Stephanie Sigman: From Runway to Red Carpet

Stephanie Sigman is used to the glare of the camera and the sound of the flash bulb, but the former model turned actress never dreamt her first acting role in Miss Bala, Gerardo Naranjo's slice of social realism and a shocking insight into the drug wars ravaging Mexico, would achieve such critical acclaim.  Sigman plays Laura, an aspiring beauty queen who on the eve of a contest is caught in the middle of a war between corrupt police and a violent drugs gang.  Miss Bala, or 'Miss Bullet' as it translates from Spanish, is a frenetically paced firecracker of a film and Sigman, in her first role, gives a virtuoso fearless performance.



STUDIO: How did you make the transition from modeling to the lead role in Miss Bala?

Stephanie Sigman: Well, I think I'm still making the transition because it's really hard for people to see you in another kind of work when you're a model.  They judge.  A lot of people didn't know that I studied acting so it was good because it was a surprise.   It's really fun to be a model.  I couldn't say anything bad about it, but I was never passionate about being a top model.  When they asked me to lose weight I'd say no.  I'm doing what I like and I just feel it.  If I can I will act all my life.


STUDIO: It must have been a very emotionally demanding role.

SS: It was, as well as physically.  When the two combine you're just so tired.  But it wasn't just about me; it was the whole crew, the support of the people that you're working with.  Gerardo and I did this together and I trusted him right from the beginning because if you don't trust you can't go deep into the dark place that we went to.


STUDIO: How did you get into the mindset of being constantly terrified?

SS: Gerardo told me in the beginning that he didn't want melodramatic acting; he just wanted everything contained.  I did a lot of research and unfortunately, it's very easy to do research in Mexico, but I didn't go deep into a real "Miss" [beauty queen] because I don't think that works for me.  We were creating a fictional character.



Read the rest of STUDIO's exclusive interview with Stephanie Sigman, star of Miss Bala, in our February 2012 issue.  Out now!

"It’s really hard for people to see you in another kind of work when you’re a model. They judge."
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