DOUBLE TAKE: 20 Memorable Models Turned Actresses

To celebrate the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show – widely regarded as the most significant artistic and cultural event of the year – we are taking a look back at 20 of the most memorable models who have transitioned from the runway to the big screen.  Here are our 20 favorite models turned actresses.

This week sees the return of one of America’s greatest traditions:

The Victoria Secret Fashion Show.

Victoria’s Secret as an institution is primarily known (and celebrated) for their dedication to crafting top-of-the-line women’s wear.

What many don’t know is that they’ve also launched the career of some pretty badass actresses.

To celebrate, we’ve collected our 20 favorite models who have made the transition to Movie Star Status…even if we play a little fast-and-loose with that term.

 

Cara Delevingne

Cara Delevingne Victoria's Secret

Notable Modeling: Though most well known for her Victoria’s Secret runway shows, Cara has also modeled for Burberry and H&M advertising campaigns.  Moreover – she’s a notoriously good dancer.

Acting Career: After a few minor roles, Cara took the lead part in this year’s romantic drama Paper Towns (2015), but it looks like she’s going in a new direction next year with her villainous turn as Enchantress in Suicide Squad (2016).

 

Naomi Campbell

Naomi Campbell Victoria's Secret

Notable Modeling: A frequent walker in Victoria’s Secret Shows, Naomi Campbell made history by being the first black model to appear on the September Issue cover of Vogue in 1989.

Acting Career: Campbell can currently be seen as a ghost haunting the hotel in American Horror Story, and the cougar who steals Cookie’s son in Empire.

 

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley Victoria's Secret

Notable Modeling: One of the most well-known Angels working for Victoria’s Secret today, Rosie is also famous for being the face of Burberry’s 2011 “Body” fragrance.

Acting Career: When Megan Fox made the unwise career move of comparing director Michael Bay to Hitler, the Transformers franchise needed new eye-candy. Rosie was happy to jump in and take Fox’s place. She can also be seen in the recent hit Mad Max: Fury Road (2015).

 

Tyra Banks

Tyra Banks Victoria's Secret

Notable Modeling: The first black woman to appear on the covers of GQ and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, Tyra Banks is a legend in the industry, and even hosts the reality show America’s Next Top Model.

Acting Career: Banks has appeared in many TV shows over the years, from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air to Gossip Girl and Glee.  Banks landed her biggest film role in the 2000 hit Coyote Uglybut younger audiences would argue that her best work can be found in her performance in the Disney Channel Original Movie: Life Size (2001).

 

Gisele Bundchen

Gisele Victoria's Secret model

Notable Modeling: The highest paid model in the world, Gisele was a Victoria’s Secret Angel from 2000 until 2007.

Acting Career: After the misguided effort that was 2004’s Taxi – where Gisele played a fast-driving bank robber – Gisele redeemed herself a bit with a small role in The Devil Wears Prada (2006).

 

Heidi Klum

Heidi Klum Victoria's Secret

Notable Modeling: After appearing on the cover of basically every magazine there is (Elle, Vogue, Glamour, and Harper’s Bazaar to name a few) Klum followed up her stint as an Angel by becoming the host of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in 2002, 2006, 2007 and 2009.

Acting Career: In addition to countless cameos as herself across film & TV, Heidi Klum is celebrated (in some circles) for her roles in Parks and Recreation and Ella Enchanted (2004).

 

Emily Ratajowski

Emily Ratajkowski Bikini

Notable Modeling: Ratajowski exploded onto the modeling scene in a big way with her appearance in the scandalous music video for Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.”  She has also appeared in Sports Illustrated sporting a bikini made of guitar picks.  Classy.

Acting Career: Ratajowski followed up her acclaimed role as “Topless Woman” in Gone Girl (2014) with a lead part in We Are Your Friends (2015).

 

Brooklyn Decker

Brooklyn Decker Bikini

Notable Modeling: Swimsuit enthusiast Brooklyn Decker has graced the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue several times, and worked for the Victoria’s Secret 2010 “Swim” Collection.

Acting Career: Decker made her movie debut as every beautiful model should: by playing the love interest of Adam Sandler.  Decker followed Just Go With It (2011) with roles in the romantic thriller Battleship (2012) and the pregnancy drama What To Expect When You’re Expecting (2012).

 

Kate Upton

Kate Upton Model

Notable Modeling: Upton has graced the covers of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue twice: in 2012 and 2013.  She is also a passionate advocate for the Game of War mobile game, and even agreed to star in the app’s 2015 Superbowl commercial.

Acting Career: Kate Upton’s most acclaimed performance is her role of “Mistress Number 3” in 2014’s The Other Woman.  Upton also turned heads in the role of “Mr. Hightower’s Mistress” in the 2011 film Tower Heist.

 

Rebecca Romijn

Rebecca Romijn Sports Illustrated

Notable Modeling: Another icon of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and Victoria’s Secret scenes, Romijn has also modeled for Miller Lite Beer.

Acting Career: Though you may not recognize her, Romijn’s most famous film role was portraying the blue-skinned Mystique in the X-Men trilogy.

 

Milla Jovovich

Milla Jovovich Resident Evil

Notable Modeling: Jovovich has been the center of marketing campaigns for Banana Republic, Dior, Gap, Coach and Revlon (to name just a few).

Acting Career: After a small part in Dazed and Confused (1993), Jovovich caught everyone’s attention with her role in the sci-fi cult classic The Fifth Element (1997).  She now leads the zombie-apocalypse franchise Resident Evil.

 

Famke Janssen

Famke Janssen GoldenEye

Notable Modeling: Another Victoria’s Secret Angel, Janssen has also modeled for Yves Saint Laurent and Chanel.

Acting Career: Janssen’s provocative turn as Bond Girl Xenia Onatopp from GoldenEye (1995) will always be her most memorable role, but Janssen is also notable for her recurring parts in the X-Men and Taken franchises.

 

Monica Bellucci

Monica Bellucci Model

Notable Modeling: A prominent fashion model in Paris and Milan, Bellucci has posed for Dolce & Gabanna, French Elle and Maxim.  She is often considered the quintessential Italian Sex Symbol.

Acting Career: Bellucci made a memorable appearance in The Matrix: Reloaded and The Matrix: Revolutions (2003) as the seductive Persephone, but she is currently making headlines for her Bond Girl turn in the recent Spectre (2015).

 

Freida Pinto

Freida Pinto Slumdog Millionaire

Notable Modeling: Pinto spent four years modeling in India before landing her big break in Hollywood, appearing on many magazine covers.

Acting Career: After breaking out in Slumdog Millionaire (2008), Pinto has appeared clothed in Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) and naked in Immortals (2011).

 

Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe Fashion

Notable Modeling: The without-equal Monroe got her start modeling for the United States Air Force before moving on to lucrative pin-up modeling in men’s magazines.

Acting Career: Monroe broke into Hollywood with small roles in The Asphalt Jungle and All About Eve (1950).  She continued to perfect her craft in Some Like It Hot (1959) and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953).

 

Cybill Shepherd

Cybill Shepherd Taxi Driver

Notable Modeling: Winner of the “Model of the Year”  competition in 1968, Sheperd was a teen model who appeared on the cover of Glamour several times before moving to Hollywood.

Acting Career: Cybill Shepherd appeared opposite Jeff Bridges in the 1971 film The Last Picture Show after director Peter Bogdanovich’s wife saw Shepherd on the cover of Glamour and recommended to her husband that he cast her in his next film.  After this breakthrough, Shepherd landed her most well-known for her role in the 1976 classic Taxi Driver.

 

Gemma Ward

Gemma Ward Model

Notable Modeling: Popular Australian model Gemma Ward was the youngest model to appear on the American edition of Vogue.  She also graced the covers of Teen Vogue and Time.

Acting Career: Ward has appeared in the 2008 horror film The Strangers, but was more at home portraying an alluring mermaid in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011).

 

Sharon Stone

Sharon Stone Casino

Notable Modeling: Stone was a fashion model in New York for a time before moving on to Europe to check out the modeling scene there.  It didn’t take long for her to quit and try her hand at acting instead.

Acting Career: If you ask the critics, they’d likely put Stone’s Oscar-nominated performance in Martin Scorsese’s Casino (1995) at the top of her resume.  Audiences, however, would probably go with her eye-opening (and leg-opening) role in Basic Instinct (1992).

 

Christie Brinkley

Christie Brinkley National Lampoon

Notable Modeling: Brinkley is notorious for appearing on three consecutive Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue covers in 1979, 1980 and 1981.  She has also appeared in Allure and Playboy, and was the face of CoverGirl for 25 years.

Acting Career: Brinkley’s acting isn’t exactly “celebrated,” but she did have a memorable role as “Girl in the Red Ferrari” in National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983), so she makes the cut. She also gets bonus points for her cappuccino art.

 

Cameron Diaz

Cameron Diaz Model

Notable Modeling: Last but not least.  Diaz had early contracts with Calvin Klein and Levi’s before being featured on the cover of Seventeen magazine in 1990.

Acting Career: Cameron Diaz first gained fame with her appearance in The Mask (1994).  You can also see her in more recent films Charlie’s Angels (2000), The Counselor (2013) and The Other Woman (2014).

 

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