The transition from model to actress can be bumpy (Gisele Bundchen in “Taxi,” anyone?) but for her silver screen debut, Sedona Legge has herself a rather impressive costar. Legge appears as Blake Lively’s sister in the surf-shark drama “The Shallows,” out now, a role that seemed like a natural fit for her, growing up surfing in Australia and California. The 17-year-old attended the film’s New York premiere in an ethereal look from Rodarte’s spring lineup, proving she’s got a handle on red-carpet dressing. WWD caught up with Legge on the heels of the movie’s nationwide release.
WWD: What made you interested in acting?
Sedona Legge: My mom placed me in acting classes at the age of 6 and I was instantly fascinated by the opportunity to be someone else. It was apparent pretty quickly that I loved drama.
WWD: In what ways does your experience as a model help with acting?
S.L.: I’ve been training as an actor 14 hours a week for several years now, and I’ve found that my modeling has enhanced my ability to find light in film. [It has also] hopefully shown me how to move in more graceful ways. And believe me, I needed the help, because everyone knows I’m not a professional dancer.
WWD: How did you land your part in “The Shallows”?
S.L.: I was living in Sydney, Australia, when the audition came through. It was amazing to get a callback. We got to fly to Queensland for the final auditions, and all of the girls (and moms) were together for a few hours. None of us knew that Blake Lively would actually be reading with us. It was an especially exciting experience to walk into the audition room and read with Blake. The next morning we got the news that they wanted me for the role. I was absolutely ecstatic!
WWD: Do you have any experience with surfing, or with sharks?
S.L.: I grew up in coastal towns in California and Australia so I learned to love the ocean and surf from an early age. I’m not a great surfer but I love it and I’m confident in the ocean. I have my surf rescue certificate in Australia. I’m also passionate about animals and conservation and I feel very strongly about protecting sharks against finning [harvesting fins from live sharks and leaving the sharks to die in the ocean] and other threats to them and their habitat. Without sharks, the marine ecosystems will be threatened. I have no fear of sharks or the ocean, just a whole lot of respect for these beautiful creatures.
WWD: Were you a Blake Lively fan previously?
S.L.: I absolutely loved Blake in “Age of Adaline.” And who didn’t love her in “Gossip Girl”?
WWD: What was working with her like?
S.L.: Blake was so lovely from the moment that I met her — she is gracious and has such a great sense of humor and sense of fun. She is also such a talented actor and I have a lot of admiration for her.
WWD: Are you interested in going further into acting?
S.L.: Absolutely! I’ve spent years working on my craft and I’m very dedicated to [it] and passionate about both acting and modeling. They complement each other perfectly and I’m so fortunate to be able to spend time doing both the things that I love.
WWD: What would an ideal role be?
S.L.: I would love to see my favorite books, the Fablehaven series, made into movies and [I’d love to] play the lead role, [with] Tim Burton as director because it is just his style.