Until recently, model-turned-actress Elisa Sednaoui has engaged in typical model-turned-actress fare: ad campaigns for H&M, Moschino and Triumph, and a video for Piper Heidsieck Champagne directed by Christian Louboutin. But now the 22-year-old is aiming to be taken seriously as a thespian.

Sednaoui has wrapped Lithuanian director Sharunas Bartas’ upcoming film, “Not Before, Not After,” in which she plays the wife of a man who runs away from the Russian mafia, and will appear on-screen in “Bus Palladium,” opening this week in theaters around France.

This story first appeared in the March 16, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“Palladium” tells the story of five young rock musicians who play in a band called Lust. Sednaoui is Laura, a beauty who disrupts the band’s fragile balance and jeopardizes the lifetime friendship of two of its members when they both fall in love with her. During the shoot, Sednaoui took singing lessons. As it turns out, she says, “I have good lungs, and my voice is not bad.”

But, for now, she’s uninterested in adding slash-singer to the model-slash-actress modifier. Sednaoui, who speaks French, English, Spanish and Arabic, has a movie project in the works in her native Italy. She also has the support of “Palladium” director Christopher Thompson, who thinks Sednaoui has what it takes to successfully transition her career. “She seemed very determined and eager to work,” he says. “And she is very beautiful.”

But Sednaoui is hoping her looks don’t overshadow her serious intentions. “I’m not interested in playing a bimbo in a swimming suit,” she says.

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