They are the 3.5 million dollar eyebrows. That’s how much Cara Delevigne’s modelling career is estimated to be worth. Scouted at the age of 10 years old, she’s walked catwalks for every brand from Chanel to Victoria Secret, Tom Ford to Topshop. She was 2013’s most googled and reblogged fashion figure. She’s been on the cover of Vogue four times.
And she just pulled the plug on it all.
Was there a moment where you realised that you had to take control of your career? That you couldn’t just keep on doing what you were doing?
There were a couple of moments. It took a while to get into my head that I had to change something. You can’t just say ‘hold on, these are my reins’.
[When I was modelling], I was young and I liked people telling me what to do all the time, because it was easy and I could do what I wanted otherwise.
It’s hard because models are seen just for their outer, what they look like. So it’s hard to get people to respect them as people otherwise. There are certain occasions where you’re treated like cattle.
Now that you’ve stepped away from the modelling world, and you’ve got a string of films coming out, you’ve got a bit of distance. Is there something you’d like to change about the way the fashion world treats models?
Yes, more for the younger girls. It’s getting younger and younger, and there are so many models, so they kind of pick you up squeeze you and push you away. That’s kind of what they want. Models don’t have a long-lasting thing, so if you get to a certain age and you haven’t taken control of your own career it’s not the fashion world’s fault. It’s your responsibility to do that.
After seeing this film Paper Towns, nobody is going to call you model-turned-actress.
That’s all I’ve wanted.
How long have you harbored that? I read you wanted an acting agent for your tenth birthday.
Probably since around that, ten, thirteen.
How does that conversation go with mum and dad? Because most kids aren’t asking for that at that age.
Are they not? Really? I just was. I felt like I came out of the womb wanting to act and do music. I was doing plays when I was really young, and I loved watching films. I was like, ‘how else do I do that? I need an agent. Guys, help me out?’ They said, ‘no you have to finish school.” Mean!
Bastards, how dare they.
Paper Towns is your first big starring role, but I was fascinated to discover that there was a chance you might have been Alice in Wonderland as well. How did that transpire?
I was still at school. I went to a very artsy school, and they sent a sheet with a couple of words on it and said ‘however you want to do it, film it yourself with a video camera’. So it wasn’t really a script, it was just a poem you were meant to do by yourself.
I made it into this very strange schizophrenic crazy person doing it. And I guess they really liked it, so a couple of months later I was in his house, meeting Tim Burton and being like ‘I’m 16, what am I doing here, this is so weird.’
So in that scenario, what’s your pitch, are you saying ‘Hi, I’m Cara! What do I do?’
You don’t pitch yourself in those things. Especially because I was still at school I was taking it very seriously, and was always in character. Being weird.
After Paper Towns you have the mega-blockbuster Suicide Squad coming out and I read – feel free to correct me if this is entirely wrong – but is it true that they have an on-set psychiatrist in case you become too villainous?
I can’t tell you.
You read that?
Yeah. Adam Beach is out there telling it on red carpets.
He is? I can’t tell. I don’t want to get in trouble. I’m already in trouble.