Want to help choose a member of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2019 rookie class? Well, this is your moment! #SISwimSearch has been narrowed down to six amazing finalists and now we need you to VOTE VOTE VOTE for your favorite.
The poll are open, but before you hit that button, get to know finalist Haley Kalil. You may already recognize her as former Miss Minnesota 2014 or from the sidelines of Bank of America Stadium where she cheers on her husband, Carolina Panthers offensive tackle Matt Kalil, and, trust us, you're going to want to learn even more about this babe. Check out our interview with Haley below!
Sports Illustrated: Have you noticed any changes in your life now that you’re a #SISwimSearch finalist? Has your social media grown?
Haley Kalil : Oh, yeah. I think I started with maybe 2,000-5,000 followers and now I have over 25,000 just from Sports Illustrated, so that’s been probably the biggest change as far as social media. I have a lot of brands that have started reaching out to me, which is weird for me. One of my favorite bands from high school is filming a music video and I’ll be in the music video in April. Before this, I would have never gotten an offer like that, ever.
SI: What does your family think of all of this?
HK: My family has had such a blast following me and following my journey because they know that I’ve wanted this forever and I’ve had so many people tell me there’s no possible way that it could happen. And so, seeing me do it and seeing it happen is really cool for them.
SI: What was it like shooting in Belize? Did it take some time to get used to the more revealing swimsuits?
HK: I never wore things like that before just because I didn’t really have a reason to, but I’ve followed Sports Illustrated since I was little and I’ve seen all of the iconic women wearing these things. Because it was Sports Illustrated and because I was shooting Yu Tsai, it’s just so comfortable and it’s so natural to embrace who you are as a woman and your sex appeal. It really just came naturally to me. I didn’t feel forced, I didn’t feel uncomfortable. It was just kind of like this amazing transition where it just felt like ‘this is the moment that I’m supposed to be sexy’ and I took that moment and ran with it and loved every part of it.
SI: Your husband Matt Kalil plays for the Carolina Panthers. What has the team’s reaction been to you being finalist?
HK: Everyone’s been really supportive. Aside from my grandma seeing the initial photos that I posted, no one has been like ‘Oh, look at you in these outfits.’ They’ve all been extremely supportive including my husband and his teammates.
SI: Did the photo shoot live up to your expectations?
HK: It’s hard because you put so much pressure on yourself. All you’re thinking is ‘these better be the best photos I take in my entire life’ and coming from someone that hasn’t been a model her whole life, it was very intimidating at first because Yu Tsai has shot all of these amazing models and legendary supermodels that I’ve looked up to my entire life. I was nervous meeting him, but he’s so good at making you feel like you’re in the element and helping you pose and making you feel comfortable that towards the end I was like ‘I don’t want it to be over! Can we take more pictures?’
SI: What photo are you most looking forward to seeing?
HK: The first one! Just because that was my first shot with Sports Illustrated. That was what I was dreaming about. Just me in the water with like some weird shiny chain on me. That’s just traditional Sports Illustrated and I’m dying to see that shot.
SI: What are your plans for the future?
HK: I would love to keep doing this. I mean, this is stepping my foot into the world that I’ve always wanted to be in, I was just never really given the opportunity. Now that this door is open, I want to take it and run with it.
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See more of Haley's SI Swimsuit 2018 photos!