Liberty Ross cuts loose with family and friends at her Malibu beach trailer…
…C editor-at-large Kendall Conrad takes in the view.
With a jet-black mane, fair white skin, pale-blue eyes and an affable English voice, this London transplant is as articulate as she is beautiful. She still models, doing “bits and bobs here and there,” but Liberty Ross has also begun to appear on film—first in Madonna’s W.E. and now Snow White and the Huntsman (out June 1), directed by her husband, Rupert Sanders. Her family of four resides mainly in the Hollywood Hills, but on the weekends, they cozy up in their chic Malibu mobile-home. With a vintage VW van parked out front, Ross is as Californian as any native.
KC : When did you find this house?
LR: About four years ago. Weirdly, we used to come to this spot of beach most weekends and spend the day here. I would look up at this very deck and say, ‘Gosh, I wonder who lives there. It looks so amazing. They would never ever leave it, because why would you?’ I honestly thought it was, like, John Travolta’s house. I had no idea.
KC: Then what happened?
LR: I saw a little “for-sale” sign. So I said to Rupert, ‘Rather than go to Europe this summer, why don’t we just rent one of those beach houses?’ My mum and I walked onto that deck. I called Rupert, who was on a shoot in Mexico, and I said, ‘I found a house, Honey. Keep working!’ It really transformed our life here. It was really meant to be—that’s all I can say. We were completely sold.
KC: So, you are originally from Los Angeles?
LR: I was born in London, though I lived here until I was seven. Even when we went back to England, I would return to L.A. for every holiday. I grew up on this very sand. When I sent my mum a photo of my children running along the beach, she sent me the exact same photo of my brother and me. That’s when I realized I was sort of repeating history. We were here because my dad [Ian Ross] owned Flipper’s, the famous roller disco in the ’70s and ’80s. Supposedly, Quentin Tarantino was a junior skate guard there. We’ve got pictures of Arnold Schwarzenegger putting on blue-suede roller skates. I’m in the early stages of making a film about it…The shocking things my older brothers got up to there! [Atticus Ross won the Academy Award with Trent Reznor for the The Social Network’s score; Milo Ross now manages punk bands in London.]
KC: When did you move stateside?
LR: In 2004, Rupert and I came to have our first baby here. We were in England, and I sort of had this big career, and he was really doing well with commercials. Then I got pregnant, and we wanted to be where we didn’t really know anyone. My agents all said that I might as well move to Beirut.
KC: Do you surf?
LR: We actually paddleboard. It’s quite funny; there’s a whole etiquette that goes down on these beaches. When we first moved in, a lot of surfers came over and were like ‘Hi, do your surf?’ Once we said no, they were like, ‘Welcome!’ They’re so happy when you’re not stealing their waves.
KC: The Volkswagen van says a lot about your lifestyle!
LR: For Christmas, I surprised Rupert with the VW. It has always been his dream car. We’re planning our own camping trip to El Capitán in Santa Barbara. There are a lot of people we pile into this trailer. It’s probably one of the reasons for getting the VW. It can be an extra bedroom.
KC: What’s the best thing about living here?
LR: To have contrast in life is so important. When we get here, we turn off our mobiles. We have no computers. It’s just what it is. We’re quite social during the day, and we love having loads of people over. All of our neighbors know my family. It’s a good vibe.
Written and edited by Kendall Conrad.
PHOTO: Douglas Freidman.