Agyness Deyn finally admits that she’s been lying about her age the whole time

I never really paid much attention to Agyness Deyn, beyond the basic understanding that she was a “A Thing” for several years. She got a lot of press, a lot of heat, and circa 2006-07, a lot of the style tastemakers were declaring Agyness the Next Big Thing, the next Kate Moss, the next Linda Evangelista, the next Stella Tennant. Agyness got magazine covers. She got ad campaigns – for Burberry, Vivienne Westwood and Armani, amongst others. She walked all of the big runways. She boned James Franco. And then… everything kind of died down. The hype passed. Everybody kind of figured out that Agyness – real name Laura Hollins – wasn’t all that. So now she’s trying to become an actress. And in a new interview, Agyness finally admitted something that pretty much everyone assumed: she’d been lying about her age for YEARS. When she came on the scene, she was 18 years old and she thought that was “too old” to start modeling. So she shaved some years away. And then she shaved even more away. People thought she was currently 23 years old – she’s admitting that she’s 29. You can read the whole Guardian interview here, and here are some highlights:

Agyness is an actress now: After modelling for 11 years, Deyn has decided to swap the catwalk for the stage, and this week will appear in her first play, a four-handed comedy called The Leisure Society. It is, she readily admits, quite a change. “For modelling, you have to be such a strong person in a way – or seen to be a strong person, do you know what I mean? But in acting you have to get in touch with all the vulnerability that you carry.” She’s been rehearsing for eight hours every day, and talks about it with a sort of awestruck reverence. “When I started doing little bits of acting I was like, this is what I’m supposed to be doing, you know? Going to this place where there’s this fulfillment in kind of like letting go, and also that part of really getting in touch with yourself, to be able to understand a different character, and then portray that to whoever’s watching it, and to be able to penetrate them in a way that touches them. And there’s this unsaid kind of bond with us all [in the cast] which is so powerful, you know? It’s like this family, there for each other; I feel held by the other people who are doing it, which is so great, cos like with modelling for so long it’s a very solo project, and quite lonely. Being part of – well, it makes me feel emotional just talking about it – being part of this with these great people – it’s just like so cool.”

Playing a 21 year old in the play: “I kind of feel like I have to put me as I am now to one side, cos you know, I’m 29, I feel like that’s the age when you start to think about life. What is this all about? Who am I?”

She doesn’t pretend to have an “ugly” past: Deyn seems to become less comfortable when she talks about her old career as a model. She’s the first professional beauty I’ve met who doesn’t pretend to have been an ugly duckling – “No, I suppose as a little girl I was really pretty. I was cute” – which makes a lovely change.

Why she lied about her age: “No, when I decided I would really do modeling I was like 18, and I think at the time that was quite old for a new face, so we knocked off a few years.” The deception has long since been corrected.

Why she changed her name: “Yeah, I started modelling, and they said there are loads of Lauras – you can change your name. I was like, OK, and then I thought about it and said OK, I’ll be called Agnes; my grandmother was called Agnes.” It was as simple as that? “Yeah.” But didn’t her mother, a Reiki master, also change her name – and Deyn’s sister too? Yes, she acknowledges warily. And she changed the spelling because of numerology? “Laurence helped me change my name,” she says matter of factly. “Erm … yeah, that’s it.”

She’s single: “Yeah, single for three years now. I think I’ve forgotten how to function in a relationship. I hope I meet someone, cos it would be nice to have someone to share your joys and accomplishments and hard times with. To have a comrade in life. I’d like a relationship that was like two tree trunks side by side, strong but independent.”

[From The Guardian]

Ugh, I can’t believe I read the full piece. She’s not evil or bitter or full of herself, nothing like that. She’s just… deep as a puddle. Oh, well. They’re not paying her to be smart, I guess.

As for the name-change and the outright lies about her age – I tend to think Agyness was being packaged to the fashion world, much like Lana del Rey has been packaged to the music industry. Agyness wasn’t anything when she was Laura, a 20-something model in London. Then she signed to a New York modeling agency, changed her name, lied about her age in interview after interview, and suddenly she an It Girl. Do you feel betrayed by the lies? Are you pissed off that a rather average, normal girl was repackaged and “created” out of thin air, built solely on hype and vapidity-sold-as-mystique?

By the way, she looks like Tea Leoni, right?

Photos courtesy of WENN.

 

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

73 Responses to “Agyness Deyn finally admits that she’s been lying about her age the whole time”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Hubbahun says:

    Couldn’t give a monkey’s.

    • Aiobhan says:

      You took the words right out of my mouth. I never got the hype over her anyway. I felt betrayal over milli vinelli. I was shocked over finding out that most of the fashion magazines use photoshop. This was as surprising as finding out Matt Bomer is gay. In other words: not surprising at all.

  2. Lol says:

    So I wonder was that blind item a few weeks ago about her?? the one about someone with magazines covers lying about their age and sleeping their way to the top?

  3. Lis says:

    She’s admitting it once no one cares. Wonderful.

    That man she’s standing beside…wow…I’m having this vague but insistant urge to lick his picture on the screen.

  4. wallycally says:

    i used to model. it’s pretty routine for the agencies to shave off a couple of years. i was 17 for a LONG time.

  5. Zelda says:

    I used to kinda like her style. In that close up shot–maybe she’s just wearing too much foundation so it’s cracking, but…looks a little Rachel Zoe :/

  6. Esmom says:

    Just shows you how random the industry is and how it’s all about being in the right place at the right time. I’ve always been sort of “meh” about her, not great, not terrible. She does look older than 23 though.

  7. drew says:

    Im sure Jessica Chastain will admit her real age a few years from now.I heard rumors that she is already 36 but claims to be just 30.I just hope she should not lie>She is a talented woman.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    I always liked Agyness. Liked her look. It doesn’t matter to me if she was packaged by the modeling industry. Everyone including me likes to work and get paid (I’m not a model), so she went along with it. I give her credit for doing stage work. I think actors with stage training are so much better than actors who’ve just been on TV or movies. You can’t fake it or do re-takes on stage. More power to her.

  9. HadleyB says:

    I don’t blame her for lying. No matter what industry lately it seems that women always have to be younger… people tend to have an age cut off number and no matter what you do, who you are, how you look if you are at that number you are placed in the too old or will be soon enough category.

    I simply that about women and it’s for every topic.. if you say you are 34 for example ..people tend to assume you are married with kids, if you say no it’s ” oh divorced?”. Its even in professional and personal lives women take a hit… and it’s any age.

    Women are always too old to do _____. Whatever insert your topic at somebody’s age cut off in their head.

    I admit to lying about my age, though generally when dating since men always assume women are younger than they are.. when I went for an interview at my friends company the manager said she really wanted to keep the same age people around her within a few years as someone “old” might bring down the atmosphere. And wanted to keep it within “our age range”. I never told her I was 7 years older than her.. and passed on that position. I didn’t want to lie the whole time.

  10. Asli says:

    Is this that blind item CB had here a couple of months ago?

    Edit: Never mind, I read the piece again and I don’t think it is.

  11. Abby says:

    Hi David Gandy!

    Wait… what were we talking about?

  12. Itwillrain says:

    Her posture is terrible!

  13. Miffits says:

    Brilliant! I was always kinda ‘meh’ about her but I like that she lied her way into being flavour of the month in her mid-20′s in an industry that considers women done at that point.
    Aside from that, she’s vapid. I never got her appeal. Maybe her nothingness hidden under layers and layers of hipster was supposed to be captivating?

  14. Cathy says:

    That guy in the picture is gorgeous. Love his eyebrows.

  15. Ann says:

    Isn’t idiotic? People lie about their age, and then get hired by people thinking they are younger than they actually are. So, basically, people are ok with the way they look, then why not abolish this idiotic insistence on YOUNG YOUNG YOUNG when it comes to female beauty?

  16. normades says:

    I don’t blame her. I think it’s pretty standard that agencies lie. I see models for my job and they are often taller and younger on paper than in person.

  17. Jessica says:

    You are right!! I do see some Tea Leoni in that face!!!

  18. Cleveland Girl says:

    The only person I knew who totally kissed her butt was Perez Hilton. He is an idiot anyway. I thought this gal was in her early 30′s. I think she is still lying.

  19. annaloo. says:

    She’s pretty, but how did she get “the next Linda Evangelista?” Evangelista’s face is extraordinary and unforgettable. Deyn’s is pretty, but she is no Evangelista.

    • Minty says:

      Exactly. Today’s fashion tastemakers have really questionable taste. I like my top models to be rare and aspirational women, not bland girls.

      I can understand the hype that surrounded the true supermodels of the 90s: Linda, Christy T, Cindy, Naomi, Helena, Yasmeen Ghauri, Paulina, Claudia, Karen Mulder; and the ’80s: Iman, Gia, Paulina, Christie B, Carol Alt, Brooke Shields. They were uniquely beautiful in their prime.

      Agyness is cute but nothing extraordinary. Now they are hyping up ordinary-looking girls like Lindsey Wixson, Freja Beha Erichsen, and Karlie Kloss. Tall with great skin, but that’s about it. Color me unimpressed.

  20. TheOriginalVictoria says:

    When she started doing Vogue, I said to my friends, “That bitch is not 19!” No way. She looked way to seasoned!

  21. Lisa says:

    The modeling industry is so f’ed up, I certainly don’t see it as any big deal that she lied about her age. Better than having an actual 14 year old model.

  22. Marianne says:

    It doesn’t bother me much. Hollywood is full of people of who lie about their age (*cough* Chelsea Handler *cough*). There is also a lot of people who have a “stage name”. A lot more common in the golden era of Hollywood but even today Natalie Portman was born Natalie Hershlag. A lot of celebrities also get plastic surgery and then deny it.

    Hollywood is full of liars if you think about it. These things don’t bother me really.

  23. Agnes says:

    looking at the first big picture, i thought that this was tea leoni.

  24. Onyx XV says:

    I’ve never understood what the big deal was about her. She doesn’t look remarkable in any particular way. For a model, she’s only average looking, she’s no great beauty. And her fake name is stupid. If you’re going to have a fake name, at least pick something pretty. Meow! lol

  25. Bobby sue says:

    Maybe someone already pointed this out, and hope I’m not being obtuse but if she is currently 6 years older than “people thought” and she started out at the actual age of 18, then she pretended she was 12? This makes no sense at all.

  26. Cleo says:

    I LOVE this model. She has that natural born super prettiness that Tea Leoni has. Suck it, Haters!

  27. Sumodo1 says:

    We should be more upset about the Zac Posen models who were 14 years old and creating controversy during NY Fashion Week.
    http://fashionista.com/2012/02/coco-rocha-weighs-in-on-underaged-models-walking-at-new-york-fashion-week/

  28. BerMan says:

    She does look like Tea Leoni. I thought it was her daughter.

  29. Amanda says:

    The fake name thing doesn’t bug me so much (I mean if your last name is really unfortunate or really long, its probably a good idea to change it). But lying about your age is just stupid. Someone will find you birth certificate eventually.

  30. Cleveland Girl says:

    By the way…she STILL looks younger then Courtney Stodden!

  31. Day says:

    If you feel ‘betrayed’ by somebody else lying about their age, seek help? lol. Who even cares anyway? Do you know how many celebrities, especially females, lie about their age? Men can get in and stay in the game at just about any age, women can’t. So, if they have to lie about their age just to land the job, so be it. Society set these rules and standards.

  32. MarenGermany says:

    I am pissed that you are considered old when over 25

  33. Holden says:

    She shaved off some years and gave herself the pseudonym “Agyness”?

  34. curleque says:

    Now, if only Angelina and Rachel McAdams will admit their true ages.

  35. Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

    I wonder what would happen to the state of debate of the word ‘haters’ were stricken from the language? Wait, no I don’t: It would improve by a thousand fold, since we would be forced to think up arguments rather than spit out ad hominem cliches. But I’m probably just jealous, hm?

    I don’t really have anything to say about this girl. I used to see her subway ads, now I don’t.

  36. Laura says:

    What is it with people changing their names from Laura in the process of becoming famous? First Reese Witherspoon (from what I’ve heard) now Aygness Dean. I’m a Laura what’s so wrong with my name!?!?

  37. Holly says:

    Wow, when Tea Leoni met Lindsey Lohan and merged into one… especially in the questionable lace/two-piece “gown.”

  38. Adrien says:

    Oh no, no, there was something special about Agyness. She stood out among the bevy of Caucasian models in the catwalk b’c of her Eurasian features. She is unique. Overhyped, yes; Overrated, nope. She does well as a model. Many famous models were repackaged to another persona anyway and given “fashion” names. You know like Coco Rocha, Twiggy, Veruschka, Elle Macpherson (Eleanor Gow).
    Anyway, she did admit back then that she’s about the age of her bf (can’t find the link). That time she was dating Albert Hammond, Jr. of the Strokes, now 31.

  39. margret says:

    But..if you look her up on…zimbio of something, it’s always said she was born in 82. Idk how it was a secret.

  40. Kim says:

    I dont find her even remotely attractive. She sort of favors Lindsey Lohan which isnt good.

  41. the_less_original says:

    can anyone do math? if she is actually 6 years older than people thought she was that means when she started modeling at 18 she told people she was 12… does no one else realize that makes no sense?

    • intomidnight says:

      It says at the top of the article that she shaved a few years away, then shaved more away. So she probably said she was 15 or so and after a few years, subtracted another couple of years until she was down six. I highly doubt she could pass for 12 at 18, though I never paid any attention to her.

  42. Claire says:

    I like her – in that she is a bit cooler than the bog standard Russian/Eastern European robots that have taken over the modelling industry now – and all those boring Victoria Secrets models (lovely yes, but dull. There is an amazing documentry (have forgotten the name) by a New York model, shot over a few years. She mentions how all her friends over 23 yrs had started having to lie about their age even to get a look into a job. They mention a reallly really young Russian girl who is doing all the New York shows and filling in colouring books in between shows. Crazy.

  43. anytime says:

    many models begin in their 20′s, so if your features are good and you are wrinkle free, i’d say it’s unnecessary to lie about your age. now,a agyness doesn’t really have beautiful or overly feminine facial features, so that’s probably why she lied. on the other hand, she’s lucky she started after the 90′s were practically over, because facial beauty was really important back then, by contrast the models of today (save for victoria’s secret models, ironically) are typically unique but kinda ugly looking in the face, while they are much skinnier than the 90′s top model. i remember i would look into magazines and turn on the t.v. to see all those gorgeous models, making me feel bad about my own looks. girls have it easier now because their boyfriends think these models are rather ugly (all my male acquaintances do) however they have e.d.’s as badly as we did back in the day.

  44. Maya says:

    I always quite liked her as a model. And it’s cool that she’s getting into acting by doing a play instead of being in, say, a Michael Bay film or something like that – gives her a touch more credibility as a potential ‘actress’, IMO. Who knows if she’ll be any good, but good for her for taking that risk.

  45. Beatriz says:

    Wish she cut her hair short again, it gave her and edge that other models don’t have. Now she’s just meh to me.

  46. Karen says:

    Please. It’s a bit dramatic to ask if anyone feels “betrayed by the lies?”or if we are “pissed off” by a model who lied about her age. She did what she had to do to model, blame the industry. She doesn’t seem stupid either. She is just trying to live the best way she can, like all of us.
    We women need to stop dragging each other down with remarks about our weight disguised as pseudo concern about our health, or how intelligent we are or aren’t. Give a sister a hand up!

  47. your greasy greasy grandmammy says:

    the fact that women have to lie about their age says more about our culture. equality my ass!

  48. Bella says:

    I’m surprised that no one was able to find out her real age sooner. It’s unbelievable her classmates didn’t say anything to the press.

  49. urgh says:

    Fugly man-face. Punk poseur.