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Studio Photoshoots > Sessions & Outtakes > Session 019

It’s this time of year—when sweater weather is in full effect—that we find ourselves turning into enthusiastic moviegoers, spending the weekends catching the latest flicks and filling up on popcorn. Only this time around, it’s not so much what is on our must-watch list, but rather, who. While films like La La Land and Jackie are already receiving Oscar buzz, we’re focusing our predictions elsewhere: on Hollywood’s next big stars. As such, we present you with our latest Girl on the Rise portfolio, presented by ALDO.

It’s not every day Tom Ford gives you the ultimate compliment, but for 19-year-old Ellie Bamber, it happened upon meeting the designer/director for the very first time. “I had a meeting with him, and when I was leaving he said to me, I can tell you have great personal style,” the British beauty and Chanel ambassador recalled. “That was just sort of a moment for me.” But it’s clear Ford saw more in Bamber than simply her keen eye for fashion: The girl has quite the acting chops as well. Before being cast in Ford’s second film, Nocturnal Animals, Bamber made her big-screen debut earlier this year as the frivolous Lydia Bennet in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. And with two more projects recently added to her résumé—next year’s Extracurricular Activities and The Nutcracker and the Four Realms in 2018—the bubbly teen shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Though 5000 miles (between Los Angeles and London) separated myself from Bamber during our interview, her infectious personality quickly came through over the phone. Life is good for the teen, who, fresh off stylish appearances at New York Fashion Week and the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals, was about to jet off to Milan for Fendi’s S/S 17 show. ’Tis the schedule of an It girl in the making.
Luckily, being in the spotlight comes naturally for Bamber, who grew up starring in local plays and musicals in her hometown of Surrey, England, and at 12 became the youngest member to join London’s Players’ Theatre. With her sights on the silver screen, she finished her school exams and found an agent, and the roles started coming in. First up, a small part in the English film The Falling, followed up by a supporting role in the action-romance flick Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and then the game changer: Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals, starring Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal. “[Tom] told me and brought me into the world of this story, and I read the script and immediately fell in love with it,” she says about joining the project, which took the Grand Jury Prize in Venice. “It’s the most beautiful story that I think I’ve ever been able to be a part of. And then when I found out about the cast and who was all attached, I didn’t think there was any reason for me not to do it.”

Landing the role of India Hastings came with its set of perks. Of the experience, Bamber tells us, “I’m Jake Gyllenhaal and Isla Fisher’s daughter. Getting to watch such experienced people work is always something that’s interesting to me. I learned so much just from watching them. And Isla is a lot of fun; we would make playlists to get ourselves in the zone.”
When it came to perfecting India’s Texas accent, however, Bamber had to rely on an outside source. “I had American down, but then there was the aspect of going Southern,” Bamber says. “There was a tendency to make it too over-characterized. For me, I watched Sissy Spacek in Badlands. I think she was 19 or maybe a bit younger when she did that film, so I sort of got her drawl and it was really quite interesting to watch her and take from her.”

Naturally, we had to inquire about her experience working with Tom Ford, who, we learned, gave her the nickname Barbarella on set in response to her go-to L.A. outfit: silver boots with a white T-shirt and cutoffs. Fashion has always been a part of the equation. Bamber recently attended his S/S 17 show in New York and later wore one of his dresses—a sultry black number—to the film’s Venice premiere. She laughs as she recalls stressing over her outfit upon meeting the designer/director. “I ended up wearing these flared jeans and a white shirt and some clogs,” she revealed. “I love his clothes. I think he really understands how a woman wants to feel in a dress. And it’s always a moment as well.”

We quickly get on the topic of her own personal style, which she describes as “eclectic.” It all makes sense as she runs down her list of fall must-haves, which includes a silver Chanel bomber jacket, a velvet Miu Miu bag, and a velvet crop top by Alexander Wang. “I love being able to express myself through my clothes,” she says. “It’s an important thing to me for sure. Some days I want to dress up, and others I want to wear a hoodie and a pair of jeans.” I can definitely relate, and after bonding over favorite places to shop, I discover she’s a total pro when it comes to shopping vintage, too. When asked to reveal her best tips, she answers, “You can’t have too much stuff in your hand, just a small bag, because you don’t want stuff getting in the way. And I just tend to trial through. It’s important to try things on.”

As I jot down Bamber’s fail-safe shopping tips, the interview starts to wrap up. But not before I ask what’s next for the rising star. While eventually she’d love to work with directing greats like Wes Anderson (“I love the adventure he takes you on”) and Sofia Coppola, Bamber is excited for the immediate future, which includes her first indie film, Extracurricular Activities, due out next year, and prepping for upcoming projects. “Every day is exciting for me,” she says. “Every day something comes along that I’m excited about.” Like I said: Life really is good for Bamber.



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