Street sat down for a candid chat with the supermodel–turned–actress about her new movie, “Pusher.”
Street: How did you get involved with the project? How did it come to you?
Agyness Deyn: I had read the script, and I really loved it, and originally I auditioned for the role of Danaka, which is a smaller role. I put myself on tape, sent the tape in, and then they asked me to come in. When I got there, you know, they had me meet the director, and I read for Flo, and they offered me the part. And then we started.
Street? Where you a fan of the original film? Had you heard about it before you read the script?
AD: I had, yes; I had heard it’s a cult classic and stuff, but I got asked not to watch it. You know, we’re doing an adaptation; there were so many things that were different…
Street: This is one of your first major film roles. Were you nervous about making the jump from modeling to film? Do you think that your modeling experience helped you at all?
AD: Yeah, I mean, I suppose I was excited about it, but obviously I was nervous; there’s also excitement in nerves. I just knew that I wanted to do it, so it was very, like, clear to me that this is what I had to do. You know, so just like, doing it, producing, and creating, and I think that yeah, it helped me in a way, because of having cameras in my face, and working on a set, with a crew. So yeah, it helped me in a lot of ways, modeling.
Street: Is it safe to say the experience helped you realize you would like to continue in film going forward?
AD: Yeah, definitely. The more and more I did—like everyday that I was doing the film—the more and more it concretized that this is what I want to be doing.
Street: Have you put aside modeling for now? Film is your main focus?
AD: Yeah, it’s my main focus. Like, I’ll never say never, you know, actors can model, you know, there’s so many crossovers, like music and fashion. You know, I think I just haven’t modeled for a long time because of my schedule and doing film, rather than fashion.
Street: What surprised you most about the making of this film?
AD: What surprised me?
Street: Were there any scenes in particular that stood out as being a lot of fun or very difficult?
AD: I think, like, the whole thing, because it was all new—such a new experience, it was all a surprise, it was all, like, you know, eyes open, like a new experience that I was discovering, you know?
Street: The content of the film is quite dark in depicting this seedy underworld. Did that intimidate you at all? How did you prepare for your role as an addict and stripper?
AD: I suppose what I liked about it was that it didn’t idolize drug using and stuff. Like, at the beginning it was glamorizing it a little bit, but really once the fantasy wears off, you realize what it’s really about. And I feel like it was, like, a byproduct and really was about relationships and how people react to certain situations. And to prepare for it, I just tried to get as much reality as I could, like on the role, and what she does, like with her job, and you know, obviously her being an addict and stuff, so the main thing—reading books, watching films. Real–life reality, like working with a stripper, going to work with her, talking to addicts, all that kind of stuff.
Street: You worked with a stripper! Did she show you any moves?
AD: Oh yeah, loads! (Laughs) Not that I was any good. I was nicknamed Bambi.
Street: Bambi? Like the deer?
AD: The whole, like, shaky–legs. (Laughs) So it was really funny. It was so fun, you know, to work with her; I had such a good time. I had a profound experience, and a new respect for…it’s like an art, you know, it’s like a skill, if you’re able to do that.
Street: You have a very distinctive look. Are you excited to take on roles that transform you a bit, maybe even make you less recognizable?
AD: Yeah, I really feel like—I always love that when I model, you know, like getting into…doing something that was like, taking up a character. So, I just want to do stuff that’s very diverse, but yeah, that’s exciting, to do that.
Street: Are you inspired by any other models–turned–actresses who have achieved success on screen?
AD: I take inspiration from so many things, you know. Oh, I love watching films where women are super strong and create an impact, do you know what I mean? But yeah, I feel like anyone who’s working hard is an inspiration.
Street: Can you tell us about any of your future projects?
AD: Yeah, I’m doing a part in the new Terence Davies film in the new year with Peter Mullen, and after that, I believe that we’re going to do the sequel to “Pusher.”