British model and actor Cara Delevingne got to be herself on screen for the first time in her forthcoming docuseries “Planet Sex” and says she realized she was more of a prude than she thought.
Speaking in Cannes at international TV market Mipcom on Tuesday, the 30-year-old told interviewer Emma Cox that the Fremantle-produced show for Hulu and the BBC took her in directions she never imagined when offering to tell her personal journey with sexuality in a series.
“I went into the masturbation seminar thinking it was going to be a classroom and I’d have a notepad, and instead it was a pink, leather gym mat on the floor, with six people going, ‘Well, take your underwear off. This is the lube,’” explained Delevingne. “I didn’t realize I was a prude. I think I’m a pretty hip, young, cool, down-with-anything kind of girl but I was like, ‘Sorry what? Sorry, no, absolutely not, I will not do that.’ But I kind of did everything I felt comfortable doing.”
There wasn’t a moment where “she had reservations,” admitted Delevingne. “I was more like, ‘What are we doing today?’ Because every day was completely different. I’m used to being a chameleon but this was absurd. One day you’re going to get your blood taken while having an orgasm, the next day you’re going to a porn library. I was like, ‘Right, okay, screw my head back on.’”
Delevingne is in Cannes to promote the show, which has already been sold to 92 markets around the world ahead of its premiere on Hulu later this year. A 10-minute preview of episode 1 was screened to audiences in the Grand Palais, with strict instruction not to photograph or film any part of the hour-long session (including Q&A). In the first minutes of the show, Delevingne — who has generally been linked to female partners — says that she is “100%” queer.
Fremantle UK boss Simon Andreae explained that the underlying theory for “Planet Sex” was that “in each episode, Cara would explore one of those big questions [about sexuality]ask it at the top, go on a voyage of discovery through laboratories, different cultures, different individuals, her own mind and body and come out the other end with a conclusion.”
But Andreae — who first conceived of the concept five years ago and attached Delevingne through their US agent at WME — wanted to avoid the “sort of classic Hollywood fence-sitting because you don’t want to offend anyone” and in the end arrive at a genuine conclusion, which he said was that “sexual orientation is finished by the time you’re born.”
Asked how the BBC is going to “handle” “Planet Sex’s” edgy subject matter, Andreae admitted that the BBC versions “are slightly different to the Hulu versions.” “There’s one further layer and section of information underneath the science a little more often, but this is the BBC and they have gone for the more — I’m not sure ‘hardcore’ is the right word — but a more explicit version of the show.”
Delevingne, who is an executive producer via her production banner Milkshake Productions, said that making the show, which was filmed during the pandemic, “opened my eyes so much.” She was eager to tackle the project because of her personal nature.
“I feel like I needed this in my life, honestly,” she said. “Maybe not to do it on camera — I mean, that was something I wanted to do for other people, but in terms of, for me, I grew up a lot. I had chosen to take a step back from love and relationships for a while before I did this and this made me realize again how much I needed to repair certain things in my life and move on from that. I really grew up a lot.”
Delevingne said she’s not come to any conclusions about her identity, but has come to accept herself “a lot more.” Asked whether it was difficult to get so personal on screen, the model said she had “signed up for this life” but hasn’t “been honest enough about this subject.”
“If I can or have had the effect I have on only one person or a group of kids, I don’t think I’ve spoken about it enough. Yes, showing me my face with someone I was in love with who happened to be the same sex, was something, but that wasn’t really enough in the real road and real journey I’ve been on in my life — the hard times , good times, great times…I was upset at myself I hadn’t done it earlier,” said Delevingne.