is going to be in a new movie called "Hitch" with Will Smith. I've seen the trailer numerous times because I frequent the theater and everytime she came on, I just knew it had to be her.
Anyways, a link to the trailer (requires quicktime), followed by a link about her on imdb.com:
I've always thought she was a looker
Tasha Tilberg : Image Collection
Last edited by urchin; 29-12-2004 at 12:57 AM.
and some of them go on to bigger and better things.
Amber's catwalk glow turns to screen stardom
February 21, 2005
Amber Valletta has made an easy transition.
Photo: Sara Jaye
Former model Amber Valetta tells why it's no bed of roses being tall, blonde and beautiful - and a movie star as well, writes Phillip McCarthy.
Unlike your average Hollywood ingenue, Amber Valletta never had to waitress between screen auditions. But there's a downside to that. She is probably a rare case of a rising star, with major career traction, who is almost certainly taking a pay cut from her last job.
Admittedly that last job was as a supermodel. Over 10 years the name Valletta cropped up alongside Turlington and Evangelista in the world of $US30,000 ($38,000) a day photo shoots and multimillion-dollar cosmetics deals with Elizabeth Arden and Calvin Klein. In 10 years, Valletta appeared eight times on the cover of British Vogue alone and launched ready-to-wear campaigns for Donna Karan, Chanel, Valentino, Jil Sander and Prada.
But being larger than life, literally billboard size, in the glamour biz leaves it mark. And not just because Valletta can't help the way she looks tall, statuesque and possessed of amazing cheekbones and seductive green eyes. She still talks about movie gigs like they were modelling jobs. She doesn't audition for parts the way most actors do, but she "books jobs" the way she might have back at her modelling agency Elite.
"But, seriously, I don't really model any more," said Valletta. "I've done three films this [past] year and I've been focusing on acting. It's not actually a plus being a former model. People are waiting for you to fall on your face. I've really, really tried to prove myself as an actor and steer away from roles that were big but were in so-so films. Girls have made that mistake before. I did a lot of little parts in films to get my acting chops."
Valletta's acting resume includes What Lies Beneath, opposite Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer, and more recently Raising Helen, with Kate Hudson. But it is one of those three recent films, Hitch, that is her biggest, showiest role to date.
In a change of pace for Will Smith, the film centres on the action hero as a lover, not a fighter. He's a relationship consultant. One client played by the doughy star of TV's The King Of Queens, Kevin James has a crush on Valletta's aloof, aristocratic, socialite Allegra Cole.
Models trying to trade up to Hollywood often give the impression, in their wooden performances, of not seeing a difference between doing a movie and posing for the cover of a magazine. It's the misconception that, just because you know how to pout when the shutter is whirring, you can also emote when the camera is rolling.
But Valletta, 30, has been studying acting for five years to minimise the risk. The pay-off is a polished turn in Hitch.
"I think I just got bored with modelling," she said. "I had been at it for so long and I wasn't achieving any new goals or finding fresh challenges. It's not that the modelling world is more bitchy, or any of those cliches. I grew up with a certain set of girls and we were all in the business together from a young age. And movies, I have to tell you, are a cutthroat business. Don't let anyone fool you. It's a way tougher business than modelling.
"But I was acting since I was a kid so it was weird that I became a model and not an actor. I never really liked make-up, I was never into magazines, I didn't follow fashion. I worked hard at modelling once I got there, but I didn't really have a burning ambition to get there in the first place. I didn't seek it, it found me. Whereas with the acting, I've worked really hard to get where I'm at and I've tried to think it through each step of the way."
Actually, modelling's discovery of Valletta at 15 did get a little help, from Valletta's mum in Oklahoma. Her mother suggested that her long, leggy, photogenic daughter might consider cashing in on her natural assets. Smart thinking, mum. Next stop, Paris and Milan.
"For the past few years I did both modelling and acting," Valletta said. "I wasn't ready to make a clean break. My identity was tied up with being a model. I thought, 'What if this [acting] doesn't pan out?'. It was an ego thing. I was really scared to let it go.
"But last year, just before my 30th birthday, I decided I wouldn't be a scaredy-cat anymore. Until I did that I never booked a really big [acting] job. I got good jobs, but I never booked a big job. And as soon as I said, 'no more fear', I got this movie. And that was it. And I really believe that is what happens in life. When you're really focused and you're ready for something, your energy and the universe will help you go there."
Having got there, Valletta's not letting up. Did she have anyone in mind when she was working up Allegra Cole? I mention that her character's name had a similar resonance to, say, Paris Hilton. But Valletta had higher ambitious than some trashy hotel heiress.
"She's not a Hilton, no way," she said. "I saw her as someone more like Princess Diana, but an American version, but we don't really have anyone quite like that. So I had no one specific in mind. I saw her as this fleeting public figure who was confined, constricted, sought-after and about who everyone had all sorts of presumptions, and she had to fill this role that she didn't always want to be in. So I thought, Diana."
Allegra winds up falling for a fairly plain-looking bloke in James. But do models really kiss frogs?
"It's true my husband doesn't look anything like Kevin," said Valletta. "But I don't have any one particular look in a man. I prefer that they are not bald. But other than that I don't really care. My biggest turn off is a guy who is trying too hard to be cool."
For the record, Valletta's husband, Christian "Chip" McCaw, has a rather luxuriant head of dark hair. He's also pretty athletic and, presumably, is cool without trying. It's a sort of more grown-up Bec and Lleyton thing. A former member of the US Olympic volleyball team, he now plays the sport professionally.
Their son, Auden, was born in 2000 and the genetics suggest that he's got it made: his mother's looks and his father's moves.
In the movie Will Smith's character helps plain guy Kevin James engineer a meeting with Allegra, then devises a courtship strategy that is riotously successful. For a time. But if you believe Valletta, she would have been the one dreaming up the dating ruses.
"Most of the time I hit on guys rather than the opposite," she said. "I think that most women go after guys because most men don't know what to do. It's not even the thing about them being intimidated by supermodels. I mean, I don't necessarily have all the answers. But guys can be so clueless. I think 'if I don't do it, it will never happen'. I don't smoke, but when I was single I sometimes asked guys for a light just to get a conversation going."
If actors, particularly newly minted ones, tend to get the acting bug, Valletta seems to have got it with an almost religious zeal.
"I think my thing in life is that I like to relieve suffering," she said. "Whatever form that takes. I do a lot of charity work. That's why I like what I do now in that, for an hour and a half, I can take you out of your world and let you forget about your life for a while without drinking or taking a drug to help."
Maybe that answers the question of what happens to supermodels when they do hang up their heels.
If they do it right they become big-screen intoxicants. And that high has to be way better on their lungs than a room full of duelling cans of hairspray at the back of the runway.
Hitch is released on March 3
"Let's stop treating models like greyhounds we plan to shoot after a race. We have to remember we are dealing with real people who have real feelings."
- James Scully
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