Published: November 01. 2012 2:09PM
Written by Stephanie Trotter
The first thing you notice about Joanna Krupa is her beauty. But look beyond her knockout looks and golden glow, and you’ll uncover a drive to succeed alongside a warm heart and endearing Polish accent. The one-time immigrant has risen to the top of the modeling profession and is now branching into many others, including Bravo’s “Housewives” franchise.
Season two of “The Real Housewives of Miami” is now in mid-swing and could the setting and characters be any hotter? Newcomer Krupa’s fitting right in, bringing the same flair that lead to her tag as one of the “Sexiest Women in the World.” The supermodel, actress, poker player and advocate for animals took time to chat with TALK Greenville about moving to America, the upcoming election and slow-dancing with Derek Hough.
TALK Greenville: Now that you’re a month into your first season on “Housewives,” how’s it going?
Joanna Krupa: I think it’s an amazing franchise and I’m proud of it; everything we’ve filmed and accomplished so far. It shows Miami for its beauty, for its style, for its fashion, for the nightclub scene and the charity angle.
TG: You’ve acted on “CSI,” appeared on “Dancing with the Stars,” reported from the red carpet and you host “Top Model Poland,” so why take on Housewives?
JK: Coming from the modeling world, the fashion world, people look at you and say, “OK, she has a pretty face and her life is so perfect. She has no issues in her life.” I wanted to show the other side of me; that I struggle. I emigrated from Poland. I had a tough upbringing. I didn’t have it handed to me on a pedestal. I worked my butt off to get to where I got in the modeling industry and I wanted to show people that with hard work and a lot of dedication you can accomplish something.
TG: Do you ladies get together on your own and invite the cameras, or do producers set up your encounters?
JK: We let producers know our schedules. Miami is pretty small when you think about people that know each other. Whenever there’s something going on, most of the girls are in the same circle, or somebody knows somebody that is going to an event.
TG: Did you become genuine friends with these women?
JK: I don’t want to give out too much of the show, but as the season goes on and you get to know every girl, you’d say, “Hmmm, I’m not sure about this one,” but then you become really good friends. Some girls, I might trust them, but then who knows what they say or what they did when I wasn’t in the room. We’ll see. We’ll see everyone’s true colors.
TG: You claim, “I’m a model, not a model citizen.” Can you elaborate?
JK: People have a vision when you’re a model you have to be perfect. You wake up in the morning with hair and make-up and everything done and you’re dressed perfectly. The reality is I don’t start the day with hair and makeup. Thank God my fiance loves me the way I am. I’m a model when I’m working, but when it’s everyday life — when I’m grocery shopping or hanging out with friends — I put on sweats and have my hair up and no makeup. I’m just the girl next door and don’t have to be glammed up.
TG: OK, “Miss Sexiest Woman in the World,” you’ve graced the covers of Maxim, Shape, Esquire, Playboy and dozens of other magazines. What is your definition of sexy?
JK: For me, my definition of sexy and beautiful is that it comes from the inside. There are so many beautiful women in the world I’ve worked with and they’re not the friendliest or nicest people. I think the most important part is how a person is inside her heart. I think everyone was put on this earth to do something good in this life. They can be beautiful on the outside, but if that’s not underneath, I have nothing to do with them.
TG: Do you want to get more into acting now that you’ve appeared on some shows?
JK: I’m very open-minded to anything that will come forward and mature for me. Acting-wise, I don’t want to say that my passion and love is acting. It has to be the right role. I don’t want to look like a fool. I have to be realistic. If I can’t pull it off, I don’t even want to sign up for it. Because whatever I do, I put 110 percent into it.
TG: Tell us about your time on “Dancing with the Stars.” Derek Hough was your partner.
JK: We are still in touch. I love the kid. My experience was amazing and I think the biggest reason was because I had him as a partner. We were such goofballs and had such good times together. I’m a very serious person when working, so it’s not like he had to push me. I’m very competitive. But in the meantime, we still had fun. It was my childhood dream to be a dancer, a ballerina. So I got to live out my dream of being a dancer.
TG: You and your fiance, Mynt lounge owner Romain Zago, have been engaged for more than four years. Is a wedding or kids in the future?
JK: I tell my friends if you get engaged and you don’t do the planning right away, you kind of get into your everyday life and time passes by. We’ll definitely do the wedding; we’ll do the kids. We have our ups and downs like every other couple does so we’ll see what happens, but as of now, we’re hoping that that’s the direction we’re going to take.
TG: You split your time between Los Angeles and Miami. If folks go to Miami, what do you recommend they do?
JK: Oh, the Bal Harbour Shops are one of the best places to shop in Miami. Carpaccio is one of the best restaurants. They also have STK. And of course go to the beach, hello! The beach is one of the best parts in Miami.
TG: The holiday season is about here. Do you have Thanksgiving traditions?
JK: I’ll be on a plane going to Poland. But every holiday we make sure we can spend as much time as we can with family members. Most are in Chicago, so we fly there, or they fly out to us. My mom does the turkey. I don’t really eat meat anymore, so now she tries to do a lot of stuffed dumplings with cheese and potatoes, stuff like that, plus the traditional turkey.
TG: You came to the U.S. when you were 5. Do you remember that time?
JK: It (Poland) was still bad back then and we were still in communism. My mom and I immigrated first and then my dad came about a year after. It was really tough to get out. The first time my mom was able to leave, they wouldn’t let me leave, so she waited.
TG: We’re facing a huge election this month. Do the liberties here resonate with you?
JK: I’m basically living the American dream. You look back, and oh my gosh, I’m the Polish girl who immigrated at 5 years old. My mom and parents didn’t have a penny to their pockets. I’m now doing what I love. I’m so proud to be here. For me it’s a big deal. I definitely feel the freedom and the opportunities. I love Poland and I always say I’m polish, those are my roots, but I’m so proud to live in America and thank God for my parents bringing me here. Where else would I be right now if we didn’t immigrate? I am living the American dream.
|Joanna KrupaMark DeLong/Mark DeLong/Bravo|