Charismatic blonde bombshell, Kate Upton, is every man’s dream girl. Natural and sexy, warm and inviting, whether you know her from her famous Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue covers or you’ve seen her off-the-cuff and incredibly voluptuous in the ‘Cat Daddy’ video (shot by Terry Richardson), she has a face, body and essence that you’ll never forget. However, she is not your average fashion model, recently gracing the anniversary cover of the 100th edition of Vanity Fair, as well as taking over the big screen in her spring film debut, The Other Woman. She also has been finding a little time on the side to enjoy the company of Detroit Tiger ace pitcher, Justin Verlander.
Born June 10, 1992 in Michigan and raised in Florida, Kate has quite a pedigree. A Gemini by nature, Kate was also a serious equestrian competing on the Paint Horse circuit nationally. She was born to former Texas state tennis champion, Shelley Upton, and high school athletics director Jeff Upton, and her uncle Fred Upton is a congressman in Michigan.
The 21-year-old model began her career with Elite Model Management in 2008 after attending a casting call and was signed the very same day. Since then, she has appeared on numerous Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar covers, as well as being the unforgettable face of Guess from 2010-2011. Kate has become a phenomenon, shooting her third straight Sports Illustrated pictorial in the infamous zero gravity shoot that took four years to plan. Largely due to her self-marketing social media skills, Kate’s supermodel persona has poised her to become the next Hollywood crossover star with her stunning looks and smart demeanor. We love Kate and are very proud to have her for the first time in STRIPLV Magazine.
At the Four Season’s in Beverly Hills to promote the movie, The Other Woman, in which she stars opposite Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann, Kate is wearing a black Viktor & Rolf shirt, beige Rag & Bone trousers and knee-high black Dior boots. Her hair is long and loose and her makeup is perfect.
VSMARTY: You probably grew up watching Cameron Diaz? How was it to meet her?
UPTON: Yes, and I always looked up to her, and to meet her and find out that she is so much more amazing than I ever even imagined, was a really cool thing. I don’t think that you get to experience that with a lot of people.
VSMARTY: How did you get the role?
UPTON: I almost feel like it kind of landed in my lap. It was the perfect first role for me, where I could act with such amazing actresses, and watch them and be able to learn a lot.
VSMARTY: You have a lot going on in your life. What is the biggest challenge?
UPTON: I don’t really find anything in my life a challenge – it’s more about me learning new things and putting myself out there. Sometimes you get rejected, but that’s life. Everyone experiences it.
VSMARTY: Is it hard to try to go into acting and comedy and to prove that you are not only a pretty face?
UPTON: (chuckles) I think that people are going to think whatever they want. And I don’t really try to change people’s perception of me – I am really just trying to be myself and be good at what I am doing.
VSMARTY: Are you into fashion?
UPTON: Yeah, I love fashion and I love a good label, but I love fashion with my own personal style. I am very casual and I like jeans and boots, but I like kind of a fancy top, too.
VSMARTY: European editors have also started putting you on covers. How has that been for you?
UPTON: It’s amazing. I get to work with some of the most talented people in fashion and I don’t think anyone would have complaints. Also, these people are my friends. We hang out and we talk and we keep up, and it’s really cool to be able to sit here and say I do that.
VSMARTY: You have also changed the body image of the fashion industry because you are a curvy woman. Do you feel that you have become a role model at all?
UPTON: I hope I have, because I feel really confident in my body. I grew up in Florida and we were always running around in bikinis, so it was something really natural for me. To hear that women don’t feel that way and that they feel judged, and that I have been under judgment, sucks. So I try to go past it and look at it as every single woman in some way – if it’s not in the media or it’s not in a worldwide kind of way, it’s being judged. And it hurts just as bad if it’s from your colleagues, or from your family, or whoever is judging you. So, I really try to be conscious about that, and keep that in mind; keep my confidence, which I need for doing what I am doing.
VSMARTY: You are such a big star on the Internet. How savvy are you with Internet skills?
UPTON: Yeah, the crazy thing is, I try to bring my personality into social media. I think that’s really important and I think that people can tell that. I think you can tell when somebody wrote it for you or you wrote it yourself – or if you find something funny and you post it and even if it’s a complete flop – at least you tried and that’s what you found funny. People will feel like they get to know you – and a lot of models don’t have that opportunity – and even actresses don’t have that opportunity, because people think they know them from the roles they take on, but it’s not really them. And so I think that’s a really cool thing about the Internet.
VSMARTY: All this stuff we read about high school bullying, was that prevalent when you were at school?
UPTON: No. I didn’t really have that actually. It wasn’t that big of a deal growing up. It really just became a big deal a year or two ago. And we didn’t really have that back then; I barely had a cell phone. (laughing) I mean I have two older sisters and I got their hand-me-downs whenever one of them lost one and they found it.
VSMARTY: What does your family think about your success?
UPTON: Well my family, we are really close, and so they have been there from the beginning and they are really proud of me. Actually, it was kind of a shock at the beginning for everybody, but we have all been through the same emotions together, because we talk every day.
VSMARTY: Are you different from each other?
UPTON: Yeah, we are all completely different. But that’s what makes it interesting. My poor parents… (laughter)
VSMARTY: Living in Florida, did you play golf?
UPTON: I didn’t, but my entire family did, and so I kind of felt like I was missing something, as part of the family, and the one thing I didn’t get to enjoy with them – so I took a golf lesson. And I am “okay.” I am not great. (laughter) But practice makes perfect.
VSMARTY: What would you do if you found out that your guy is cheating on you or has a wife and a mistress, like in your debut film, The Other Woman?
UPTON: I think that’s what is the cool thing about the movie – is that it’s about how you handle it. I think a lot of girls get a bad rep and they throw each other under the bus. But these girls didn’t know about it and it really was the guy’s decision to do that. It wasn’t the girl’s knowledge. And so, for these women to help each other through it is a really crazy situation and a cool situation. It’s a little extreme; I don’t know if I would be besties with her, (laughter) but it’s cool to see that they both were hurting and they both found comfort in each other sharing that same situation.
VSMARTY: Would you ever do a revenge plan like they did?
UPTON: It wasn’t really revenge. In my mind, when I read the script or when I watched the movie, it was more like they were trying to decide what the next move was. And you are so angry, you are so hurt, you are so upset, that you want to do these crazy things, just pull out the divorce papers and walk away. But Leslie Mann’s character had this marriage with him and she wanted to sit on it for a second. And Cameron and my character decided to sit on it with her and help her through it, but it was almost like a mean text message. Like, you had to deal with this guy that you didn’t know what to do, but you had all these feelings and history with, so it wasn’t really revenge.
VSMARTY: My favorite was the hair loss.
UPTON: Yeah… When I first started modeling, everybody would talk in the model department… Actually, models would do that to each other, put Nair in each other’s shampoo. It was crazy.