Q: You are more of a performance artist than a conventional model. True?
A: Whenever I step onto a set, whether it’s a photo shoot or a film shoot, I always speak to the photographer or director beforehand. We work on creating a character and story together. I feel that when people hire me they know it’s going to be a collaboration and that they hire me for what I give on all sorts of levels, from my movement to the emotion I bring to the project, the passion, all of it.
Q: You have an extraordinary rapport with some of the great photographers—Mario Sorrenti, who took these photographs, Ellen von Unwerth and others. I can see you inspire them.
A: I’ve been taking photographs with Ellen since I was 16 and with Mario since I was 14. I did my first nude shoot with Mario when I was 17. He made me feel beautiful, and I really feel it was on that shoot that I overcame my fear of being naked. Mario is such an artist. He has taken photographs of me in which my body looks like a sculpture.
Q: How do you characterize your approach to acting?
A: I used to be so Method in my approach that my own life would start to mirror the life of my character. This wasn’t always the healthiest approach. At times I would get so lost in my character that I wouldn’t know where I ended and the character began. There were no boundaries; we were definitely one. I’m at a point now in my craft where I can go into the zone and live the character and then, through meditation, get back to my life and whatever is going on. I love doing films because I can live the life of the character for two or three months and then say good-bye.
Q: Film directors admire you for your naturalism and comfort with nudity. You performed in Jim Jarmusch’s film The Limits of Control almost entirely in the nude.
A: Jarmusch wrote that role for me. I was completely naked throughout the film—except for a pair of glasses and, in one scene, a see-through raincoat. It was also a way for me to conquer my fears about my body and learn to love my body. Although she was completely naked physically, she was very mysterious as a character. I loved working with Jim Jarmusch and was flattered that he wrote the part for me.
Q: Why did you choose to pose for Playboy?
A: The lineage. Cindy Crawford and Marilyn Monroe have appeared in Playboy. I celebrate nudity every day. It’s our first wardrobe. And Mario is such an amazing photographer; he brings so much mystery and sensuality to his photographs. We did the photos with no makeup, and we both wanted them to have a very natural feeling. It was more about bringing out a part of myself that has not really been shown to the public, a more honest portrayal of where I am now in my life.