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The Face Confidential With Coco Rocha!

We’re just a week away from the live season premiere of  The Face and as promised, we’re giving you an inside look at each of the model coaches, not to mention the show’s dashing celebrity host, Nigel Barker!  We’ve already given you the full inside scoop on  Naomi Campbell’s best-kept fashion tips and Karolina Kurkova’s sound career advice, so that could only mean one thing— it’s Coco Rocha’s turn!

Although she refuses to call herself a “supermodel,” Coco is nonetheless a force to be reckoned with in the fashion world, having graced countless magazine covers, editorials and exclusive campaigns over the years.  Known for her unbeatable poses and professional dance skills, Coco has captured the eye of nearly every major photographer, editor and designer alike, no doubt making her an excellent mentor to the series’ young model hopefuls.  Like her fellow model mentors, Coco had quite a bit to say on the topic of career advice and what it takes to get to the top.  And of course, we couldn’t resist picking the supermodel’s brain on everything from her own reality show obsessions to what she really thinks about Nigel’s sweet dance moves.  See what the stunning model has to say about that and so much more in our exclusive interview below!

What was it like shooting The Face and how was it different from modeling?

Everything and nothing.  It’s fun being that it’s documented very well.  There were about 10 cameras around at all times, which is far different from modeling as you know.  Modeling you have one moment and that’s it!  You have to be on all the time and make sure you’re doing what you need to be doing and appropriately.  I say the same to my team, to all my girls, “if you’re on my team, I want you to be on your best behavior.  I don’t want any drama because whatever you do you it reflects on me.”  That’s the sort of thing where you’re really conscience of TV.  But other than that, the mentoring part, I had done that previously.  I’d go to agencies, they ask me either posing or modeling questions, or about runway.  I get excited about that!  So when The Face said, “you should come in and be a part of this,” I was ecstatic and when I heard Naomi was apart of it too I was so pleased because she was bringing an authenticity to the show that we needed.  I didn’t want to hear that we had this wannabe model who says she’s done every cover and you’re like, “I’ve never heard of you.”  When I heard Naomi was on board, I thought well this could actually work, this is the show that can actually go somewhere.  I’ve been offered to do many shows, but they’ve never made any sense and this one does.

What kind of qualities did you look for when you were picking your team?

It’s kind of hard because one, when we were picking the girls we were only given a photo and a chance to see their walk.  We didn’t really have a chance to sit down one on one and have like 30 questions with them. We didn’t have a chance to meet them and get to know their personalities, which is huge to me!  You could be a bombshell but if you have nothing to say, I won’t want to choose you.  You could be an ugly duckling but wow you’re so fascinating and I’m digging you.  So there is a problem with not knowing who these people are.  For example when you see my team, there’s a girl, she’s got this funk about her, she took one photo and you’re like “wow why would she ever think of doing that?” but yet I’m like “yeah you know what, you did that, you went there.”  That says something about you.”  There’s another girl where it’s like wow you shocked me, I’m surprised you could even walk that way, knowing that you got that walk because you practiced.  Yet some girls thought they had it down and I didn’t want them!  You can kind of see from what they chose to do, who they are.

What’s the best piece of modeling advice you have ever gotten and did you relay that to your girls?

I never had the chance to have this sort of mentoring program.  I guess my best mentor was Steven Meisel.  He gave me the chance of a lifetime!  He gave me the career  just by working with me!  He was the one that put an exclusive on me for a few months and guided my steps and said “these are the shows to do, these are the photo shoots we’re going to take.” That was so fascinating to me. Now I look back and I go “wow, that was a HUGE honor.”  Not all models get that.  But the best advice that I’ve really thought was so interesting was it’s nice to be important but it’s important to be nice.  I believe that any model, anybody should absolutely live by that.  You should be treating your makeup artist the same way you treat a fellow model.  It doesn’t matter who you are as long as you’re doing your job and what needs to be done- that’s all that matters.  And for my girls it’s the same way.  I do not want to hear that there are bad attitudes!  I do not want to hear that there are bad fights!  I want to make sure that you’re doing what you need to do, that you’re helping the team, helping yourself and improving yourself.  Modeling isn’t about a dramatic lifestyle.  It’s about working really hard and getting to work on time.  You work like you’ve never worked before and you’re a smart businesswoman.  It’s not what everyone thinks, the glitz and the glamor.

Other than The Face, are there any reality TV shows that you absolutely love?

I think all I watch are reality TV shows because I think that when I get home I don’t want to get attached to something.  I would like to actually watch normal TV but I just want to sit down and just watch anything from Hoarders to Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, anything ridiculous.  I just want to sit there and watch nothing!

What can we expect to see on The Face.  Can you leave us with any spoilers?

Of course I can’t give you any spoilers because they would sue me!  But I will have to say that this is, it makes sense to do a modeling competition show when we have this sort of formula.  We see all this mentoring of music and of singing but to mentor a model, I think that’s quite fascinating.   You have the chance to work with THE Naomi Campbell, the original supermodel and she will sit down and help you improve on your career!   We’ve never seen that before and you get tid-bits along the way, that you’ve never heard about, things we just kind of let go and tell you: “oh I’ve never heard that about Coco, I never knew Karolina Kurkova believed in that” and it’s fascinating often to us when we watch and go “wow I didn’t know that!”  I think people will be quite surprised by us, as well as the girls.  The question is always, “is there drama?” And this is a competition between 3 competitive young women that have 4 girls on their team that are just as competitive and they want this just as bad.  You’re talking about a lot of women who want something very passionately.  It’s a good show, I think!

I know that Naomi is a huge inspiration.  Is there anything you learned from her growing up about modeling that you may have not known?

The thing is, we didn’t get the chance as much as I would have liked to sit down and watch what they do.  You do see their girls grow in certain ways so maybe in that sense of “oh, she caught onto that.  That’s cool!”  But when it comes to them teaching their girls, we actually aren’t as in each others’ face as probably I’d like to!  I’d like to know what’s going on Team Naomi and Team Karolina, but unfortunately that didn’t happen.  It is interesting how each team actually is represented.  Team Coco is just like me, their theatrical, hard-working, they do what needs to get done, and Team Karolina is just like her, they’re the ones that are the bombshells and then there’s Team Naomi, they’re the girls that have the twist to them, they’re funky.

You were discovered at an Irish step dance competition and have famously danced down the runway at Jean Paul Gaulter’s show, so you know a lot about dancing.  Have you ever danced with Nigel or seen him dance and how would you rate his moves?

No, but we just did a photo shoot where he was taking photos and I put on my playlist and I tried to make him dance!  It’s awkward.  I mean he’s long and lanky and I’m long and lanky, it didn’t work.

At Modelinia, a lot of girls love you (obviously) and they were wondering, if they were trying to break into modeling, what advice would you give them?

I think the fact that so many young girls at a certain age like to second guess themselves and they think that one way is how they should portray themselves and so they try too hard.  For example, they do not want to look bad so when they take a photo they just sit there and they say “well I’m so beautiful and gorgeous and fantastic and this is me,” they don’t take a chance! Girls have to take a chance especially when there are so many beautiful models out there, there’s so many beautiful people.  Why choose you over the other girls?  You have to make that line in the sand, that this is why I’m better than these girls!  And go, take a chance!  When you take a photo, be messy, be crazy, be fun, but show that you have some sort of a personality!

The Face premieres on Tuesday, February 12th at 9/8c on Oxygen!

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