When the spotlight was shining on Selita Ebanks this weekend during the premiere of Kanye West’s “Runaway” short film , the former Victoria’s Secret model wasn’t exactly basking in the attention.
“I was sick at home,” Ebanks told MTV News on Monday (October 25). “I watched it when everybody else watched it. I was blowing my nose but guarantee I was dancing on my bed. I was by myself, but it was OK. It was a good time to reflect and appreciate it without anybody around.”
Ebanks starred in “Runaway” as the phoenix, the lead character in the film, who symbolically represents the rapper’s fall and rise over the past 12 months or so. The role didn’t require much dialogue, but Ebanks has received praise for giving the phoenix life using her artful physical movements as a means of communication. She had to develop the phoenix herself, because, as she put it, “[Kanye] told me about the character, but he didn’t give her a character.”
“He didn’t give her a personality, so we had to sit down and I just picked his brain,” Ebanks explained. “As we went along, I personally developed this character. I wanted her to seem more real and relatable and I wanted people to sympathize with her. Because it’s a part of his story, so I tried to understand what the message [was] that he was trying to get across and really embody that in the phoenix, so that his story could be more understandable.”
Immediately following the debut of “Runaway,” Kanye West told MTV News’ Sway that Ebanks “killed it” during her performance. He also predicted her career would change as a result of her critically acclaimed turn in the project.
Ebanks was more measured in her reaction to the praise. She plans to pursue acting but for now, she’s taking things one day at a time.
“It’s crazy, it’s like a whole different life,” she said of all the praise. “I’m just really, really humbled by the amazing, positive responses that we’ve been getting. Looking at the film, it’s crazy, because I feel like I’m looking outside of myself, like I’m looking at someone else. I have to look in the mirror to remind myself that that’s me. And the fact that people have been so kind and generous with their words, it’s been pretty humbling. I’m just trying to take it one day at a time.
“So today is Monday and I’m loving Monday right now!” she said.
What did you think of Selita’s performance in “Runaway”? Share your reviews in the comments!