Olivia Culpo is taking on 11 new roles this week—and she’s doing it in under four minutes. The former Miss USA stars in the latest video from Mode, the company behind viral videos that chronicle decades of fashion in just a few hundred seconds. In its newest clip, 100 Years of Women in Film, Culpo dresses up as an iconic female movie character from each decade since the 1910s—and playing dress up over and over again on-camera was a dream come true for the model. “It was so fun to play the characters that I love, because I’m a huge movie buff,” she told InStyle last week. “Trying to capture such specific iconic moments from these iconic movies was really exciting.”
When recreating the looks of so many beloved characters, it’s understandably hard to play favorites. So while Culpo says that dressing up as Alicia Silverstone's Cher from Clueless “was pretty funny,” the part that really caught her attention was dressing up as Ingrid Bergman’s character Ilsa Lund from Casablanca. “That one was the most surprising to me, especially in terms of the fit of her outfit,” said Culpo. “With the tweed heavy dark brown suit and the hat, it was extremely covered up and a bit more masculine looking than what they typically dressed in that time. It felt very different from my usual style, so I was a little worried about that one—but it ended up being one of my favorites. I love the scene that we tried to capture, when she’s saying goodbye to the airplane and she cries, so it was a fun moment.”
Culpo may have enjoyed dressing up in ‘40s costumes, but the ‘60s are actually her top decade when it comes to film fashion—and that’s largely due to Audrey Hepburn’s unforgettable look as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. “I love her style in general, and she is considered a style icon to this day,” said Culpo. While Hepburn’s style may be eternal, the portrayal of female characters onscreen has certainly changed since her heyday—and that’s partly what inspired Culpo to become involved with this project.
“I think that the evolution of women in general is so interesting,” she said. “A lot of these movies are romances and the woman is the damsel in distress, like in Casablanca. So it’s interesting to see how girls have evolved in film over the years, because you go from Casablanca where the girl is dramatic and upset about her lost loved one, to Clueless where Cher is twirling her thumb in her hair, and then to Elle Woods in Legally Blonde where she’s suddenly a smart and empowered lawyer who actually tells the guy to go away. It’s fun to see that happening and continuing to progress today.”
It may be cool to watch the changes take shape in such a short amount of time in the video, but don’t be fooled—reenacting the classics took work. “We had so many wardrobe changes,” said Culpo, who’s stripped down to her red lingerie between each costume switch. “I was totally exposed on camera, which makes you feel really vulnerable. It’s not like I was standing there and posing to getting the right angle and look amazing or Photoshopped—it is very much a real moment.”
And it’s one that didn’t come without challenges. “We were shooting the video in San Francisco on a cold, rainy day, and I had to stay completely still the whole time even though it was freezing in the studio,” she said. “So it was a lot of time standing around and being cold in my bra and underwear, but it was really fun and creative. It was definitely one of the most artistic shoots I have ever done—and it required acting, which is different from a typical model shoot.”
Watch Culpo's many transformations in the video below.