Nathalie Cox is perhaps best known for her roles in Clash of the Titans and Kingdom of Heaven, and for her covers in Vogue and Marie Claire.
Having spent many years at the forefront of the entertainment industry, Nathalie’s lightbulb moment sparked out of her lifelong passion for country and Americana music. Realising there wasn’t a veritable hub for fans of the genre, she moved on from Hollywood and co-founded CountryLine, an app for country music fans, which has already received financial backing from high profile industry insiders – including Sir Elton John!
Her vision was to connect audiences with their favourite musicians and creators across the globe, and to house the cream of the country music scene in one place for audiences everywhere to enjoy.
Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role
I come from a modelling and acting background. I started modelling as a teenager never thinking it would grow in to the career it has. I lived in New York for a few years working for Vogue and the big glossy magazines and shooting campaigns for high profile fashion brands. I then got my first acting job through my modelling agency working with Ridley Scott and found that acting and modelling really complimented each other. As my acting career grew I learned a lot about professionalism and honing your craft and building a brand – skills which I use even more so today. I still model and act and I love it but the opportunity to start my own business focusing on something I’m passionate about was too good an opportunity not to grasp so about two years ago I started CountryLine with a friend of mine and together we have built the world’s first global app for country music fans.
Did you ever sit down and plan your career?
Not at all!! In hindsight I think I would have done! But I was always very lucky to seek out opportunity and I’m a strong believer in following your gut instant and carving out your own destiny. You may get a chance through a contact or your agent or a friend but it’s not going to work out unless you grab it with both hands and run with it!
Have you faced any challenges along the way?
Loads! Being an actor with a modelling background is a big challenge you have to overcome. As is becoming a business founder and entrepreneur with an acting and modelling background!! People have preconceived ideas about you, and they are almost expecting you to fail. Proving people wrong is the best feeling ever! Also, and I hate to say this, but being a woman in business still has its challenges. We’ve come a long way but there’s still some hurdles to overcome. Saying that, there’s nothing like being told you can’t do something that makes you want to do it even more…!! Never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something ESPECIALLY if their reasoning is because you’re a woman. I feel very strongly that women can do anything as well as (and maybe even better) than men so let’s show them how it’s done!
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
I just feel very fortunate that I get to wake up every morning and do something I love. I’m my own boss and I’m learning every day. That in itself is an achievement.
What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?
First of all, I don’t think success is a result of just one thing. And I don’t believe I’m completely successful! I’m getting there! I think it’s a combination of hard work, determination and having people that believe in you to lift you up along the way.
How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?
I think mentoring is a great thing. I love receiving advice from people who have been there before me. Advice is like gold dust – treat it carefully. You may not think it’s relevant to you but always listen to those who have previously trod the path you’re on. I recently got to give a talk and a workshop at a local college for careers week and it made me release how important it is to give help to others and also to ask for it! Listen to everyone’s advice, and then use the bits you need to help you be the best you can be. And then turn around and help those behind you! It’s the only way we can move forwards!
If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Parity, what would it be?
This is a hard question and I wish I knew the answer! Education is the single most important thing we can give younger generations and it should be available for all. I think we just have to keep fighting and eventually the balance will shift for the better. I think it’s great to see celebrities (especially women) speaking out for this cause. I really believe if you’re lucky enough to have a voice that’s more easily heard then you should use it to help others.
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?
Just one piece of advice?!? It’s hard to pick! I think it would be to try to learn more. I went to university whilst I was modelling and graduated with a degree. After that I thought my “education” was over. It took me a while to realise that we never stop learning. Everything is a lesson if we look hard enough and we should embrace that and learn as much as we can.
What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?
Right now the challenge is to make CountryLine a success. We’re working so hard and it’s doing really well. It has so much potential, it’s exciting to see how far we can take it. I want to help it grow to become the biggest and best global community for country music fans! And after that maybe I’ll go after an Oscar… 😉