|Born||Emily O'Hara Ratajkowski
June 7, 1991 
Westminster, London, England
|Height||5 ft 7.5 in (1.71 m)|
|Dress size||2 (US), 6 (UK)|
Emily O'Hara Ratajkowski (//, born June 7, 1991) is an English-born American model and actress. She rose to prominence after her appearance in the music video for Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines", which became the number one song of the year 2013 in several countries as well as the longest running Billboard Hot 100 number one song of the decade to date in the United States.
Her modelling career has progressed from retail adwork to arthouse erotica and high fashion. A cover appearance on the March 2012 issue of treats! is credited for her having been solicited to appear in two music videos, including "Blurred Lines", which drew controversy for its nudity and lyrics. Following the success and controversy of "Blurred Lines", she became a high profile sex symbol and gained a place in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
Her acting career began locally with youth acting roles in the San Diego area before moving on to a recurring role on iCarly and subsequent roles in major motion pictures. Her feature film debut was as the mistress of Ben Affleck's character in the 2014 film Gone Girl.
An only child, Ratajkowski was born in the London borough of Westminster, to American parents. Her mother and father (aged 39 and 45, respectively) were not married at the time. The family moved to San Diego when she was five. Her mother, Kathleen (Balgley), is a professor of English and a writer, whom Ratajkowski has described as a "feminist and intellectual". Her father, John David "J. D." Ratajkowski, is a painter and art teacher. Her father is of Polish and Irish descent. Her maternal grandfather was a Polish Jewish immigrant and her maternal grandmother was of Irish and German origin. Her father was raised Catholic; her mother was raised Jewish and teaches at the San Diego Jewish Academy. Her mother formerly taught at California Polytechnic State University, known as Cal Poly. When asked about her heritage in 2012, Ratajkowski answered "Polish Israeli" although she had not yet been to Israel. Her parents met when they both taught at San Dieguito Academy.
Ratajkowski was raised in Encinitas, California in a small house near the ocean. She lived in and travelled to many parts of Europe at a young age and spent much of her childhood in Bantry in County Cork, Ireland, and Majorca. Prior to becoming a full-time model, she spent every summer since she was very young in Ireland. Ratajkowski grew up without the influence of television. Before modelling, she tried her hand at soccer, acting and ballet as a youth.
Exposure to the nude female figure in photography and art during her formative years would prepare her for her eventual career appearances unclad and au naturel before the camera. Ratajkowski has expressed she is comfortable with the naked body due to her background and life experiences, stating "We have this culture of men, especially, watching pornography, but then [are] offended by a classic nude portrait or photograph, and I've never felt that way." Nudity in art was part of her breeding, having a visual artist for a father. Additionally, she frequently visited nude beaches during her youth when she was in Europe, noting that "Mom was topless on the beach every summer in Majorca". One of her influences was exposure to the photography of Helmut Newton and Herb Ritts in books.
Ratajkowski's first acting role was as Elsa in a production of The Little Match Girl at the Theatre School of the North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach, California. Among her other youth acting performances was in the 2004 interactive Harriet Potter and the Throne of Applewort production as Harriet at Lyceum Theatre in Horton Plaza. After gaining local youth acting experience, she was told that modelling could open doors for her acting aspirations. She was eventually drawn into the elite levels of modelling by the inspiration of Bianca Jagger and Patti Smith. Ratajkowski was signed by Ford Models at age 14. She continued to attend high school in San Diego at San Dieguito Academy, while she modeled and acted in Los Angeles.
In her adolescent years, Ratajkowski decided to pursue an acting career, but in auditions, she found herself typecast as a "bitchy girl", cheerleader, or other limited roles that she did not desire. After a pair of nondescript movie roles, Ratajkowski appeared as Gibby's girlfriend, Tasha, in two episodes of season three of Nickelodeon's iCarly. Despite minor previous film roles, at one time, she described her iCarly role as "my first and only acting job". At the encouragement of her manager, she would not pursue many acting engagements until she was in a position to be more selective.
|"Frederick's of Hollywood - Holiday 2012" posted December 4, 2012|
|Frederick's KNBC Valentine's Day 2011 segment posted February 11, 2011|
|Carl's Jr. "BBQ's Best Pair" Commercial (uncut) posted February 19, 2013|
She attended University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) for one year in 2009, then decided to pursue her career in modelling full-time. As a young model, Ratajkowski worked for Forever 21, Kohl's, and Nordstrom as well as swimwear and lingerie clients, but became recognized as a fashion model after shooting several campaigns and editorials with photographer Tony Duran. Other stepping stones included nude and clothed art magazine photo shoots. For example, in June 2012, she worked with Jonathan Leder. Before she became famous, Ratajkowski modeled for Frederick's of Hollywood. As of July 12, 2014[update], two videos that she appeared in for the company (a featured Holiday 2012 video and a local Valentine's 2011 video) were among the five most popular videos on the company's YouTube channel.
After her breakout with Duran, she began shooting more fashion editorials and appeared nude on the March 2012 cover of treats!, which she credits for bringing her the two unsolicited high-profile music video roles. Following her appearance on the cover of the third issue of the magazine its newsstand price changed from $20 to $30. treats! is an artistic erotica magazine based in Los Angeles that was new at the time, and Ratajkowski posed for several of the first few issues. She was featured in a Carl's Jr. commercial, with Sara Jean Underwood, in August 2012. The ad was produced in both a 30-second version and an uncut version lasting over a minute. At about the same time she became a Nikon model. She has worked with photographers such as Tony Kelly, with whom she shot the March 2013 cover of GQ Turkey. The images from that cover story were later re-used in the July/August 2013 American GQ after her music video appearances came out. As a 5-foot-7-inch (1.70 m) model with "curves that put her in a different class from runway models", Ratajkowski considers herself to have the potential to break barriers for models: "I want to be a model that breaks down the traditional body boundaries. You don't have to be 5'9" and an A-cup to be a successful model, and that's nice."
Music video performances
Ratajkowski is well known for appearing in Robin Thicke, T.I., and Pharrell Williams' "Blurred Lines" video. However, before her "Blurred Lines" performance, Ratajkowki had been cast in two other music videos: Fast Car" by Taio Cruz, which was released on November 5, 2012. and Maroon 5's "Love Somebody", which was not released until two months after "Blurred Lines". Both "Love Somebody" and "Blurred Lines" were produced in 2013. A YouTube video on the making of the "Love Somebody" video indicates that the music video was shot on January 16, 2013. The "Love Somebody" video was released on Vevo on May 21, 2013. In the video, directed by Rich Lee, a barechested Adam Levine from Maroon 5 uses inverse green screen technology to rub paint with his hands on the model subject. As they touch they reveal each other. Levine "caresses and serenades" her simultaneously during the video.
Thicke had seen the treats! magazine black-and-white cover and convinced director Diane Martel to cast her in the "Blurred Lines" music video. Ratajkowski initially declined the role, but was swayed by the director. She had feared being classified as a music video model. The "Blurred Lines" music video, directed by Martel, was released on YouTube on March 20, 2013. An explicit version with extensive nudity was posted by Thicke on March 28, 2013. Ratajkowski danced topless in one version of the music video and scantily clad in the other. In the explicit version, the models "cavort" about the stage in shoes and nude colored thongs for a large portion of the video, while the men flirt with them in a fully dressed state. Although YouTube banned the explicit version of the video on April 1 for violating its Community Guidelines due to its sexually explicit nature, the explicit video remains available (although age-restricted) on the site. Ratajkowski felt that the amount of attention given to the nudity in the video illustrated that American culture not having advanced as far as it should have, commenting: "We're at an interesting time where women have been told to take the [birth control] pill is cool, to sleep with whomever you want, or wear what you want. But if you're naked, it can be offensive or sexist in some way." She feels that sexuality is repressed in contemporary society which is bad for both sexes.
In addition to creating controversy for the nudity of its video, "Blurred Lines" was criticized as being sexist and for its take on themes of rape, particularly in regard to the repeated phrase "I know you want it". When asked by Esquire about her thoughts on whether she thought the "Blurred Lines" video was sexist, she replied that she did not think it was. Ratajkowski also told Complex that "I think there's different kinds of nudity, and there's different kinds of sexiness, and obviously it's hard to distinguish those things. I think that the video was tasteful, beautiful, and there's nothing offensive about it." Additionally, she said that she interpreted the video to be about "these ladies being silly and a little sarcastic". In a September 2014 cover story for Ocean Drive magazine, Ratajkowski noted the criticism that the song got "gave me an opportunity to say the things that I felt about feminism today and about women in general in pop culture".
"Blurred Lines" went on to become the number 1 song of 2013 on music charts in many countries, including Canada, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, and United Kingdom. Although the song placed second on the year-end US Billboard Hot 100 chart, the song's twelve consecutive weeks at number one made it the longest-running number-one single since "I Gotta Feeling" held the spot for 14 consecutive weeks in 2009.
Rise to fame
The video garnered Ratajkowski much fame and attention, especially as a sex symbol. On October 22, 2013 Esquire named Ratajkowski the "Woman of the Year" after she beat out Jennifer Lawrence in the final round of an online fan voting contest. On February 4, 2014, Sports Illustrated named Ratajkowski as one of its 12 rookies for its 50th anniversary Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. On April 30, 2014, FHM ranked Ratajkowski as the fourth sexiest woman in the world. On May 23, 2014, Maxim revealed its annual Hot 100 list, which included Ratajkowski at #62. She also was invited to the 18th annual May 15, 2014 Condé Nast Traveler Hot List Party. Ratajkowski won the "Our New Girlfriend Award" at the June 7, 2014 Spike Guys' Choice Awards. AskMen ranked Ratajkowski as its third most desirable woman of 2014 and the hottest model of the year.
She also appeared topless on the cover of Carine Roitfeld's magazine CR Fashion Book shot by Bruce Weber in erotic scenes with Karlie Kloss and male models in July 2013. Ratajkowski parlayed her sudden prominence into supporting roles in major motion pictures. She played Andie Hardy, the mistress of Ben Affleck's character, in David Fincher's 2014 film adaptation of Gillian Flynn's novel Gone Girl. She got the part via a New York City "cattle call" audition and a subsequent Los Angeles reading with Affleck and Fincher. Fincher was seeking an actress who could bring a divisive element to the film. Affleck encouraged Fincher to consider her for the part based on having seen her in the "Blurred Lines" video. Ratajkowski's hometown U-T San Diego described her performance as "nuanced". Although most reviews of the movie omit mention of this small role, Styleite 's Ben Barna noted he received positive feedback on her performance. On March 4, 2014, she joined the cast of the 2015 film, Entourage, in which she will appear as a fictionalized version of herself, driving an Aston Martin (in real life she drives a Nissan Versa).
On June 24, 2014, Ratajkowski appeared topless on the cover and in a photo spread for the cover story of the July 2014 edition of American GQ. In the online videos and cover story, the newly-single model gave men dating advice. The magazine caused controversy at retailer Lands' End which had arranged for its best customers to receive a free copy of the issue. Some of the company's customers objected to the racy cover and accompanying images in the associated story. As a result of the customer dissatisfaction, Lands' End CEO Edgar Huber made a public apology.
On July 31, 2014, Ratajkowski announced what appeared to be her first leading role, opposite Zac Efron in We Are Your Friends, which was set to begin production on August 18. On August 15, Ratajkowski became the new face of Italian retailer Yamamay. She was among a large group of female celebrities involved in a multiple wave nude photo hacking and posting scandal in September. A few days after Gone Girl premiered at the 2014 New York Film Festival on September 26, Ratajkowski was unveiled as the covergirl for the November 2014 issue of Cosmopolitan. The publicity surrounding her first major role in Gone Girl brought forth images from the timeline of Ratajkowski's life demonstrating her background. On October 30, she appeared with Taylor Kitsch in the live action trailer for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare in advance of its November 4 release.
|2004||Andrew's Alteration||Young Girl||Short film|
|2005||A Year and a Day||Girl|
|2014||Gone Girl||Andie Hardy|
|2015||We Are Your Friends||Sophie||Post-production|
|2009–10||iCarly season 3||Tasha||Episodes 53 (S03E03) "iSpeed Date" + 62 (S03E12) "iEnrage Gibby"|
|2012||"Fast Car"||Taio Cruz||Principal|
|2013||"Blurred Lines"||Robin Thicke, ft. T.I. and Pharrell||Co-principal||Year-end #1: CAN, IRE, NED, NZ & UK|
|2013||"Love Somebody"||Maroon 5||Principal|
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- Official website
- Emily Ratajkowski at the Internet Movie Database
- Emily Ratajkowski at the Fashion Model Directory
- Emily Ratajkowski on Twitter
- Emily Ratajkowski at Models.com
- side-by-side views of the official and unrated versions of the controversial "Blurred Lines" videos