|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 American model and actress. She rose to prominence after appearing in the music video for Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines", which became the number one song of the year 2013 in several countries and is the longest running Billboard Hot 100 number one song of the decade to date in the United States.
Ratajkowski's modeling career has progressed from retail adwork to arthouse erotica and high fashion. She appeared on the cover of the March 2012 issue of erotic magazine treats! Among her other cover appearances are GQ, Cosmopolitan and FHM. This led to her being asked to appear in two music videos, including "Blurred Lines", which became controversial because of its nudity and lyrics. Following the success of "Blurred Lines", she became a high profile sex symbol and appeared in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
Her acting career began with youth acting roles in the San Diego area before gaining a recurring role on iCarly and later roles in major films. Her feature film debut was as the mistress of Ben Affleck's character in the 2014 film Gone Girl. Her first leading role will be in the upcoming film We Are Your Friends with Zac Efron.
An only child, Ratajkowski was born in Westminster, London, 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. Ratajkowski's 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. Ratajkowski's parents met when they taught at San Dieguito Academy.
Ratajkowski was raised in Encinitas, California, in a small house near the ocean. During her youth, she lived in and traveled to many parts of Europe, and spent much of her childhood in Bantry, County Cork, Ireland, and in Mallorca, Spain. Prior to becoming a full-time model, she spent every summer in Ireland since her early youth. Ratajkowski grew up without the influence of television. Before modeling, she tried her hand at soccer, acting and ballet.
Exposure to the nude female figure in photography and art during her formative years prepared her for her eventual nude and semi-nude appearances before the camera. Ratajkowski said 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". Her father's work as a visual artist exposed her to nudity in art. Ratajkowski also frequently visited nudist beaches during her youth in Europe; she said, "Mom was topless on the beach every summer in Majorca". Among 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. She also appeared as Harriet in the 2004 interactive production of Harriet Potter and the Throne of Applewort at Lyceum Theatre in Horton Plaza. After gaining local youth acting experience, she was told that modeling could be a gateway into an acting career. She was inspired by 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 was often cast as a "bitchy girl", cheerleader, or other limited roles she did not want. After two nondescript movie roles, Ratajkowski appeared as Gibby's girlfriend Tasha in two third-season episodes of Nickelodeon's iCarly. Despite her previous minor film roles, she described her iCarly role as "my first and only acting job". Her manager discouraged her from pursuing 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|
Ratajkowski attended University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) for one year in 2009, then decided to model full-time. She worked for Forever 21, Kohl's and Nordstrom, swimwear and lingerie clients, but became recognized as a fashion model after shooting several campaigns and editorials with photographer Tony Duran. She also did nude and clothed art magazine photograph shoots, including a June 2012 shoot with Jonathan Leder, and modeling work for Frederick's of Hollywood. As of July 12, 2014[update], two videos in which she appeared 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 work with Duran, she began shooting more fashion editorials and posed for several of the first few issues of the Los Angeles-based artistic erotica magazine treats!, and appeared on the cover of the magazine's March 2012 third issue. She credits the magazine for bringing her the two unsolicited, high-profile, music video roles.
Ratajkowski was featured with Sara Jean Underwood in a Carl's Jr. commercial in August 2012. The advertisement was produced in 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 issue of American GQ after her music video appearances were launched. 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, saying, "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' video "Blurred Lines". Before her "Blurred Lines" performance, Ratajkowski 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 released two months after "Blurred Lines". Both "Love Somebody" and "Blurred Lines" were produced in 2013. A YouTube video about the making of the "Love Somebody" video shows that it was shot on January 16, 2013. The "Love Somebody" video was released on Vevo on May 21, 2013. It was directed by Rich Lee, and shows barechested Adam Levine using inverse green screen technology to rub paint onto Ratajkowski with his hands. As they touch they reveal each other. Levine "caresses and serenades" Ratajkowski during the video.
Thicke had seen Ratajkowski on the cover of treats! magazine and convinced director Diane Martel to cast her in the "Blurred Lines" music video. Ratajkowski initially declined the role, but Martel persuaded her to accept it. She had feared being classified as a music video model. The "Blurred Lines" music video was released on YouTube on March 20, 2013. An explicit version of the video, with extensive nudity, was posted by Thicke on March 28, 2013. Ratajkowski danced topless in one version of the video and was 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 fully dressed men flirt with them. 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 said she felt the attention given to the nudity in the video illustrated that American culture had not advanced as far as it should have. She said, "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 said sexuality is repressed in contemporary society, which is bad for both sexes.
In addition to creating controversy for the nudity in its video, "Blurred Lines" was criticized as being sexist and for its approach to rape, particularly in regard to the repeated phrase "I know you want it". Ratajkowski told Esquire she did not think the video is sexist. She told Complex magazine, "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." She also said 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 said the song "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", beating 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 Swimsuit Issue. On April 30, 2014, FHM ranked Ratajkowski the fourth sexiest woman in the world. On May 23, 2014, Maxim included her at #62 on its annual Hot 100 list. 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 Spike Guys' Choice Awards on June 7, 2014. AskMen ranked Ratajkowski the 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 in erotic scenes with Karlie Kloss and male models, photographed by Bruce Weber in July 2013. Ratajkowski parlayed her sudden prominence into supporting roles in major films. 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 through 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 Ratajkowski for the part after seeing her in the "Blurred Lines" video. Her hometown newspaper U-T San Diego described Ratajkowski's performance in Gone Girl as "nuanced". Styleite 's Ben Barna said 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.
On June 24, 2014, Ratajkowski appeared topless on the cover and in a photograph spread in the July 2014 edition of American GQ. The newly single model gave men dating advice in the online videos and cover story. 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 her apparently first leading role opposite Zac Efron in We Are Your Friends, which was set to begin production on August 18. On August 15 that year, Ratajkowski became the new face of Italian retailer Yamamay. In September, she was among a large group of female celebrities involved in a multiple wave of hacking and internet posting of nude photographs in September. A few days after Gone Girl premiered at the 2014 New York Film Festival on September 26, Ratajkowski was announced as the covergirl for the November 2014 issue of Cosmopolitan. On October 30, 2014, she appeared with Taylor Kitsch in the live-action trailer for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare in advance of its November 4 release. Ratajkowski appeared on the cover of the February 2015 issue of FHM, but she claimed via Twitter that her picture was used without her consent. FHM has stated "We liked the pictures so much we stuck one on our front cover".
|2004||Andrew's Alteration||Young Girl||Short film|
|2005||A Year and a Day||Girl|
|2014||Gone Girl||Andie Fitzgerald|
|2015||We Are Your Friends||Sophie||Post-production|
|2012||"Fast Car"||Taio Cruz|
|2013||"Blurred Lines"||Robin Thicke ft. T.I. and Pharrell|
|2013||"Love Somebody"||Maroon 5|
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- Official website
- Emily Ratajkowski at the Internet Movie Database
- Emily Ratajkowski at the Fashion Model Directory
- Emily Ratajkowski at Models.com
- side-by-side views of the official and unrated versions of the controversial "Blurred Lines" videos