Models-turned-actors tend to elicit more secondhand embarrassment than firsthand emotion, but Agyness Deyn, once again, breaks from tradition with her star-making performance in Pusher!
Starring Richard Coyle as Frank, a London drug dealer whose life spins out of control over the course of one week after he borrows money from his supplier on what's supposed to be a sure thing, Pusher casts the high fashion model as Frank's girlfriend Flo (think Elvira in Scarface with more stripping and heart).
ETonline caught up with Deyn to talk about her first major leading role, how she plans to be an exception to the rule and what's next on her plate!
ETonline: What attracted you to Pusher and Flo?
Agyness Deyn: You just fall in love with her. She's so delicate and fragile. There's an almost childlike quality about her. Kind of like that, "Look at me! Look at me!" relationship a little girl has with her father. Especially with Frank. I read it and it was so great to see two sides of her, and think about how fun that would be to play. She's so complex, but also really simple. When you get down to it, all she wants is Frank, but she's never gonna get him.
ETonline: There's a lot of preconceived notions about models who try to act. Did you have to fight harder for the role because of that?
Deyn: I'm not oblivious. I know it's there, but I don't give any attention to it. I feel like if I did, it would be more of a hindrance. It always helps to have work other people can see and I'm willing to work hard and put in the ground work. I don't really expect anything because of what I've done, but I don't expect it to be held against me either.
ETonline: Was acting always the plan and modeling turned out to be a fun detour or do you just jump at creative opportunities as they arise?
Deyn: Modeling was so creative and I absolutely loved it. Then I got to a certain point and I was yearning for the next level [but] I didn't know what that was. That's when I started exploring different outlets where I could be creative and I found this. And as soon as I started acting, it was like, "Yeah, this is it."
ETonline: Did you do any acting classes to prepare?
Deyn: Not really. I went to a few classes and was terrified. For me, learning on the job was huge. Every single thing that I did, I learned more. I was just being a sponge. I was so fascinated by the other actors and just observing the way they work. Like, "Oh that's how that's done!"
ETonline: Looking ahead, what's next?
Deyn: I just wanna keep on creating. And you know finding stuff that really inspires me. Projects and roles that I wanna jump into. I just find humans so fascinating in the way that they are. When you watch a film, you just wanna be punched in the stomach and feel something, so to be able to evoke that kind of emotion in somebody else would be a very meaningful thing.
Pusher is in theaters and On Demand now!