Photo: Billy Farrell/BFA
An established dancer and rising actress from London, the 26-year-old first gained fame two years ago, when she began dating Prince Harry of Wales. Since then, she’s dodged paparazzi and press while pursuing a career in the performing arts—and clearly, Mulberry’s impressed with her talent and work ethic. They’ve cast “Cressie” as the star of their latest fashion film, which debuts this March and features the London native dancing wildly through fields, gardens, and forests (all while wearing the label’s in-demand clothes, of course).
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We spoke with Bonas about her latest endeavor, her nicknames, and the secret to dance party makeup at the Chateau Marmont last night…
Yahoo Style: Does everyone call you Cressida, or do you have a nickname?
Cressida Bonas: My friends call me Cressy… Growing up, I hated the name “Cressida” because I’d never met anyone else with the name. I still get excited whenever I meet someone, or even hear about someone, named Cressida.
YS: You don’t just dance for fun—you were a dance major in college?
CB: Yes, I went to The University of Leeds to study dance, and then I went to [Trinity] Laban [a music and dance conservatory] in Greenwich to get a diploma in dance… my specialty is contemporary.
YS: Why do modern dance instead of ballet?
CB: Well, I was at the Royal Ballet School of London when I was nine. I studied there for three years, and I realized that wasn’t for me. I also wanted to pursue drama and music, so I left the ballet. And contemporary was more of a free style.
YS: Can you still get up on your toes like a ballerina?
CB: Do you know what? I don’t think I could anymore! No. I haven’t done ballet for years, so it’s more about drama, music, and dance.
YS: When Mulberry came to you, what was the big idea behind the upcoming video?
CB: I think it was just about being free and happy, and having fun. The idea was, “dance as if you’re dancing in your kitchen.” It was more about a dance that was improvised, and not all about the steps. It was really just about having fun!
YS: What’s the first Mulberry thing that you owned?
CB: You know, the Mulberry dresses I get to wear in the film were some of my favorite things. If I lived here in LA, I would wear them all the time, but in London, it gets so cold that I’ll have to save them for summer. But those are the Mulberry pieces that I really, really see myself wearing!
YS: Can you dance in them?
CB: Oh yeah. I really like dresses that are free and simple. And most of them are long, which I love. With a long dress, you can really dress it up or you can dress it down, which is something that I think is important. I love that.
YS: Most of us aren’t professional dancers like you, but we still like to jump around to music sometimes. What are your tips for dance party makeup?
CB: Really? I would say, don’t wear makeup. Really. Don’t wear it. Just be yourself.
YS: Does that mean you’re not wearing makeup in the new Mulberry film?
CB: No, all right, I’m wearing it there. But it’s very simple. That’s the whole idea.
YS: Your first film role, in the period piece Tulip Fever, debuts this year. Are you staying in Hollywood for long?
CB: Well, I’m only here for the weekend! I’m going to the BAFTA party tomorrow and I’m hoping to get some sunshine, but I think that’s it. It’s a short visit, and then I’m back to London. But hopefully—hopefully!—I’l have reasons to come back to Los Angeles soon. Then I can stay for a good long time.
Come back to see what the stars wear to the Golden Globes! We'll be covering the red carpet, the ceremony, and the post-show festivities. It all kicks off on Sunday, Jan. 11 at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT. Stay tuned for our live-stream coverage after the show!