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Get to Know Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Nina Agdal!

You’ve seen the cover, you’ve flipped through the issue, now prepare to meet one of Sports Illustrated’s hottest bikini babes, Nina Agdal!  Since being named the 2012 Rookie of the Year, Nina has enjoyed a level of skyrocketing success befitting of a true SI superstar, appearing in both her first Super Bowl commercial for Carl’s Jr. and now her second SI Swim issue all before her 21st birthday.  And while you’re no doubt familiar with Nina’s stunning physique and mischievous smile, trust us when we say that there’s more than meets the eye with this Danish beauty.  Before jetting off to Miami to participate in this year’s ‘Model Beach Volleyball Tournament’ in Miami Beach over the weekend, we caught up with Nina to talk a little bit about her SI experience and how she plans to take the modeling world by storm in 2013.  Check out our interview with Nina below to hear all about the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model’s best-kept fitness tips, foodie obsessions and just how many bites of that Carl’s Jr. cod sandwich she had to take on the shoot.

How did you get started with Sports Illustrated Swimsuit?  What was the casting process like?

Yes, I went to the casting for them back in 2011 I think, where I met MJ Day and Darcie Baum and first showed them my book.  I wasn’t really prepared for the casting and I didn’t know much about Sports Illustrated then. I actually showed up in my converse and with a bad eye infection.  I actually woke up that morning with a sti in my eye and when I walked into the casting I immediately apologized and was like “I’m so sorry I look like this, but I woke up with an eye infection!”  But I mean, I guess they thought it was kind of cute because I got it and I’ve been working with them ever since.

What has it been like working with them since then?

They are amazing to work with.  They treat their girls so well and it’s really a very special type of shoot. Normally, I would be selling something like for Carl’s Jr. my job was to make people want to buy a fish sandwich, when I’m doing lingerie my job is to make people want lingerie, but with SI it’s basically just about being beautiful and being yourself and just embracing your womanhood and your curves and I love that.

You were voted ‘Rookie of the Year’ last year.  What was that experience like and how did you celebrate?

Well, there was this big vote for Rookie of the Year, and I started following it when I saw that a lot of people were rooting for me and telling me you’re going to win. I didn’t want to be too optimistic though, so I just waited until the day it was announced and when I found out I won it was a great honor.  I mean Kate Upton had won the year before and you see how it helped her career, so it was a big celebration.  I went out with my great friends and we just had an amazing dinner.

What was it like seeing your Carl’s Jr. commercial on TV at one of the year’s biggest sporting events?

It was crazy!  It took us 16 hours to shoot it, so it was a really long day and we all worked really hard on it.  It was an awesome team and it was just such an honor to be a part of that whole experience.  And I mean, it’s just such an iconic commercial.  Kate Upton did it, Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton did it.  It’s very successful women doing it, so I felt a little bit of pressure I’m not going to lie when I saw all of these people depending on my performance. To see it turn out as great as I thought it did I am so proud of it.  It’s one of the things in my life that I’m most proud of and to watch it on TV was just mind blowing.

And how many bites of that sandwich did you actually have to take?

I had a bite of it every single time you saw me bite it in the commercial and we did like a 100 takes, so I think I ended up having like 50 sandwiches maybe.

What can we expect to see from you this year?  Where would you like to see your career go from here?

Well, Sports Illustrated comes out on Tuesday and that’s very exciting. I would love to do more high fashion stuff for like magazines, while continuing to do more swimsuit and lingerie campaigns.  I would also really love to get a beauty campaign.  That’s actually one of my career goals to get a beauty campaign, so if anyone sees me out there and they need a beauty campaign hit me up!  I’m just interested in growing as a model right now.  I feel like I just started, so I’m just ready for my career to grow.

Nina at the 2013 Model Beach Volleyball Tournament. Photo courtesy of Todd Lee Photography

What are some of your favorite indulgences?

I love food!  I eat six times a day if possible.  I love a good, juicy burger.  A good burger to me is just one of my favorite meals.  I can’t have it everyday, but I love a good one every now and then.  I love pasta.  I’m really into carbs.  Carbs are heaven to me.  I would say food is probably one of my biggest hobbies.  I love going to restaurants and trying new dishes.  Spicy food, non-spicy food, pizza, pasta, everything—I’m all about it!

Do you have any favorite restaurants in New York City?

You can get a really, really good steak at Milo’s in the city.  I had one of the best steaks of my life there.  In Miami, I always try to visit Cecconis at the SoHo House.  They have the most unbelievable ‘gnocchi romana.’  It literally just melts in your mouth—you have to try it, it’s heaven! You would die.

What are a few of your best-kept workout tips?

When it comes to working out, think about how good you feel after you’ve done a workout and just do it. Always do 20 minutes minimum of cardio in your routine— run, spin, jump rope etc.  Try to have fun with working out, go with a friend or make an awesome playlist to get you motivated.

What is one of your must-have beauty products?

One of my favorite products is European Wax Center’s Post Waxing Exfoliate because as a model (especially swimsuit model) it is always important to have silky smooth and glowing skin - and this exfoliate definitely does the trick.

Don’t miss Nina in the 2013 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue on newsstands today!

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