About Face

Pat Cleveland, director Timothy Greenfield-Sanders and Carol Alt / Image Credit – Billy Farrell Agency

Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’ documentary About Face, The Supermodels Then & Now, is a loving exploration of modeling industry’s past, as seen through the eyes of its most legendary talents. With an all star cast that includes Marisa Berenson, Carmen dell’Orefice, China Machado, Isabella Rossellini, Pat Cleveland, Christy Turlington, Beverly Johnson, Carol Alt Jerry Hall and many more, the piece tackles the trials and tribulations of modeling’s grand doyennes with style and wit. For fashion historians and cinéastes alike, the film is a must see.

Last night Rose Bar Screenings held a private viewing of of About Face and it brought out a slew of industry insiders, as well as Greenfield-Sanders and two of the film’s most animated stars, Pat Cleveland and Carol Alt. MDC caught up with the women whose lives informed the narrative and About Face’s charming producer, Chad Thompson to find out just what it was like to be a part of this landmark doc. 


Carol Alt

MDC: What was the experience of being in the documentary like for you?

Carol Alt: It wasn’t a documentary when we started out, it was a photoshoot where Timothy was rolling some b-roll film and I think that is why we were so comfortable and open.

Truthfully I liked learning a lot more about the other girls. I have my girlfriends in the business – Kim Alexis, I see Christy a lot since we both live on Long Island and go back and forth, but to understand what Carmen went through, what Bethann or China went through. In terms of not just racial discrimination, but also sexual discrimination. To learn that the word model used to be synonymous with hookers. That was just shocking to me because this has always been a business for me – always. Even to look back and see the way they positioned Barbie as being the ideal, all those things that today women would be up in arms about!

Director Timothy Greenfield-Sanders with Producer Chad Thompson

MDC: Why do you think the response to the film has been so overwhelmingly positive?

Chad Thompson: I think that the topics in the film are ones that we all deal with at some point in our lives; growing older, growing wiser, the challenges of maturing, loss of youth, loss of innocence. These women have so much wisdom and we’re all familiar with their images from the covers of magazine and the many photographers they’ve worked with, but they were working before we had cable, before we had the internet and Youtube, so we haven’t really heard them speak before. We haven’t heard their side of the story – people are excited to hear them talk and to see that they are intelligent, witty and have so much depth. I think that is why people have responded so beautifully.

I was there for many of the interviews and there was a lot of stuff left on the cutting room floor, this film could have been five hours long! These women just gave us so much – to sit there in the room with them and hear them talk about the history of fashion, their careers and the industry was wonderful. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. I don’t think there are enough vehicles that explore the history of this business. To hear them give firsthand accounts of that was just exciting.

Pat Cleveland

MDC: What was the experience of being in the documentary like for you?

Pat Cleveland: What a blessing to be unmuted, I’ve been a mime forever! I talked about a lot of things, but they selected something very meaningful for the final edit. I talk about a very tragic experience, I don’t usually like to be a crybaby, but I cried in this!

I find something new every time I see the film. You see these girls and they’re gorgeous, but you never got the story behind it. When you watch you’re going to find out some dish! It takes a lot of dirt to make a rose, but it’s good to have a little bit so you can get some growing going.

Micki Schneider of Wilhelmina with Valerie Boster of American Vogue


  1. I think these models ar very attractive. I believe Cindy Crawford., Christy Brinkley and Brooke Shields and many more from that era are
    very good looking.., in some instances .., they even look better to me.