Svea Berlie may be the coolest 18 year old I’ve ever met. From her amazing taste in music to her excellent cooking skills this young woman has the world at her fingertips. She may be new to New York but she has been captured by the energy and aliveness of the city she calls home now. With so many roads ahead of her it will be exciting to see Svea’s career develop further.
Birthplace: Nijmegen, Netherlands
Agency: Marilyn Agency
You started modeling at 13, did you do anything before that?
I worked for an Art Photographer for two years and before that I was a little kid.
What did you do for the Art Photographer?
Every month we did one or two photo shoots for art collections. I was making about 35 euro a session, which was big money for me since we didn’t have much when I was growing up.
That’s pretty amazing.
It really was. With fashion it is more about the clothes, but with art photography it’s all about how your body is compared to your expression. It was all about the expression in your eyes without making crazy faces. It really helped me a lot I believe and I loved doing that –I miss doing that.
How did you get into modeling?
Right before I turned 14 I was about to submit my photos to agencies, but my mother agent now, sent me an email asking if I was interested and if I was to have my parents to contact her since I was so young. My parents liked that and were supportive. We met five days later and I got my first paid job.
You’ve been in New York how long?
Two months, but I’ve been gone a lot too working.
How do you like it?
I love the city.
What is your favorite part about New York?
I think walking around SoHo at 1 am is just magical. I grew up in countryside so I love nature, but the whole city engages you.
Engages you how?
I don’t know — just the whole atmosphere the feeling you get when you’re here you’re so alive — when I go to my hometown it will be so boring, there will be nobody out on the streets — it is old and small and this is big and people in the streets all the time and things going on all the time.
Where did your taste in music come from?
My Dad, well my step-dad — when I met him he had 3000 cds and 1000 records and he always played music. I always enjoyed music and it always helped me through hard time. The first time I met my step-dad went to see this Dutch band play and I remember being so entranced by it, the music, the lyrics, it all just felt right — for how I was feeling at the time.
Who is one your favorite musicians?
Johnny Cash, I love his music. His deep voice, his lyrics, they are amazing. Either Folsom Prison Blues or Would You Lay with Me are my favorites of his.
How did you start cooking?
My mother was not such a good cook, so we got some cookbooks and started cooking from them and I started following her lead from the books and I just did what I felt tasted right
Ever since I was 3 or 4 I told my parents I wanted to be a chef. Then I met my friends when I was 14 and they were chasing their dreams and I figured why shouldn’t I chase my dreams and have my own pâtisserie and I started baking more and making cakes for everyone
What is your favorite thing to cook?
I like cooking desserts and everything that has to do with baking — what I enjoy most is when I see people loving my food.
Do you find it cathartic to cook?
Yes – I did big dinner on Friday and Thursday night I found out my dads friend passed away and I was very upset. Friday when I was cooking it put me at ease, I normally like to be alone in the kitchen but I had a friend that day and she was very helpful. Writing does the same for me, I like to write poetry to clear my head.
Do you eat a lot?
Yes I eat a shit load! I eat whatever I want but I try to limit my sugar.
Do you workout?
No. I hate to workout. I walk a lot around the city, but that doesn’t count — I think.
You mentioned you’ve started to party less?
Everyone says the city never sleeps and there is always something to do, but you go to the same place every week – every Thursday you go to Darbys and see the same people and the only way to have fun is to get really drunk and have fun with people you’re with — me, I want to really focus on my work right now. I partied hard already and saw what it was doing to me –I don’t want to look terrible at castings. There’s too much I want to do, it’s just not worth it.
Are you grateful for your experiences modeling?
Yes! It’s every little girls dream – what 15 yr old girl could say they’ve been to South Africa and do a photo shoot with an elephant!
You also talked about acting.
I would love to act. I’ve always been into it since I was a kid
My favorite actresses are probably Kiera Knightly and Reese Witherspoon and Kirsten Dunst – Dunst is kinda my icon because she started out as a model and then started acting and she is amazing in Marie Antoinette – those actresses inspire me to pursue an acting career.