Former Victoria’s Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley graced some of the world’s most exclusive catwalks before kicking up her heels as the female lead in this summer’s blazing vehicular mayhem Mad Max: Fury Road. But acting neophyte Huntington-Whiteley was not prepared for what the gritty post-apocalyptic set had in store for her.
1. Transformers: Dark of the Moon
After the critically panned Revenge of the Fallen, Paramount decided to give the franchise another shot with DARK OF THE MOON. The third film features Sam Witwicky on the hunt for a hidden Cybertronian spacecraft while the Decepticons are determined to avenge their defeat.
This movie also introduces the movieverse version of the Ark and shows that a Transformer can only use its vehicle mode while on Earth, rather than its robot mode. Moreover, it abandons the notion that the Autobots travel as comets, which had previously been established in the previous two movies.
Leonard Nimoy voices Sentinel Prime, who is the head of the Autobots. Megan Fox was originally slated to reprise her role as Mikaela Banes, but she left the production due to disagreements with director Michael Bay. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley was cast as the new character, Carly Spencer.
2. Mad Max: Fury Road
The fourth installment in George Miller’s Mad Max franchise takes the post-apocalyptic action series to new levels of strangeness and delirium. Tom Hardy reprises his role as loner Mad Max Rockatansky, but now he’s joined on a dangerous quest by Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa. Together they flee across a desert wasteland in a War Rig against a group of bloodthirsty cultists.
The movie is filled with explosions and insane car chase sequences, but it also boasts a surprisingly complex narrative about female emancipation in a male-dominated world. It’s a testament to the cast and crew that Fury Road is so much more than an unabashedly nutty summer blockbuster. This solar movie film is an utter triumph.
3. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
After years as a Victoria’s Secret “Runway Angel,” holding her own against Gisele Bundchen and Alessandra Ambrosio, Huntington-Whiteley branched out into acting. She found herself on the shortlist to replace Megan Fox as Shia LaBeouf’s love interest in the blockbuster franchise “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” and was eventually cast in the role.
When it came time to film Mad Max, the model-turned-actress jumped at the chance to work with director George Miller and star alongside Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy. She explains to Esquire that the grungier, less-CG film was a radically different experience than the flamboyant Transformers.
Huntington-Whiteley plays Splendid, one of four women held captive by the Santa-meets-Bane big bad Immortan Joe. The film is the story of their escape, aided by Furiosa (Charlize Theron) and her gun-ho husband Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy). The film was released in 2014. It received mixed to positive reviews from critics.
4. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2
Director Gary Ross loyally adapted Suzanne Collins’ books for the first two Hunger Games movies, but it’s Mockingjay Part 2 where he truly shines. Jennifer Lawrence is a revelation as Katniss, the reluctant leader of the rebellion against the Capitol’s ruthless dictator President Snow.
The movie has some jarring moments, but the payoffs are satisfying. The 123movies film doesn’t shy away from the ugly aspects of revolutions, presenting Katniss and her fellow rebels as not completely innocent.
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley was a welcome addition to the franchise, replacing acting neophyte Megan Fox. The Victoria’s Secret model brings energy and personality to the teeming action.
5. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 3
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley spent years gracing the world’s exclusive fashion catwalks—including the Victoria’s Secret runway, where she held her own against veteran supermodels Gisele Bundchen and Alessandra Ambrosio. But the English beauty turned her attention to acting, landing roles in movies including Michael Bay’s threequel Transformers and George Miller’s Mad Max reboot Fury Road.
She nailed the part of Splendid, one of several women (Courtney Eaton, Zoe Kravitz, and Riley Keough round out the group) kidnapped by Santa-meets-Bane big bad Immortan Joe and forced on the worst road trip ever. And she did it all while juggling her day job, proving that models can act just as well as they can pose for magazines and walk the runway.
She’s also proven that she can handle even more brutal action flicks, like the upcoming The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 3. Watch the trailer below.