My Secret Life: Helena Christensen, Supermodel, 40

My parents were
... a dream to have.

The house/flat I grew up in ... was tiny. We were five people in a one-bedroom flat, but to me it seemed enormous and very cosy.

When I was a child I wanted to be ... a child for the rest of my life. I think I've done quite well so far.

You wouldn't know it but I'm very good at ... standing on a balancing ball while punching a speed bag.

You may not know it but I'm no good at ... Where do I begin?

What I see when I look in the mirror ... Either it is early in the morning and I look kind of fuzzy, or it's late and it's dark and I look kind of fuzzy.

At night I dream of ... situations inspired by the work of artists such as Egon Schiele and Carl Larsson, Laura Ingalls Wilder's 'Little House on the Prairie' book series, and the intricate yet utterly simple compositions in nature.

If I could change one thing about myself ... I would be a tiny little flower-fairy dancing on the top of misty lakes in dark forests at night.

My favourite item of clothing ... is a Victorian full-length, hand-woven lace dress in mouse-belly colour.

I wish I'd never worn ... I never mind looking odd in the things I wear.

I drive/ride ... a veteran Morris Minor from 1968. It's a dusty grey/blue colour.

My houses are ... The one is New York is quirky, curious and full of little areas suitable for different moods. I keep my favourite piece of furniture there: it's a Gustavian gold bed, which was the first bed I ever bought. The other is a cottage by the ocean in Denmark. My dream home would be [the author and illustrator] Edward Gorey's house on Cape Cod – but if I could live anywhere, it would be a treehouse in the mountains of Nepal.

My favourite building ... is either the Duomo in Milan, or Machu Picchu in Peru. How can creations like these even exist?

A book that changed me ... could have been 'Bonjour Tristesse' by Francoise Sagan, 'The White Hotel' by DM Thomas, or 'Brave New World' by Aldous Huxley. I read them all before I was 18 years old.

Movie heaven ... would be a triple-bill of 'The Last Picture Show' by Peter Bogdanovich, then 'Le Bonheur' by Agnes Varda, finishing with 'Friday the 13th'.

My favourite works of art ... One is a pencil drawing by my son with the title 'Can This Be True?'. The other is a little owl made of rocks, tin foil and with one diamond eye, which my mum made for me.

My greatest regret ... is that I will not be around to see the discovery of the magic elixir for immortality.

The person who really makes me laugh ... is my son Mingus. Where do kids get their genuinely great sense of humour, and why does it turn into sarcasm as we get older?

The last time I cried ... was the other day. I suddenly felt a heavy sadness come over me out of nowhere. I laid down on my bed, cried for half an hour, then got up and I was fine. I never found out why.

My five-year plan ... I try not to even have a plan. Plans feel constraining, though I know that most of the time they are a necessity.

What's the point? Well, either nothing matters in the end – or everything matters so much more than we will ever understand.

My life in six words ... Is this really happening to me?......... 

A life in brief

Helena Christensen was born in Denmark on 25 December 1968 to a Danish father and a Peruvian mother. In the Nineties, at the height of her modelling career, she married actor Norman Reedus, with whom she had a son, though the couple later split up. In recent years, Christensen has taken up photography and launched her clothing line, Christensen & Sigersen. She lives in New York with her son Mingus, now 10, and is the face of the 'This Is My Habitat' campaign

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR Manager

£36000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, - 1 Year contract

£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, Stock...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Human Resource Officer and Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events business) - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk