Mega-model and up-and-coming actress Natalia Vodianova talks film, photo shoots and her fall fashion must-haves
By Laura deCarufel
What’s your approach to modelling?
“It’s like acting for me. I always try to understand the inspiration behind the photo shoot—the woman, film or book that we’re translating into a photograph.”
Which photographers do you enjoy working with?
“Everyone who works with Steven Meisel gives 100 per cent of themselves because they know how incredible the result will be. Steven is such an enigmatic person that he makes you feel really important, but at the same time you never quite know what he’s thinking. It’s liberating because you have to learn to trust yourself.”
What is your most memorable photo shoot?
“There was an Alice in Wonderland shoot with Annie Leibovitz [for Vogue] that was magical. Tom Ford, who played the rabbit flying into the black hole, turned up in a picture-perfect suit with white gloves. Then Annie said, ‘Tom, do you mind standing on your head to make the picture work?’ That doesn’t happen every day!”
You’ll be acting opposite Jonathan Rhys Meyers in Belle du Seigneur. What attracted you to the role?
“I’m not a professional actress, so I had to pick a project that really spoke to me. I felt I understood Ariane’s character so well. She’s young and immature, but still so innocent. It’s a beautiful, complicated love story.”
Who are your style icons?
“Audrey Hepburn. I absolutely adore her style, and the way she lived her life was so inspiring. I also admire Marlene Dietrich for always pushing the boundaries of fashion.”
How would you describe your style?
“Because I’m a model, I’m quite flexible with what I wear. Sometimes it’s more rock ’n’ roll, sometimes more elegant, but the core of my look is very feminine.”
What will you be wearing this fall?
“Sofia Coppola designed a beautiful bag for Louis Vuitton that I’m in love with. It’s very simple, very her.”
What is your favourite fall shoe?
“A Christian Louboutin shoe with Swarovski crystals. The crystals are like a rainbow—they keep changing colours. It’s a fairy-tale shoe.”
What was your first fragrance?
“CK One. When I arrived in Paris, it was the first thing I could afford to buy. I was so excited that I bought one for myself, my mother and my grandmother.”
What are your must-pack travel items?
“Vitamins, and an eye mask in case I get tired—Guerlain does these wonderful Super Aqua individual masks. I also travel with my own chocolate—I love Green & Black’s 85-per-cent dark chocolate.”
Do you have any hidden talents?
“I’ve been cooking since I was six, but I haven’t done it enough to really develop my talents. I have quite a good palate and nose. I can taste something and know what’s in it, so I can steal it from the chef! And I’m passionate about making salad dressings.”
What’s on your iPod?
“My favourite band is the National. I also like the XX, Fever Ray, Johnny Cash, the Killers and Snow Patrol.”
What are you reading?
“Life of Pi, and a brilliant history book called Catherine the Great and Potemkin: The Imperial Love Affair.”
What is your ideal weekend?
“I try to have all my weekends off so I can spend time with my children. We go to the beach and the cinema, eat ice cream, watch Russian cartoons. Sometimes we go riding. As long as we’re together, I’m happy.”