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Model Diaries with Kiersey Clemons



Model Diaries: Kiersey Clemons
Photographed by Nate Jensen
Interview by Jill Winkler

Our cover star, Kiersey Clemons, is imbued with a particularly playful charm, along with a mischievous eccentricity that has made her one of the the most standout actresses of the year. Modeliste sat down with Kiersey on-set and this is what we learned about this starlet’s rise to stardom and what this year has in store.

What inspired you to get into acting?
Kiersey: As a child I used my imagination a lot. I moved around because my dad was in the Navy, so I would just adapt to my environment and become different people everywhere I moved. Sometimes I didn’t bother to even make friends. I would just watch people and be really weird and shy.

Modeliste: What was one of the first roles you ever were cast in?
Kiersey: I think that one of the the first roles I was cast in and was most proud of was Dope.

Modeliste: How long have you been acting since you got your role in Dope?
Kiersey: I’ve been acting overall for eight years, but I did theater before that. So basically, the majority of my life.

Modeliste: What made Dope so special?
Kiersey: The entire overall experience is what made Dope so special, it was essentially the love that we had for each other. That sounds so cheesy. The success that we had, and didn’t know we were going to have was amazing. It was kind of our first time, all of us, even Rocky and Chanel, none of us had done something like that before.

Modeliste: Could you feel it in your heart, that something that you guys were creating was special?
Kiersey: No. I don’t feel that you always feel when you’re making something special. It’s rare for that to happen. For the most part, you know that there’s a lot of movies that go unnoticed that are really good. That kind of happened to Dope. It wasn’t until it was streaming online that a lot of people saw it and liked it.

Modeliste: You have a lot of movies coming out this year. Tell us about the Only Living Boy in New York that’s coming out in August.
Kiersey: Only Living Boy in New York is the first movie that I made with people that I looked up to. I’ve worked with a lot of great people previously, but not people like Jeff Bridges and obviously Cynthia Nixon. When I think about filming a movie in New York, I think that it’s like Sex in the City.

Modeliste: Tell us about the shoot today. What was your favorite look?
Kiersey: In my shoot today with Modeliste, we did a lot of dresses but I loved the pantsuit, the blazer and the pants. It looked kind of like a romper and it was really sophisticated and sexy. The designer of the pantsuit was Fosto. It falls on my body really nicely which is hard to find for my body shape. I’m always a really big fan of that because it’s rare.

Modeliste: You are also a very talented singer. Who or what inspired you to pursue music?
Kiersey: I think it was mostly my mom and my grandma. A lot of people in my family sing, not professionally, but they can all carry a tune.

Modeliste: How long have you been singing for?
Kiersey: I’ve been singing kind of my whole life, but I probably started in primarily when I was in musical theater. That’s where I learned the most and I was 14.

Modeliste: Can we expect any music from you soon?
Kiersey: I’m going to release music soon. I always record stuff and then I listen to it too much so I start to hate it. I just have to trust myself and hopefully something comes out this year.

Modeliste: What’s your sound? What’s your vibe?
Kiersey: My vibe in music is probably feel good. It’s not a genre, but it feels good. You can listen to it in the morning or in the car, or whatever.

Modeliste: How would you describe your fashion style?
Kiersey: I would describe my fashion style as relaxed and clean sometimes.

Modeliste: What inspires you fashion-wise?
Kiersey: I think my sister inspires me most. She’s really thrifty and creative. I think there are a lot of women that are shaped like me. I find a lot of them on Instagram and blogging and stuff–I like that a lot.

Modeliste: Who are some of your favorite designers that design for women of your curviness?
Kiersey: I wear a lot of DVF because Jonathan Saunders is the new Creative Director. I love the way that their dresses fall on my body. I mean, DVF is made for, and caters to curvy women and hourglass figures and so obviously they still kept that. I really appreciate it.

Modeliste: What are the three things that you can never leave the house without- not including your wallet or phone.
Kiersey: I was going to say my wallet. I cannot leave the house without my giant jug of water, probably a tinted chapstick, and I think a hat. I always have a hat.

Modeliste: What types of accessories do you gravitate to when putting together an outfit?
Kiersey: I have a whole box of hoop earrings that I love. I just get them from the beauty supply store in all different sizes. I love them.

Modeliste: Describe a typical day off for you. What do you like to do outside of work?
Kiersey: A typical day off for me is a steam room, a sauna or I take a bath. I cuddle with my dog a lot and go for walks. I just chill really hard.

Modeliste: What is your funniest red carpet moment? Why are you laughing?
Kiersey: Oh my goodness. My funniest red carpet moment is this photo of me at an opening show. There is a red carpet photo of me and I’m wearing like track shorts and this really ugly green button up and then my makeup just looks horrid. I tried to make my zits look like moles and my eyebrows were so crayoned on. My hair looked crazy.

Modeliste: How old were you?
Kiersey: I was maybe 18 and I just had on way too much bronzer all over my face. It’s one of the first photos that pops up on Google. I got to get it taken down so hard.

Modeliste: What is your favorite late night treat?
Kiersey: Oh, my favorite late night treat is probably those little brownie bites that you can get at like Ralph’s. Those are so good. You think you can have one, but eat the whole box. Oh yeah.

Modeliste: Okay back to acting.
Kiersey: Okay. Those brownie bits though… I’m still thinking about them!

Modeliste: Tell us about your upcoming role in the Only Boy in New York. What did you find most challenging playing this part?
Kiersey: In Only Living Boy in New York, I play a girl named Mimi. She’s in school and likes to write and read. She’s very intelligent and artistic. I play opposite Callum Turner and I think it was both of our first experience like that. It was nice to kind of lean on each other and be like, “I’m nervous!” Working with all the people that we did, they’re all very respectable and I think we really looked up to them.

Modeliste: You have a lot of movies coming out this year!
Kiersey: Yeah.

Modeliste: Beyond, Only Living Boy in New York, tell us about what we can expect to see for the rest of the year.
Kiersey: In the Fall, I have Flatliners coming out which is a sequel to the original that came out in the 90s. We’re kind of going to revisit the story line, set more so in the future.

This November, I’m making a cameo in Justice League as Iris West and it’s the first time that you meet her before we get to see her in The Flash with Ezra Miller. It was my first time doing something so extravagant like that. We filmed in London and that’s one of my favorite places.

In a couple of weeks I go to Fiji to film a movie called Sweetheart. It’s with Blumhouse who I’ve worked with before and obviously everyone is a fan of Blumhouse movies. I’m honored that JD Dillard, my Director, asked me to be the lead of his movie. I’m excited to work with him.

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