In the decade since Cara Delevingne first conquered the fashion runways, she’s managed to parlay her stardom into a successful film career with roles in Suicide Squad, Paper Towns, and Anna Karenina. Recent years have seen the now 31-year-old taking to the small screen, starring in a wide range of projects, from Hulu’s docuseries Planet Sex with Cara Delevingne, in which she explored human (and her own) sexuality, to the second season of the Emmy-winning Only Murders in the Building, in which she played the love interest of Selena Gomez’s character, Mabel. Next up, she joins Kim Kardashian and Emma Roberts in American Horror Story: Delicate, the mysterious 12th season of the hit franchise. “I love strong female characters,” says the British star. It’s what attracted her to the pansexual fairy Vignette Stonemoss in Carnival Row, Prime Video’s Victorian-era fantasy, which concluded its second and final season in March. “She dealt with a lot of adversity and had to fight for what she believed in and fight for justice and freedom and to live, basically.” Here, Delevingne discusses the dream role and her cartoon crushes.
This interview was conducted prior to the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike.
You’ve gotten to fly a lot in your roles, first as Enchantress in Suicide Squad and then as a fairy in Carnival Row. When you were growing up, did you love fairies?
I did, yeah. My grandmother had an incredible garden. She would tell me that there was this specific little white outdoor house, and that if I waited, that’s where the fairies would come. I waited a long time. I think I actually waited so long that I used to think I was seeing things. But I love fairies. Did you ask me if I love fairies or I love my granny? Either way, I love them both.
Did you have a crush on anyone on TV when you were younger?
I did. Jessica Rabbit, [but] I was confused. Because I really fancied Simba from The Lion King. And then, Nala is equally attractive. It was hard to differentiate. When I was younger I was like, I don’t know… I used to fancy John Smith from Pocahontas. And then I fancied Pocahontas. Not fancied, but, I had these things where I was like, wow, they made me feel funny inside.
Did you have posters on your walls?
Yes. Spice Girls. And I had a huge poster of blonde jokes. So loads and loads of jokes about blonde people. Do you want to hear one?
So what do you call a blonde with brown dyed hair?
Artificial intelligence. What do you call a blonde with one brain cell? Gifted. What do you call a blonde with two brain cells? Pregnant. And I was a blonde kid, so I thought that was funny.
What scares you?
Everything scares me a little bit, which is why nothing scares me at all. I’ve always known from when I was a kid that things that scared me or made me uncomfortable, I should do that. I feel like fear generally is always down to what’s going to happen when we die. I try and face all my fears because it’s the one thing that gets in my way.
Where was your first kiss?
I was 5. It was my longest relationship. Well, it wasn’t…Maybe I was 6, but it was from 5 until 9. It was a guy I went to school with and we dated. I used to go stay at his house in the countryside. We climbed on top of the haystacks and we kissed and then he fell off and he broke his nose. Poor guy.
And yet you stayed together as kids?
We shared a Pokémon collection and he left and he took it with him. And this is a really weird story. I was at a Suicide Squad premiere and this waiter came up to me. He was like, “By the way, I just wanted to let you know I live with Robert, and he has a message for you.” That was his name. He was like, “He didn’t take your Pokémon collection.” That’s not a random thing that happened. The fact that he knows and that he felt guilty about possibly taking my Pokémon collection means he took my Pokémon collection and I was livid. He was like, “Do you want to give me your number so I can give it to him?” I was like, “No, just tell him. He did take it. And this is not the apology that I ever thought.” Like 20 years later. To share your Pokémon collection with someone means a lot. Like you’re giving half part of yourself to someone.
Who’s your favorite Pokémon character?
I don’t know what that means, but it sounds good.
[Also] Jigglypuff. It’s Jigglypuff and Wigglytuff. They sing and they send you to sleep. I need one of those in my life. Or is that Snorlax?
Hair by Edward Lampley at CLM for Mr. Smith; makeup by Susie Sobol at PM Artists for Sobol Inc; manicure by Honey at Exposure NY for NAVYA Nail Lacquer; Set Design by Spencer Vrooman.
Produced by AP Studio, Inc.; Executive Producer: Alexis Piqueras; Producer: Anneliese Kristedja; Production Managers: Anna Blundell, David Duque-Estrada; Production Coordinator: Ellen Kozarits; Photo Assistants: Matt Yoscary, Josua Jimenez; Retouching: Matty So; Fashion Assistants: Tori López, Tyler VanVranken, India Reed, Tori Leung; Production Assistants: Linette Estrella, Ariana Kristedja, Alan Bell, Nico Marti, Ryan Qiu; Hair Assistants: Marvin Tarver, Anna Soares; Makeup Assistants: Tanya Marques, Riccardo Delgado; Manicure Assistant: Shani Newsome; Tailor: Lindsay Wright; Set Design Assistants: Will Cragoe, Christina O’Neil, Joseph Ahern.