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    Adrianna Gradziel

    Rome is the city that inspires me the most, because of the Italian language and some kind of special connection to Italy that I can't explain, maybe from a former life...
    Photography by Francois Rotger.

    Where did you grow up?
    I grew up in Vienna, Austria.

    Have you kept your friends from back home?
    Many of them moved out of Vienna but I keep contact with them. I am lucky that my friendships are very long and fruitful.

    How much have you changed over the years?
    It's strange but I think I’ve changed lives at least 10 times but on the other hand I often feel like I haven't changed at all! But I definitely have become more mature and a less nervous person in the last few years.

    What city/place inspires you most?
    Italy, especially Rome. Because of the Italian language and some kind of special connection to Italy that I can't explain, maybe from a former life. There are also a lot of amazing people I was lucky to meet who live there.

    What person inspires you most?
    So many people. Starting with my parents, all of my good friends, Leonard Cohen, Romy Schneider, Chopin, Janis Joplin, Tina Turner, Charlotte Rampling… but if I had to pick one out of them it would be Romy Schneider because of her immense talent, beauty and generosity in her acting career.

    Would you classify yourself as a model, is that a word you would use?
    Sure, model is a word I use a lot to classify my job but I am not a model as a person. It's how I earn my living and a job that has thought me a lot about life, people and myself and how to be independent.

    And how did you begin your career as a model?
    My agent from Vienna, who's one of my dearest friends, suggested I should try it. I gave it a shot at 17 years old and moved to Paris straight away.

    Do you feel you are part of a community or do you walk/work alone?
    Definitely part of a community. I think that in life you don't do anything alone. I like solitude a lot but you can only achieve and learn by other people. Sharing life with others is the most precious thing for me.

    Do you create controversy in what you do, and do you really care?
    Well lets put it this way, having chosen the life of a vagabond in a job that is not seen as a "serious" one by many people, yes I think that creates controversy. Do I care? I did, but now I don’t. I am more or less happy with myself and I don't let others tell me what the right way in life is as I don't allow myself to give advice if someone hasn’t asked me to. I have to experience and feel life myself and I only take advice from the ones I love.

    Where’s the most beautiful place you’ve ever been?
    Inle Lake and Bagan in Burma. It took my breath away.

    What's the most beautiful thing someone ever told you?
    A friend of my mother’s once said; ‘whenever you start feeling unhappy in a situation, just let go of it and leave’. It's a simple yet complicated thing to do and I always remember her saying it to me before I left home.

    Do you believe in beauty, and how important is it for you?
    Such a corny thing to say but the only beauty I believe in is the inner one which I define by being brave, good to others, considerate, empathetic, generous, kind, opening your eyes to the world and trying to be the best version of yourself every day.

    We often make sacrifices for someone/something beautiful. Would you or have you ever?
    It depends, I am in a selfish phase right now in which I don't think about sacrificing a lot. I'm happy being single right now and planning on staying so for the next few years.
    The word sacrifice seems negative to me. When I sacrificed something for something beautiful it never seemed like a sacrifice for me but rather like an effort I was happy to do.

    Do you think we all care/talk too much about beauty?
    Oh yes we definitely do and it scares me. I was obsessed for a long time about fitting into an image defined by the industry of modelling and advertising. Honestly, today I don't care anymore. What helped me was being surrounded by creative, smart and accomplished people, who seemed to be constantly reinventing the word "beauty" by their own, intelligent measures.

    What's the most beautiful thing you've ever done?
    Wow it's hard to choose one thing. But last year I went to do street-theatre in the mountains of Abruzzo in Italy. It was one of the most beautiful, strongest experiences so far. There were around 60 people from five countries all over Europe and we had to create a show together in a medieval village in only seven days. It was fantastic working on a project with people whom you didn’t speak the same language, from completely different cultures and habits.

    What is the most important thing for you now?
    Working on my acting career as well as on relationships with friends and family.

    How much of a good thing is too much of a good thing?
    Any abuse of drugs alcohol etc. I'd say can be depressing. I live by the mantra; ‘work hard, play hard, work harder’.

    What would be a perfect day, from morning to night?
    Waking up at 7am. It is sunny. A jog or walk in a forest then swimming in a forest lake. Feeding animals, making a great breakfast of eggs, bacon, fresh fruit and the most important thing: coffee! Then working on a script, or reading and learning something new for a couple of hours, eating amazing sashimi for lunch, singing, seeing a friend and having a laugh. More singing with someone who knows how to play hundreds of songs on a guitar around a fireplace with friends, good wine, making love and falling asleep in the arms of someone you love at around midnight and dreaming of anything really. I love dreaming.

    What would be the best thing to happen to you right now?
    Sitting around a table talking to Leonard Cohen, Romy Schneider and Krzysztof Kieślowski.

    What would be the worst?
    Someone I love dying. (Don't even want to think about that)

    Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
    I want to do a lot of movies and develop creative projects, working with my friends and maybe having at least two kids. I’d like to create an institution that helps young models with legal advice, nutrition issues, and other issues they may face because I know how beautiful but also how hard the job can be and that some girls are alone out there.

    Is there a compliment that annoys you?
    Any compliment that is not honest.