Interview with Marisa Miller - the World's Leading Swimsuit Model

If you wonder which woman feels most comfortable in a bikini, Marisa Miller is the answer. Working constantly with SI and Victoria's Secret and being a Santa Cruz wave surfer, bombshell Marisa Miller is the world's leading swimusuit model. Read how she climbed to the top of the industry, watch her new VS commercial, learn what does it take to maintain such a fit look, and get some surfing tips!

Author: Jonathan.L - owner Models Observer
August 2007

* So, Marisa, why did you choose modeling career?

Marisa Miller: I wouldn't say I choose it, necessarily. Growing up in Santa Cruz, where the entertainment industry is non-existent, I didn't even know modeling was an option for a career. After meeting Mario Testino in Southern California, I realized what an amazing opportunity it was. I didn't want to look back in ten years and wonder "what if."

* What does it mean to be SI and Victoria's Secret model? What is required from you and what are your obligations, except of being beautiful?

Marisa Miller: I grew up with VS and SI in my house since I was a little girl, so it's really surreal to be one of those girls now. As far as obligations, what I love about VS and SI are that they promote a sexy, healthy image of women. I try to maintain a healthy look that is positive for women to look at.

* How have your career goals changed over the years? And is leaving IMG for Elite connected in any way to them?

Marisa Miller: At first, I was just happy to be working and traveling and having such a wonderful vehicle to experience life and different cultures. Now I realize there are ways to use this platform as an opportunity to be a positive influence for women by becoming more of a spokesperson for important causes and by volunteering with charities. I felt like it was time for a change. I loved the vision Elite had for me and they have helped me to keep growing and move forward to where I want to be.
Marisa Miller

Supermodel Marisa Miller. (SI, 2007).
An American success story.

Agency: Elite+
* Describe your ideal picture of happiness.

Marisa Miller: Being in Santa Cruz and spending time with family and friends. Since I travel quite a bit, I miss a lot of events and gatherings back home. So I really appreciate the time I do get to spend with the people I love.

* What does it take to maintain such a fit look? What sort of diet and training routine do you have?

Marisa Miller: There is no magic pill. I've tried every workout routine there is and the most important thing is that you do something. Whatever works for you. I love surfing and spinning. Spinning is great because I bought a bike and I can do it at my house, at any time it's convenient. Right now I'm totally addicted to boxing. I go to a real boxing gym, not like kick-boxing or Ti-Bo. It's a great cardio work-out and firmed my whole body up. There's a lot of ab work too. With my diet, I try and eat organic when I can and don't eat a lot of processed foods. But I love to eat, so working out is more of the key for me.

* How would you evaluate your flawless body influence on people?

Marisa Miller: I'm not flawless. Like every woman, I have bad days and see things I don't like. I think it's more important that whatever size you are, you're healthy. When I'm working out and eating right, I feel my best. It's not a "skinny" thing for me. I like to have curves and feel like a woman. I hope that people see that in my photos and know that healthy is better than skinny.


Supermodels Marisa Miller and Heidi Klum
showcase the new Victoria's Secret Full Coverage Uplift Bra.


* How do you adjust yourself to Body Painting sessions? What do you feel there in comparison to ordinary swimsuit shots?

Marisa Miller: They are definitely some of the most intense shoots I've experienced. It's very rewarding in the end but a very long day. You're pushed physically because you are standing nude for about 12 hours or more and then by the time you are ready to shoot, you are exhausted and really have to turn it on to get an amazing shot. SI is great about making you as comfortable as possible so that helps. And Joanne Gair, who does the painting, is a total genius! It's a very unique experience.

* Out of all the places your career has taken you, where was the most memorable?

Marisa Miller: Definitely Fiji for the Kelly Slater Celebrity Invitational. It's a lush jungle on the beach, with good waves! The Fijians are so amazing and are some of the most friendly people I've met!

* As a supermodel and an extremely popular icon, what is your right balance between your public life covered intensively by the mass media, and your private life?

Marisa Miller: I have a house in Santa Cruz and that definitely keeps me grounded and is a great escape. It's a very simple lifestyle there where I can forget about everything. Being home in Santa Cruz is a huge part of the balance between work and traveling.

* Ayn Rand, a Russian born American writer, said once: "Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver." What do you think?

Marisa Miller: I agree. Money can be a useful tool but it can't bring things of substance or true happiness.

* If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

Marisa Miller: The fact that there are people and children in the world who are suffering greatly and have little opportunity or tools to better themselves.

* If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

Marisa Miller: A dolphin so I could surf everyday!

* What would be your perfect night out?

Marisa Miller: Cooking dinner at home with friends and then going to see a good rock band or out dancing.

* One of your passions is surfing - you're a Santa Cruz surfer chick! Any surfing tips from your rich experience? How to select a board and learn to stand on it? How to read waves and surf like Marisa Miller?

Marisa Miller: The two most important things when you are learning are the right board and good ocean conditions. It will make or break your experience. Firstly. your board should be 8 or 9 feet or more when starting out and you want a super solid surface that's easy to stand up on. Secondly, make sure you are going out in small waves and calm conditions. The ocean can be dangerous in the wrong conditions. It's a good idea to get a lesson and go to a surf school or camp. They will look out for you and provide the right equipment and location that is safe and easy for beginners.

* What are you up to these days - any exciting projects?

Marisa Miller: Right now, I'm working with the American Cancer Society on a national print and PSA campaign to raise awareness for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk as well as an early mammogram program. I also just finished the PR Associated with the new Body By Victoria TV commercial and print as well as a TV show that will air in November. I'm looking forward to my debut at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show this year!

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