Naomi Campbell Says Diane Von Furstenberg Encouraged Her to Take Empire Role: “I’d Given Up on Acting”

Naomi Campbell says her mentor, fashion designer Diane von Fursternberg encouraged her to play Camilla on Empire. Chuck Hodes/FOX

Encouraging words! 

Naomi Campbell is well-known for her confidence on the catwalk, but the veteran supermodel needed a little extra nudge to hop back into the acting world. Aside from hosting her own fashion modeling series, The Face, Campbell, 44, has not appeared in a character role since the 2009 Bollywood flick, Karma, Confessions and Holi. 

“I’ve known Lee [Daniels] for a long time, but when he asked me to play to role I wasn’t sure,” Campbell revealed about the show creator’s offer to Vogue magazine. “I’d kind of given up on acting.”

Campbell says she had to seek out additional encouragement from her fashion-industry mentor Diane von Fursternberg, who told her to give it one more try, according to the fashion bible. It’s a good thing Campbell listened because the ratings for Empire have gone through the roof, pushed by eager fans waiting to see how her relationship with young rapper Hakeem Lyon (played by Bryshere Y. Gray) unfolds.

The stylish Brit also lends another benefit to the show — her wardrobe. All of her sexy outfits (like the fab polka-dot number) were pulled right from the model’s closet. “When it comes to personal style, I love pencil skirts one day, and sneakers the next,” she said. “I’m not predictable.  

Be sure to tune in to Empire on Wednesday, Feb. 24, at 8 p.m. on FOX to see what the next statement-making piece she pulls out of her arsenal. 

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