Photo from Tuborg ad
Gabriella Giardina’s first love was acting. From the time she was a child, growing up in Sicily, she always dreamed of being an actress. However, in her teens, another dream emerged: modelling. Even at a young age, Gabriella knew she did not have to pick one or another, and since the age of thirteen she has had a successful career as a model, breaking through barriers and borders, working around the world and emerging as one of Italy’s best.
Gabriella Giardina’s modelling career has been filled with a variety of television commercials, photoshoots, and fashion campaigns that show how versatile she truly is. In 2015, she worked on a collaboration between Exhibit magazine and HTC on a calendar in which four top models and actresses in the industry were selected to represent three months of the year and three different themes. Giardina was selected for this coveted role, and represented The Doer (February), The Rebel (April), and The Perfectionist (May).
“I knew the magazine and its importance and to think of myself as representing it along with other wonderful women was very exciting. I was very curious at the same time because it was something new in its own way, so I wondered how the process was going to be. It turned out to be a really creative, greatly styled, fun set,” she said.
As Gabriella is also a celebrated actress, being in front of a camera is natural to her. When modelling, she knows what is necessary to encapsulate a brand. In the case of a photo shoot or a television commercial, in a relatively short amount of time, she communicates and expresses the message of what she is representing.
“Modelling is another way of portraying a painting you could say, or at least that’s how I like to see it, and it really fascinates me. I also like to combine it all with acting because it allows a frame or a specifically timed TV commercial to capture what’s to be expressed and its message, for me my acting is the source I use, to accomplish that,” said Gabriella.
She did just that when working with the non-alcoholic beverage Tuborg Zero on their 2014 commercial. The commercial was targeted to launch the new visual identity of Tuborg. It shows a group of fun loving youth opening the Tuborg “ring pull” cap and changing the ambience around into a nightclub. The music, the party thought and the ambience in the commercial conveys the right message that Tuborg Zero can be opened for fun at parties and other enjoyable moments.
“Tuborg was a commercial that required a lot of energy. There was a lot of dancing involved and swimming with friends. It was a lot of fun and I met many wonderful people during that shoot. The best encounter and friendship born out of it was the one with the director, Uzer Khan. He is just brilliant in everything he creates. On set he knew what he wanted from whom and he would make it happen and would just do wonders, always with a great spirit and ethic. He’s always been and till date is always so supportive of me and I’m just very grateful to have met him,” Gabriella Giardina described.
Khan felt the same, and describes Gabriella as a true professional. He says her work on the commercial only benefited the project, and that her work on the commercial was outstanding. He says that she is a delight to work with, and is an asset to any project she works on.
“Being a charming young lady, Gabriella kept her energy high as the shoot required a lot of dancing, not to forget in rain and I'd also like to mention that her energy was contagious, it lifted the spirits of the other actors as well. Her lovely presence is in great collaboration with the camera and her demeanor is that of professional,” said Khan.
With every project she works on as a model, Gabriella Giardina believes she always learns something new, despite what a sought-after and seasoned model she is. While working on the Alor Coconut Water commercial, a highlight of her career, she says the experience presented opportunities, challenges and experiences that helped her grow and learn a lot professionally and personally.
“For the Alor shoot, I was asked to do a lot of diving and even eat a piece of coconut under water. There was a professional diving team on set that would go under water with me, and would explain how to eat the piece of coconut without drowning,” she said. “The most challenging part was maybe that throughout the making of Alor, I unfortunately was sick, but it was still important to show up and do the best you can and deliver. Every single member of both sets was also absolutely supportive, kind and fun, which makes it the best place and conditions to work in and we all enjoyed working and being together.”
Gabriella remains humble, and constantly finds the people she works with the best part of what she does. During the Alor shoot, the director, Kailash Surendranath, even came underneath the water with her for support, something that she was very grateful for. Surendranath knows the talent that Giardina possesses, and knew that even though she was sick, she contributed greatly to the success of the commercial.
“I have found Gabriella extremely photogenic, responding very well to direction and a very natural performer. She also showed great enthusiasm and sincerity for her work. Shooting this commercial was quite difficult as she had to dive and be under water for an entire day, apart from performing well I must say she worked really hard and was very well appreciated by the entire crew and the client, who was very happy with the results. She is keen to work hard and to do well,” said Surendranath.
With many upcoming acting roles that will allow audiences around the world to be fully exposed to the innate talent that Giardina possesses as an actress, she still has no plans on slowing down when it comes the modelling side of her career. Next year, she will model for designer Larae Mychel’s Fashion Event Showcase and photoshoot for the designer’s 2018 Spring and Summer Line.
“I fell in love with Larae the second I met her. She immediately shared her great energy, passion and love for life. She started doing some fittings with me and we just kept on talking about clothes, life and work experiences, food and what not. And while doing all of this I would notice how her creativity, combined with skills and her hands, would just do magic. She would pick a corset and a skirt and in no time, she would turn them into something truly beautiful. Every time I met her after that was a delight and I loved doing fittings with her,” said Gabriella.
With this mutual respect, Mychel then invited her to a fashion show of hers. When Gabriella arrived and went backstage, she found Mychel doing all the last-minute fixing and touches on her dresses, which were absolutely amazing.
“It was so inspiring to watch her working like that. She started showing me all her work and sharing where she started from and what she was going to do next, and that’s when she told me that she wanted me to represent her Spring/Summer collection and she’s been planning it for a while. I was and still am so thrilled about it. It’s such an honor and pleasure, especially after having had the great chance to see all her behind the scene work and effort for every single piece she works on,” said Gabriella.
Gabriella Giardina remains unaffected by the success she has had as a model. She firmly believes that she has been very lucky, but those who see her work know that her commitment to her craft and her natural skills are what have contributed to all that she has achieved. She understands the nuances to modelling, and knows exactly how to overcome any challenges that come her way.
“In modelling, as in film and any other job for that matter, you find yourself having to deal with things you probably never dealt with before, and as scary or uncomfortable as that can sound, I still think it’s a place you want to get at in your life because it encourages you to grow and come out of your comfort zone and be able to step forward better, stronger and braver, until your next challenge,” she said. “I think every person has specific details within each self that makes us unique and beautiful, and capable to do even more than what we think and dream. It’s for modelling as much as it is for film and any other job.
Stay truthful to your dream and passion, no matter how hard it gets. I believe it’s important to always push forward and face your difficulties to overcome them, and to take that role or job that sounds scary and you are not sure you’d be able to do because it’s so much different and out of something you’d dare to do, because it’s out of your comfort zone. And it’s always essential to be you, be good, honest and kind, be empathetic, respecting yourself, your values and others, and really enjoy the journey.”
There is no doubt that Gabriella Giardina loves what she does, and that decision to become a model that she made at just 13 years old has proven to be the right choice. There is no limit to what she can achieve, and no doubt that she will continue to impress for years to come.
“Being a model has something very powerful. You are a woman who is representing something. No matter what that may be, from a perfume fragrance, to a magazine, to walking the ramp wearing clothes that came from someone’s creativity and hard work, you are this figure that, even in the most innocent representation, has power in it. And when there is a cause behind it, it enhances the purpose even more. I find that very beautiful,” she concluded.
Be sure to keep an eye out next year for Larae Mychel’s Spring/Summer line to see Gabriella Giardina doing what she does best.