Why Cara Delevingne Made Her ‘Carnival Row’ Faery Irish

Amazon’s new series Carnival Row has a very detailed history of faeries, fauns, centaurs and other creatures living in a Victorian London that doesn’t welcome them. Carnival Row comes from the mind of Pacific Rim screenwriter Travis Beacham. Once he cast Cara Delevingne as the faery Vignette Stonemoss, she made the role her own. 

Cara Delevingne
Cara Delevingne of ‘Carnival Row’ | David Livingston/Getty Images

Amazon had a Carnival Row panel for the Television Critics Association on Saturday, July 27. On the panel, Delevingne spoke about her own contributions to the character of Vignette Stonemoss. Carnival Row premieres August 30 on Amazon Prime and we’ll have more with Cara Delevingne in August.

Cara Delevingne made Vignette an Irish faery

Beacham has been working on Carnival Row for 16-17 years, so he has a detailed history of faeries. Once she was cast, Delevigne brought some English fantasy history to her role.

“I was really adamant on being Irish,” Delevingne said. “Especially a lot of my old books and from being a kid were all these incredible drawings and stories of fae from Ireland. I did go on a bit of a fairy finding trip.”

Cara Delevingne
Cara Delevingne | Michael Kovac/Getty Images for IMDb

The trip gave Delevingne ideas for faery props too.

“I came back with like a harp and I was like, ‘Can I use this in the show?’” Delevingne said. “I obviously didn’t want to make it too based on anything really, because I think we wanted to make fairies different than we’d ever seen them before. Not with the pointed ears but just a new fairy. I think drawing it back to Ireland was quite important to me.”

Cara Delevigne wouldn’t let ‘Carnival Row’ hardships harden Vignette

In the world of Carnival Row, humans are hostile towards creatures. It is a metaphor for inhumanity towards immigrants, but these immigrants have mystical powers. Delevingne wanted to make sure the darkness of Carnival Row didn’t extinguish Vignette’s light.

“It was more down to the little things, like how much compassion and sensitivity because it’s quite hard to play a character that is so strong, but not ruthless,” Delevingne said. “You’re trying to play a character that literally has gone through so much and has to go through so much, and yet is still so compassionate and empathetic.”

‘Carnival Row’ gave Cara Delevingne wings

Yes, Vignette can fly. Cara Delevingne not only wears wings but flies through the air. She has a little help behind the scenes though.

Cara Delevingne
Cara Delevingne is seen on July 20, 2019 at Comic-Con in San Diego. | Hollywood To You/Star Max/GC Images

“I’d recommend wings to anyone if you could really get them,” Delevingne said. “I think it’s anyone’s dream to fly generally, even if you’re hung up on wires. I think just being a fairy I would recommend. It’s a great thing to be.”

The sex on ‘Carnival Row’ is the one bright spot

On Amazon Prime, Carnival Row does not have to adhere to broadcast standards and practices, or the limits of a PG-13 movie. There is sex on Carnival Row, and sex between faeries and humans. Delevingne agrees with depicting faeries’ sex lives.

“Also, the subject matter is so serious and very real,” Delevingne said. “It’s death, and there’s a lot of things going on and violence. So, if you miss the sexy element then where’s the light at all? And it’s not sexy where it’s like it just has to add that in there. It’s very necessary to the storylines. And again, it’s not objectifying at all. It’s beautiful and it’s amazing, and so I think it’s an important element to it. Sex is a good thing. Sex is not bad.”

Cara Delevingne
Cara Delevingne of ‘Carnival Row’ | David Livingston/Getty Images

The faeries run a brothel where the humans of The Burgue pay to act out their faery fantasies. Many faeries are stuck in The Burgue, so this is how they claim some power.

“The whole idea of the tragedy is also behind the fact that, yes, they’ve had to maybe take that job because they’ve been taken to The Burgue,” Delevingne said. “At the end of the day, they also don’t mind. They think it’s stupid the Burgueish men pay for sex, anyway.”

Cara Delevingne and Orlando Bloom have history on ‘Carnival Row’

Orlando Bloom plays Philo, a Burgue human in Carnival Row. Not only do Philo and Vignette cross paths on Carnival Row, but we’re going to learn they had history too.

“I think the best way of looking at that is through this flashback, which we both go into, which is when we kind of first met,“ Delevingne said. “It really helps the story so much when you’re really trying to understand the fae, especially, and how exactly the Burgueish soldiers, what they were doing.”

Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne
Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne of ‘Carnival Row’| David Livingston/Getty Images

It’s not an instant attraction, though.

“When they do meet, they don’t necessarily ever think that they would give any two cents to the other person, or care at all, or get on,” Delevingne said. “It is kind of that resistance to each other, where it’s also kind of like, ‘I guess he’s not that bad. Oh, he’s all right. Okay, fine.’ You know, it’s that kind of thing.”