Nicola Kelleher is a professional model, actress and presenter from London. Although Nicola’s current work as television presenter means she has an incredibly busy schedule, we were delighted when she agreed to complete a Spotlight Interview for Urbanity Chic. Read the full in depth interview below where Nicola discusses, amongst other things, which modern day fashion icons she’s inspired by, how she prepares for a shoot and what motivates her to do what she does.
Q: How did you get into fashion modeling?
My mother put me in for a hairdressing model competition when I was 13 and I won a contract at a local model agency. I was a very shy girl and didn’t ever think I could be a model.
Q: How was 2010 for you?
2010 was a mad and crazy year of shoots and castings as well as being picked from a handful of presenters to present Psychic TV on channel 886. It was a fast paced year but great one.
Q: Who inspires you?
I’m inspired by anyone who follows there dreams. I came from a family with very little money but my parents always told me if you work hard enough you’ll reach your goals. I was inspired to act by Marti Kane as she was glamorous yet clumsy which is a bit like me
Q: Which modern day fashion designers or fashion icons do you look up to?
I love anything by Marchesa and am also inspired by the graduates we see coming through now. I love the way McQueen’s label has been carried on as he was an inspiration. He also didn’t take himself too seriously which is something not often seen in fashion. I also look up to Lily Cole she has done so much for redheads and I love the use of actors in fashion now. Real people are being used and that’s what beauty is about.
Q: Do you prefer to shoot on location or in the studio?
I don’t mind, I do love the studio though but am open to ideas
Q: Do you have an interesting stories about a particular photo shoot, or a casting you’d like to share? I once did a shoot in October in the sea which I nearly cancelled because I had a chest infection. I went into the sea in just gauze and it was freezing. The shoot had to look like a warm summer day but I was dying. I just imagined I was warm so we could get the shots and I could get out into the photographers warm car. They turned out to be the best shots of that year for me.
Q: How do you prepare for a fashion shoot or show?
I’m usually quite good with my diet and exercise before a shoot but I don’t stress about it. I make sure I drink loads of water and eat good food, vegetables and protein. People think models just walk or stand all day. Part of a models job is standing and posing but the rest of it is running to the location, trying on a million different outfits, waiting around in a cold studio and holding poses in one position. You need energy for that kind of stuff, if you don’t have that your body gets tried, muscles cramp up and chances are your face will show that pain.
Q: Do you have a favorite photograph?
I do have one photograph of when I had short hair. I hated the hair style but the pictures look fabulous. I love it because it was one of the last shots of the day and the rest of the models had, had enough and the photographer wanted to try something new so we changed outfits he sprinkled gold on my head and we got a great beauty shot.
Q: Who is your favorite photographer?
I would love to shoot with David Lachapelle. I loved a shot he did of Pamela Anderson which shows her half sprayed in fake tan and the rest of her body white like a canvas. He takes art, makes it beautiful then messes with it, making it macabre, funny and unsure.
Q: Is there anybody you would like to work with?
I would love to work with Rankin or David Lachapelle. I would also love to recreate the video of Chris Issak “Wicked Game” which featured Helena Christensen. She is stunning in that video and its beautifully shot
Q: What does fashion mean to you?
I have never been one to follow what others are wearing, Fashion to me is about choosing who you are and who you want to be each day. Some days I might feel glamorous while others I might want to feel comfortable. Fashion I think is designed to offer us a chance to wear what’s in season but you have to be able to create your own style and your own take on what you wear. It shows individuality and is expression from the soul.
Q: How would you define your personal style?
Classic, elegant and fun.
Q: Alongside modeling do you have any other talents?
I am a professional actress, TV presenter and singer. I currently present on Sky TV channel 886, Psychic TV. I have appeared in feature films and small roles in Holby City, Casualty and Spooks. I’m also just recording some tracks too to promote my singing.
Q: How did you get into acting?
Its the career choice I have always had, I think I wanted to be a nurse when I was 4 then I watched talent shows on TV and knew I wanted to act. I have never had different ideas about careers.
Q: Do you have any interesting projects currently in front of the camera?
Yes I’m in a feature film this summer but I cant say too much about it as its top secret. I’m also in talks to have my own fashion chat show on a terrestrial channel.
Q: Do you believe in psychic power?
Yes I work with it on my show all the time. I also trained in tarot card reading. I went on a psychic development course to see if it actually works and I got booked to do a psychic party recently as I have been predicting friends engagements, pregnancies and other things.
Q: Do you prefer modeling, acting or presenting?
I love them all, acting is my passion but I could model forever. Presenting is something I find very easy and I enjoy it as a job but to be a different character on a shoot for a modeling job or a film, something fires up in me that I can’t explain. I come alive.
Q: Where are you based?
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
I love Canary Wharf. We have access to shopping, cinema and trains. I like nothing more than popping over on the DLR to the shopping centre and shoe shopping whilst eating gelato. There are some great shops, my favourite is Massimo Dutti, it has classic, easy wearing clothes with a hint of the continent.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
Strutting down the catwalk at London Fashion week, winning miss commonwealth England was also a nice moment.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?
I have some exciting shoots planned in St Tropez in September with a great stylist in board. I also have a Fashion TV series which is being planned for mainstream TV and I have just launched a hologram of myself in Birmingham Airport which is interactive and welcomes passengers to the airport.
Q: What do you do to relax?
Relax! I never find time to, but when I feel the burn of the industry getting too much I have a floatation tank in London Bridge. I also walk my dogs and bake, I love to bake cakes and biscuits for my fiancé. The best thing about it is, even if the cakes are burnt or come out wrong he still eats them and tells me they are nice.
Q: What songs are on your iPod at the moment?
I have some 80’s classic like Sade, and Boyz II Men. I also have Adele’s new album…., Oh and Chaz n’ Dave. You can’t date a boy from Bow if that’s not on your iPod!
Q: Do you have interesting hobbies?
Apart from the baking, I enjoy climbing. I have always been good at it and it is strangely therapeutic. It also give’s me good muscle tone in my arms as I hate exercise.
Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new or aspiring models what would it be?
Never ever pay for portfolios or agent’s fees. Also, if you are using a photographer for shots that you have not met before make sure you check out what they are offering JPEG wise and check the usage on the shots. Also have fun, if you don’t enjoy what you do then don’t be a model. Or, take a break and come back when you’re rejuvenated. It’s a tough job and you need loads of stamina.
Q: What’s the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning?
Oh this sounds really bad, but checking my email is the first thing I think about, so career is on my mind as soon as I wake up. I never stop thinking about the next job and what else I can create in my life. Im a workaholic.
Q: What motivates you to do what you do?
I have always wanted to go to work and have fun, be listened to and feel like I have made a difference when I leave the studio. If I know im working with people who can offer that then that’s what motivates me to get out of bed in the morning.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
I took a break from modeling last year (Sept. 2010) to give my fiance a kidney. The surgeon was so nice, he knew I was a model so made my scars really small and low. They are almost gone now but for a while were a little dark and imposing. They are a sign of love from me to him and I would do it all again as he is my best friend.
Editor’s Note: Nicola Kelleher is an experienced model with an incredibly versatile look. We’re looking forward to seeing more of Nicola on our televisions in the coming months as her career continues to blossom.
If you’d like to learn more about or contact Nicola Kelleher, just follow the links below:
twitter link: https://twitter.com/#!/nicolakelleher
web page link: www.nicolakelleher.com