“It’s just funny that this character was chosen for me because I can really relate to her, it’s a little emotional,” says Gigi Hadid about her role in the 2019 Pirelli calendar. The latest calendar, lensed by renowned photographer Albert Watson, has a cinematic theme to it as the photographer has tapped four women to play characters and tell a story of the changing nature of ambition and success.
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Hadid is certainly no stranger to success, but even the supermodel has been surprised by her own good fortune. “I think that it’s crazy because so many of the things I’ve accomplished, I didn’t think I would do, maybe ever—but definitely not so quickly,” she told Bazaar the day after shooting for the 2019 calendar.
However, Hadid’s character shows a side to fame and fortune that most of us are not privy to. She plays an aristocrat, going through something in her life where she wants to get away from everyone, so she rents the penthouse of New York’s Carlyle Hotel, and brings her trusted confidant (played by Alexander Wang) along.
“I can kind of relate in a way, because I’m always traveling alone and sometimes I find myself, after being around hundreds of people, in a setting where it seems like a lot going for me and it’s very glamorous, but at the end of the night I’m in a room by myself. I might be in a country where I don’t know anyone, in a weird time zone where no one at home is awake, and there’s no one to talk to.”
Hadid says while there can be loneliness and sadness, there’s also a beauty in it and a strength to be gained. “It’s in these moments that you learn what you need to fulfill yourself. Over the last few years, for me, that’s been going to my family’s farm and shutting off, so that when I return to work I can be present.”
Hadid noted that shooting this calendar was much different than her first time appearing in Pirelli’s 2015 calendar lensed by Steven Meisel. “I don’t think I spoke the whole day, I was so shy and terrified. But that was such a good experience, and it obviously led to amazing things for me. Now I’m a completely different model, in terms of how much I’ve learned, and I’m always striving to be better with every shoot.”
The rest of the characters in the 2019 Pirelli calendar will be played by three other female protagonists including Julia Garner, who plays a botanical photographer who dreams of becoming a well-known portrait photographer.
Prima ballerina Misty Copeland is featured alongside Calvin Royal III who both dream of becoming stars.
Last but not least is French model/actress Laetitia Casta who fantasizes about becoming a world renowned painter.
The official 2019 calendar by Albert Watson will debut later this year in December.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.