At 66 years old, Sissy Spacek is one of the new faces of Marc Jacobs, posing with pink hair in homage to her titular prom queen role from Carrie. The actress is part of the designer’s Fall ’16 campaign, which also includes Susan Sarandon, Missy Elliott, and Courtney Love -- all women 45 or older -- alongside models Kendall Jenner and Cara Delevingne.
Spacek, who is currently starring on Netflix’s Bloodline, joins a long line of iconic women to represent Jacobs. Over the past few years, Cher (70), Bette Midler (70), Jessica Lange (67), Debi Mazar (51), and Winona Ryder (44) have all been featured in campaigns. Ryder was even named the face of Marc Jacobs Beauty in December 2015. "It's totally flattering [to appear in his campaigns],” Ryder told ET last year.
And in the era of “women of a certain age” fighting for representation onscreen, Jacobs’ campaign is an unapologetic move within the entertainment and fashion industry. “Marc Jacobs doesn't just do a campaign for campaign's sake,” Spacek tells ET. “He attaches, always, some deeper meaning to it.”
“I remember one day, a friend of mine was telling me she was standing in a grocery line, flipping through a magazine,” Spacek recalls. “It said, ‘beauty in your 20s,’ and the next page, ‘beauty in your 30s,’ ‘beauty in your 40s,’ ‘beauty in your 50s.’ Then she turned, being in her 60s, and there was no page. So, I think it's wonderful to be included in something like that.”
For Spacek, who is 5’2”, success in fashion has always eluded her. But from the sound of it, that’s a good thing. “I would have failed miserably as a model,” Spacek says.
Her career got started when she moved to New York and briefly became part of Andy Warhol’s Factory scene in the early-‘70s. She did test shots for Chanel No. 5 and the like, but nothing of real consequence. “I would get jobs and then I would arrive and they would look at me and say, ‘Oh, wait a minute. You're much too small. You won't fit into any of our clothes,’” she says. “That was sort of the unsuccessful time in my career.”
However, Spacek quickly transitioned into film, landing her first major role in Terrence Malick’s Badlands in 1973. Three year later, she found breakout success with Carrie, earning her first Academy Award nomination. While she has since gone on to win an Oscar for portraying Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner’s Daughter and earn four other nominations, it’s Carrie that remains her most iconic role, evening serving as inspiration for Jacobs.
“I was all-consumed and mesmerized by her ability to bring a character to life in such a way that, for me, was very profound,” Jacobs wrote about Spacek’s portrayal in the 1976 film when he revealed her portrait on Instagram. “Sissy’s character (that type of girl) is a reoccurring artistic reference in my work. The life she brings to all the characters she has portrayed as an artist is ever expanding, evolving and inspiring.”
“Carrie has hit a nerve. I would say a majority of us, when we're young teens, feel disenfranchised for different reasons,” Spacek says. “I think it’s magnified at that time in our life and that was evidently the thing that touched Marc. It's a real human feeling.”
While she has since spent over 40 years in front of the camera, modeling is admittedly something that Spacek will never feel comfortable doing, even if it’s for a longtime friend like Jacobs. “I'm just as stiff and awkward in front of the camera as I always was,” she says with a laugh. “In film, you're ignoring the camera. It doesn't exist. And so suddenly, when you're playing to a camera, it's a real testament to the photographer's talent that they can get a good picture out of me.”