London-born Liberty Ross grew up in LA until she was 7 when her family moved to Ladbroke Grove, West London. Liberty began her pro modelling career on a shoot for Vogue with Mario Testino. She was in Madonna‘s ‘W.E‘ earlier this year and is currently in ‘Snow White and the Huntsman‘, directed by her husband Rupert Sanders. They live in LA with their 2 children.
Here she tells me about the importance of family life, why she loves her job, how friendship turns into collaboration and hiking in the canyons of LA -plus clothes, shoes and make-up.
What was family life like growing up?
I am blessed with my family. I love my sibs, my Mum & my Dad! They rock my world. I was raised in an extremely non-conventional way with serious highs and lows, but we always had each other and that has taught me so much. Family is everything to me.
What did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be a mum.
What are the aspects that you love about LA?
The sun! The wildlife, the beach and the vegetation.
What do you miss about London?
London is where I am most inspired. I miss walking around and seeing interesting people, shops and all the brilliant things that people are creating in art, music, fashion and film. It will always be my home and where I feel the most comfortable.
Tell me a bit about being a mum…
I have 2 children and they are the most brilliant thing in my life, they make me laugh out loud every day. Motherhood is WAY harder than I ever expected though. It’s constant and challenging but ultimately extremely rewarding.
How did you become interested in acting-and who inspires you in film?
I was a really shy kid so it still amazes me that I do model and act. Weirdly, I have always done bits and bobs of both since I was really young. When I started modelling full time it was a great way for me to come out of myself. Everyday I was in a different situation, with different people and performing as someone other than myself for the most part. That’s the bit that I like the best. I like disappearing into someone else’s world and feelings, it excites me like nothing else. I love the whole process and everything that goes with it-the crews, the sets, the costumes.
Favourite film? The Social Network – my brother Atticus wrote the score which is amazing. W.E. obviously! Then there’s ‘Snow White and The Huntsman’….
What are the things about modelling that you’ve enjoyed, and not enjoyed?
I have always been careful about the jobs I choose as a model. As I said I do like to take on characters and challenge myself, get out of my comfort zone as much as possible. I have never been a ‘jobbing model’ as such. I think I’ve been lucky that way, but then again I have never necessarily aspired to be the most wealthy or well-known either. I won’t do a job unless I feel passionate about it on some level and that is why there is nothing that I have not enjoyed about it. I love my job and everything that goes with it.
What were your first shoots?
My first shoot was for I-D Magazine-I think I was 7!
I didn’t start modelling properly until I had finished my A-Levels. My first shoot was for Vogue with Mario Testino on my 19th birthday. I remember thinking ‘wow I’m going to be in Vogue!’ .We drank Champagne, it was fun.
One of Liberty’s first shoots with Mario for Vogue
What are you up to at the moment? I’ve just returned from LA. (premiere of Snow White and The Huntsman).
You also had a small role in W.E. how did this come about?
I met with my manager who told me about the project. The next day I put myself on tape for the role of Connie Thaw. A couple of days later I was on a plane to London to meet the director (Madonna). Filming W.E was a great experience-I love acting and I I loved working with Madonna.
I’m intrigued by your work with Nick Knight’s SHOWstudio, seems you’ve become an ‘art project muse’. How did this happen?
I first met Nick on a POP Magazine shoot with cardboard cut-outs made by John Galliano. I had been a huge fan of his for years so it was amazing to finally shoot with him. From that moment on it was a natural development of friendship/collaboration. I recently started blogging for him and we are working on another big project together. It will be layered and interactive, just like ‘Dress Me Up, Dress Me Down‘ below.
Who was your beauty icon when you were a teen?
My Mum and Kate Moss.
What did they represent to you?
The utmost in cool, sexy sophistication.
My brothers, sisters & my Mum & Dad.
Where do you find inspiration? Almost everywhere.
Is there another creative outlet would you like one day to pursue?
I want to direct a documentary. I’m working on it right now…
What quality do you most admire in a woman? Honesty & curiosity.
What quality do you most admire in a man? Honesty & curiosity.
In what ways has your life turned out as planned?
In every way and if it hasn’t. I know it was meant to be…
If money were absolutely no object, how would you live your life?
Just the same as I’m doing right now.
In one word, what does the world need most right now? Love.
Favourite Clothes Shops: I don’t shop that much but when I do it’ll be vintage shops, occasionally, wherever I am. Otherwise I’m in jeans & t-shirts. Designer-wise, it’s Azzedine Alaia (I love him), Pucci, Mark Fast, Rick Owens (it’s a dream to have his cashmere/mink jacket!), Louis Vuitton. My friend Gaby Basora makes great clothes too, her brand’s called ‘Tucker’ and I just shot a film for her with Zoe Cassavetes (she gave me a leopard print jacket). Jewellery designer and friend Solange Azagury Partridge is also amazing.
Shoes: The most worn are my Black Converse. Otherwise Alaia, Chanel, Jonathan Kelsey below. Having returned from London I realise I enjoy ‘dressing’ more there, I like the layering. In LA it’s easy to get lazy-just living in cut-offs and flip flops as though it’s your holiday every day. LA is less sophisticated than London , it’s more the land of Ugg boots and Juicy Couture. I have to admit-I own both-but strictly for beach only!
Skincare: Skinceuticals and Aromatherapy Associates.
Dematologist? A lovely man in LA called Dr Weiss
Make-Up? I never wear make-up in the day but when I go out I usually apply a smoky eye, lots of mascara and not much else.
Exercise/Yoga/Activity/Hobby? I love Yoga, I’ve been practising for a long time. Buy my favourite thing to do is to take long walks on the beach or hike in the amazing canyons that California has so many of.
How do you relax? Hot baths with candles and bubbles OR a BBQ on the deck over the ocean with friends and family-that’s the best.
Read the Latest on Liberty via her VOGUE BLOG HERE
See LIBERTY ROSS WEBSITE HERE
Follow LIBERTY on twitter HERE
Watch Liberty in a Solange Azagury short by Sam Taylor Wood.