MOLLY SIMS may have found her home in Las Vegas for the past half decade, but in her heart, she’s a world traveler. In fact, shortly after meeting me for dinner on a rainy evening in New York, she was off to Miami, then Los Angeles, and then, well, who knows? Sims circled the globe as a supermodel in the late 1990s, and though the Kentucky native has since planted roots in New York and L.A., she’s still constantly looking to broaden her horizons with new experiences, both in her personal life (like through her exhaustive charity work) and her professional one (by branching out into movie roles). Her newest comedy, Fired Up, is now in theaters.
You were happily ensconced in college when you were discovered as a model and subsequently whisked away to every corner of the globe. Prior to modeling, had you traveled much? I studied French in high school and had gone to France between my junior and senior years. My parents helped to cultivate my love of travel because they were self-made business people, and my dad traveled all over. So I started traveling with them. My parents’ lives didn’t stop because of children; they just took us with them. Now I’m fluent in French, and I’ve lived everywhere: France for four years, London for two years, Germany, Milan …
It does seem more important than ever to inform children about what a global world we’re living in. It is a global world, and I definitely believe that through my travels, I became cultured. I don’t mean it in a bad way -- I love Kentucky -- but it’s nice to learn about what else is out there. Matt Damon made a comment about how it’s great to have a thick passport, because you don’t take yourself quite so seriously.You’ve been all over the world. Do you have any favorite places? India. The colors and the people -- it’s all so amazing. And Africa too. I’ve been a million times. I used to work out of there, and I’ve gone back for charity. It really opens your world.Speaking of charities, I know you’re actively involved with the Friends of El Faro in helping the Casa Hogar Sion orphanage in Mexico. How often do you get down there? I go down every six weeks. I got involved four years ago through my acting coach. We take care of 110 kids in Tijuana. I just go down and interact with the kids. We do makeovers, we do drum circles, we feed them, we put them to bed, we get them medicine. They all go to school now; they all have uniforms.This is what I’m talking about: This matters to me because I’ve become so aware of the world. The problem I have with people is when they become aware and don’t do anything about it. When you become aware and you do something about it, and you tell this person, and that person tells this person, and this person tells that person -- that’s what is amazing.
You’ve managed a pretty rare feat: successfully breaking out of modeling to TV and now going from TV to feature films. Was this part of a grand plan? No. But I did have goals. I always have goals. I think you have to. I’m also a very realistic person and a very business-oriented person. Like, I loved Vogue, and I think they’re brilliant, but if I was going to model for Vogue, I was thinking, Okay, what’s next?
Las Vegas was pretty much your first big acting gig. Yes, Vegas was where I found my comedic abilities. Gary Scott Thompson, creator/executive producer of Vegas, gave me a shot. What can I tell you? He took some models, a few soap stars, and an old retiring movie star named Jimmy Caan and put us all together, and we became one happy dysfunctional family for a very long time. They’re still my family.And now you’re starring in Fired Up. More comedy? So much comedy. It’s with John Michael Higgins from Kath &; Kim and Best in Show. He’s a brilliant actor, and he plays my cheerleader husband. We’re the heads of the camp that these girls come to, and it’s awesome. I had the best time.Cheerleading must be big in Kentucky, no? Huge, honey! I was a cheerleader. It’s live and die by sports, my friend.Molly’s Must-havesHere’s a list of things Molly Sims brings with her on the plane to make her frequent flights a little more comfortable.Her Yorkshire terriers: “They come with me a lot of times. They go in one little bag together, and they don’t make a peep.”Cashmere: “Always a cashmere pillow. And cashmere socks. Marc Jacobs makes these great, cheap ones.”Moisturizer: “Aquaphor for my lips. I sometimes get weird looks because I’m always moisturizing on a flight.”Makeup remover: “I’ll go straight from work and take off all my makeup on the plane. So everyone sees me go from glamorous to … just okay!”Reading material: “I always have a book on me, always. And a newspaper -- either USA Today or the New York Times.”A scarf: “I put on a pashmina or scarf of some sort and tuck my feet under and relax.”