In February of 2007, I was hired for what might be the most bizarre, amazing job I’ve ever had. If you read Gawker, you might remember coverage of “The Cat People” during Fashion Week? That was me (with brown hair)!
Trovata hired me and another actor named Clint to take on the roles of “Elisabeta and Nicolae Petrescu,” siblings from some obscure Eastern European royal family who had arrived in New York to “take Fashion Week by storm.” Basically, what they did was make us famous socialites overnight: they hired a fancy PR team to get us in wherever we wanted to go, and drove us around town in a white vintage Rolls Royce accompanied by bodyguards and a “cat handler” (we carried a very smelly pussycat with us wherever we went). The theory was that this would get more press for the brand than a simple (and expensive) fashion show…and it totally worked.
It probably didn’t hurt that Anna Wintour was in on the whole thing.
Above, a Style.com image of me in Trovata as Elisabeta (those are extensions; my hair has never been that long and flowy). These shots were taken relatively late in Fashion Week, and I was exhausted (as you can kinda see in these shots). We were up by nine every day to go to hair and makeup, at events and shows by eleven, and generally worked until two or three in the morning.
Trust me, I know that swanning around Fashion Week parties drinking champagne hardly sounds like hard work, but when you have to be playing a role every single second, and screwing up means getting outed as actors…it was tiring stuff. I did actually end up getting outed, by a high school classmate who spotted me at the Beatrice Inn.
I mumbled something in “Romanian.”
“Why are you pretending that you don’t speak English?”
And at that, I had one of my bodyguards whisk me away.
Incidentally, this was the week I met Kendrick: we had been corresponding a bit over email because I had friend-requested his band on MySpace (I went to high school with two of the members), and when I mentioned that I’d be in New York for Fashion Week (I was living in LA at the time) he suggested that we meet. I told him I couldn’t – as I said, we were working 17-hour days – but he was relentless, and I ended up meeting him at an all-night diner at three in the morning for our first date. He brought a flower, and a bottle of red wine and a bottle of white wine, because he didn’t know which I preferred.
A few weeks later, we were engaged.
Go here for the Wall Street Journal’s coverage.
Go here for more Gawker coverage.
Above image from Style.com