It says a lot that Kate Upton first became known for her dancing. In 2011, as a rookie Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, she posted a video of herself lip-synching to Cali Swag District’s “Teach Me How to Dougie” at an L.A. Clippers game.
It quickly went viral. Upton was blond, and leggy, a millennial Marilyn Monroe or Brigitte Bardot, but she was also ebullient and game, a show-off and a ham. She’d soon spin her mass credentials—she got her start as a catalog model in Florida—into appearances on the Louis Vuitton runway and the cover of Vogue.
The crux of her appeal, though, is that she always looks like she’s having fun. And she is. After a short hiatus from modeling to focus on acting (in Nick Cassavetes’ 2014 rom com, The Other Woman, and in three upcoming films, including William H. Macy’s The Layover), she’s back to mugging for the camera, with a stronger physique, a famous fiancé (Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander), and, as ever, a lot to say.
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