I sit down with the amazing Chelsea Grant and talk all things film, style and life!
Follow her on Instagram to keep up! @Chelseasummergreen
US Mag: it is amazing to have you join us! Thank you so much Chelsea, so how have you been the last year during this pandemic?
Chelsea: ha ha, well where do I start! This has been a wild ride. I am so lucky that I’ve been able to do it with my husband. Going into this whole pandemic he was just my boyfriend, then we got engaged in April last year. We then got married in August last year. I can’t believe how long Covid has dragged on ha ha.
US Mag: wait, so you got engaged at the beginning of the pandemic? And then you had your wedding during the pandemic??
Chelsea: so, we got engaged at the end of April, April 26, 2020 to be exact. We actually had Covid in February 2020 and before you ask we didn’t find it that bad. I think it affects everyone differently and if you’re incredibly healthy, you eat well, you take supplements, you’re always working out, you’re young, you sleep well, you deal with your stress, you’ve got God in your life, I don’t think it really gets to you as much as it would if you are elderly or obese or have underlying health conditions.
US Mag: massive Segway, get back to the love story!!
Chelsea: ha ha yeah sorry I’ve had such a busy day and I am one to Segway! So, my beautiful husband proposed to me in a very special place for us, the bluebell woods near our house. It’s actually behind his parent’s house. We spend a lot of time with his parents and also we spend a lot of time walking up there. So, it was really special for us. We didn’t have a wedding…yet! We actually just did the marriage part. I did wear a beautiful gown by Caroline Castigliano and we were able to have eight guests with us, it was a real shame for me because my family and friends are mostly in Australasia. I was so thrilled to have four of my very good London based friends with me though. We will be having a wedding in New Zealand at the end of 2022 or 2023. Who knows when we can go back to living life again hey?!
US Mag: man, that’s intense. And what a love story! I bet that would make a good film
Chelsea: ha ha you’re not wrong there, I am trying to work on a RomCom right now. Though we all know that fantasy, action, adventure, blood, anger is more my style.
US Mag: yeah I saw Titiro, thanks for sending that through. Tell us about War Lands?
Chelsea: War Lands is a project so close to my heart, I am so thrilled to be working with Dale Armin Johnson on the picture. He is amazing, I have always admired his pictures even before I knew who he was and met him. He is so down-to-earth, has amazing skills and experience…and is so kind and thoughtful and dedicated! It is just an honour to be working with him. I also rewrote this project with Janet and Lee Batchler, which is also such an honour to work with them.
US Mag: oh they wrote one of the Batman’s right?
Chelsea: yeah, they wrote one of the Batmans and they also wrote Pompeii. Which I’ve always loved, Paul WS Anderson is someone I look up to as a director.
US Mag: so speaking of directors what do you like best, because you’re such an amazingly multi-hyphenate!
Chelsea: thanks, I love it all. I had to pick something I do love writing it is so nice to be on my own and have that time creating worlds and people and characters and ideas and problem-solving and just creating! I also love directing because I love to see that vision come to life with people and I’m really getting the best out of actors. I also love acting myself because it’s such an outlet and it’s such an emotional experience. You can really use trauma and issues that you’ve been through in your life and use that for the emotional response you need for your character. So I love that, it’s like free therapy ha ha.
US Mag: that sounds epic, we are looking forward to seeing you on the big screen!
Chelsea: yeah thanks, me too. It’s been such a long process and a really exhausting journey to get this far. But it’s so worth it. Nothing meant to be is ever going to come easy!
US Mag: and tell us about your style? Your fashion? You always look so good in your Instagram, do you style yourself or do you have someone style you?
Chelsea: you know being a model for 15 years has really given me such a front row seat in fashion. I’ve seen trends come and go, I’ve seen things that really fail and things that really look amazing. I’ve been able to work with some amazing brands – like high-end designers such as YSL, Marc Jacobs, Givenchy, but also High Street brands like Zara and OhPolly, so I really have a wide variety of what I love and what I think suits me. And really for me my fashion sense and my style comes from myself. I really don’t care if someone tells me “that doesn’t suit you” or that something looks bad, if I think it suits me I wear it. If I think something looks good on me, I wear it. I’m constantly dressing other people and my husband. I also love to style my own shoots. That’s something that I got into in my last year modelling. So now more often than not I will style my own shoot. I pick the photographer, the make up artist and hairstylist. And because I don’t model full time anymore I really get to work closely with my agent on who we choose to work with, what brands, what designers, and we have final say over the end product. Which is something I really love.
US Mag: I get you, I love what you do with your shoots. You always look so natural and so chic.
Chelsea: thank you!
US Mag: who would be your style Muse?
Chelsea: I really do love Kim Kardashian. She has access to all the designers and she creates a lot for her own body shape and for herself. I really love what she wears, it’s very similar to my sense of style. I love to accentuate my curves, which is something she’s obviously known and loved for.
US Mag: tell us about married life? Is it hard, is it easy? You always make it look so easy on your Instagram.
Chelsea: do you know the thing I love about Instagram is that it really only shows what you choose to show your audience. I don’t think many people show the fight, or the arguments, or the screaming matches that most marriages have. However, in saying that my marriage is a situation where iron sharpens iron. Strength breeds strength. We have both grown and changed and come such a long way from who we were when we first met each other. We were both in damaging lifestyles and relationships before we met each other. Quite toxic actually. We were with people who didn’t help our growth and didn’t facilitate healthy change or give positive energy. We were really living selfishly in our own rights, because we were both trying to survive. And that means functioning from the ego. It took us meeting each other and really saying that we wanted to be the best versions of ourselves for each other, but also we want to help the other one grow. We wanted to see the other one succeed, we wanted to be the other ones biggest cheerleader and biggest fan. We wanted to stop surviving and finally start thriving together. I think that’s so valuable and important in this day and age to find, because so many people are with people who want to see them fail and living in a miserable way together, and they often use the excuse that they’re together because of the children. Which, don’t get me started, is just so damaging for those children. It’s so much better to have two separated healthy, happy parents living their best lives, working on themselves and not fighting or bickering every day. That’s going to raise much more confident, healthy, well-functioning human beings.
US Mag: I fully agree, I know first-hand about that!
Chelsea: yeah, my parents divorced when I was three and I fully agree with it. They weren’t right for each other, and it was not healthy. I see people with their parents getting divorced and there are so broken by it. And I think that’s just such a selfish way to look at the situation. It’s always about the “me me me”, the child is always going on and making themselves the centre of attention. But they need to realise that actually they need to be more thoughtful towards their parents. It’s crazy to me how children are so entitled and have such an ownership over their parents. It’s whack! You see it time and time again.
US Mag: wow you’re so insightful. Where did all this wisdom come from?
Chelsea: thank you ha ha, you know I lost my mother when I was 23. And that kind of threw me into a relationship with God. It also made me much more aware of how easy life can be taken away from you. How precious and fragile it is. I was also raised to be a good person who cared. Who worked on herself. My mother and grandparents taught me to look at myself and be honest. That’s something I think is lacking so much in this day and age.
US Mag: Tell us about your journey after your mother passed on?
Chelsea: I really started to work on myself. I started to work really hard on business, starting up apps and tech companies, modelling, working in stage productions, writing, and looking at ways to create my own business. I think having such a varied life and being such a worldly person has really helped me to meet people from all different religions, all different walks of life and in all different situations or circumstances and it’s really given me an opportunity to reflect on who I want to be, what I want to do for this world, what I want to give to people. I think if I was raised in a really spoilt way, which I find so many people are these days, I could’ve turned out really different. I could’ve turned out like a useless loser who does nothing for other people or for the world in general. I really am proud of myself for what I do, the charities I give to financially, the charities that I help, the causes I advocate for (and when I say advocate I literally mean I stand up for them, Kia Kaha, I stand strong, I do not just say I care and do nothing), the issues that I include in my films and within the stories that I tell. I find that when you have a platform (through film, through Instagram, through being a person who other people listen to) it’s important to use that in a positive way, to impact people positively.
US Mag: you really are an amazing woman, Chelsea Grant. It has been an honour to interview today.
Chelsea: thank you, you’re going to make me blush. I really do appreciate the recognition, I work really bloody hard on myself, on my films, on my advocacy, so it’s nice to be recognised.