Kate Moss was catapulted to fame at just 17 when she appeared alongside actor Mark Whalberg in an underwear campaign for Calvin Klein. In an interview on the BBC Radio 4 Desert Island Discs show this week, she recalled feeling incredibly vulnerable and scared during the shoot. Despite the career-defining moment, her memories “are not very good”.
Speaking on the actor she told the outlet, “He was very macho, and it was all about him. He had a big entourage. I was just this kind of model.” Whalberg was well known for being surrounded by a group of rowdy friends which is believed to have inspired the HBO series Entourage.
In one famous image, Moss is seen with her legs wrapped around the star as she poses topless. “I think they played on my vulnerability,” she said of the photo. “I was quite young and innocent, so Calvin loved that.” Moss admitted that she also suffered from “severe anxiety” prior to the shoot and was prescribed Valium to cope. “I really didn’t feel well at all before the shoot. For like, a week or two, I couldn’t get out of bed.”
In a 2020 interview with The Guardian, Whalberg responded to working with Moss, admitting, “I think I was probably a little rough around the edges. Kind of doing my thing. I wasn’t very … worldly, let’s say that.”
Moss has recently been named the creative director of Diet Coke. In reflecting on her early career with the BBC, she added that her famous quote “Nothing Tastes As Good As Skinny Feels”, was taken out of context.
“I think I was a scapegoat for a lot of people’s problems,” she said. “I was never anorexic — I never have been. I had never taken heroin. I was thin because I didn’t get fed at shoots or shows and I had always been thin.”
Nowadays Moss has realigned her career with the likes of Kim Kardashian’s shapewear brand, Skims.