Kate Moss is revisiting her 1992 Calvin Klein campaign shoot with Mark Wahlberg, saying that she has “not very good memories” from working with the actor.
“He was very macho and it was all about him and he had a big entourage,” Moss said. “And I was just this kind of model.”
The 48-year-old model reflected on the infamous shoot during her appearance on the BBC Radio 4 program Desert Islands Discssharing that she had felt “completely [objectified] and vulnerable and scared,” having been 17 or 18 years old at the time. She added, “I think they played on my vulnerability. I was like quite young and innocent, so Calvin loved that.”
She even spoke about suffering with anxiety leading up to the shoot. “I really didn’t feel well at all before the shoot. For like a week or two, I couldn’t get out of bed and I had severe anxiety and the doctor gave me Valium,” she said.
Moss said that the anxiety would manifest as nausea, but her intake of the medication was highly supervised and controlled by her then-boyfriend’s mother, Francesca Sorrenti, who she was living with at the time. “After the shoot, it was fine and it kind of wore off, the anxiety,” Moss said.
It isn’t the first time that Moss has spoken out about the photoshoot and shared bad memories from it. In fact, in an interview with Vanity Fair in 2012, she said that she had regretted the shoot although it contributed greatly to her fame.
‘”I had a nervous breakdown when I was 17 or 18, when I had to go and work with Marky Mark and Herb Ritts,” she told the publication. “It didn’t feel like me at all. I felt really bad about straddling this buff guy. I didn’t like it. I couldn’t get out of bed for two weeks. I thought I was going to die.”
She continued, “Nobody takes care of you mentally. There’s a massive pressure to do what you have to do.”
Wahlberg later addressed her comments during an interview with The Guardian in 2020. “I think I was probably a little rough around the edges. Kind of doing my thing,” he said. “I wasn’t very…worldly, let’s say that.”
We Desert Island Discsshe noted that it wasn’t the only time she had felt taken advantage of.
“I had a horrible experience for a bra catalog and I was only 15, probably and he said. ‘Take your top off.’ And I took my top off and I was really shy then about my body. And he said, ‘Take your bra off,’ and I could feel there was something wrong so I got my stuff and I ran away,” she said, explaining that the experience had “sharpened [her] instincts,” which she acted on throughout the rest of her career.
Even with her best friend and photographer Corinne Day, Moss said she “cried a lot” when it came to photoshoots that felt too exposing.
“I was really, really self conscious about my body and she would say, ‘If you don’t take your top off I’m not gonna book you for She.’ And I would cry,” Moss recalled, specifically when reflecting on her appearance on the cover of The Face magazine in 1990 when she was just 16 years old. “[Day] got what she wanted and I suffered for them, but in the end they did me a world of good, really. They did change my career.”
Now, as a mom and the owner of a talent agency herself, Moss makes an effort to keep her clients safe. Her daughter Lila is one of them.
“I’ve said to her, ‘You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. If you don’t want to do this shoot, if you don’t feel comfortable, if you don’t want to model, don’t do it,'” Moss said. “I take care of my models. I make sure that they are with agents at shoots so when they are being taken advantage of, there’s somebody there to say, ‘I don’t think that’s appropriate.'”
She added, “I don’t know if that’s across the board but that’s what I can do.”
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