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Elle is the Elizabeth Warren of publishing.
For the April issue, on stands Monday, the fashion magazine has cast model and Home and Away star Pia Miller as the new cover girl. This type of soft coverage – a fashion feature and photo shoot is usually considered the Holy Grail for celebrities and their publicists – not so much for the 33-year-old.
In the lead-up to the new issue going to press, the actor, who first appeared on the long-running soap in 2015 and plays Katarina Chapman, showcased an unprecedented and “zealous level of control” for editors.
Nevertheless, they persisted.
“The shoot concept and this accompanying interview were more difficult to agree on than most international cover stars in this magazine’s history. From the earliest planning stages, she displayed a zealous level of control – one that extends across her career and the way she’s publicly perceived,” the accompanying feature reads.
“Her fierce protectiveness of her privacy and her family goes some way towards explaining why it was never a sure thing that Miller would appear in these pages.”
Miller, who is a mother of two boys – Lennox, 10, and Isaiah, 13 – refused to pose with her family for the fashion publication that has built a glowing reputation for showcasing inspiring women.
A male model was also a non-negotiable for the spread. A compromise was found when Home and Away co-star Luke Pegler was recruited for the feature.
According to Elle, two assistants accompanied her to the interview and then sat “patiently at a table nearby”.
Last year Woman’s Day referred to the Logie-nominated actor as “Princess Pia” in a double-page spread claiming her cast mates “can’t stand her”.
“She has one of the smallest acting portfolios on the show, but carries on like she’s a five-time Oscar winner,” an unnamed source told the magazine.
A Seven spokesperson quashed the claims, saying the report was “untrue”.
Miller is a successful anomaly in the world of TV and fashion. She has the kind of reach and engagement with her fans that executives crave from their charges.
Like Miranda Kerr before her, she won the Dolly Model Search competition when she was just 14 before venturing into acting and landing ambassador roles for big international brands like ghd.
She is a social media star with more than 570,000 fans on Instagram, 200,000 more than Home and Away’s official account.
Miller made headlines in 2015 for announcing she was separating from her husband, former AFL star Brad Miller, on the day of the code’s grand final.
Despite the couple living in different states for more than a year at the time, the Millers chose to announce their split just hours before bounce down at the MCG. He has since relocated from Melbourne to Sydney to co-parent their children.
Miller is now in a relationship with Tyson Mullane, the co-founder of Macamilk – a locally produced Macadamia milk.