She's regularly spotted with fellow slashies Cara Delevingne and Suki Waterhouse, but Clara Paget has managed to fly more or less under the radar
The British model and actress prefers it that way - she can't stand the idea of reality TV and she gives Helen Mirren as an example of the kind of star she'd like to be. "I have this romantic idea that I can go incognito and be this British actress who doesn't get bothered and goes over to America and makes movies and then comes back home and just has a really chilled, normal life," she tells us from our interview deep in the vault of Paspaley's Sydney boutique. As someone's who's already starred in St Trinian's 2 (her first movie role), Fast & Furious and acclaimed US TV series Black Sails, not to mention the current Burberry campaign, it's a feat we suspect the actress won't find easy.
Paget's latest project sees her lost in the arid red sands of the remote Australian desert for luxury South Sea pearl jewellery house Paspaley's breathtaking Maxima short film and visual campaign. Shot by multi-award-winning Australian director Ariel Kleiman (heralded as one of the country's best filmmakers, he's won top honours at both Cannes and Sundance), the film celebrates the fantasy of a fashion shoot by capturing a fictitious 'behind the scenes.' So far, so meta. "Nowadays it's the norm to have a behind the scenes film but Paspaley wanted to do something a little bit different," Paget explains. "Our reference was Picnic at Hanging Rock - this dream within a dream."
Titled Behind the Lens, the film is shot at locations in the Kimberley synonymous with Paspaley's heritage. Paget wears the new Maxima collection, which combines mother of pearl, South Sea pearls and diamonds in deconstructed, fluid forms to mimic drops of the ocean - both a tribute to the lustre of mother of pearl and to Paspaley's 80 years in the pearling industry. "I think what's amazing about Paspaley is they've got this really modern usage of pearls, like the pearl and diamond body chain, which is my favourite," Paget says. "I'd wear that with a bikini in Ibiza."
Behind the Lens premieres on October 2 - unless you sign up at paspaley.com to receive the full film 24 hours prior. For now, catch the trailer above and see the stunning campaign stills, shot by fashion photographer Regan Cameron, in our gallery above. Find out a little more about Brit It-girl Paget in our interview below.
You were discovered at a costume party - what can you tell us about that night?
I was dressed as Marlene Dietrich and I had that whole Hollywood wave going on and I met my agent, Sarah Leon there. She asked me who my agent was and I told her I'd decided never to pursue it, because I'd done this shoot for Vogue when I was 15 years old and been scouted but I wanted to stay really focused on my education. Sarah was like 'you've got to come and make some money, you've got to do it'. So I signed with her and I said but look, I really want to be an actress. So from day one she was pushing me to do that and the first audition I went to, I got a part for St Trinians.
What do you think is the biggest struggle facing models who want to move into acting or other arenas?
I just think there's a big stigma attached to the model slash actress thing, which I totally disagree with. I suppose you do get girls just trying to chance it who never really wanted to be an actor. I always did, so modelling, for me, I found it really useful, because it made me very comfortable in front of the camera. Obviously the acting industry is probably even more intimidating [than modelling] so it gives you a really good understanding of how that side of things works.
What do you see yourself doing next?
I'd love to get into comedy more, which I haven't really done. I loved St Trinians but I've moved onto all kinds of different things, drama, thrillers, action movies - I did Fast and Furious, which is something I never thought I'd do but it was the funnest thing in the world, learning how to shoot a gun and being like all the proper action heroes!
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