Diana Silvers – Girl on Film
May 16, 2022
Culture & Music
Daria Kobayashi Ritch
Daria Kobayashi Ritch
On-screen, Diana Silvers is quietly compelling, in any of her roles the tenderness and thought she brings to her performance are evident. In person she’s no different, her answers are considered but definite and delivered with a confidence, grace and warmth that immediately draws you in. This warmth is the thing that might not be so evident to the world, after all Silvers is frequently cast as the mean girl, but as we find her history as a model and photographer means Silvers knows just how to channel things for the lens whatever the role might demand.
Louis Vuitton dress, Roger Vivier shoes, stylist’s own socks
Any young actress will always draw comparisons at the start of their career and for Silvers it’s Julia Roberts (something she’s acknowledged via a tongue-in-cheek TikTok post in the past) and herein lies her charm. Instead of deflect- ing, she takes it in her stride, and quietly focuses on what excites her instead. Part of this is an immense focus, something honed from her childhood pursuits as an athlete and cellist, a sense of competition but as she puts it, “I’m only competitive if I give myself a reason to be. So I’m mostly just competitive with myself because I think that’s like the best way to be.” This is also something she employs in her work, using that expertise and discipline to embody characters who are so different to herself.
A notable example of this is that of Kate in Birds of Paradise, a demanding role not only because it required immense physicality as a dancer but because the character is rapidly losing herself in the pursuits of her dream. I asked how she prepares to play some- one who’s in a negative space and outwardly projecting that. Her first reference point is Michael Jordan and how he’d dig to find something to dislike in an opponent, “To give himself permission, to go crazy and win in a very aggressive way”. For her, playing a mean girl is an equally sporting opportunity, there’s an element of competitiveness and fun there too. “Playing someone with a chip on their shoulder, you get to explore that in a person to be like, what is their trigger point? What is something that is in them, that they project on others to give themselves permission to move through the world in this kind of negative way.“
In person Silvers is extremely nice in a non-saccharine manner, she’s kind but not afraid to rebuff any questions or suggestions that don’t sit right with her, but always with a really thoughtful and clever response. Part of this is her upbringing, as one of six kids she had to hustle but it also speaks to a deeper personal philosophy which is evolving for her.
Paul Smith skirt, Roger Vivier shoes, stylist’s own tank top & socks, Omega watch, Diana’s own sunglasses
“My big resolution is to remind myself every single day to just let things go. Obviously I could sit here and think of all of the bad things or the people that have wronged me or whatever, and then be a really miserable per- son or I could just let it go, because ultimately that’s like a much better way to live.”
Another aspect of Silvers is her artistry behind the camera, with shoots for Celine and Brandy Melville under her belt she’s also adept on both sides of the camera. We talk about how both worlds collide for her. “I think they feed each other and I think I want to get more behind the camera throughout my career.”
For her, being able to explore all creative avenues is still an exciting prospect, something she finds very freeing, citing a conversation with an ex who told her, “You don’t have to be stuck in this acting thing, I was like, ‘I’m not stuck in anything. Like, I love this thing that I do’. But he asked me ‘But do you wanna try other things?‘“ In true Silvers style this only presented an opportunity to frame things in a more positive light. “I was like, well, that’s the beautiful thing about the world of filmmaking, that there’s so many different roles within it. There’s acting, there’s writing, directing, cinematography and set design. I mean, so many! There’s hair and makeup, costumes, all of these creative things that come together. Music, music supervision and soundtrack and scoring. It’s the coolest thing, because it’s all of these things that I love so much combined into one thing. And on top of it all, as an actor, when you play people who have a different skillset that you don’t have, or they’re a different person, or you’re playing a historical figure, you then get to learn all about them, learn history, learn a new skill.”
This sense of gratitude is really evident, as she puts it, “I’m the luckiest person in the whole world. I don’t feel stuck or trapped in any way, shape or form. I feel like there’s all of this room to grow, all of this margin for error.”
Celine jacket, crop tank, trousers, belt & boots, Omega watch
MM6 MAISON MARGIELA shirt & trousers, Omega watch
Valentino suit & shirt, Celine boots
Her acting definitely fuels her creative ambitions in a broader sense too. “The cool thing is, as someone who is also interested in being behind the camera, I get to learn all that when I’m in front of it too. It’s the best. I’m really so lucky. I love being on set so much because I feel so at home there.” We discuss when she first began to be in front of the camera and her modelling work, and the pragmatism with which she de- scribes it is intriguing, “I modelled to put myself through school. It’s interesting to be a model and then to be an actor who models some- times. It’s very different. I’ve been able to do some really cool editorials and work with insane photographers that I’ve admired for years, which is really awesome.”
If anything, her work as an ac- tor has deepened her relationship to fashion and introduced her to new aspects of that world. “I have an appreciation for fashion, I really love when brands like Chanel and Gucci and Prada incorporate actors into cool campaigns and make short films.”
She describes a trip to the Venice Film Festival with Miu Miu as a pivotal moment, “I got to watch these films they had created, all made by women and meet a great group of women that are so badass and so talented and really moving the needle.” For her, this feels like the brand practicing what they preach and sharing a compel- ling narrative, which is something she’s happy to get behind.
Recently she’s become an ambassador for Celine and has shot herself in their new collection, for her a perfect fusion of worlds but that’s not where her creative exploits end. She also shot something for Italian Vogue which she describes as a “really special, crazy, surreal moment shooting at Milk studios in New York! I had to pinch myself like, it’s me for Italian Vogue. I don’t know what I’m doing here, but I’m really happy to be here.”
This highlights one of the real joys about Diana Silvers, she’s just as excited as any of us would be to get to experience these things. A reality for her has also been dealing with huge losses when her family home was destroyed in fires in California, we discuss if the pandemic gave her time to grieve, a process she credits as much with who’s around you as dealing with the emotions themselves. “I feel like it really is like the company you keep as well. For a large, large part of the pandemic, I wasn’t keeping the best company and I wasn’t really putting myself first and what could have been spent on things like personal stuff was spent not doing that. Then life catches up with you. And at the end of 2021, it was like, alright, let’s sit and reflect. Let’s grieve and let’s process and let’s forgive and let’s have compassion for ourselves.“
Photographer: Daria Kobayashi Ritch
Styling: Sean Knight
Model: Diana Silvers
Make-up: Nina Park at Kalpana
Hair: Tiago Goya at Forward Artists
Nails: Steph Stone at Forward Artists
Photographers assistant: Kaleb Marshall
Stylist’s assistant: Jack WIlson