Amber Valletta, co-star of the "Hitch" Movie!
Born on February 9th 1974, Amber Valletta, despite her exotic name, is American, having been born in Tucson, Arizona. Her parents soon moved from Tucson to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Amber was raised. Growing up, Amber wanted initially to become a sociologist and work in the social scope. But her life took a different, albeit blessed, turn and she ended up in a very different career. Knowing that her little girl's beauty stood out among the rest, her mother enrolled her in a modeling school at 15 years old. A local agency soon sent the now 5'9" brunette to Milan where her first shoot was posing for Italian Vogue. Soon after that, Amber got her first big break; the cover shoot for French Elle magazine by Hans Feurer. Not too long after that, Amber, like most models began residing in Paris. Amber immediately became a modeling sensation, having picked up where fellow supermodels Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer had left off. Photographers and magazines alike couldn't get Amber's face pasted on billboards and magazine covers fast enough. Big names such as Steven Meisel, Richard Avedon, Bruce Weber, Patrick Demarchelier, Herb Ritts, Nick Knight, Paolo Roversi, Irvin Penn, Mario Sorrenti and Peter Lindbergh were all scurrying to Amber for her photogenic face and svelte body.
Amber has since appeared in numerous prestigious advertising campaigns such as Versace, Calvin Klein's Escape, DKNY, Prada, Valentino, Jil Sander, Gucci and Chanel. She co-hosted MTV's House of Style with best friend and fellow model Shalom Harlow and she even became the face of Elizabeth Arden. Although she didn't end up becoming the sociologist she wanted to be, Amber does use her position as a celebrity to support various charity events. In 1995, she organized a charity called Supermodels Stepping Out Against Hunger, a fashion show that took place in her hometown to benefit the Tulsa Community Food Bank.
On the personal front, Amber dated Leonardo DiCaprio, as did the majority of models in the free world. Unfortunately, their relationship didn't last (he's currently dating Gisele Bundchen). Amber was also married to Hervé Le Bihan, whom she met on a Calvin Klein photo shoot in 1994. Two years later, the couple divorced. Amber finally ended up meeting renowned Olympic volleyball player Christian McCaw on a chance encounter and is currently pregnant with their child. So the beautiful vegetarian is saying good-bye to her flat-as-a-board tummy, for a little while anyway.
Over the summer, Amber appeared in What Lies Beneath, which starred Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer, and also co-starred in an independent film entitled Drop Back Ten. Although she's currently on hiatus anticipating the birth of her soon-to-be bouncing baby, Amber will be on magazine covers and hopefully in more films before mid-2001.
More fun stuff about Amber Valletta
Height 5' 8¼" (1.73 m)
Spouse: Christian McCaw (September 2003 - present) 1 child
Net worth 4 million dollars. 
Net Worth of 8.8 million dollars. 
Is a vegetarian.
Got her start when her mother enrolled her in modeling school at the age of 15.
As a child attended Catholic school.
Has three half-sisters and two half-brothers.
Met ex-husband Herve LeBihan at a Calvin Klein photo shoot in 1994.
First child, Auden, born at the end of October 2000 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Attended Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Measurements: 34B-23-35 (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)
Dress size: 4 Shoe size: 8 1/2
Hair Color: Light brown
Eye Color: Green.
Agencies: New York - Elite, Paris - Elite, Milan - Elite.
Appeared dressed as Edith 'Little Edie' Bouvier Beale in a Grey Gardens (1975)-themed photo shoot in the May 1999 issue of Vogue Italia, photographed by Steven Meisel.
"Women can be strong, be smart, be sexy, be mothers, be wives, and be powerful. We don't need to compromise."
"I wish the word supermodel would just fall off the face of the Earth. Anyone can be a supermodel now."
Interview with Amber Valletta about 'Hitch'
The former supermodel Amber Valetta came first in touch with the movie business as one of the many model girlfriends Leonardo DiCaprio used to date. Now that she is officially bored - or simply too old for it - she joins the great many women before her that tried to switch from the catwalks of Paris to the movie sets in Hollywood. Amber had her first major role as the neighbour who freaks out Michelle Pfeiffer quite a bit in What Lies Beneath. Her biggest role is coming up as the female lead in the sequel to The Transporter. She told me a little about that too. Otherwise the convinced vegetarian happily shared her dating experiences and nibbled some fruits. Questions about Leo were of course a big no no for me.
Just like her co-Star Mendes Amber was also wearing one of these baker boy caps. They seemed to be the latest in fashion not only for the girls since Daniel Day-Lewis and Kevin Spacey were also spotted wearing them in Berlin. In spite of her exotic name, Amber Valletta looks more like someone from the land of crispbread. But she is an all American Girl. Since she was cut off at the press conference for Hitch the day before I asked her first to finish up, what she wanted to say but could't because of external circumstances.
OutNow.CH (ON): Now is your chance to finish what you wanted to say on stage during the press conference yesterday. Would you go out with a guy like Albert from the movie?
Amber Valletta (AV): Yeah. My crew cut me yesterday. But what I was saying is that I could absolutely fall in love with Albert. I definitively have a soft spot for Kevin (James). Albert loves her. Their are both goofballs. They just look different.
ON: But he only knows her from the board meetings.
AV: But he sees what she wants. Of course he is competing against twelve other men. But he has charme and humour. If you can be funny it means your intelligent. Your brain is working fast. You love life. You have this "joy de vie" which makes you interesting to talk to.
ON: You have a ring so you have found your perfect match?
AV: I did. It takes a lot of work. And it doesn't mean that I don't have my crushes and my fantasies. I am sure he does too. But we are really honest. And we are really committed to our relationship. And we are working on it. We have a family. We have a son and two dogs. You know there is something that happens when you found someone that you really love and that really loves you. You look at them and you just go: "Wow! This is so profound." And other times I can't even remember that. I'm like: "You driving me crazy. Leave me alone!"
ON: What was your first date like with him?
AV: Our parents set us up. We met in a store with our families in a chance meeting. He knew my stepdad because he played volleyball with him when he was a teenager. Then I got in the car and I was all sweating. I'm like: "Oh my good this guy is so cute." It was love at first sight. So my dad goes home and he talked to my husband's mum. They haven't talked in years and he made a date for us. My whole family from that moment on conspired to try and make this work.
ON: Wasn't that a strange feeling for you because every one wants you to be with him?
AV: No it wasn't like that. It was really cute. They made the date and then they let it go. He came to pick me up and my parents where there and I was hiding. Because I couldn't remember I had to make sure he wasn't a dork. What if I made a mistake. Because I saw him for just a few minutes. So I hid underneath the staircase - this is like a movie - and I look and he came in and was so handsome. My aunt was hiding with me and was like: "He's HOT!"
ON: How old were you?
AV: It was five years ago. 25. I am a kid. I'll always be a girl at heart.
ON: Would you have taken the service of a date doctor when you were younger? Even if you are such a beautiful woman?
AV: I think people make a really big assumption about how people look. I do it too. If I think somebody looks dangerous that means they are going to be mean. I don't see what other people see. I feel just as inadequate as everybody else. I have f*cked up so many dates. Excuse my mouth. I royally screwed things up. I remember being carried out of a party once because I was so drunk. I had my pants split up at the back. My breast was coming out. And my dad was caring me and I puked all the way back in the taxi. Luckily I've been seeing my date for a while. But still, that was not very attractive.
ON: When you are with Albert in the movie, the people around you say: How does a beautiful women like her end up with the ugly guy?
AV: He is not ugly! The ridiculous thing is that if he would be skinny nobody would say that. He does look nerdy. The first time you see him with the mustard on his shirt and the nerdy glasses he does look like a nerd. But when he has to sit in the office he's in a beautiful suit. He's got new glasses. He changed his hair. He looks handsome! Part of that is that Kevin brought the physical comedy to the movie. Which makes you also feel like he's inadequate. But that is partially why my character is interesting because you see that she is just as inadequate. Some of it does have to do with the way we dress. If the character would be like the elephant man, then you would go: "sh*t. What does she see in him?" This isn't that far. My mum was with a man that was so not attractive to me. He was so overweight, he was balding. But he had so much charisma she said, it was the most sensual man she has ever been with. And he was interesting. He was an interesting man in his mind. And it is in the mind and the heart where we meet. It's not on the body. Because the body will change.
ON: You have a son which is now four. When he will start dating do you think you are going to give him advice or an opinion on the girls he is bringing into the house?
AV: I am sure I will. I am definitely very passionate as you can tell. I am not a firm believer in pushing things on people. What I say is what I feel. I don't belive that you have to agree with me. So I parent my son the same way. I try not to irrupt in his life even if he's only four years old. Unless he is going to hurt himself or someone around him or the animals. I don't interfere in his play or his imagination. I hope that I can be loving and accepting and let him make his mistakes. But beforehand by the way I am as a woman, by the way my husband treats me he will see how to treat a woman. He will see the kind of woman he likes. It's inevitable. We are what we see. We are products of our surroundings. But I am sure I am going to be opinionated. Gosh, if at twelve years old there is girls calling on the phone, I am definitively saying: "No, Auden is not here. Call back in five years."
ON: As a wrap-up I'm goingt to tell you some words and you just say, what pops into mind first.
ON: Will Smith
AV: Interesting. (She laughs.) I like that! That's fun! Or Clocks.
ON: Can you tell us a little on the Transporter Sequel?
AV: Yeah. Kidnapping. Drama. I am the mother who tries to find her son and the love interest of Jason Statham. (She whispers that).
Amber Valletta, Kevin James' object of desire speaks out
Her CV may include the word "supermodel", but she wouldn't thank you for using the term. In fact, this is one model-turned-actress who is working hard to ditch the model and make herself into an actress. With her role as Allegra Cole in Hitch, she may be hitting the big time. We talk acting, fainting and snogging Kevin James with Amber Valletta…
How was filming Hitch?
This movie was definitely one of the best experiences I've had – definitely in acting, but even in my life. To be challenged to work at the level of Will Smith and Eva Mendes and Kevin James – that in itself was wonderful – and then to work with Andy Tennant who's such a great director. The material was not complex, but it's about one of biggest complexities, which is love. And I think with today's world people need to be uplifted. We're not going to deny what's going on, but it gives you hope, and we need a lot of that right now. So I was really pleased to be a part of this. It took me a lot of work to get here – five years in the making – but things always happen when they're supposed to.
You're quoted as saying that you lived off your savings the first year in Hollywood, because you were so determined to become an actress.
Yeah, well, fortunately my savings meant I wasn't scraping to get by! I think when you want something you'll do whatever it takes. I didn't really have the courage to stop my previous career and put every energy into acting until this time last year. And what a difference a year can make! Three films, and I'm here talking about this and just being completely inspired to follow a dream. It's nice not to sit there and go, "Why didn't I do that? I should be doing that!" and be miserable going to work. It's so exciting to stay afloat and not to sink.
So is acting more difficult, or is it getting easier as you build up experience?
It's a lot more work entailed than anything I've ever done. It's even more work than when I was in university, because you're creating something. The only guideline we have is the script, and beyond that it doesn't matter what the director tells you or the other actors. Ultimately you have to make that character come to life, and it has to leap off the screen. People have to feel like you could see that person walking down the street – even if it's far-fetched. If you're playing a clerk in a post office or something, you can go and sit with a clerk and interview them and study them. But still you can't get inside someone's skin. So for sure this is the most intense and difficult job I've ever had but the most rewarding.
Your character has all the trappings of success but is vulnerable too. Did you like her?
"We had a lot of fun laughing about kissing each other "
I did like Allegra, but the more I got to know her the more I realised that I had to deepen it up. She couldn't be candy-coated. I really had to find that vulnerability to make her likable and to make her connect to Albert, because then that story becomes truthful. They are the same kind of person, taking off the physical part.
That was one of the nice things, the romance with Kevin James. Because, just looking at each of you, you wouldn't believe that these two date.
No, but when you see it happening, you get it.
How was it working with him?
He's great. Someone coming from TV – and Will as well came from TV – it's not considered a fine art form like film. People have respect for it, but it's a bigger deal to be in a film. But TV is ten times harder, because they give you new material right there and you're supposed to be on it, and those guys film all day long. So he's quick to adjust, and he's a really sweet soul and extremely respectful and we had a lot of fun laughing about kissing each other and just being silly.
He says that you kept chasing him to practice that kiss!
I did! He's (adopts Mike Myers-style Scottish voice) sex-ay!
So where do you go from here?
I try not to set anything in stone, but I really just want to do great work with good material. It really doesn't matter how big the role – I don't need to be the leading lady. I just want to do good work. And if that means going on stage back home in Oklahoma I'll do it. I'm fortunate enough that I'm not looking for the means to an end, and I hope that I just get to make great films and work with really interesting people.
You worked on the Transporter 2 recently – did you get a chance to do any stunts?
"I got to faint, I got to run and bust open a truck and grab my child and cry a lot and scream"
I did, I got to faint! I got to run and bust open a truck and grab my child and cry a lot and scream. That kind of movie, for me, was a difficult genre. It's always a little far-fetched, so you have to make the circumstances real for you. Parts of it were real, and other parts were "Hmmm. I've got to believe this!" But it was really fun – at least while I was there. After I left they had four hurricanes in Florida, so that was less fun!
So what's next?
I just finished Man About Town, with Mike Binder, Ben Affleck, John Cleese, Rebecca Romijn. It's a satire about Hollywood, so that will be coming out I think this year. And now I'm back on the pavement looking for a job – I've got an audition here this week.
Amber Valletta's Career as Supermodel
Raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Amber Valletta’s rise to supermodel fame began when as a teenager she enrolled in modeling school at the urging of her mother. At 16, Amber went to Milan for a summer of “go-sees”, returning quickly to Oklahoma to finish high school and then heading back to Europe. Shortly after her return to Milan, Amber made the move to Paris where it didn’t take long before she was gracing covers the likes of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Allure and W Magazine. She was also one of the only models ever featured on the cover of Time magazine.
Amber has worked with some of the most prestigious companies, photographers and designers in the industry. She’s appeared in major advertising campaigns like Versace, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Hugo Boss, Prada, Chanel and David Yurman while strutting down the industry’s most-watched catwalks. Her long list of international fashion house runway appearances include Prada, Armani, Versace, Calvin Klein, Chanel, Helmut Lang, Donna Karan, Dior and Givenchy.
In 1996, Amber signed the coveted cosmetic contract with Elizabeth Arden which solidified her supermodel status to an industry already enamored of her stunning presence and marked professionalism. A favorite of elite designers and photographers, Amber was hand-picked by Elizabeth Arden to inject the classic brand with modern, but always sophisticated style that would take the company profoundly into the 21st century.
In addition to being an accomplished model, Amber is also a champion of good causes. Even as her career skyrocketed, Amber always found time to help others. One of Amber’s most favored causes has been St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
St Jude is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. Since opening in 1962, St. Jude has treated more than 20,000 children and helped saved many thousands more by freely sharing its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world. St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatments that are not covered by insurance and families without insurance are never asked to pay.
As a child, Amber helped raise money for the hospital by participating in the St. Jude Math-A-Thon® at her school, and it almost seemed as if she and St. Jude were destined to cross paths again. Amber befriended a St. Jude patient when she learned that they were both from Tulsa, Oklahoma. And when Elizabeth Arden decided to support St. Jude, Amber was a committed enthusiast. She represented St. Jude at the Monaco gala in 1998, and also was featured with St. Jude patients in an Elizabeth Arden city-to-city tour.
Amber sits on the St. Jude Professional Advisory Board, a group of top professionals from various fields who advise the hospital on fund-raising issues. Because of her efforts on the hospital’s behalf, St. Jude has received significant press coverage as well as financial support. Amber was named “Celebrity of the Year” at the 2000 St. Jude National Convention.
Amber has devoted her time to many charities, including Dishes, Covenant House, World Wildlife Federation, Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics, The Village for Tibetan Children, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and The Nina Hyde Foundation.
Although Amber still enjoys modeling, she has recently embarked on a film career, appearing in such film productions as:
Amber played herself in Douglas Keeve’s documentary about Isaac Mizrahi.
* Drop Back Ten
Amber played the lead opposite James LeGros in Stacey Cochran’s film, which screened at Sundance Film Festival and was then released in Fall 2000.
* What Lies Beneath
Amber appeared in Robert Zemeckis’ Summer 2000 release opposite Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer.
* The Family Man
Christmas 2000 release starring Nicolas Cage
2003 release starring Drew Barrymore and Ben Stiller
Amber Valletta: More Than Just A Pretty Face
Originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Amber Valletta has made her way from the great plains to the great runways of fashion.
With campaigns for DKNY, Armani, and Versace, Amber has steadily made her way to the top of the supermodel rankings, but has international fame and recognition changed her?
"I try to be myself.
I think that's the most important thing, because that's why people hire you."
She has graced
the covers of Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Allure, and Mademoiselle just to name a few…
Amber was also the face of Elizabeth Arden's "5th Avenue" fragrance.
And what's the best part about being the spokesperson for a major cosmetic company?
"Of course to have your own lipstick - what else could a girl ask for?"
But even with her busy schedule, Amber still finds time to help the less fortunate…Worthy causes like AIDS research, the environment, and acting Chairperson of the CFDA Breast Cancer committee are just a few of the charities to which Amber gives time and money.
So what's next for Amber?
"I'll start going to school hopefully next year so I can start doing some other things with my life. Where I'm at now is just the start of the peak. I think you'll probably see a lot more of me…I hope."
Bowled Over By Supermodels
AMBER VALLETTA and Daria Werbowy have enlisted a line-up of their most gorgeous catwalking friends to join them for an afternoon's bowling to benefit the tsunami victims. Sponsored by Donna Karan and jeweller David Yurman, for whom Valletta and Werbowy are modelling this season, the nonprofit group Model Citizen has already raised $35,000 for the cause. Its pot is likely to be filled even further when 400 people have the chance to spend $25 to spend an afternoon playing with the likes of Kirsty Hume, Shalom Harlow, Sophie Dahl, Gisele Bundchen, Karen Elson, Natalia Vodianova, Helena Christensen and Frankie Rayder.
Amber Valetta: The last best day
People tend to get very emotional around PAs, just not usually with the same kind of feelings that Amber Valletta has been having. "I got teary-eyed today when I saw the PA who always walked me back and forth," the actress divulges. And it didn't stop there. "Then I got emotional when I saw the costume people and held it together, and then when they clapped and said I was done, that's when I busted," she adds. Her cracking came Thursday afternoon as a result of facing the end of her latest job, the romantic comedy "The Last First Kiss" in which she stars opposite Will Smith, Eva Mendes and Kevin James. "I got to work with great people, people who nurtured me and helped me grow as an actress and had the confidence in me to pull this off," she said of the Andy Tennant-directed project that finds her as heiress Allegra Cole, the object of James' character's affections. "It's been a wonderful ride, and I'm sad to get off of it, but I'm ready for the next adventure," she says. Lucky for her, she has a few projects lined up. She barely has time to dry her eyes before segueing to a much different type of film, the actioner "The Transporter 2" opposite Jason Statham. Then she's near a deal to join Reverge Anselmo's latest "Going Cold," and she also gets to be "obnoxious" in a cameo in "Ocean's Twelve." It's a busy slate for the former model, but it's the work that's important, not the part about the modeling. "It seems really ridiculous to me that people make such a big deal about models moving into acting," she explains. "I think you can find great actors in any field. I'm sure there is a doctor out there who is amazing. I had a past, and I've done many different things. But I love what I'm doing now and that's all that really matters, and it'll show in my work."
Amber Valletta co-stars in 'Hitch'
Will Smith is always watchable whether he’s in a serious drama, comedy, sci-fi or an action-adventure. Give him a genre and he can work at it with a wink and witty repartee. His latest film is a romantic comedy; strangely Smith has never really tackled this lucrative genre because his character is usually the guy with the most beautiful girl anyway.
Hitch is about a fella who gets all clammy and nervous when he finds the perfect girl. Typical romantic comedy, right? Well, except that Alex Hitch (Smith) is a date doctor, the man who understands everything about women, and can fix any loser who has a problem with his dream girl. Quite a clever plot.
The trailer starts off with Smith’s character talking really fast to a guy who just got his drink splashed all over his face by his date. Just when you think you are beginning to really not like this guy because he’s a know-it-all and very arrogant, the trailer changes pace.
First with the appearance of Kevin James who plays a guy who learns all there is to know about wooing a girl from Hitch. There are two scenes within the trailer featuring Smith and James that guarantee a laugh from the audience.
By the end of the trailer, you’d have a stupid grin – just like Smith’s character. That is Smith’s magic, after all.
And who might the dream women in the movie be? Amber Valletta and Eva Mendes will have the guys queuing up for tickets.
Common misspellings: "Amber Valleta", "Amber Valetta".