How Hari Nef Has Been Empowered by Virginia Woolf

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Hari Nef in Prada opticalsPhotography by Fumi Nagasaka, Styling by Elizabeth Fraser-Bell

The actor, activist and model reveals why her favourite work of fiction – Woolf's pioneering Mrs Dalloway – has influenced her creative outlook

“Mrs Dalloway is my favourite book. I like the way Virginia Woolf captures everyday life. I feel like my most intense moments are often when I’m crossing the street on my way to get cigarettes, versus when I achieve something major, or somebody dies. If I think about the climactic moments of my life, they happen in-between those big moments. Mrs Dalloway is the first text I read that resonated with me on that level because I never really related to epic literature, or literature in the ‘grand’ tradition. I relate to it but it’s not realistic. The way Woolf captures the drama of everyday life and splits every second open and explores it and zooms in and zooms out... that’s the way that I go through life.” 

Hari Nef’s radical ascent to fame has been nothing short of thrilling. At 23, the transgender actor, activist and model has graced the covers of countless glossy magazines, appeared in a multitude of runway shows and was recently tapped to appear in Luxottica’s newly instated Class of 2016, but remains far more than just a striking physical presence. In fact, she speaks openly and eloquently of her life experiences – penning candid and incisive chronicles for her Tumblr-sphere, drawing a magnitude of admirers in the process. She proves equally captivating on screen, having made her mark in season two of cult TV series Transparent, and in spite of her multifarious talents, continues to cite acting as her “first love”.