“At the end of the day, we are all animals,” says Joséphine de La Baume, the perfect example of an enviable and rare breed: the effortlessly gorgeous, charmingly frank multi-hyphenate. The 28-year-old French model, actor, singer, and wife of producer-musician Mark Ronson is discussing her recent turn as the bondage-loving vampire Djuna in Xan Cassavetes’ Kiss of the Damned, a film that owes its erotic thrills to Dario Argento’s kitschy 1970s fangfests, and cult favorites like The Lost Boys and The Hunger. Cassavetes was so impressed with de La Baume’s audition tape for the role that the L.A.–based director flew to Paris and set up a meeting. “We spent the whole afternoon drinking wine and smoking a million cigarettes and talking about the movies we like,” de La Baume recalls. “I loved her references.” While she describes her breathy romps in Kiss as “primal” and “exhilarating,” her performance in Rush—Ron Howard’s forthcoming biopic of Formula 1 champion driver Niki Lauda (starring Daniel Brühl and Chris Hemsworth as Lauda’s cocky adversary James Hunt)—required more restraint. “With Xan, it was much more about keeping in touch with the sentiment, being completely free, and making the drama explode,” says de La Baume, the former face of Agent Provocateur and Zadig & Voltaire. “With Ron, everything—your smile, the way you grab the phone—matters.” De La Baume has been equally meticulous about the EP she’ll release this fall with her brother Alexandre under their stage name Singtank, a pop collection she calls “more mature” than their debut album, In Wonder. “It feels much more produced,” she says, “but sounds more raw.”
Lights, Camera, Action: “Sex scenes are quite boring unless they have a purpose. Otherwise, you might as well watch porn. I’m more interested in the buildup. What happens before?”
As seen in The Wild issue. Out now at The Bullet Shop!