Of all the women to participate in WWE’s Diva Search contests, Maryse may have had the longest road to travel. Imagine being told to be yourself during interviews and competitions knowing only a few words of English.

“I felt like saying, ‘Yeah, try to be yourself and speak French!’” Maryse said with a smile.

But the future SmackDown Diva set her mind to what she wanted, and two years later, she speaks English as fluently as if she grew up in the United States.

The Montreal native has been entertaining people since the age of 15. In a class with 30 boys and no other girls, Maryse stuck to her guns, never straying from her passion for beauty. She ran her school’s fashion show, and even began putting together a makeup line – which she hopes to have running in full force within a year.

“People are really hard on women today,” she said. “I really love taking a girl who has no idea how to wear makeup and teach her everything, and show her the difference at the end. The smile on their face is just amazing. It’s like they won a million dollars.”

In 2003, Maryse won Miss Hawaiian Tropic Canada and she finished as the runner-up in the International Finals of Miss Hawaiian Tropic 2004. She has also been featured in a special edition of Playboy and on the cover of its Girls of Canada 2007 calendar.

Growing up around beauty, Maryse found herself among a surprising amount of pessimism.

“When I started in this business, I was 15 years old, and no matter the places I went, there were always really negative people around. There’s a lot of competition and jealousy. I learned that you have to just believe in what you’re doing.”

People have often approached her, asking how she handles being an entertainer. She calls her role a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week job and it’s a matter of keeping her priorities straight.

“I just push away everything negative,” she explained. “Just do what you want to do and believe that you can do it and you will do it.”

Maryse is a 10-year veteran of modeling and performing, and a two-year veteran of sports-entertainment. The idea to be a part of WWE came from her friends, when one day they were all sitting around a pool, sipping margaritas. She had started wrestling with her brother at a young age, but never thought it would lead to competing in the 2006 Diva Search.

“When I finally got to Los Angeles, there were so many girls,” she said. “You have to come with character and personality. You’ve got to be ready.”

After making it to the top eight in the competition, Maryse was signed in August that year, following a week of observing training at Ohio Valley Wrestling. She worked at OVW as both an interviewer and a wrestler, and in September she made her debut on SmackDown. Eventually, she would work her way up to joining former WWE Tag Team Champions Deuce & Domino, accompanying the duo to the ring.

Whether it’s wrestling, makeup, modeling or fashion, entertainment has been the passion driving Maryse since she was young. She does it for herself, and will continue to do so no matter what anybody else might think.

“I do the best I can do and I’m passionate about it. If people like me, they like me. If not,” she says, “too bad for them.”