The first words out of Chanel Iman’s mouth every time she returns to L.A. are: “Two cheeseburgers—no onions or pickles—french fries, and a chocolate shake.”
“This is what I order from In-N-Out when I come home,” says the model with acting aspirations. Sorry, no room left for green juice—which makes sense, considering the 24-year-old Atlanta native was raised on down-home Southern cooking. “I like sweet and salty!”
If there were still such a thing as supermodels, Iman’s résumé would certainly put her in that elite tier, having signed with the legendary Ford agency at 13 before earning her “wings” in 2010, becoming a regular on the Victoria’s Secret runway. Now, the exotic stunner—she’s part Korean—is getting into acting with a challenging role as a teenager who mixes with a very wrong crowd in the Pharrell-produced Sundance hit Dope, out this month.
“It gave me the opportunity to be edgy,” Iman says. “I did a lot of things I never thought I would, from being nude on set, to peeing on the side of the road—I did all my own stunts!”
Baring it is something that comes pretty naturally to Iman. One of her early role models—and first girl crushes, she admits—was Halle Berry, as she emerged from the sea in a skimpy orange bikini as a Bond girl in Die Another Day. Iman’s also done countless racy shoots for the world’s top fashion photographers. “One of the first I ever did was with Peter Lindbergh, and it’s one of the most classic photos of me,” she says. “I’m very comfortable with my body.”
So how does she stay in such incredible shape with all those trips to In-N-Out? Turns out, she’s quite the athlete: “I love basketball,” she says. “I used to play when I was a teenager, and I actually went to a UCLA all-boys basketball camp and was named MVP.”
And these days it’s boxing that fires her up. “I got inspired by Floyd Mayweather.”