The South African model-turned-actress discusses adjusting to life as star of the Palme D'Or 2022 winner
Charlbi Dean and I are strolling down La Croisette in Cannes, navigating the throngs of people and seemingly arbitrary barriers. The South African model-turned-actress is in town for the premiere of Ruben Östlund’s Palme D’Or-winning film Triangle of Sadness, in which she co-stars as, well, a model. As the breakout actress in one of the festival’s hottest films, her schedule is packed. So packed that we opt to chat as she travels on foot – in Dior heels, no less – from one press obligation to another.
Dean started as a model out of convenience, or perhaps a better word is necessity. She was a drama kid, attending theatre school in Cape Town, but dreams of making it abroad proved challenging. “Unfortunately when you’re South African, your passport is not the best for travelling,” she says. “So I had to wait a while to get a green card, before I could actually start acting.” In a laser-cut leather Dior skirt and white sleeveless shirt, she has the from-the-inside-out radiance of a 1990s supermodel.