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

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Talent Manager / HR Manager - central London - £50,000

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...

HR Manager (standalone) - London

Up to £40,000: Ashdown Group: Standalone HR Manager role for an SME business b...

HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350 - £400 per ...

Day In a Page

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor