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Topic: Lizzie Jagger Almost Famous Return to archive
03-01-02 06:29 PM
Jaxx Lizzie Jagger: Almost famous

by Polly Vernon
When Elizabeth Jagger was 14, her mother, the eminently languid Jerry Hall, said: 'Elizabeth has decided she's never going to do an interview in her whole life. She's going to be like Jackie O.' And so, give or take the occasional sound bite, Lizzie Jagger has kept quiet. She's simpered for the paparazzi and pouted for assorted shoots, she's giggled from the sidelines of the Being Mick documentary and taken turns on the runways of the world's fashion weeks, but that's been about it. Until today. In her capacity as the face of Unique -Topshop's new collection of faux vintage wear - Elizabeth Jagger is due to give one of her very first interviews. At least, that's the plan.
Busy Lizzie: Jagger wears clothes from Topshop's Unique collection.

Two days earlier, she'd called off the original shoot at the very last minute. 'Lizzie desperately wants to do it,' her Models 1 agent insisted, 'but her mum took one look at her glands and said there was no way she was getting out of bed.' Tantalising glimpse into domesticity Jagger-style notwithstanding, Lizzie's no-show was a shame. A shame and yet somehow not that surprising. Elizabeth Jagger is practically famous for not being famous. The Jackie O policy combined with her pedigree have given her fame without celebrity. We know the theory - the Jagger wilfulness combined with the Hall-patented wiles, the wild-child moments in association with Leah Wood - but we don't know the practice. We don't know what Lizzie really looks like, how she moves, how she sounds.

So it's almost surreal when she does turn up to the rescheduled shoot. Whatever else, it's instantly clear that Jagger wasn't faking the bug that kept her away originally. Her eyes are a touch too bright, her skin is pallid. She's got a chunky woollen scarf wrapped tightly around her neck. She smiles weakly, then slumps on to a banquette, where she's fed lemon-infused hot water by her agent, the publicity-friendly Ellis.

We retire to the basement, where hair and make-up set about Lizzie's feverish brow. I approach her with an extended Dictaphone and an encouraging smile, but before I've asked my first question, she's croaked: 'Do I have to do this now? I don't think I'll say anything that makes any sense.'

Moments later, I'm cornered by Ellis, who tells me how uncomfortable Lizzie is with interviews. 'You know,' she says, 'people ask her so many weird things about her family. I told her you wouldn't be doing that. I told her this isn't about that. This is about her. "You are a model in your own right," I told her.' Yet that, of course, is the issue. There has always been speculation about whether Elizabeth Jagger would have made quite the impact on the modelling industry that she has if it hadn't been for her name. Whether she would have landed the Vivienne Westwood shows, the Topshop deal, the Burberry campaigns, the British Vogue shoots. The question has never really been resolved.

Model daughter: 'When I started modelling, I started acting at the same time. It's just that modelling took off quicker.'

Certainly, Lizzie Jagger is a pretty girl. Once hair and make- up have done their job, even the flu can't disguise her natural appeal. She's a touch ethereal, naturally collagen-laden, exquisitely thin. She's also a good, professional model. She smiles the dazzling, signature smile she inherited from her mother on cue, straight into the lens. The Unique clothes suit her: they reference her rock-royalty heritage with their faded glitz and their sexy, salvage feel. But it's equally impossible not to compare her with her parents and find her lacking. Although Jerry, master of her daughter's spin, has insisted: 'Her face is a better shape than mine, not so long. I look at her and think: "My Gaad! You're so beautiful!"' others remain less convinced. 'She's certainly a very sweet, very pleasant girl,' commented one industry insider, 'and she's not diva-ish like you might expect. But I'd definitely say that she's got where she is because of who her parents are. She isn't classically good-looking.'

After three outfit changes, another cup of hot water and lemon, and a series of whispered pep talks from Ellis, the shoot ends. Jagger is bundled into a car, issuing croaky promises that she'll call me for the interview as soon as she's well enough.

Finally, after some toing and froing, a rumoured dash into hospital, and a subsequent spotting at the launch party for the Mario Testino exhibition, Elizabeth Jagger rings.

It's odd to hear her talk. She spoke so rarely on the shoot that this is the first time I've properly heard her voice. It's gentle and quiet, Brit-accented but with Jerry Hall's languid, lilting intonation. Almost every statement segues into a Hall-esque half-giggle. This, it quickly transpires, is half affectation, half tricky-question-avoiding tactic. We pay lip service to promoting the Unique range (yes, she's always been a Topshop girl, started wearing it when she was a touch too young - 'I was eight or something, and this T-shirt was too big, but at least I was wearing what the big girls were wearing') before moving on to the hard stuff: the finer details of the Jagger lifestyle.

Elizabeth currently divides her time between the home her famously separated parents still share in Richmond, and her very own apartment in New York's West Village, where she lives with her boyfriend, model Damien van Zyl. 'I've had the same boyfriend for years and years,' she offers. So you're all blissfully happy and in love? I ask. 'Yes,' she says, shortly.

I wonder if Lizzie's life feels as glamorous as it looks from the outside. 'That's a weird question,' she says. 'I don't know. I've never had another life. It's just my life, just a normal life.' I suggest that most people would argue with her on that, but she just laughs her non-committal Jerry Hall half-laugh.

Elizabeth Jagger wants to be an actress. She's aware, to give her her due, how unforgivably clichéd that sounds. 'I know, I know [she cranks up the transatlantic twang] I'm a model and I wanna be an actress. I know it sounds like that. But it's something I've always wanted to do.' Modelling was never the dream job for her, she adds. 'When I started modelling, I started acting at the same time. I started classes. It's just that the modelling took off quicker.' She's had a couple of very minor roles in short films so far - appearing alongside John Malkovich on one occasion - but she hasn't done anything massive yet. She'd like to, of course. 'I want to do big, character roles. Not teeny movies, not lovey-dovey roles.'

I wonder if her parents' achievements have left her believing that she can do anything she wants to do. That vast, demanding character parts are hers for the taking - just as a modelling career was, and an opportunity to tour with the Stones as a backing singer. 'No,' she says. 'I don't think so.'

Was acting her one, burning, driving ambition, then?

'I wanted to be a ballerina, and then an artist, but other people always said I should be an actress.'

Why? Because you were always grabbing the limelight? Doing party pieces and musical turns? 'No, I was very shy when I was young. I used to put on shows, I guess.'

Really? Things you wrote and directed yourself? 'I guess.'

She recently saw the Johnny Depp movie, From Hell, and wishes she'd been allowed a bash at the Heather Graham role. 'She made the whole thing really, really bad,' she announces. 'It would have been way better if I'd been in it.'

On the whole, though, and despite sporadic outbursts of confidence, there is something intensely unassured about Elizabeth Jagger. She doesn't have any of the poise you might expect. She's somehow completely lacking the glamour and urbanity that should have been her birthright.

Lizzie insists that she doesn't particularly enjoy the celebrity parties she's often snapped at, and I believe her. The reputation she earned in her early teens as the prototype rock-offspring wild child suddenly seems desperately ill-judged. I ask her if she ever considered herself to be wild. 'As much as any other teenager,' she says, before adding: 'Look at Prince Harry!'

And are you ever wild now?

'Ouf! Yeah, really wild, with my tea and my slippers.'

When I ask her what the absolute perfect day would involve, she pauses, then replies, almost woefully: 'Any time when nothing goes wrong.' And out of nowhere, I find myself feeling a little bit sorry for this supremely privileged 17-year-old.
03-02-02 05:37 AM
paperdoll thanks for posting this about elizabeth... i 'd like to know more about her , but it's hard to find articles about her... do you know of anymore? ... where did this one come from?... i think that today is her birthday... march 2nd... i read that somewhere...
03-02-02 01:57 PM
yellow1 So she's just turned 18...No longer jailbait then !!!!!

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