Here’s what you probably already know about Kenza Fourati: She recently snagged her first appearance as a rookie in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue and she has legs that go on for days. But what you may not know about Kenza is that she’s a talented filmmaker with aspirations to help her homeland of Tunisia and the girl has a seriously infectious laugh. Modelinia recently had the chance to chat with Kenza when she popped by our office, on topics ranging from becoming a part of Sports Illustrated to her favorite things from home, and the one thing she would require if she were stranded on a desert island.
How did it feel to become a part of the Sports Illustrated Family?
Now, it has been two or three months since it happened, it’s great. I didn’t know Sports Illustrated very well before; I just knew the name and how iconic it is. It’s much bigger than I thought; I’m happy and proud.
What was your favorite part of becoming a part of it?
I love the actual shoot. I love meeting great people because behind Sports Illustrated there are really cool people to hang out with, to learn from. I think it’s a great team and I still see them; I really like them so it was nice to meet some great people and it was nice in Vegas it was completely separate moment in life, you know. Bodyguards and dancing!
How did you get discovered and begin to model?
A friend of my mom did an lookbook back home in Tunisia so he called me [and said] ‘Oh your daughter should do it,’ and I was like okay and two of my friends got selected too and I was like okay I’m going! I was 16 [at that point]. I moved to New York last year. I’ve always been back and forth with Paris and New York and London. But I love New York.
What do your friends and family think about what’s going on in your life? Do you ever bring them to shoots?
No, it’s very far and we have a revolution so they have a lot of things to think about. But they saw how great [Sports Illustrated] was and actually they liked the picture, which surprised me. Really, daddy, really you like it? They’re happy from afar.
How do you deal with the revolution at home and how do you want to help your country?
I think it would be nice to do a little fun video to push the people to go to vote. I want to organize a gallery exhibit; I have friends who did amazing pictures and video montages. I want to go into this summer when it’s going to be a bit quieter, not take holidays, and [organize it.] It’s the moment, I think. A lot of people put Tunisia on the map kind of, or they know about it a little bit thanks to the revolution. It’s very important now, as I said, it’s crazy for the fundamentalists to take over in Egypt or Tunisia.
What’s your favorite thing about being home?
The beach and my dogs and my family. I have a white Labrador, actually my father has two; we have three dogs Pig, Floyd and Lennon
Do you have any siblings?
A sister. She’s younger.
What other projects are you working on right now?
In my spare time, I’m working on trying to organize little videos. I’m going into more of filmmaking; it’s tough to organize but I took classes for it at the New York Film Academy and I really love it. I want to start doing little documentaries.
If you were stranded on a desert island what would be the one thing you would want to bring with you?
What are you listening to right now?
If you had a chance to meet anyone dead or alive who would it be?