In the new issue of CR Fashion Book, which just hit newsstands, editor-in-chief Carine Roitfeld time travels back to the year 1999, when she remembers fashion being at its most exciting and free. “1999 is about a spirit of independence, and there are very few independent thinkers left today,” says Roitfeld. “I think right now a lot of people are looking back to this period of time. Not only to find references or get ideas, but to see who they were—how good they were—and hopefully see who they can be again.”
When it came time to choose a cover star for her 1999-themed issue, Roitfeld chose Lily-Rose Depp, a budding supermodel and actress―who happened to be born in 1999.
Before stepping into Steven Klein’s studio for her CR cover shoot, Depp had never seen the photos Klein once took of her mother Vanessa Paradis―the iconic French singer-actress and fashion muse―at about the same age Depp is now, 18. Those smoldering Klein images of Paradis served as inspiration for this shoot.
Depp’s career is clearly following the same, fast-rising trajectory as her mother’s. Paradis had a hit song and starred in Chanel No. 5 ads as a teenager. Depp has since become the youngest-ever face of the same classic fragrance, and is now a runway regular at Chanel, too. But despite her fashion cred, Depp isn’t stopping there. She stars alongside Natalie Portman in the new indie drama, Planetarium, in which they play fortune-teller sisters. For the new issue of CR, Portman spoke with Depp about classic films, early bedtimes, and their mutual Francophilia.
NATALIE PORTMAN: I heard that your photoshoot for CR was really special.
LILY-ROSE DEPP: I love working with Carine. She actually styled the first shoot that I did for Chanel when I was 15. This time I got to show a little more skin and be a little more sexy. I had just turned 18, so I was ready to up the ante.
NP: Explain the connection to the photographs of your mom.
LRD: Steven Klein had shot these amazing photographs of my mom when she was around my age. We shot in front of a mirror with the pictures taped to it. I have a similar grungy look.
NP: Growing up, what was it like having both the French and the American sides to your family?
LRD: Weirdly enough, I feel pretty connected to both cultures. I can seem fully French when I’m in France or totally like a Valley girl when I’m in L.A. [Laughs]
NP: It’s so impressive to be able to act in two languages.
LRD: The movie I’m shooting in September is my first in French. I’m the main character and I’m speaking in French the whole time, so I’m really nervous. When I talk fast in French I tend to stumble on my words a lot, so I have to work on that.
NP: What movies have left the deepest impression on you?
LRD: I grew up watching films like Gone with the Wind and Bringing Up Baby. I think it’s really important to show kids these incredible classic movies from a young age. All global cultures are melding into this one social- media culture, and I think that these movies are a special way to preserve a specific point in time.
NP: What are the big cultural differences between France and the United States?
LRD: There’s something more personable in Europe than there is here. In the States, there’s more of a facade that I see people putting on. For me, the French culture is richer. It’s also easy to prefer Europe given the present state of things. I would have been nicer to America a year ago. The way politics is going, it’s hard for me to sit down and point out all the things that I love about America.
NP: You didn’t get to vote in this last election, did you?
LRD: No, I just missed it.
NP: That’s got to be really frustrating to feel like you didn’t even get to have a say.
LRD: It was really frustrating. Of course I’m not even seeing the half of it. I’m not feeling the effects that so many other people are feeling. I can’t even imagine actually living it and feeling these changes.
NP: Do you feel like it affects the kind of projects you want to do in any way?
LRD: I do and I don’t. Not in the sense that I want to do politically charged things. Just in the sense that we should be doing things that are even more daring and even more out- there. Art is the most amazing distraction and now is when we need it the most in order to bring some life back into life.
NP: Are you making any more American movies?
LRD: I haven’t done an American movie since my first movie ever. The last two things I did were Planetarium and The Dancer, which were both French productions, and then the one that I’m about to do is a French production.
NP: I feel like there’s a lot more interesting options in French movies right now.
LRD: French scripts have a certain sensibility to them, with the writing style and the depth that the characters have. I like movies that make you think and then talk afterward. I like movies that spark your imagination and your curiosity and I find that the kind of depth that French scripts and characters have often leads to that.
NP: Tell me what you’re doing in your spare time right now.
LRD: I’m such a homebody. I feel like this is the age that everyone is going out to clubs. I like to hang out with my friends and watch movies and cooking shows. I cook a lot.
NP: I would be very happy if I were your mother. I remember we’d, like, be out partying during Planetarium and you’d always say, “Okay, it’s time for me to go home now.”
LRD: People have this perception of 18-year-olds never sleeping and having so much energy, but I get tired at 9:30PM. I can’t even go to the movies after 8PM without falling asleep.
NP: In Planetarium you play this spiritualist who is very in touch with ghosts. I always thought you were going to pass out from getting so into the séance scenes.
LRD: I felt like I was going to pass out, too, but I think that was important. It would have been good for the scene.
NP: One of the days that you did those scenes you were actually really sick with a stomach virus.
LRD: I was not about to go home. I was the youngest one on set and it was my first really serious movie.
NP: You don’t like to let anybody down.
LRD: A lot of people think I’m only acting because of my dad, that I have not had to work as hard to be seen or recognized in the industry, so I think because of that it makes me want to work twice as hard to prove to everyone that I’m not just doing this because it’s easy to do. I’m not just doing it because it runs in the family.
For the full Lily-Rose Depp editorial, check out the new, 1999-themed issue of CR Fashion BookEND
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