New Interview | DAYLE HADDON
Photo by Maher Attar.

Victoria Adelaide: Following a stellar career as a model for some of the biggest brands, in 1986, at 38 years old, you became a single mother after your husband’s death. When you tried to go back to the beauty industry, all your attempts were dismissed. Can you tell us about that period and how you rose to the top again?
Dayle Haddon:
I had lost my husband, and I had a young daughter to support. I was working as an actress at that time and everything was shut down to me. I reached out to the beauty and fashion industry to see if there was work there. To my big surprise, they responded, “You are over the hill; you will never work in this industry again!” I was only in my thirties, and a billion-dollar industry was telling me that I was finished. I knew they were wrong! I was just at the beginning of who I was, certainly not at the end! I went to the library, and did a lot of research. I found that there were more than 43 million baby-boomer women whom the industry was not addressing. All the creams, the magic potions, were being advertised on 20-year-old girls who certainly didn’t need them. Subconsciously, they were saying to women over 40, “You are of no value. You are invisible!” I decided I could change the perception of aging from the inside of the industry out. I was one of the first people on that wave in the early 90s. After they had told me that I was over the hill and would never work again, I signed a contract with Estée Lauder, followed by a 15-year contract with L’Oréal…


Crush Of The Week | Anna Cataldi
Photo by Maki Galimberti.

Victoria Adelaide: When did you first hear of Karen Blixen?
Anna Cataldi: The first time I heard about Karen Blixen was through an exhibition of photographer Peter Beard that I attended in New York in 1977. It was about Africa and Karen Blixen. I had no idea who she was, and all these names, Denys Finch Hatton and Kamante, did not mean anything to me. Somehow, these photographs fascinated me, and step by step, I discovered more about Karen Blixen. Ironically, all the people I spoke to, including my sister, knew who Karen Blixen was.


VA: What kind of fascination ignited your desire to make a movie about Karen Blixen’s life?
AC: In 1978, I took a journey to East Africa with my five-year-old daughter Jacaranda. First, we went to Sudan, and it was absolutely captivating, so pristine. Then we went to Kenya, but tourism was already there. I started to read Karen Blixen’s book, Out Of Africa, and through her story, I discovered what Kenya was like back then. It was so original and authentic. However, my interest broadened way beyond Karen Blixen’s existence; it was the atmosphere that she described that was incredible. So, I started to think: How could I recreate this atmosphere? Why not do a movie about life in East Africa at the time. I began to read Silence Will Speak, a study of the life of Denys Finch Hatton and his relationship with Karen Blixen, which was written by Kenya-based British author Errol Trzebinski. The idea of doing a movie on Karen Blixen’s book was already around in Hollywood. In her book, a love story is not mentioned, and to do the movie, we needed a love story. Out Of Africa is an excellent literary book, but the material we needed for the film was in Silence Will Speak. So, I contacted Errol Trzebinski…

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