By Kara Warner
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – As the lead of teen film “Paper Towns” and with a slew of upcoming high-profile roles under her belt, British supermodel Cara Delevingne is happy to leave the runway behind as she steps onto the big screen.
Delevingne, 22, the striking face of fashion houses and brands from Chanel to Topshop, plays the mysterious Margo in a film adaptation of John Green’s young adult novel “Paper Towns,” out in U.S. theaters this week.
The model-turned-actress said she found herself drawing similarities between herself and her free-spirited teenage character.
“I’m more like her now than I was when I was her age,” the actress told Reuters.
“I did take elements of myself (into the character) from when I was like a kid, like 12, because I was very fearless and brave. When I was 18, I wasn’t that clever or great, funny or smart, intelligent.”
“Paper Towns” follows high school teenager Quentin (Nat Wolff), who is enticed one night by Margo, his childhood crush whom he has drifted apart from, to play revenge-filled pranks on unsuspecting students.
In the morning, Margo disappears and the film touches on themes of identity and defies traditional coming-of-age tropes as Quentin embarks on a journey that has unexpected twists along the way.
For Delevingne, acting presented benefits such as staying put in one place for a longer period of time and building a camaraderie with co-stars, something she was not able to do in her modeling career.
“People are like, ‘You must travel so much,’ and I’m like, ‘No, I don’t see anything.’ I’ve been to everywhere but I’ve never seen any of it,” she said.
The actress will be appearing in five films over the next year, including Joe Wright’s visually striking “Pan” and playing anti-heroine Enchantress in next year’s “Suicide Squad.”
With 16 million Instagram fans, the quirky Delevingne is already an established personality, embraced for championing the “embrace your weirdness” movement.
For Green, the author whose young adult cancer romance “The Fault in Our Stars” became a hit film last summer, he saw the complex, misunderstood Margo come alive in Delevingne, in part due to her own background as a celebrity.
“Margo in the story is one of those people who a lot of people pay attention to but nobody ever actually listens to, and I think that is certainly something that Cara can relate to,” he said.
(Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy and Lisa Shumaker)