19Aqua Bell Parios @ Heroes Model Management Instagram @aqua | Vintage Levi’s Dress from Screaming Mimi’s Vintage, Sleeve by Gypsy Sport, Shoes by Versace

IRIS07_BeautyInAll-14Diego Villarreal @ Soul Artist Management Instagram @ddiegovillarreal | All Clothing by Dior Homme

IRIS07_BeautyInAll-13From Left To Right: Molly Constable @Jag Models Instagram @mollyconstable | Harness by Zana Bayne, Vintage blouse from Screaming Mimi’s Vintage, Pants and boots, model’s own | Cindy Waiter Instagram @hellcat444 | Jacket by Levis Harness by Zana Bayne Dress, jewelry and boots, models own

IRIS07_BeautyInAll-12From Left To Right: Yves Matthieu @ Heroes Model Management Instagram @the_yvesdropper | Harness and pants by Preston Douglas, Shoes by Converse | Diana Veras @ Jag Models Instagram @mynamesdiana | Choker by Preston Douglas Shirt, shorts and shoes by Jil Sander

Hair by Anthony Joseph Hernandez using Bumble and Bumble | Makeup by Agata Helena using Stila and Makeup Forever | Photographer’s 1st assistant Pierre Bonnet, 2nd assistant Casey Frankli | Digital Tech Jean Claude | DP/Digital Manager Casey Showalter | Senior Digital Tech Nick Korompilas | Social Media Coordinator Brian Lynch.

BTS Videographer & editor Lavo Clemente, assistant Bharat Padhiyar | Interview by Keila Ramirez | Produced by XTheStudio | Stylist Assistants: Benjamin Price and Sam Knoll | Hair assistant Ben Martin | Makeup assistant Mable Pang | Special Thanks To Pier59 Studios.

SOFIA BOUTELLA – BY ELLEN VON UNWERTH

Positioned to take the main stage with two summer flicks set to be box office smashes, playing opposite Tom Cruise in The Mummy and alongside Charlize Theron in Atomic Blonde, Sofia Boutella is ready for her close-up.


Photography by Ellen Von Unwerth | Styling by Deborah Afshani | Art Direction by Louis Liu | Editor Marc Sifuentes | Interview by Dustin Mansyur | Dress by J GERARD

Sofia Boutella is about to blow out the candle on a chocolate lava cake served up graciously by the pastry team at Chateau Marmont. Glasses of champagne are lined up across a low wooden table, ready to serve. Swarthy and saturnine, Boutella sweeps her dark locks to one side and leans over the cake, pausing momentarily as she closes her eyes to make a wish, before extinguishing the flame with a flash of her infectious smile. “Bravo!” everyone cheers while Sofia flits a bashful round of thanks. The celebration is actually impromptu during a lunch break, and Sofia is on-set for a photoshoot with Ellen Von Unwerth at the famed West Hollywood hotel. Birthday or no birthday, embodying a femme fatale for a crème-de-la-femme celebrity photographer is all in a day’s work for Boutella, who’s poised to unleash her prowess with two movies in this summer’s highly-anticipated release of Alex Kurtzman’s latest installment of The Mummy and David Leitch’s spy thriller, Atomic Blonde. Maintaining her coquettish sensuality while kicking ass is a razor wire that Boutella jetes upon with ease, even if it involves otherworldly makeup or taking a punch on set.

Hailing from Algiers, the ingénue actress is actually a multi-faceted artist who began her career as an internationally-acclaimed dancer, enrolling in classical dance education at the age of 5. Later, when her family moved to France, Sofia continued dancing, adding rhythmic gymnastics to her education, and joining the French national team by the age of 18. In 2006, with her dance troupe The Vagabond Crew, Boutella went on to win the World Championship Hip Hop Battle, making her an undeniable force in the world of dance.  With several smaller film and commercial appearances already under her belt, she made a breakout appearance in a series of iconic Nike campaigns choreographed by legendary choreographer and creative director, Jamie King. Quickly garnering the interest of several high-profile musicians, Boutella found herself dancing for Madonna, Michael Jackson, Rihanna, Usher and many others. Breaking out on the big screen,  her most recent film appearances include Justin Lin’s Star Trek Beyond co-starring Zoe Saldana, Chris Pine, and Zachary Quinto and Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman: The Secret Service, alongside Colin Firth and Samuel L. Jackson.

Here IRIS Covet Book shares a conversation with the blockbuster beauty about lesbian love scenes and mystic monsters with heart.

 

Feather Coat by Vanessa Seward, Bra, Panty and Garter Belt by Maison Close, Black Stockings by FALKE, Shoes by Christian Louboutin, Choker, Earrings and Bracelet by Eddie Borgo

You worked with Ellen Von Unwerth at Chateau Marmont for this cover shoot. How did it go? What was it like working with her?
Oh my God, it was amazing! I loved working with her! I think she’s fantastic! I loved her ability to get things out of me. I’ve never shot with her before, but after working with her I felt like I understood how she’s able to get this energy in the photos. Her style really allows people’s personality to shine through in the images. She let me be myself while still giving me interesting, creative direction. It was really cool.

What did you enjoy most about working with her? Was there a specific look or shot that you loved?
I just had a lot of fun because it was going to be my birthday the day after. I was having lunch and ordered some French fries because I hadn’t had them in so long! I came on set still eating, so she started to shoot me while I was having fun with the fries. We had another moment where we were shooting at Bar Marmont and I was dancing on the bar. While we were there, they were using the kitchen for their pastry department and one of the chefs started talking to me. He asked me, ‘Do you want anything?’ I said, ‘Yeah why not. You have chocolate cake?’ So he brought me a chocolate lava cake and I started to eat it for another photo, it was so delicious! There was another moment where we went upstairs on the balcony. I told them to not freak out because I’m very agile and I don’t have issues with heights, so I sat on the ledge of the balcony. Hopefully we got some great images from that. However the photos turn out, they’re going to be so truthful because I was having such a great time!

I’m so excited to see what you created together. I knew that was going to be a dream pairing. All glamour aside, as a child did you see yourself ever acting in movies? Or what did you want to do when you were younger?
When I was a kid I wanted to be two things. I always said I want to raise dolphins. I wanted to work with dolphins because I was obsessed with the show Flipper when I was a kid. Then, somebody in my family got me into this game that was like “Doctors Without Borders.” So I wanted to be a doctor without borders.

Latex Bodysuit by Dead Lotus Couture, Shoes by Marc Jacobs

That is such a different path than what you’re on right now, but I’m sure your fans are thankful that you choose a career in entertainment. You have two summer movies that are projected to be blockbusters, The Mummy & Atomic Blonde. You have the title role in The Mummy opposite of Tom Cruise. How did you get chosen to play this character?
I was finishing the movie Star Trek and I got this script sent over. I met up with [the director] Alex Kurtzman, and he offered it to me. At first, I said no because the part scared me and having just done Star Trek, I was concerned about having to go under an extensive makeup process. I didn’t want to be a monster walking around scaring people, that wasn’t for me. But I gave it more thought, and was very attracted to the character because she had a relevant and interesting background.

What were some of those things that intrigued you about her character?
I think that she had an intriguing backstory. This is the first time there has been a female mummy. My character is a princess from ancient Egypt, the daughter of a Pharaoh and she’s promised to become Pharaoh herself because she was the only child. After her mother dies, her father meets a woman who bears another child which turns out to be a son. The promise of the kingdom and becoming Pharaoh is taken from my character and given to the son, because he is a male heir which leaves my character heartbroken and scorned. She later becomes ruthless when she comes back in modern day seeking what she was promised to begin with.

So then what was the process like working with the director, Alex Kurtzman to reimagine this character and breathe new life into it?
It was lovely to work with Alex! I wanted to care about my character and have her be heard and understood. We developed the backstory so that the audience understands her better and can have some sort of compassion for her. I think a character becomes more interesting when you understand why they do what they do in the movie.

So that she’s not just a monster, but that she has a heart and you can sympathize with her emotions.
Exactly and that was very important to me.

 

Dress by Lanvin, Black Goat Hair Jacket by Adrienne Landau, Shoes by Christian Louboutin, Bracelet by Eddie Borgo, Choker by YVY, and Sofia’s Own Earrings

 

Did you have to do anything special in order to prepare for this role or get yourself into the character?
Well, you know, the makeup process was something that helped me get into character. It would take about 6 hours to do. Of course, it was painful because they’re long hours, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Once I’d have my makeup done, people looked at me different, and I felt physically different. I also researched about ancient Egypt and Egyptian Mythology. Understanding the body language was important because I wanted her to walk around not like a monster, but as a queen since that’s who she was.  She carries herself as royalty, never moving faster than anybody. I also explored playing with the voice and speaking slower to bring in that element of power.

Did you get to have any input on the costume or the look of the character?
Yes, they really let me share my thoughts and we were able to collaborate on much of the character’s look together.

So you star opposite of Tom Cruise, who is a very seasoned actor. What was it like working with him and did he share with you any advice or words of wisdom that you might take to heart as an actor?
Being on set with him was like being at school, in a good way. I learned so much from him; he’s such a dedicated actor who loves the craft. You see him on set figuring out how to make a movie work. I learned a lot about cameras, lenses, and camera angles when I was with him. He examines those aspects and really understands how to tell stories with camera movement, and it’s something that I will definitely use and pay close attention to.

Dress and Rosary Necklace by Dolce & Gabbana, choker necklace by Jillian Dempsey Black Patent Heels by Christian Louboutin, and Sofia’s Own Necklace.

Amazing! You recently were awarded the “Female Star of Tomorrow” from CinemaCon for your role in Atomic Blonde opposite of Charlize Theron. When were you first presented with the role of Delphine and can you tell us a little bit about your character in this movie?
She is a French spy who is stationed in Berlin, just before the fall of the wall. She’s on the younger side and she’s a bit naïve, but she’s good at her job while still exploring her identity. She’s taking in the dynamic and intensity of Berlin at that time, and learning from it. She’s sweet but also a very cool, edgy kind of girl who is a less-experienced spy than Charlize’s character. When they meet, my character is supposed to do her job and carry out her mission, but at the same time there is also this romance happening between our characters.

I went to a press screening and you two have a steamy love scene in the movie.  What discussions did you have with Charlize to prepare for that scene?
I was nervous, I’ve never done a scene like that and this scene was with a girl, which didn’t make much difference to be honest. We both felt the scene shouldn’t feel forced.  But, you know, Charlize made me feel comfortable and very much at ease. At the end of the day, I was very comfortable with my body and my femininity and I don’t feel like I shied away from it. She’s super fun and such a great actress so that made it easy.

 

Dress by J GERARD and Shoes by Giuseppe Zanotti

It was very refreshing to see the openness of a same-sex relationship in this kind of scene being explored in a major motion picture. I was curious do you think that there’s a stigma in Hollywood which doesn’t allow women in cinema to portray and assert their sexuality in the same manner that their male counterparts are allowed to?
Yes, I believe that’s true. It’s much more often seen in European movies if it happens. I think we do need more movies with powerful, strong women. Charlize’s character teaches us that women can be equally strong and powerful. When I saw the movie, I called her and was like, “You were kicking ass in that film!” I’m starting to observe that sexual empowerment being explored more in films. I think that it’s still rare, but it’s good that it’s shown in this film. We need more of it. We need to normalize all these things, until you look at it and it doesn’t make any difference if it was a man or a woman. I think people want to see more of that and not shy away from it. There’s nothing wrong with that, and I think nowadays we need to focus on the opportunity to push that envelope.

I agree with you and also hope that will be the case someday. You have a background as a professional dancer. You’ve been in so many music videos and concerts. You’ve worked with Madonna, Rihanna and Michael Jackson, among many others. I’m curious how you were able to transition from dancing to acting in major motion pictures and what’s the journey been like?
I began dancing when I was five, so almost my entire life. I started acting when I was 17 and went to an audition randomly. I joined a friend of mine who was going to the audition, and I ended up booking the part instead.  I loved acting and enjoyed working on that first project, so I thought I really wanted to explore that more. After doing that film, I wanted to learn about it, so I took classes. I did a few small projects in Paris between the ages of 17 and 19. Meanwhile, I was still dancing and I thought that I should keep dancing because I didn’t feel like I had given it an honorable go. I thought, ‘I’m just going to focus on that one thing that I’ve been doing almost all my life.’ So I did, and I’m happy that I did because I’ve been a part of amazing projects for which I’m very proud.

When I moved to LA, I thought that I wouldn’t mind taking acting classes again in my spare time. My teacher was Marcy Mendoza. She was like the “ballet of acting” in terms of what I learned and I loved my year in the theater. I studied plays like Chekhov and Ibsen and it was very classical sort of material. After that I booked a movie about a year and a half after called Street Dance 2. I thought it was a great opportunity and was drawn to the character because she was a dancer. I thought that I could learn something from the part, but then I wondered, “Am I hiding?” I loved acting so much, but I felt like I was hiding behind the fact that I was a dancer.  Then I questioned myself for about 2 ½ years if I should stop dancing, because, at the time, I didn’t feel like stopping just yet. I woke up one morning and I remember feeling like I was genuinely done. That day, I watched Madonna’s halftime performance at the Superbowl, and I remember feeling like I was ready to stop dancing. So, I stopped dancing and I didn’t work for 3 years after that.

Left: Chain Top by Natalie Fedner, Skirt by Versus Versace, Leather Jacket (worn inside out) by GUCCI, Lipstick by Chanel
Right: Top by Phillip Plein, Shorts by Sonia Rykiel, Shoes by Marc Jacobs, Choker by Eddie Borgo.

 

 What did that feel like during those 3 years?
It was tough, you know. I never thought that I would give up. I never thought for one second about that because I never had a backup option…I felt like [acting] is all I want to do.  It was hard, but I never doubted myself because I knew my choice truly came from my heart. It seemed like an innate decision and luckily in my life I’ve never had to think, “Oh what am I going to do when I can’t dance anymore?” I never wanted to become a choreographer. I just drifted into acting, not for fame or for money, but because I truly loved it so much.

And do you think the discipline that you learned during your time as a dancer is that that you carried over with you into acting?
Yes, absolutely. That discipline is required as a dancer and it’s something that I will carry with me in life. There is a similarity in my approach with dancing and acting. When developing a character, you have to find a rhythm of how they walk and their body language. My experience as a dancer has made me more in tune with my body, and understanding the expression of movement.

During her Confessions tour, you worked with Madonna who is known for being a perfectionist. Were there any lessons or habits that you picked up on while you were working with her or did she ever offer you any advice that you took to heart?
She gave me advice all the time. (laughter) It was all very, very useful. She’s a strong woman who works really hard. You understand why she is where she is now. Her dedication and compassion is really inspiring and she has a heart of gold. When I met her, I was really a tomboy. She came to me and asked me if I wore heels and I said no. So she handed me a pair of heels and said, “There’s a beginning for everything.” She really encouraged me to own my femininity. I loved that she was able to see beyond how I was presenting myself. She challenged me and those were some of my best years working with her.

On your Instagram account I saw that you had a photo of yourself at the Women’s March in London and so I was curious why you found it important to be a part of this historic event and support it?
I think we live in crazy times. I think our children and grandchildren will look at us and say, “What the fuck did you do?” But, to be honest, I’ve decided to look at it as the glass being half full. What is happening now is very important and significant, and we can choose to be empowered by these trials when people get together and unite. Originally I was planning on going to the march in Washington, but I ended up having to go to London that day. As soon as I landed that morning in London, I went straight to the march—I didn’t even call my friends. When I arrived, all my friends were already there so we all got together. Cellular reception was going mad because it was so packed, but we did manage to find each other and ended up having a great time being together and supporting that cause.

I went to the march here in New York which drew crowds around 400,000 so it was grid locked in some places. The crowd was so thick trying to get through. What were the emotions that you were feeling that day? What was your experience like?
I thought it was quite empowering. As a woman, I feel like there’s a level of consideration that is being given to women now that is far more profound than before.  But, there’s still an imbalance between how men and women are treated. It’s still a man’s world. I think that the Women’s March was necessary even if the socio-political circumstances differ from country to country. Things like this are essential and will need to keep happening until things change.

 

Top by Dead Lotus Couture, Skirt by Zana Bayne, Underwear by Morgan Lane, Shoes by Giuseppe Zanotti, Silver Cuff by Eddie Borgo, and Gold Cuff by Jennifer Fisher

Hair by Renato @ The Wall Group Using Moroccan Oil, Makeup by Kate Lee @ Starworks Group, Manicure by Bettina Goldstein @ The Wall Group Using Karma Organics, Video by Heather Sommerfield, Photographer’s 1st Assistant Timothy R. Mahoney, 2nd Assistant Matthew Tyler Ray, Digital Tech Dale Gold, Stylist Assistant Kirsten Alvarez, Production by XTheStudio, Shot on location at Chateau Marmont Hotel. Special Thanks to Matt Haberman, Bryna Rifkin, Annie Butterfield, and Celena Madlansacay at ID PR.