Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Would-Be Actresses Have Model for Success

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Would-Be Actresses Have Model for Success

Article excerpt

PRETTY PEOPLE with acting ambitions would be well advised to try modeling first. From Lauren Bacall to Sharon Stone, the runway has proved successful.

Bacall was spotted on the cover of Harper's Bazaar by the wife of director Howard Hawks, who was seeking a siren to charm Humphrey Bogart in "To Have and Have Not."

Grace Kelly modeled for the Sears, Roebuck catalog to pay for her acting classes. During the search for Scarlett O'Hara, Susan Hayward was brought to Hollywood after being seen in fashion ads.

Now, supermodel Elle MacPherson, famed for her appearances in Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue, enters the field.

She was preceded in more recent times by child model Brooke Shields, cast at 12 as a prostitute in Louis Malle's "Pretty Baby," and Andie McDowell, who modeled for Calvin Klein before being cast as Jane in "Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes." Lorraine Bracco became a model at 16 and worked extensively in Paris before turning actress in European films.

Geena Davis' statuesque beauty qualified her to model for New York's Zoli Agency until her first movie break in "Tootsie." Stone signed with the Eileen Ford Agency at 19 and worked as a top model in Italy and elsewhere before Woody Allen started her acting career with "Stardust Memories."

Isabella Rossellini and Lauren Hutton are high-fashion models who succeeded as actresses and still lend their elegant faces to beauty products.

You've seen MacPherson on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Now, you can see all of her in the new Australian film "Sirens." She plays one of three models for painter Sam Neill, who specializes in shocking allegories with female nudes.

Surprisingly, MacPherson looks as though she stepped out of a Rubens painting rather than a fashion ad.

The director, John Duigan, told her to put on weight. "That was the hardest part of preparing for the role," said MacPherson, disciplined to maintain 125 pounds on her six-foot frame. "I didn't know how to prepare for the role, because I had never done it before. All I could do was put on weight. I added 15 or 20 pounds in a couple of months."

Unlike most movie-struck models, MacPherson, 30, remains ambivalent about an acting career. …

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