The Gold Edition Meets… Sadie Frost
The Gold Edition Meets… Sadie Frost

The Gold Edition Meets… Sadie Frost

Sadie Frost was one of the most iconic faces of the 90s. An actress, model and ex-wife of Gary Kemp and Jude Law, she was a permanent fixture of ‘the Primrose Hill set’ along with Kate Moss and Meg Matthews. Now 57, she’s exploring new avenues in film-making and directing, with a deep-dive on 60s model Twiggy in the works. Ahead of her appearance at Postcards From Midlife Live this May, we sat down with her to reflect on her childhood, family and the lessons she’s learnt along the way.

On her colourful childhood…

A good word I've always used to describe my childhood is colourful. Recently, I’ve read a lot of novels and, when anyone describes growing up in the 60s and 70s, it comes home to me that I probably have enough material to fill my own book. My mother was 16 when I was born and my father was also very young. He'd already had two sons and my mum had run away from home. We lived on a bus; we were part of the hippie trail, really, so we lived in lots of communes and religious cults. There was always so much going on. My dad was this kind of really larger than life character and, wherever he went and whatever happened with him, he created this kind of dynamic chaos, or anarchy I suppose. He was a tortured genius. Growing up with somebody like that, it has an effect on you. A lot of my life has been about coming to terms with my upbringing. If you grow up around that kind of stuff, I think it’s easy to become addicted to a certain degree of drama – it’s the only thing you know, even though it was exciting, fun and incredibly interesting.

On coming of age in the 90s…

When I was born in the 60s, there was this explosion of youth culture. Then, the 70s were the hippie stage and the 80s were all about power suits and going out with someone in a band. Then, suddenly, the 90s hit which was all about being hedonistic and having a lot of fun. I actually started having kids in the 90s, so even though I did have fun, it was always in the back of my mind that I had to get my son to school in the morning. At that time, most of my friends hadn't had children, so I was pretty much on my own, working and being a mum. I think what happens when you're younger is you make decisions based only on what's happening at the time. You don't really fast forward and think about how it might work out long term. An example was, I'm married with a son to my first husband, who I loved hugely and I had everything anybody could ever want. But by my mid-20s, I realised I’d made some impulsive decisions – something my dad was very good at. I hadn’t really thought about the consequences. I don’t have any regrets – I have my beautiful children – but looking back on it I do think God, some of the decisions I made were slightly too spontaneous.

On getting older…

Life is a journey and you learn new things every day. As I get older, I’m constantly checking myself, dealing with what I’ve experienced and trying to make the best of it. The good news is by my age you have a certain amount of self-awareness, so you can be kind to yourself and kind to others, too. That’s so important when you live in a world like we do, which can be chaotic and depressing at times. It's a wonderful world, but there are so many things that I don't like – there’s a lot of negativity. That’s where a bit of wisdom and perspective really come in useful.


As I get older, I’m constantly CHECKING MYSELF, dealing with what I'VE EXPERIENCED and trying to make THE BEST OF IT.

On having a creative family…

No matter where we were living, my mother just made it incredibly homely and everyone was welcome. In her eyes, we were all equal and it was important to love our neighbours. There was never any judgement – and I think that’s a philosophy I carried over into my own family once I had my children. My kids' friends would often come to the house when they needed a bit of love and TLC, so it was important to create a warm, kind environment. My kids’ fathers are artists, too, so creativity has always been a strong thread. I always felt like I grew up in the circus, so a bohemian upbringing never felt like an unnatural choice for my own children. I knew I wouldn’t suddenly change and become this strait-laced person – I guess I’m a product of my own environment! Being a mother just comes down to doing the best you can.

On working hard for what you want…

I had to work really hard to have whatever career I've had. It’s a mentality I’ve instilled in my children – you can’t take anything for granted. People sometimes assume that things come easy to people in my position and, while you may get some opportunities, you still have to fight for those opportunities. No matter what, I’ve always kept studying, whether I was acting or modelling or working in film. A big lesson I've learned is that you can have some success in one area but that will usually only last a certain amount of time. Luckily, I've never been driven by money, so the idea of not committing to something for ever has generally worked in my favour. As long as there’s enough to support yourself, then that’s good enough, and that is something I tell my kids. My daughter’s modelling, but she's also studying ceramics. I’m encouraging my son Raff to go and do a writing course and my younger son is at university studying film. All I can do is encourage them to do something they love and to work hard at it. As long as they’re in a good place, that’s all I can ask for. I know I can’t always fix everything for them.

On having more confidence…

If I could have had this self-awareness and clarity of thought at 20, 30 or even 40, my life would have been a lot easier. I mean, I created a life of pain in some ways because I just didn't have that focus. Then, along with things like post-natal depression, I just didn’t have the peace of mind I do now. Knowing what time I’m going to get up and what I’m going to do that day isn’t boring, it’s having confidence in who I am and what I want out of life. All I can do is continue doing the best I can and evolving into a person who hopefully has some kind of moral compass or integrity. Hopefully, someone who’s a bit wise.


People sometimes assume that things COME EASY to people IN MY POSITION and, while you may GET SOME OPPORTUNITIES you still have to FIGHT FOR THOSE opportunities.

On the meaning of health and wellness…

I've done yoga since I was 16 – so everything I do in that space, whether it’s with Yin & Tonic or FrostBody is completely authentic to who I am. I've been involved in this world for a long time. Overall, I’d say I’ve always had a healthy relationship with fashion, beauty and wellness. The only thing I’d say now is a lot of those industries are oversaturated. Personally, I'm a bit sick of being dictated to – whether it’s what to eat, what time to go to bed, what exercise to do. I need to know my own mind and it's great having tips and everybody being out there and talking about it, but there is a lot of noise. I don't know if it's great for people's mental health. If everybody just slightly simplified stuff and actually looked at the reason they were doing something, life would be easier – and quieter. That’s what I’m enjoying right now… stepping back and not getting too in my head about staying relevant. It just makes me feel a bit desperate and I know this is a far healthier way to live.

On the power of social media…

I remember what it was like to truly discover things – rather than have them shown to you at the click (or scroll) of a button. I definitely think there should be more of a healthy balance with social media than the one we have now. Sure, sometimes it goes hand in hand with your work but I see a lot of people who appear to be sucked in – like some kind of brainwashing. You're being pulled into this thing and the amount of time wasting that goes on… I suppose I’m lucky to have some wisdom and perspective on it all.

On finding and being a role model…

These days, there are a lot of places to be seen and heard when you’re young. But not so many at my age. It’s why I was so excited to get involved in the Postcards From Midlife event, because it’s a safe space for people of a certain age to have meaningful discussions. Lots of us feel like we've lived this life, we have a certain amount of knowledge and insight and, no, we don’t want to be banished to Narnia! It sometimes feels like we say to everyone over 70 to go and live ‘over there’. Personally, I’ve always looked up to women like Joanna Lumley, Vivienne Westwood, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders. There are so many amazing women who have so many brilliant things to say. It’s important for all of us to listen to those women and take their words on board.


If I can ENCOURAGE WOMEN to go and DO SOMETHING that helps them BELIEVE IN THEMSELVES again – that they're NOT IRRELEVANT, that they still can BE EMPLOYED – then THAT'S AMAZING.

On finding fulfilment later in life…

At the moment, I'm directing a documentary about Twiggy. When I was in my 50s, I went back to film school and did a course on directing. Then, I directed a documentary about Mary Quant and now I'm doing Twiggy. I’ve tended to find that the older you get, the more people tell you you can't do things. But I knew I could make a decision, work hard and try to change tack. It’s very scary being older and having to think about how you earn money – a lot of women simply stop being hired and haven't got the savings to support themselves because they’ve used them to bring up their children. Maybe they aren’t married anymore. I see a lot of women in their 70s who've worked really hard and are absolutely penniless and in really difficult situations. If I can encourage women to go and do something that helps them believe in themselves again – that they're not irrelevant, that they still can be employed – then that’s amazing. Women have so much to learn from each other – and I find that really fulfilling as I get older.

On to the next chapter…

There’s another eight months until the Twiggy doc comes out and then, there’ll be press and festivals to deal with. Then, I’d love to direct a feature film – different conversations are currently in the works. But I have to say, I’m definitely going through a period of self-discovery and I’m at a time in my life when I know working 24/7 isn’t the be all and end all. I've always been a workaholic, but really being present at home or in nature has made me realise life is short. My health, my mind, my body… all of these things are important and I’m very, very excited to see what the next few years bring.

Postcards from Midlife LIVE is a new lifestyle event where your midlife questions will be answered by top experts coming together under one roof, plus boutique shopping and pampering. If you liked this interview and would like to see Sadie Frost and other top celebrities at Postcards from Midlife LIVE visit and use the code SHEERLUXE20 for 20% OFF tickets.

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