Kate Moss helps to cast Ellie Bamber to play her in biopic

British supermodel has hand in choosing rising actor in film that recounts how she sat for Lucian Freud in 2002

Kate Moss – one of the most recognisable faces in the world – has helped to cast the British actor Ellie Bamber to play her in upcoming biopic, Moss & Freud.

The film, directed by James Lucas, tells the story of the supermodel sitting for painter Lucian Freud in 2002. Moss has been closely involved with the project and the casting was part of this work.

“As this is such a personal story of mine, it has been essential that I be involved with James in all aspects as the project has developed,” she said. “I am thrilled by the recent casting and excited that the film will begin shooting soon. I cannot wait to see it.”

Moss is executive producer on the film, and it has the support of the Lucian Freud Archive.

The film is set to be an intimate study of two household names. The model sat naked for Freud during the time that she was pregnant with her daughter, Lila, with sessions taking place between 7pm and 2am three nights a week. The resulting painting of a naked supermodel by one of the world’s most bankable artists was understandably a high-value object. It was sold at Christies in 2005 for £3.5m. While there were rumours Moss herself would buy it, it went to an unknown buyer who bought it over the phone.

Lucian Freud’s painting of Kate Moss
Lucian Freud’s painting of Kate Moss being auctioned at Christies, London. Photograph: David Levene/The Guardian

In fact, while Moss clearly considers the experience of being painted by Freud to be one of the highlights of her life so far, this was a case of the process outweighing the final result. Speaking at a press conference announcing the film last year, she said: “He didn’t really like the picture, and I didn’t really,” she continued. “I mean, I had a great time. [But] it’s not, like, my favourite Lucian painting.”

Freud rarely painted celebrities. An essay in the Christies catalogue said he declined to paint Diana, Princess of Wales, because he couldn’t get beyond the “sheen of glamour”.

He first approached Moss for a portrait after he read in Dazed & Confused magazine that one of her ambitions was to be painted by him.

Moss has said that the experience taught her discipline because the artist expected punctuality. “If I was five minutes late, he would kick off,” she told ShowStudio in 2014. “But only once I was five minutes late, and he said, ‘Are you on drugs?!’ And I said, ‘No, I’m pregnant!’”

As well as achieving a life goal, Moss came away from her time with Freud with an original Freud. During the sessions, the artist tattooed two birds on to her lower back. Speaking to Vanity Fair in 2012, she joked: “I wonder how much a collector would pay for that? A few million? If it all goes horribly wrong I could get a skin graft and sell it! It’s probably the only one on skin that’s still around.”

Bamber is a hotly tipped actor. She appeared in Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals in 2016, and she will feature in Greta Gerwig’s Barbie film, out this summer.

She has starred in several TV hits, including the BBC’s series The Serpent and recent fantasy series Willow on Disney+.

In Moss & Freud, she will star alongside Derek Jacobi, who plays the artist. The film is the first feature from Lucas, who previously won an Oscar for his short, The Phone Call, in 2013.


Lauren Cochrane

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Will the hooded dress be the ‘warmdrobe look’ of winter 2022?
Accessory once favoured by Grace Jones and Kylie Minogue returns to keep heads and ears warm

Morwenna Ferrier

18, Nov, 2022 @2:35 PM

Article image
Kate Moss taps into wellness boom with journey into Cosmoss
Supermodel joins list of celebrities delving into lucrative wellness business with products that ‘help find inner peace’

Chloe Mac Donnell

03, Sep, 2022 @10:00 AM

Article image
'I never used to eat salads': how to look like Kate Moss (according to Kate Moss)
How does the supermodel exercise? Can she cook? And what’s on the menu? (Spoiler: eggs, roasts and sometimes a bit of salad.) Here, she reveals her beauty secrets

Sali Hughes

16, Nov, 2017 @6:00 AM

Article image
Kate Moss returns to Calvin Klein – stylewatch
The model’s return to the label that made her name is a nod to a time when her androgynous look was intoxicating and dangerous

Priya Elan

06, Jul, 2016 @2:04 PM

Article image
Was Kate Moss exploited as a young model?

In 1990 she was just 16 when a nude photoshoot launched her career. But it wasn't a happy time, says the supermodel

Emine Saner

31, Oct, 2012 @7:45 PM

Article image
Kate Moss on Instagram: why she has finally joined
Kate Moss has joined the social media platform, via her modelling agency. Late to the party or sign of a shift in the app’s power?

Morwenna Ferrier

20, Sep, 2016 @5:00 AM

Article image
Kate Moss at Christie's - in pictures

Lauren Cochrane: As an auction pictures to go on auction at Christie's later this month show, Kate Moss is still the model to define our times

Nick Knight

04, Sep, 2013 @1:09 PM

Article image
Stylewatch: Kate Moss, the Count and the Chiltern Firehouse
Kate Moss launched her new line with Equipment at the Chiltern Firehouse and everything – from the guests to the collection – was reliably Moss

Morwenna Ferrier

02, Jun, 2016 @2:15 PM

Article image
Kate Moss joins exhibition of world's muses

Curator at Metropolitan Museum of Art says supermodels 'represent evolution of the feminine ideal'

Jess Cartner-Morley in New York

19, Feb, 2009 @12:01 AM

Article image
Kate Moss to get special recognition at British fashion awards
Model to be honoured at industry ceremony on Monday for her 25-year career and status as style icon for young women

Lauren Cochrane

29, Nov, 2013 @1:18 PM