Emily Ratajkowski is an American actress and model. Born to American parents in London and raised primarily in California, she rose to prominence in 2013 after appearing in the music video for Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”, which became the number one song of the year in several countries and attracted controversy over its purportedly sexist content.
Let’s find out some interesting facts about her!
1. Emily O’Hara Ratajkowski was born on June 7, 1991, in Westminster, London.
2. She is the only child of Kathleen Balgley and John David “J. D.”Ratajkowski, both American.
3. Balgley, a professor of English, was teaching under the Fulbright Program, when she met J. D., a painter and art teacher, while they were both teaching at San Dieguito Academy.
4. At the time of their daughter’s birth, they were aged 39 and 45, respectively, and unmarried.
5. Ratajkowski describes her mother as a “feminist and intellectual”.
6. The family lived in West Kensington and Bloomsbury before they settled in the United States in San Diego, California, when Ratajkowski was five.
7. She was raised primarily in nearby Encinitas in a small house near the ocean.
8. Balgley formerly taught at California Polytechnic State University.
9. Ratajkowski is of Polish, Irish and Polish Jewish descent.
10. Her father was raised Catholic, while her mother was raised Jewish.
11. Ratajkowski describes her heritage as “Polish Israeli”.
12. She lived in, and traveled to, many parts of Europe as a youth, including long periods in the Irish town of Bantry and on the Spanish island of Mallorca.
13. She spent her young adult summers in Ireland until she became a full-time model
14. Before Ratajkowski left London at the age of five, she was obsessed with theater.
15. She began acting as a child, staging shows for her family.
16. Ratajkowski’s first formal role was as Elsa in an adaptation of The Little Match Girl at the North Coast Repertory Theatre School in Solana Beach, California.
17. Later, in 2004, she played Harriet in the interactive Lyceum Theatre production of Harriet Potter and the Throne of Applewort.
18. Ratajkowski grew up without television.
19. She tried soccer, acting, and ballet before modeling.
20. Ratajkowski visited nude beaches in Europe with her family during her youth.
21. Exposure to the nude female figure in photography and art during her formative years, including the work of her father, as well as the photography of Helmut Newton and Herb Ritts, prepared Ratajkowski for nude work.
22. She is comfortable with the naked body, and states, “We have this culture of men, especially, watching pornography, but then [they are] offended by a classic nude portrait or photograph, and I’ve never felt that way.”
23. Ratajkowski was also influenced by third-wave feminism and works such as The Beauty Myth and Promiscuities by Naomi Wolf.
24. She was a physically mature young teenager who endured pressure to limit expressing her sexuality and how she presented herself.
25. With encouragement from an acting coach, Ratajkowski met and signed with a talent agent who contacted Ford Models.
26. That same day, she signed with Ford at age 14 and went on to do teen print catalog modeling for Kohl’s and Nordstrom.
27. At 15, Ratajkowski began auditioning for Disney and iCarly roles, but as she pursued acting she was often cast as a “bitchy girl”, cheerleader, or other limited role.
28. She attended San Dieguito Academy high school in San Diego, while modeling and acting in Los Angeles.
29. After two nondescript movie roles, she appeared as Gibby’s girlfriend, Tasha, in two episodes of the third season of Nickelodeon’s iCarly (2009–2010).
30. Her manager discouraged her from pursuing many acting engagements until she could be more selective.
31. Ratajkowski attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) for one year in 2009, then decided to model full-time.
32. She found the fine art education at the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture arbitrary and in conflict with her artistic concepts.
33. She did not enjoy socializing with fellow students.
34. After campaigns and editorials with photographer Tony Duran, Ratajkowski began shooting more fashion editorials and posed for several early issues of the artistic erotica magazine treats!, including the cover of its third issue, in March 2012.
35. She credits that cover for bringing her the two unsolicited, high-profile, music video roles.
36. Ratajkowski later filmed commercials for Nikon and Carl’s Jr., including multiple versions of a 2012 Carl’s Jr. commercial with Sara Jean Underwood.
37. She also did nude and clothed art magazine modeling, including a May 2012 shoot with Jonathan Leder, as well as work for Frederick’s of Hollywood.
38. A 2012 holiday video and a 2011 Valentine’s video in which Ratajkowski appeared for the company are among the most popular videos on the company’s YouTube channel.
39. Ratajkowski worked with photographer Tony Kelly for the March 2013 GQ Turkey cover.
40. Ratajkowski appeared in Robin Thicke, T.I., and Pharrell Williams’s 2013 video, “Blurred Lines”.
41. Previously, Ratajkowski had been cast in two other music videos: “Fast Car” by Taio Cruz, which was released on November 5, 2012, and Maroon 5’s “Love Somebody”, which was released two months after “Blurred Lines”.
42. “Love Somebody”, shot on January 13, and “Blurred Lines” were both produced in 2013.
43. The video for “Love Somebody” was released on May 21, 2013.
44. Directed by Rich Lee, it shows bare-chested Adam Levine using inverse green screen technology to rub paint onto Ratajkowski with his hands. As they touch, they reveal each other.
45. Thicke had seen Ratajkowski’s treats! cover that The New York Times’s Bee Shapiro described as “an artfully composed black-and-white photograph of Ms. Ratajkowski sitting completely nude with her knees tucked to her chest” and convinced director Diane Martel to cast her in the “Blurred Lines” music video.
46. Martel felt that “she looked smart and stunningly beautiful” in the photo.
47. Ratajkowski initially declined the role, fearing being classified as a music video model, but Martel persuaded her.
48. The video was released on March 20, 2013.
49. On March 28, Thicke posted an explicit version, with a topless Ratajkowski.
50. “Blurred Lines” was controversial: its video was called sexist for its perceived degradation of women, and some felt its lyrics promoted rape.
51. Others disagreed,asserting that the lyrics supported female power and sexual freedom.
52. Martel defended Ratajkowski’s performance, saying: “it’s very, very funny and subtly ridiculing.”
53. Ratajkowski did not think of the video as sexist and claimed that the producers, through the use of humor and sarcasm, “took something that on paper sounded really sexist and misogynistic and made it more interesting”.
54. She said that the song “gave me an opportunity to say the things that I felt about feminism today and about women in general in pop culture.”
55. Ratajkowski did not feel objectified and enjoyed performing in a sexual manner: the attention given to the nudity in the video, she said, shows that America has not advanced as far as it should have, and, she believes, society represses sexuality, which is bad for both sexes.
56. “Blurred Lines”, and Ratajkowski’s associated video performance, was prominent beyond the sociopolitical controversies.
57. The song became the number one song of 2013 on music charts in many countries, including Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
58. Although second on the year-end US Billboard Hot 100 chart, the song’s twelve consecutive weeks at number one made it the longest-running number one song of the decade until “Uptown Funk” spent fourteen consecutive weeks at number one in 2015.
59. The song also remained in the news due to a copyright infringement lawsuit and appeal.
60. The “Blurred Lines” video garnered Ratajkowski notoriety, especially as a sex symbol.
61. In October 2013, Esquire magazine named Ratajkowski “Woman of the Year”, over online fan vote finalist Jennifer Lawrence.
62. That December, Rolling Stone magazine listed her among its twenty hottest sex symbols.
63. In February 2014, Sports Illustrated magazine named Ratajkowski as one of twelve 50th anniversary swimsuit issue rookies. In April, FHM ranked her the fourth sexiest woman in the world.
64. Maxim magazine included Ratajkowski at number 62 on its 2014 Hot 100 list.
65. AskMen ranked her the third most desirable woman of 2014.
66. Ratajkowski was on the July 2013 cover of CR Fashion Book, which included erotic scenes with Karlie Kloss and male models, photographed by Bruce Weber.
67. On June 24, she appeared topless in the July 2014 American GQ cover story, photographed by Michael Thompson. A controversy ensued at retailer Lands’ End, some of whose customers received the issue for free. Some customers objected to the racy images, forcing Lands’ End CEO Edgar Huber to apologize.
68. Ratajkowski leveraged her sudden prominence into supporting roles in major films. Ratajkowski played Andie Fitzgerald, the mistress of Ben Affleck’s character, in David Fincher’s 2014 adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s novel Gone Girl.
69. Days after Gone Girl’s September 26, 2014, New York Film Festival premiere, Ratajkowski became the cover model for the November 2014 issue of Cosmopolitan.
70. On October 30, 2014, she appeared with Taylor Kitsch in the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare live-action trailer.
71. Ratajkowski co-starred in the 2015 film Entourage as a fictionalized version of herself, playing the love interest of Adrian Grenier’s character, Vincent Chase.
72. Ratajkowski earned her first leading role, opposite Zac Efron, in We Are Your Friends, a musical drama released in August 2015. She played Stanford University dropout Sophie, the love interest of Efron’s character and girlfriend/personal assistant of Wes Bentley’s character.
73. Around the time of the release of We Are Your Friends, Ratajkowski appeared on the covers of Grazia France, British GQ, harper by Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle UK, and InStyle Australia, as well as a role as a 2015 MTV Video Music Awards presenter.
74. Soon after, on September 17, 2015, she made her runway debut for Marc Jacobs at the spring/summer 2016 New York Fashion Week finale. This appearance contributed to her number one listing among Vogue’s 12 Breakout Beauty Stars of 2015.
75. For fall/winter 2016 fashions, Ratajkowski walked the Paris Fashion Week runway for Miu Miu on March 9, 2016.
76. She has expressed the desire to break barriers for shorter and more curvaceous models, commenting: “You don’t have to be 5’9″ and an A-cup to be a successful model.”
77. Los Angeles-based jewelry designer Jacquie Aiche featured Ratajkowski in a spring 2016 campaign wearing almost nothing but body chains, rings, bracelets, pendants, and chokers.
78. In May, Ratajkowski appeared in the Russian-language music video “Inseparable” (sometimes translated as “Indivisible”) with Russian entertainer Dima Bilan as a photographer and Ratajkowski as his muse.
79. As of June 2016, Ratajkowski has a variety of upcoming roles. She will play Jessica Weintraub, the female lead opposite Spencer Boldman in the film Cruise, which is written and directed by Robert Siegel.
80. Ratajkowski was hired as part of the cast of the film In Darkness, alongside Natalie Dormer, Ed Skrein, and Stacy Martin. She will also be involved in Joe Swanberg’s Netflix series, Easy.
81. Ratajkowski was one of five models to appear on the August 2016 Vogue Germany alternate covers along with Stella Maxwell, Irina Shayk, Lily Aldridge and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Along with Joan Smalls and Kate Upton, Ratajkowski was one of three models for the October Glamour cover.
82. In February 2014, Ratajkowski broke up with her boyfriend Andrew Dryden, a creative director and menswear buyer.
83. In September 2014, Ratajkowski was a victim in a female celebrity hacking and internet posting wave of stolen nude iCloud photographs.
84. In December 2014, Us Weekly confirmed she had begun dating musician Jeff Magid.
85. Ratajkowski has raised funds, done public service announcements, and committed to a short film promoting reproductive and sexual health for Planned Parenthood (PPFA).
86. She describes PPFA as her main charity because of its role in women’s health. Ratajkowski’s involvement has drawn ire from right to life advocates such as the National Right to Life Committee.
87. Ratajkowski says that she enjoys freedom of sexual expression “while still being a feminist”, and is outspoken about using her celebrity to support the empowerment of women and women’s sexuality. Amanda Hess of Slate questioned whether she is a feminist or an opportunist exploiting feminism. In The New York Times, Ratajkowski expressed her frustration that “society somehow feels that women can’t manage to be political, feminist and a sex symbol”.
88. She has called society’s reaction to the naked female form “weird”. As a woman who enjoys expressions of the body ranging from ballet to pornography, Ratajkowski feels that she can be nude in her professional work and also support equality for women.
89. On the eve of the February 2016 New Hampshire Democratic primary, Ratajkowski spoke at a Bernie Sanders rally in New Hampshire to endorse his campaign.