MODEL & ACTRESS
Charlotte McKinney can show an impressive list of achievements in the fashion and film industry. She started her career with the legendary appearance in the Carl’s Jr. commercial during Super Bowl. Charlotte played in several movies, her most recent film is Fantasy Island, and appeared in numerous campaigns for GUESS, Sports Illustrated, Vanity Fair and others. In our interview we talk with Charlotte about her career, challenges and philanthropic work.
You are born and raised in Florida, left high school at the age of 17 to pursue a modeling career. Did you expect that you would become a famous model and actress?
I never expected the success I’ve received but it was and continues to be my dream. To be honest, I’m still working towards that feeling of ‘I’ve made it’ every day.
Looking back at your first years in the industry. How did you get your career started in the modeling world?
I really put in the hard work from a young age, I was always pretty determined. My family is not in the fashion or entertainment industry, and every introduction or door that opened for me, I worked for.
The Carl’s Jr. commercial has obviously been a very powerful springboard in your career. How did your life change after the ad went viral?
That Carl’s Jr. commercial was an incredible experience and I’ll be forever grateful. It really allowed me to transition my career into entertainment, not just fashion and modeling.
What challenges did you have to conquer to become what you are today?
The challenges are never ending. The industry is so unpredictable, you have little control over your career, so I’ve had to teach myself to have thick skin, and just keep pushing through. I’ve also learnt to not base my happiness around my jobs. It was important for me to realize that there is more to life than the next photo shoot and to step back, look at the big picture and see what’s important.
What has been the most challenging project you ever worked on?
I’m still dealing with challenges from transitioning from model to actress. I’ve been put in a box my whole career, and a daily challenge to be taken more seriously in the acting world. Other than that, I look at every project as a challenge, so I can continue to push myself to do better with every job, whether it’s an IG post, a fashion campaign or movie.
As a model and actress, on which part of your career would you like to focus ?
I really enjoy being on set for film and TV, and playing the comedic roles. I’ve played the sexy girl over and over again, so I really enjoyed working on some other roles that have a little more substance and creativity to it.
Charlotte, it seems like you can do anything. What are your goals and aspirations for the future?
Continuing to pursue my work in film and TV is really my goal for the future. I dream of having a recurring role on a sitcom or a blockbuster film. Aside from work, I want to continue doing my part in this world. Especially with organizations like Best Buddies and Children’s Hospital of LA. I’ve been volunteering with them for many many years and hope to continue the work for years to come.
We found an amazing editorial of your cooperation with legendary photographer Sante d’ Orazio who previously worked with supermodels like Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Crawford and Kate Moss. How did you like to work with him?
This was the second time I’ve had the honor of shooting with him, and every time it’s such a surreal experience. He is so talented and a legend in the industry. I grew up admiring his work, and to be on set with him is always a dream come true. Since we first met, we just got on so well and now have this beautiful relationship, and I adore his son Nick too!
Keen Magazine is a black and white magazine. Do you like to see yourself in black and white? What do you think about black and white images?
I’ve been a big fan of KEEN for a while now, specifically because it is only black and white photography! My fav images are nearly always black and white. I love all things classic and timeless, so of course that means black and white photographs! I think it really brings an elegance to an image, that you don’t see in color.
PHILANTHROPY & MEDIA PRESENCE
You heavily support philanthropic organizations like Best Buddies, creating opportunities for those with developmental disabilities, or the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. Why is this work important to you?
Best Buddies is an organization I’ve been working with since a young age, and I’m so lucky to have the opportunity to keep using my platform to share their important messages. I love nothing more than visiting The Children’s Hospital of LA, the smiles on the kids faces bring me so much happiness. It really keeps me centered and puts everything into perspective, and I encourage everyone to check out their work and get involved.
You have 1.5 million followers on Instagram. How important is this channel for you and what important messages do you like to send to your followers?
I feel grateful to have the audience on social media that I do, and I do my best to educate and encourage people to get involved through my Instagram and YouTube.
What self-care rituals do you practice to stay healthy?
I’m very into self-care rituals,I find them extremely important for my daily wellbeing. This includes waking up and doing my breathwork and meditation, a morning workout, a monthly facial with Dr. Barbara Sturm, and my real secret is a weekly Friday visit to the best kept secret in NY & LA, The IMD Beauty Spa for an infrared sauna session.
What is something we would find surprising about you?
People are often surprised when they meet me in person because of how low-key and my fun attitude towards life. I’m not really what people expect of me, I feel like I’m the opposite. People see this curated version of me on Instagram, and so over Covid I actually launched my own YouTube channel to give everyone a more realistic look into my life and personality. Go check my YouTube out!
Thank you, Charlotte, for this inspiring interview about your outstanding career as model and actress. Stay healthy!
– Written by: Michaela Weidlich