British model Poppy Delevingne has modelled for the likes of Louis Vuitton, is an ambassador for Chanel and is a regular in the front row at London Fashion Week. I caught up with the 27-year-old while she was in Australia to chat about starting a new career as an actress, being labelled an “it girl” and her sibling rivalry with her supermodel sister Cara.
What are you doing while you are in Australia?
I’m out here just for Lavazza and Derby Day. Being English I’m so used to the horseracing scene but I’ve never been to Melbourne, so I jumped at the chance.
How does Australian racing compare to Royal Ascot?
Well, Ascot is all about the Queen and sipping tea, and this is one big party, it’s outrageous and wild!
What are you up to at the moment?
I’m living in LA part-time because I’m trying to get some auditions down and I’m trying the whole acting thing.
Has it been an easy transition from modelling to acting?
No, not at all, it’s a lot harder than I thought it would be. I’m having to start at the bottom, so it’s like I’m 17 starting modelling again. It’s quite a hard pill to swallow but I really enjoy the challenge. It’s interesting because in LA I’m completely unknown, so it’s nice, but in London casting directors couldn’t really see past the whole sort of model thing so hence it’s a big move. I have to prove myself even more than before.
Do you want to go into TV or films?
At the moment I’m trying to do TV because I think TV is so big and has longevity in it, so that is my first challenge.
If you could be cast as any character, who would it be?
The things that I’ve been closest to getting have always been the bad roles: the nasty bitch at school, the evil queen and I was really confused by that because I always thought I would be cast as the heroine, leading lady and suddenly they are like “no, you’re definitely the bad role”. I think it might be because I talk like a man [laughs].
What was your first big break in modelling?
I was spotted at Cara’s sports day in London by the owner of Storm Model Management, Sarah Doukas. Her daughter was in the same class as Cara and she approached me and I thought it was the funniest thing I had heard. I was a very gawky teenager, I had limbs that I couldn’t really control, not attractive whatsoever, but she saw something past the freckles and the mad blonde wiry hair, and I decided to give it a go because I needed money so I could go travelling.
You get labelled as an “It girl”. What do you think of that term?
The “It girl” thing is not as much of a problem as it used to be. I feel like now, it means models or girls who do more than one thing so that does not bother me as much as it did four years ago.
Why did it bother you?
I always assumed that an “It girl” was a girl who didn’t do anything and just went around from party to party, and I’ve worked for the last 10 years so it would piss me off, but now I’m fine, it doesn’t bother me.
You count Princess Beatrice as a good friend and Sienna Miller is your former flatmate; does that feel surreal?
Not really because they are some of the most down-to-earth people that I know and they have also been relationships that I’ve had for years. So, no, it feels very normal. They are very low-key and down-to-earth in their private lives.
You top best-dressed lists all around the world, is there pressure to look your best every time you walk out the door?
Not really. I’m bit of a spontaneous dresser, I never really think about it too much, but at the same time I don’t really get hounded [by paparazzi] as much as poor Cara – she gets hounded all the time, and she doesn’t give a shit what she wears.
Tabloids seem to try to create rivalry dramas between you and your sister Cara. How does that feel?
I find it hilarious because we couldn’t be closer. We are as thick as thieves, we have lived together all our lives, we still do live together. I have my telephone on 24/7 and I got a call from her last night at 3am. I mean, we just don’t stop talking and people always want to cause dramas and say there are issues, but we are just two normal sisters who bicker over who stole whose lip gloss and who stole whose last cigarette, that type of thing, like normal sisters. She is the love of my life, really.
Congratulations on your engagement to your long-term partner James Cook. Can you give away any wedding details?
It’s only seven months away now but I don’t even know what I’m wearing yet. I’m very behind, but my future husband is kind of like the groomzilla. He is fully organised and knows what flowers we are having and I am letting him do it all so he is kind of in charge.
What do you do for fun?
I’m a huge bookworm and I’m a lunatic dancer and, after a couple of beverages, I think I am Carmen Diaz out of Fame.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I would like to have a baby. I’ve suddenly become quite broody, out of nowhere. And I would like to be a fully blown actress living in LA.
WE WENT TO The Lavazza marquee, Flemington Racecourse.
WE ATE Costoletta di Agnello – Parmesan-crumbed Riverina lamb cutlet, shredded radicchio, pea and mint salad with lemon dressing.
WE DRANK Lavazza Gran Riserva cafe latte.
I WORE a BALENCIAGA Sculptural backless dress, Nerida Winter and Hardy Brothers Jewellers headpiece.
POPPY WORE a J’Aton dress and Dolce & Gabbana crown.