Emily Ratajkowski has stepped up her movie game from her scene-stealing role in last year’s “I Feel Pretty.”
Now the 28-year-old supermodel is in cahoots with an impossibly handsome art thief (Theo James) in the action caper “Lying and Stealing” (in theaters Friday in New York, Chicago, Dallas and other select cities, streaming now on DirecTV).
Ratajkowski has seen the other side growing up with an artist father, John Ratajkowski. She considered an art career, studied art for a year at UCLA and began collecting art as she started modeling.
“That’s when I first started thinking about stealing art,” she says.
Ratajkowski talks to USA TODAY about her surprising views on art thievery, great wigs and terrible pool-playing.
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Question: How important was the impressive “Lying and Stealing” wig selection in getting you to take this part?
Emily Ratajkowski: I actually wear a significant amount of wigs. For my birthday, everyone wore wigs. So I definitely love wigs. But it’s not why I took the part. I love the blond wig and the red wig in the casino. At one point, Theo didn’t even recognize me. It took him a second to see I was in front of him.
Q: Is that the appeal, not being recognized on the streets with the right wig?
Ratajkowski: That definitely doesn’t work. You’d be shocked. I can be recognized in a purple wig. That’s not the point of it. I have never actually colored my hair, it’s always been brown medium-length or long. I guess I am kind of boring, and I have a hair contract as a model. So it’s bringing a new persona to my day-to-day. I go to a lot of events and carpets, and it’s a fun way to mix it up.
Q: What wild hair would you love to have?
Ratajkowski: I could see myself bleaching it and having a wild moment. You never know. I think I’ll have to get this out of my system one day. Or maybe chop my hair off completely.
Q: What are your thoughts you came to on real art thievery?
Ratajkowski: No offense, and I don’t know if I should say this or not, but a lot of people who collect art deserve to be stolen from. So I can understand the instinct. It’s all these extremely wealthy people, 1% or 5% who really collect art for this status symbol. That’s often not good for art or the art world or artists. So I could see myself stealing from a very rich person.
Q: I’m seeing you in a catsuit, avoiding security lasers. Am I close?
Ratajkowski: I’d like to imagine that’s the kind of thief I would be, but I’m too sloppy and clumsy. I’d like to be the person who dances around lasers like Vincent Cassel in “Ocean’s (Twelve).” I would be more like a Mr. Bean-type thief. I’m sure it would be very entertaining. And I don’t have the courage my character has. I would be too scared.
Q: You look stunning in the pool table scene – how stunning are the skills?
Ratajkowski: Sometimes I’m good at pool. There’s a ratio of the amount of drinks I’ve had to my pool-playing ability. I was not drinking on the set. So I was extremely bad. It’s a real letdown when you’re acting, trying to feel that cool, powerful vibe. And instead you’re barely hitting the ball.