If Catrinel Marlon looks familiar to you, it's because the stunning Romanian model has appeared in high profile campaigns for the likes of Chopard and Giorgio Armani. Having left her home town of Iasi in Romania to pursue a career in fashion, Catrinel has enjoyed large success in just six short years. Here, Buro 24/7 Middle East contributor Farouk Chekoufi speaks with her newest role as the face of Lancaster, what she loves most about acting and what we can expect next...

catrinel marlon

What especially touched you when shooting for Lancaster?

Lancaster is a brand I have always appreciated. Every shoot is special, but this time I felt like I resonated very well with the products. There was no need for my photographer to tell me to smile! Everything was natural.

Tell me about the shooting with Gilles-Marie Zimmermannthe photographer for the Lancaster campaign?

When you think of photography, you think Gilles-Marie Zimmermann. I used to work with him, and it's always a unique experience that I hope to repeat someday. I liked the end result so much that I have pictures framed at home.

Tell us more about being the new spokesperson for Chopard?

Being Chopard's ambassador during this year's Cannes Film Festival was a real proud moment, but also a great responsibility. I am very thankful to Caroline Scheufele, the owner of Maison Chopard, which is one of the main official sponsors of Cannes Film Festival and also the author of the famous Palme d'Or trophy. Maison Chopard has been supporting cinema for years. As an actress, it was very nice to be offered the opportunity to star in six short films presenting stories of cinema. We launched "Cannes in the Air" directed by Alexis Weller as a tribute to the glamour in cinema.

You've also been the face of Giorgio Armani, Fiat, David Yurman and more. What were those experiences like?

It was great to collaborate with and shoot for these brands. Each collaboration was special in its own way and I thank them for that. I loved sharing experiences on set with amazing photographers like Peter Lindberg. I still get excited, and I like being part of the process of creating an image. A few hundred covers have been gathered on which I have appeared. That means I already have a long career, doesn't it? For campaigns, I try every time as much as possible to reinvent myself, and I think so far it has worked.

When did you start acting?

I think I started in my childhood, when I was hoping to fool my mother by hiding the truth. Unfortunately, I was not able to play my part all the time, either because I was remorseful, or because my mother knew how things were.

The opportunity to star in a good movie feels like a real present. It is always a new experience and a new challenge to adapt myself to a different character. 

What is the best part of your job?

The most beautiful thing is that you have the opportunity to travel and make friends and professional contacts all around the world.

Do you enjoy dressing for red carpets?

Yes! It's a pleasure to step on the red carpet, especially for major events. And I'm a woman and I admit enjoying it when I'm complimented for my outfit.

How would you describe your experience working as an actress?

You know, since I started in cinema, my love for acting has kept on growing. The opportunity to star in a good movie feels like a real present. It is always a new experience and a new challenge to adapt myself to a different character. It requires working with intensity and I'm always learning. I was blessed to work with good directors! I just finished a dark comedy with Romanian filmmaker Corneliu Porumboiu. I love exploring new aspects of my work as an actress. That 's why I would love to work with directors like Gaspar Noé or Pedro Almódovar.

Do you have other ambitions outside of acting and modeling?

Yes, personally, I'm thinking of having a family of mine. Being a good mother, a devoted and loving wife.

Who is your beauty icon?

I really like Fanny Ardant from all points of view. I have always liked her style. I think she's a very charismatic and talented actress.

Photography: Gilles-Marie Zimmermann for Lancaster. Production: Angels Art.

What is your daily routine?

I do not have a particular ritual. I'm trying not to skip breakfast. Besides, I don't spend a day without moving. Whether I go to the gym or run by the seashore, sport gives me energy.

What are your favourite places to visit?

I like to go to Paris, especially during autumn. At the same time, I am delighted with Rome in the spring and I would give anything for a summer day in Southern France.

What are you obsessed with right now?

Enjoying life and keep up the passion I have for my work. 

What are your essential make-up products?

I don't usually use make-up except for eventsBut I'm never without a moisturising cream.

What is the key to French style?

There's a unique richness and quality in French fashion houses. Names like Chanel, Dior or Pierre Cardin left us with a timeless legacy. They all allowed us to find our own style. I think the true key to French style is freedom and creativity!

I think the true key to French style is freedom and creativity!

The most exciting place right now is...

A beach in Southern France whose name I won't tell you. It's secret and the secret I keep for myself.

What are your feelings about social media? And what's your presence on them?

My virtual environment is limited to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. I like to hear people's opinions and I have always believed that constructive criticism is a good thing  I usually stay on Facebook when I travel.

Do you have a favourite fashion brand?

There's a list of famous fashion houses that inspire me with their success stories and self-made talents who are creating beautiful collections. Whether it's fashion or other kinds of art, I like to take inspiration from all the things that surround me. I also love discovering new talented designers. I like navigating between styles and trends to create my own personal style.

What are your next projects in NYC?

I'm preparing some surprises, but I cannot tell you. Yet.

Now, read Farouk's earlier interview with Jean Christophe Hérault, the man behind Dolce & Gabbana's The One Mysterious Night fragrance