It's time to vote for the winner of #SISwimSearch! We need your help choosing on of the members of our Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2019 rookie class. By now, we're sure you've been introduced to our six incredible finalists, but now it's time to get to know them a little bit better.
Say hello to Camille Kostek. The former New England Patriots cheerleader has always envisioned herself as a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model, but she probably never guessed that she'd end up on screen with Denzel Washington. Find out about that exciting opportunity and more in the interview below!
Sports Illustrated: How has becoming a #SISwimSearch finalist impacted your life?
Camille Kostek: At first I was kind of hesitant to do the whole ‘sharing my life on Instagram’ type of thing. It’s kind of crazy with the world of social media now and how Instagram works. Even before SI, it was new for me to start to become what you call a ‘public figure’ on Instagram. I think that sometimes I want to take a step back and I’m a bit hesitant about sharing a piece of my life, but the open Sports Illustrated Swimsuit casting call got me to my dream shoot. Having an open profile and having a video that I could share with people that I know or didn’t know just from that public hashtag has literally changed my life. Having someone give their two cents on my profile or what they think of me from behind the screen — everything trumps that by doing something like this open call and having this to share with a bigger fan base and getting to know strangers or talking to other young women or women of any age about loving the skin you’re in.
SI: Has it been cool to get more attention on social media?
CK: And as far as social media going up, I have never in my life gained 30,000 followers in one day. It was a pretty exhilarating number to see. It’s just so cool to see the fan base behind Sports Illustrated. They might have their favorites already, but they get so excited to learn about the new girls that hop aboard the family.
SI: You said that girls have reached out to you about body image. Are you surprised to find yourself in the position to give advice to other women?
CK: Absolutely. Life flies by so fast. I remember being that 15-year-old, that 14-year-old that was looking at — it wasn’t Instagram at the time, but it was magazines and it was YouTube videos. I was a dancer, so I always loved watching girls perform and dance and just always looked up to them and their bodies. I remembered loving looking at JLo because she had a set of hips. And I think that’s what so cool about this day in age is that you do have that reach. Being an older sister and having been a young woman, it’s super cool for these women to reach out and share their insecurities or something that they want advice on and kind of being able to be their inspiration. That’s like the most fulfilling thing to ever hear.
SI: What’s been the reaction among your family and friends? Is it awkward for some of them to see you in sexy photos?
CK: I’m only 25 once. I train and have dreamed about this time in my life and when I got into modeling just a few years ago, I never had put on a string, thong bikini and shot. And I always said that the only time that I would ever drop trow and go topless and hold my boobs for a shot comfortably would be for something like Sports Illustrated because every time I look at the magazine, even at a young age, that didn’t scare me. It was just inspiring. It’s always been tastefully done — just this iconic magazine. My mom always let me look at it at a young age, and it was just something that I knew I always wanted to be in since I was young and I was never scared to share that with my mom or my dad and be like 'I’m going to be a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model.'
SI: We know you’ve shot some films that we’ll see this year. What was that like?
CK: I have always wanted to kind of step into the acting world, but I’ve have never taken acting classes, so it was really super risky. Every time I walked into a casting I kind of used that as my acting class to practice being on tape and picking up a new script and trying out these different personalities. So, it’s truly been super exciting to get the call because it was kind of one of those things where you expect the worst and hope for the best. I expected to just go and do it and never hear from the casting director or my agent again about movies, but it’s been a two-for-two situation. I’ve auditioned for two big feature films and I got the call both times. I will be in a movie with Amy Schemer, and I will be in a movie with Denzel Washington. And in both roles, I have speaking lines with both of those people in their movies, so I really lucked out.
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See more of Camille's SI Swimsuit 2018 photos here!