Calling Cara Jocelyn Delevingne a ‘phenomenon’ is less of an exaggeration than usually applies when the word is used to describe one of the current stars in our celebrity roster. The 23-year old model, actress, singer and -in her own words – world class beatboxer has hit the big time, suffered quite a lot of the negative consequences thereof, and struggled through them with more than average grace.
In case you’ve wondered, Cara’s surname is actually quite easy to pronounce – “dellaveen” – rhymes with Bella Queen, which might even be somewhat appropriate, considering her lineage. A native of London where she was born in 1992, her ancestors include several baronets, a 1st Viscount, publishing magnates, Lord Mayors of London – and a lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret.
Her parents, Pandora and Charles, are untitled but prominent, with a £10million mansion in Belgravia that was reportedly downsized last year after Cara was asked to find her own abode and move out. By the time this happened, media sources have it that the reason given was an overabundance of the by- now-internationally-famous model’s clothing choices.
Cara had her first modeling gig at the age of ten, but it was seven years later in 2009 when she signed on with Storm Model Management, having been spotted by its founder Sarah Doukas – the same eagle eye that also spotted Kate Moss way back in 1988. Other modeling assignments followed but it was in 2011, when Cara was part of the Burberry spring/summer shoot at Brighton Beach that her career really got underway.
In the following four years Cara’s face, figure and signature bushy eyebrows have been showcased by the fashion industry’s top brand names, from Burberry to Yves St. Laurent and just about everywhere in between.
The mad pace and sudden massive celebrity had taken a toll on the young woman who has said in interviews that she never really planned to be a model – it just happened. However, her emotional and psychological difficulties surfaced well before her modeling career got underway.
When she was 15, Cara fell victim to depression, as she described it in a conversation/interview with Rupert Everett during the Women in the World Summit earlier this month (October). She said that doing well in school was important to her parents but she didn’t expect to ever “do well at it.” She told Everett, “I became suicidal,” [wishing for] “. . . the world to swallow me up, and nothing seemed better to me than death.”
Cara goes on to explain that she was taken out of school for therapy and antidepressants, giving her some time to “. . . return to rational thinking . . .” but not really a cure for what ailed her. She did begin modeling during this time out from school, and in various interviews she has credited Kate Moss for helping her to save herself.
Cara said the veteran super-model “. . . kind of picked me up off the floor.” As for Moss, she described Cara, “. . . like a little chicken. I just wanted to take care of her.”
With the help of friends, almost all of those mentioned being women, as well as other health-promoting pastimes such as yoga and writing, this conflicted but seemingly irrepressible youngster more or less got her self together, saying “no more” to the drugs-and-parties scene that had defined her for some time. In recent interviews she has mentioned that depression is not something that goes away forever; it can and does recur, but she now has weapons to fight and win that battle.
Though Cara has been named Model of the Year (2014) and made the cover of many top fashion magazines – she’s been on the cover of Vogue three times – she says now that modeling is not really her passion.
Music and acting are the real passions in her life, and she’s pursuing both with considerable success. Following a minor role in the 1012 movie adaptation of Anna Karenina, where she had a non-speaking role as Princess Sorokina, Cara’s acting career started revving up in 2014 when she got positive reviews for her portrayal of Melanie in The Face of an Angel.
The Face of an Angel trailer
Also in 2014 Cara co-starred in the Channel 4 airing of The Feeling Nuts Comedy Night, she was featured in Die Antwoord’s Ugly Boy music video, and starred in Karl Lagerfeld’s short film Reincarnation. As of 2015 she has more music videos under her belt, including Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood, which broke records with more than 20 million views on the day it was released.
Her co-starring role as Margo Speigelman in Paper Towns brought her a lot of acclaim when it was released earlier this this year – the film was an overnight success, hitting #6 slot in the U.S. box office and earning Cara in particular some enthusiastic reviews.
It would seem that acting in not only her passion but her forte, as she’s currently signed on for major roles in no less than six films. They include Kids in Love, Tulip Fever, London Fields and The Suicide Squad – in which she plays the Enchantress, one of the film’s super-heroes with magical powers.
Just to keep things rolling, Cara has also signed on for Luc Besson’s new film Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, another comic book adaptation in which she’s to co-star with Rihanna. That one is scheduled for release in 2017, and it’s a pretty sure bet that we will be seeing much more of Cara Delevingne, and hearing from her too.
If Cara has a motto it might be “Embrace your weirdness” as quoted on Instagram. “Be Comfortable in your own shoes, because you’re going to be in them for a while,” is her advice given to the audience at her Women in the World appearance, offered as she was strapping back on the mile-high shoes she’d removed at the start of her interview with Everett.
She’s actually a rather complex and contradictory individual – as she’d be the first to tell you.
On the other hand, she has a remarkable energy and enthusiasm that bursts out in unexpected and usually quite delightful off-hand remarks and exaggerated facial moves. ‘Spontaneous’ is probably as accurate a description as any, but you’d have to include multi-talented, very nice to look at – and beat boxer par excellence.
She is now playing June Moone in the highly anticipated Suicide Squad