As an outspoken political voice for our generation, Ratajkowski doesn’t believe in subtle acts of defiance. She wants to work outside the system to quickly burn it down. And we’re more than ready to join her.
With a new movie out later this month, office sat down with the model to talk about everything from feminism to that famous arrest photo. Read our interview, below.
You have a new movie, Welcome Home, coming out next week. Do you want to tell me about it?
Yeah! It’s really my first lead role—it’s a thriller with Aaron Paul from Breaking Bad. It’s about the idea of privacy and voyeurism in general, and it’s something I’m really proud of. I actually haven’t seen the movie in a minute, but at the very least, I know I feel good about my performance. That’s a really nice feeling, especially since you can’t control the rest of the film. The only thing you can hope for is that you like your performance in the end result.
Since this was your first real leading role, were you at all nervous?
Not really. I mean, I started acting before I was ever interested in modeling. Growing up, I was a total theater nerd—I just lived and breathed acting—and then like someone told my parents, ‘She should try modeling. It’s a good way to get her foot in the door.’ Of course, my mom was like, ‘Fuck no,’ but I eventually went to LA and got signed to an agency. Modeling just happened to take off first.
So, being a model was never your real goal.
No, it was never the goal. I come from a creative family, and I was going to UCLA for visual arts before I dropped out to do this. So, I guess the creative fulfillment that comes with acting takes away the pressure of the actual job, because, for me, it’s so enjoyable.
You said you think a lot about voyeurism. In some ways, its part of your own experience because so many people look at so many aspects of your life. I mean, you have Instagram and other social media, which allows you to curate what you want to let people in on—
I look at it a lot like a blog, you know? I’m not posting in real time, I’m not posting what I’m doing for dinner. Honestly, I don’t even like to post people that I’m close to, because why would I expose them to that? It just doesn’t seem fair. It’s one thing for it to be my job, but it’s another for them to be sucked into that crazy world of judgement. But that being said, I’ve really never had an issue with that—I mean, of course, there’s a lot of privacy you give up and I’m okay with that. Sometimes, it does feel like a little too much, but the important thing is that it gives me the opportunity to control how I let people in, and how much. I think of other models and actresses, even ten years ago, who only had journalists and paparazzi to tell the world who they are—they didn’t have a way to dictate their own narrative; they had no power in their own image. So, even though there’s a lot of shit that comes with social media, I’m pretty grateful to have it.