Miami International Film Fest is well underway and
there's one film in particular that's setting our radar abuzz. The HBO
documentary film, About Face: The Supermodels, Then and Now is the brainchild of Miami native, celebrated photographer, and documentary
maker, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders.
It may be hard to believe that models have any depth and
wit to go along with their perfect facial symmetry and size two waists, but as
About Face candidly demonstrates that it is possible. The insightful
documentary touches on themes of beauty and aging while interviewing some of
the most famous female models of the past five decades. Notable mentions
include Beverly Johnson, Christie Brinkley, Christy Turlington Burns, Isabella
Rossellini, and Jerry Hall. The line-up of model icons reflects on drugs,
plastic surgery, and other not-so-glamorous sides of the modeling business.
We chatted up one of the About Face icon herself, Carol
Alt. Spoiler Alert: She's not a
New Times: Tell us a bit about the documentary and how it
Carol Alt: The documentary stared out as a photo shoot,
really. Timothy was the photographer and he was at a party where there were all
these women from '70s, '80s, and '90s, hanging around and he looked around that
room of beautiful, accomplished women and knew there were the makings of a
What was it like working with Timothy Greenfield-Sanders?
Timothy is great. He's a very sensitive, creative person.
He was very aware of the subject matter he was shooting. I was surprised at how
beautifully done the film was and how sensitive it was.
People tend to think that models are just a pretty
face--what's your take on that?
Well, the truth of the matter is that most models I know
were kind of awkward, geeky, too tall and didn't grow into their bodies or
their personalities until well after high school. I wasn't the cheerleader or
the cool girl in school and none of my other girlfriends were either. I found
that we had to rely on other things.
Do you think you were sexier in the '80s or now?
I never, ever thought of myself as sexy. I mean, I was
much shier in the '80s. I looked at all the things I did, my posters, my
calendars, my exercise videos and they were all ventures. It wasn't that I
thought, "I was the most beautiful, sexy girl," so I'm going to do a calendar.
No, for me it was the challenge of me doing the first supermodel calendar. But
I was a fat kid in high school and I lost 50 pounds to model. Being a chunky or
overweight kid kind of stays with you.
Any plans to pose again for Playboy?
I don't need to in my desire to help other people. I
never looked at is as "oh, I'm too sexy for my shirt I'm going to take my it
off." For me it was a message to people about the raw diet and I gave that
message. It's not about me looking sexy or acting sexy--this was about me trying
to shake people up and wake them up. People are following all these crazy diets
that don't anti-age you, they only make you thin. Why? If you're going to
suffer though a diet, don't just be thin. Be thin, anti-age, feel better, look
better, and eat all you want. But no, I wouldn't do it again. Not that I can
think of any reason to right now.
You're a huge advocate of the raw food diet. Would you
say that's one of your secrets to aging gracefully?
It's the only secret to aging gracefully. I mean,
seriously. Look at all the girls that inject their faces. You know they're
injecting their faces. I don't care if they're 30 and they are injecting their
face and fluffing their face up--they look older. They don't look younger to me.
Look at Lindsay Lohan. She looks older to me. She doesn't look like a young,
beautiful, vibrant, healthy girl. To me, the only way to age gracefully is to
give the body what it needs to function optimally, without stress.
How do you feel about Miami?
Miami has changed so much. I start to feel old when I
think about when I used to go down to Miami frequently and Miami Beach itself
was all old folks. They were people sitting on rockers with screen doors
slamming and little old buildings. It was totally what it isn't today. I
haven't been to Miami in a really long time and I hear it's a metropolis now. I
can't wait to be there.
What's next for you?
My third book, Easy, Sexy, Raw, is coming out in May. I'm
also launching nationally at ULTA a line of completely
chemical-free skin care line that is not heated over 1500 degrees, and you
know, just living life I guess.
Catch a screening of About Face tonight at
7 p.m. and Saturday, March 10 at 9:30 p.m. Tickets available here.