At 17 years old, model and actress Sedona Legge has already been a lot of places, but her Barneys New York photo shoot marks her first-ever trip to New York City. “It’s very different from what I’m used to,” says Legge, who grew up in a sleepy California resort town before her family relocated to Sydney, Australia, when she was 11. “People here are very interesting. Every person I see is different and unique, and I really enjoy that.” When asked if the city differed from her expectations, Legge admits rather sheepishly that she had expected to see the Satue of Libery upon landing at JFK airport. “I guess any person who hasn’t been to New York thinks that,” she says.
In a lot of ways, Legge is your average teenager; some of her interests include animals, “anything to do with sugar,” and “being a goofball.” Today, she comes in dressed in a denim miniskirt and an embroidered bohemian blouse and is perched on a leather sofa in a Manhattan studio, all legs and gangly charm. “Ever since I was really little, I wanted to be an actress,” she recalls with a dreamy expression. “I was always an outgoing kid, and acting gave me a place to be myself and to have fun.” She always wanted to be a model, too, but for a long time she was too short. “Then, I had a massive growth spurt at 16, and I sent a photo of myself to all the agents in Australia,” she says of her now 5’9″ frame. One agent bit, and the rest is history.
Now, Legge is poised to have her biggest year yet. New York trip aside, 2016 has been filled with firsts for the teenager. At the top of the list was co-starring in her first feature film, the summer blockbuster The Shallows, in which she plays Blake Lively’s little sister. Shot on location on the remote Lord Howe Island off the coast of Australia, the movie follows Lively as she tries to outwit a particularly determined and deadly great white shark.
“That was my favorite part,” she says of the movie’s location. “The water is crystal blue, and fish would just surround you. Everyone went barefoot.” Given the terrifying tenacity of the great white in the movie, it’s easy to wonder if Legge ever felt a quiver of fear stepping into those waters. “No,” she says. “I love sharks. They are actually a very important part of the ecosystem. They are beautiful animals. And there are less shark attacks than car accidents.”
As new projects roll in, Legge has her sights set on nothing short of Charlize Theron-style model-actress domination. “I want to be in a Tim Burton film, I want to be in Vogue, in W magazine, I want to walk for Alexander McQueen, I want to do everything,” she says. At the rate she’s going, everything is certainly just around the corner. But first, she and her mother will be making a special trip tomorrow to see the Statue of Liberty for the very first time.