Celebrity Crossover: Rosie Huntington Whiteley

When fans learned that Megan Fox’s love-interest role in Transformers: Dark of the Moon was removed from the script and replaced with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s character of Carly, they were completely confused. Not with Michael Bay’s decision to replace Fox, that part some people understood (if someone likens you to Hitler, you give them the boot, no questions asked). But Bay’s decision to put his faith in some random underwear model seemed strange: he’d already been directing movies for years, and it was hard to believe that out of all his possible connections in the movie industry, the best person to play Sam Witwicky’s new love interest was someone with no acting skills. And so the fact that Bay chose inexperienced Huntington-Whiteley for the role could mean one of two things: either Huntington-Whiteley is a superior actress who, despite no training, is excellent anyway, OR Bay believes the only way to make a good movie is to cast good-looking people in it, regardless of their experience or talent.

But that’s not a question I’m even going to attempt to answer at this point in time. What I am going to do is tell you how Rosie Huntington-Whiteley found herself in a position to be cast in a Michael Bay movie. I think that’s a much more suitable task for the day.

Rosie was born on April 18th, 1987 in Plymouth, Devon, England to Fiona, a fitness instructor and Charles, a chartered surveyor. She grew up on a farm in Devon, where her classmates at school teased her for having full lips and two last names. She was voted Miss Big Mouth when she was because she talked so much and then at 13, she got very tall and was voted Girl Most Likely to Become a Supermodel. When she grew up and was studying at Tavistock College (which is not a college, actually – in England, high schools are called “colleges”), a scout for Profile Model Management spotted her and recruited her to the agency. Her first job as a model was appearing in a commercial for Levi’s jeans, and she spent the whole check she received as payment on a three-door Ford even though she couldn’t drive.

In December of 2006, Rosie began modeling for Victoria’s Secret and made her debut at the lingerie line’s fashion show in Los Angeles. But she wasn’t noteworthy until she replaced model Agyness Deyn in an ad for Burberry’s fall/winter campaign alongside Sam Riley. While continuing to work for Victoria’s Secret, Rosie still managed to find work elsewhere, like for Agent Provocateur, Godiva and Miss Sixty and in 2008, Harper’s Bazaar put her as number 6 on their annual “Best Dressed List.” After booking solid work for the next few years, she finally received the coveted title of a Victoria’s Secret Angel in 2009. Then her career really took off — she met Michael Bay on the set of a Victoria’s Secret commercial in December of 2009, and she posed naked for Pirelli Calendar in early 2010, which was shot by noted photographer Terry Richardson. Then fashion photographer Rankin compiled a book of photographs he took of her and called it Ten Times Rosie, which celebrated the work of Thomas Wylde and Rosie’s sense of style and empowerment. Of her look and talent, Rankin said “We’ve been looking at very, very skinny, almost masculine girls for a long time. [Rosie] really is the model of the moment. She’s the actress of the moment. She’s definitely going to become something much, much bigger.” And then finally, in May of 2010, Bay offered Rosie the role of Carly in Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

There’s no way to tell if Rosie will continue to pursue a life as an actress in Hollywood. I’m sure she’s getting offers upon offers from other directors and producers who are hoping to snag her for their own projects. But if modeling will remain her true passion, then there aren’t a lot of ways to persuade her to capitalize on the extreme fortune she had of getting cast in a Michael Bay movie, or to convince her that her door is about as open as it will ever get. I would assume that she’ll do what most models do, which is enjoy the benefits of making occasional cameos in movies while modeling full time and then when they become too old to strut down the runway in the $2 million bra, they begin working on creating their own brands. And at this point in time, I’d say Rosie won’t encounter too much resistance along the way.