Rosie Huntington-Whiteley Says Her Modeling Career Led to Her Being Seen ‘Two-Dimensionally’

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
Photo: Courtesy of Quibi. Design: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.

In the first five seconds of her new Quibi series, About Face, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley asks Kylie Jenner what the biggest misconception is about her. “Everyone has this idea that female celebrities are just, like, bitches,” Kylie responds. “When people meet me, they’re always shocked.”

For Huntington-Whiteley, the most common misconception about her is similar. “One thing I hear a lot from people is, ‘Oh. You’re much warmer in real life than I thought you were going to be,” Huntington-Whiteley tells StyleCaster. “For me, that’s such a wonderful compliment. I love that I can turn somebody’s impression around.”

About Face, which premieres on Quibi on Monday, August 10, follows Huntington-Whiteley around the world, from Los Angeles to Dubai, as she interviews six beauty moguls about their careers and brands. Along with her episode about Kylie Cosmetics, About Face also includes Huntington-Whiteley’s interviews with Glossier founder Emily Weiss, Huda Beauty’s Huda Kattan, OUAI’s Jen Atkin, Korean beauty influencer Pony, and celebrity makeup artist Sir John, whose clients include Beyoncé and Naomi Campbell.

“It was important that we had a well-rounded group of interviewees for this show,” Huntington-Whiteley says. “I wanted to peel back the layers on each of their stories. They each had a unique story to tell and a different approach to their work. All of their brands are very different.”

"About Face" Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

Image: Courtesy of Quibi.

For Huntington-Whiteley, it was also a “no-brainer” that her list of guests to also be inclusive and diverse. “That’s the world that we live in,” she says. “It’s important to me that each and everybody had an opportunity to tell their stories. [Inclusivity] is in everything that I do in my work with Rose Inc. It’s always been important to me that we have an inclusive company and brand in every way. It was a no-brainer that this was how it was going to be.”

Ahead, Huntington-Whiteley talked to StyleCaster about how her beauty site, Rose Inc., inspired the idea for About Face, her dream guests for season 2 and why she’s often seen as “two-dimensional.” 

On how About Face came about

About Face is a concept I came up with when I launched my own beauty website, Rose Inc., and I was learning about and meeting so many people behind the scenes of these beauty brands, just by covering their products on the site and working with them on various different projects. What became apparent to me was we were only able to scratch the surface on the storytelling behind these founders and beauty moguls.  As an individual that’s fascinated by entrepreneurism, I really wanted to learn more about what it takes to be an entrepreneur today. I met with Quibi and was super blown away by their groundbreaking technology before the platform had launched. I left feeling like, ‘That’s the perfect platform and the perfect home to tell these stories.’ I loved the idea of being able to tell these stories in a quick, fast-paced way and a bite-sized way. ‘Quick bite’ is what Quibi stands for. That was how the idea came about.”

On what she learned from her guests

“ feel like I left my time with every one of them having learned something or feeling inspired. I flew to Dubai to interview Huda. I had never been to Dubai before. Seeing her tenacity and passion for building a brand in that part of the globe and watching her go from being a YouTube star to now having a massive, global billion-dollar brand, she has this essence of a strong entrepreneur.Sir John was incredible because he approaches his work with such artistry. He applies makeup in a way that he’s conveying an emotion, and he’s really trying to trigger a reaction from the viewer or the crowds of people who are watching his clients. Emily Weiss has an amazing story because here’s a girl who was working for a magazine as an intern and had this cool idea to start a blog that grew into this makeup line. Her timing is so relevant to her story. She’s just this regular girl who has this entrepreneurial spirit to her. Pony was a great episode because here’s this Korean megastar influencer. She did her makeup on me, and that was really fun. Getting to go to Kylie’s office was fantastic. I’ve been lucky enough to meet Kylie several times over the years. Her really sweet sensibility and her scrappiness and the way she connects with her audience on social media. How she came up with the idea for Kylie Cosmetics and how she executed it, it really disrupted the industry on a whole new level. And then Jen Atkin, who has been a friend of mine over the last few years. She’s done my hair countless times. I’ve been her friend first and foremost, so I was proud to walk into her office and see everything that she’s built today.. All of the interviewees were so generous to allow me to get to the heart of their stories and the challenges they had to overcome. That’s what makes each of these episodes meaningful.”

"About Face" Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

Image: Courtesy of Quibi.

On her dream guests for season 2

“I would love to feature Rihanna, of course. I would love to speak with Lady Gaga about her new brand. Tracee Ellis Ross. I’m really loving what she’s doing with her haircare brand. Carisa Janes from Hourglass is such an incredible founder who I’ve spent a lot of time with over the last few years. She’s become a real mentor of mine, so I’d love to get to the core of her story more. Jessica Alba from Honest Beauty. The list goes on.”

On the filming process for About Face

“We filmed one day per episode. We were very fast and furious with the way we went about filming. We didn’t have a lot of time. We sat with each founder for probably an hour, maybe two hours max. Each episode had to be storyboarded out. I spent a bit more time getting bits of footage that didn’t have the founder in it, and then obviously all the products shots and the shots of the environment. We wanted to make it a low lift for all of these founders and these individuals, so we were able to come into their world and not interrupt their busy days and get their story.”

On the “biggest misconception” about her

“The biggest misconception about me is similar to what Kylie said. One thing I hear a lot from people is, ‘Oh. You’re much warmer in real life than I thought you were going to be. A lot more accommodating and approachable than I thought you would be.’ That probably comes from the fact that, having been a model for so many years and being seen quite two-dimensionally and in this very polished, final image, you don’t get to convey all aspects of your personality. When people meet me, they’re often surprised that I’m warmer in real life than they may have thought otherwise. For me, that’s such a wonderful compliment. I love that I can turn somebody’s impression around.”

Our mission at STYLECASTER is to bring style to the people, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale.

New Entertainment Newsletter