slick woods on identity, motherhood, and her acting debut
A wildly candid conversation between the model and director Sam de Jong about their new movie ‘Goldie'.
Still from Goldie.
This article originally appeared on i-D US.
Slick Woods is not afraid to be herself. She doesn’t hold back and she certainly doesn’t censor herself in interviews. The model, i-D cover star and now actor even let it slip that when she covered The Creativity Issue, two years back, she wasn’t sure which eye to cover. “Leomie Anderson is the realest bitch in the world because when I was doing i-D she googled which eye I was supposed to cover. She was like, ‘It’s the right one.’ She texted me while I was on set,” Slick says. “She’s one of the only models in the industry that does not have any jealousy in her heart. I was like, okay sis. That’s my girl.”
Slick is confident and incredibly candid. She owns it. In fact, that’s why Dutch filmmaker Sam de Jong found Slick so suited for the lead role in his new film Goldie. The film, produced by VICE Studios, tells the story of a precocious teenager living in a family shelter, trying to keep her sisters together, all the while pursuing her dream of becoming a dancer. It’s about displaced youth, ambition, and keeping spirits up in the face of adversity. It’s a story that Slick knows well, and it’s partially inspired by her own experience as a homeless teen living in Los Angeles. And look at her now.
i-D sat down with Woods and de Jong, during a brief moment of not so much repose, but beer-fuelled frenzy, at Tribeca Film Festival to chat about their new film Goldie.
How are you both? Have you had interviews all day?
Slick Woods: Yes, sir. What is this... Hoeegarden?
Sam de Jong: I don’t know, it’s some bullshit.
SW: It ain’t no IPA motherfuckers.
Slick, this film marks your acting debut. What’s it been like for you?
SW: It was new, but it was lit. I’m working on a new film right now. It’s dope. I like to be immortal, so it’s nice to have an immortal surface to tread on when it comes to my career because modelling, your pictures are gone in a week. You know what I’m saying? Having a film, it makes me feel a little more immortal.
SJ: But as a model, don’t your photos live on too?
SW: They do, but it’s dope that I have the movie.
SJ: Yeah, it’s nice that you have both. You’re multifaceted.
SW: Multifaceted n----.
How would you compare modelling to working on a film?
SW: When modelling started, it used to be like a canvas. If you were the blankest canvas, you were the best model in the world. Like Naomi Campbell, you could make her into anything. She’s a white girl dipped in chocolate. She looks like white. So, yeah, you could do all these things. I think that working on a film, it’s more freeing. You could see my personality. You can see where I’m coming from. You know my accent. You can see how I talk. So, it’s dope. And working with a director like Sam is dope because he has this vision and it’s like completely profound. We’d do a couple scenes and go over and over it, but we’d end up getting what Sam wants. And when I see what Sam wants, it’s beautiful.
SJ: I just wanted you to give the best performance.
SW: But you saw in me more than I saw in myself. You’d be like, we can do that again and it’ll be better. Sam definitely brought a different person out of me.
SJ: I’m curious how your next movie is going to be.
SW: Well, I’m a porn star so… it’s fake fucking.
Sam, in what ways has Slick inspired you to make this film?
SJ: In many ways. Just meeting her three years ago made us both realise that she wanted to act and I thought she would be great. For me, just knowing that she was comfortable with me telling that story...
SW: He needs a fucking haircut!
SJ: Yeah. You know, I came from Amsterdam and she was cool with the fact that I was a European telling her story, and I just did my best to learn from her. We argued a lot.
SW: I threw a pack of cigarettes at him.
SJ: That’s not so bad. I don’t even remember that? That’s fine. She could’ve hit me, I don’t care. For her, it was a super hard experience because she was reliving all the trauma.
SW: Sam was very professional when it came to the shoot and I was not. I’m very immature still. I started off as homeless and went to rich real quick. So, he was showing me what was mature. Like, ‘Do this scene. Bring those tears out. Do this.’ And in my mind I’m like, ‘Bro, fuck you. You don’t give a fuck about me. You want me to just cry.’ But he was trying to display who my character was in a real way and I completely understand now. Sam has always been a very inspirational fucking artist. I’m still young. I’m 22. I’m still learning. Sam has taught me a lot in the little time that we’ve spent together.
And in the past year you’ve become a mother and given birth to a son.
SW: I mean, to be honest, I can’t believe I gave birth to a baby. When you give birth to a child, you feel limitless. I gave a whole person life, like, I’m good! Don’t talk to me. I’ve got this. Everything is so much easier. I’m the most confident n---- in the world. You can’t do anything to shut me down. You can’t tell me that I’m not worth anything. You can’t tell me anything that I don’t know to be fact because I gave birth. I gave life to someone for two days straight. Getting a tattoo, I’m like yeah, put it on my face. I don’t care.
In what ways is Goldie more of a universal story about identity and self-discovery?
SJ: I think regardless of any situation in life, at that age you’re always trying to shape and present yourself in a way that will move you along in life. Specifically, this age of non-religion and individualism, where your own identity is the only thing that’s truthful. I mean, there’s some meaning in that too.
SW: Not to interrupt, but with Goldie I felt like you were finding yourself within the film. At first, you know, I was my mother’s child and then I’m taking care of my two sisters, but I don’t know who I am. I’m worried more about who they are than who I am. And I feel like as the movie progresses, you never really figure out who Goldie is. You only figured out what Goldie’s struggle was and what she was carrying. You never really got true Goldie. You never got her by herself, you know? You never got her telling you what she wants to do. Where she’s coming from, you know what I’m saying? Goldie is always a service worker. She’s always working for everyone else. She’s working for her sisters. For her mom.
SJ: She doesn’t have the time to figure it out. And that’s the thing right? Because when you’re young, you need the space to make mistakes. And she doesn’t have that.
SW: When you don’t have alone time, when are you going to do that? And when you’re living in a shelter you can’t have that time.
SJ: But the beauty of it is, in real life Slick managed to do that.