A glamorous member of the Factory crowd, Tinkerbelle was an Interview magazine journalist, Studio 54 regular, and contemporary of Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe in 1970s New York.
This article was originally published by i-D UK.
Hari Nef has announced on Instagram that she is joining the cast of Ondi Timoner's highly anticipated Robert Mapplethorpe biopic, appearing alongside Matt Smith's Robert Mapplethorpe and Marianne Rendón's Patti Smith (following the departure of Girls star Zosia Mamet). "Quite proud and excited to announce that I've joined the cast of @mapplethorpemovie an upcoming film directed by @onditimoner portraying the life and work of robert #mapplethorpe say hi to tinkerbelle ❤ #soon," the model and actor posted late last night.
Patti Smith's memoir of her life with Robert Mapplethorpe, Just Kids, suggests the role Hari's Tinkerbelle may play in the Mapplethorpe film. Patti writes that she was at home with her family when she received "an unexpected call from Tinkerbelle," who told her that Robert was having an affair with male model David Croland, adding harshly, "They're together right now." Patti writes that she already knew Robert was gay (though others did not at that time), but the affair was a revelation, and a turning point in their relationship. "Robert rarely spoke to Tinkerbelle after that," Patti writes.
While not a fantastically famous character of that particular scene today, Tinkerbelle was pretty major. A Studio 54 regular and contributor to Andy Warhol's Interview magazine, she also appeared on national TV as a film critic and party reporter for Newsweek Video — though she was eventually fired for being unreliable. "It was almost like Marilyn Monroe coming to the set," producer John Peaslee commented, as Gary Comenas notes in his authoritative archive WarholStars.org.
In an entry from December 23, 1978, Andy Warhol writes, "Talked to Tinkerbelle and she was saying how she makes out with everybody she interviews, that she was making out with Christopher Walken and that his wife was getting upset. She said she cut her arm falling on the glass from a skylight — she'd broken into a friend's apartment — she thought they had some drugs in there. I guess Tinkerbelle's really wild." Sadly, her wild grew turbulent and she committed suicide at the age of 40.
According to WarholStars.org, Tinkerbelle wrote in her unpublished autobiography, Sometimes a Somebody, "I've been a go-go dancer, a stenographer, an actress, a comedian, a tap dancer, a dance teacher, a film critic, a maid, a designer, a fashion model, a singer, a publicist, a journalist, a computer operator. I have appeared on national television. I have collected endless unemployment. I have worked, wage-slaved, struggled and triumphed and lost". So, the perfect role for multi-hyphenate mega-babe Hari, except she ain't losing. We can't wait!
Text Charlotte Gush