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Charlotte McKinney: The Model-Actress Shares What Keeps Her Grounded


“In 2020, I learned to focus on my mental health and happiness,” says Charlotte McKinney. “My goal for this year is to maintain prioritizing happiness and continue working on my craft of acting and modeling.” The Orlando, Florida native started out as a Guess model. Then, fast food chain Carl’s Jr. gave Charlotte her big break when they featured her in their salacious 2015 Super Bowl XLIX commercial. The blonde bombshell struts through a busy farmer’s market passing by strategically placed fruit and such, suggesting that she is au natural. The commercial reveals that she’s sporting a tiny bikini top and shorts. Charlotte gazes into the camera, then takes a big bite out of Carl’s Jr.’s juicy All-Natural Burger. “I am always thankful to the Carl’s Jr. team for selecting me to star in the infamous Super Bowl commercial,” says Charlotte.


People would be surprised to find out that… (fill in the blank): I’m extremely introverted and always enjoy my alone time.

A natural in front of the camera, Charlotte has loved entertaining ever since she was a child. “My sister and I always loved to perform and dance as kids.” When Charlotte first started out, she didn’t know anyone in the entertainment industry, which only motivated her to work harder and to rely on herself. “I’m so thankful to my amazing parents, who supported my pursuit into modeling and consequently acting too.”


The 27-year-old has been acting since 2006. In the last few years, she has appeared in TV shows and films, including Baywatch (2017) and Fantasy Island (2020). This February, I caught up with the Los Angeles resident, who has been working on a few collaborations and staying active with hot yoga sessions, long walks and at-home Pilates sessions. “A workout gets my endorphins going and puts me in a good mood for the day. Working out is such a large part of my physical and mental health.”


How are things on the west coast? What’s your daily routine like?


Things in L.A. have been pretty rough and extremely scary for a while now thanks to COVID-19. Early February, we saw things beginning to reopen, but I’m remaining super cautious and I stay home as much as I can, only going out for essentials.


As for my daily routine, I wake up, drink water, get my sweat on with a workout, then jump into work emails and calls, work on audition self-tapes. And very occasionally, I’ll be on set, if necessary, for work. I finish most days on my couch with a glass of Dry Farm’s red wine. I’ve added wine connoisseur to my resume since the pandemic started.


What’s a common misconception people have of you?


Oh boy, there is a lot. I guess I have to say the “dumb blonde.” It’s funny when people actually get to know me, they are surprised when they realize I have interests, intelligence, personality and can have a laugh, even at myself.


What projects are you working on right now?


It’s been a busy start to the year, so I’m counting my blessings. Late January, my collaboration with The Good Chocolate was released. The Detox Bar is a delicious and nutritious chocolate bar made up of 65% dark zero sugar chocolate with coconut and turmeric. For Valentine’s Day this year, I partnered up with Canadian brand La Senza to curate a lingerie collection that’s perfect for your special day with a loved one. And in the coming weeks, I’m super excited to collaborate with Bala Bangles on a really fun and creative campaign and new color range of their popular fitness accessories.


What was it like collaborating on a new lingerie line? How did that come about?

My mother is from Canada, so La Senza was a brand I was very familiar with growing up. They reached out in regards to a collaboration for Valentine’s Day and I thought it would be fun. I really enjoy collaborations where I join forces with another team and we share our ideas and bring them to life.


How do you stay grounded/sane in 2021? What keeps you at peace?


I take everything day by day, and stick to my routine, which helps me stay focused and grounded. I wake up, drink water and make myself a coffee before I even open my emails and Instagram on my phone. Then, I get my sweat on with a workout. Lately, I’ve been taking private hot yoga sessions at Sweat Yoga and I walk out feeling incredible. And I thank technology, namely, Facetime more than ever, as I Facetime my family often. I chat with my mom in Florida every day and she always puts me at ease.


“I’m lucky to live by the beach, whenever I’m by the water I have a feeling of peace.”

What are you looking forward to this year?


Hopefully, we can go back to traveling soon. I can’t wait to see my family in the Bahamas --this is the longest I’ve gone without seeing them.


What are you watching on TV?


Any good documentaries, auto-biographies. I’ve always preferred non-fiction films, TV and books. True crime is my guilty pleasure though; I just finished watching the Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer on Netflix and it was insane —a must watch!


You’re a Florida native, when you’re in Miami, what are some of your favorite places to visit?


Oh, I love a good Miami weekend with girlfriends and can’t wait to get back! I always stay at The Edition Hotel. Dinner at Milos and Casa Tua are a must. Dr. Smood for juice and coffee. And I’m obsessed with a good facial at Gee Beauty.


Follow Charlotte on Instagram: @CharlotteMcKinney


Words by Vanessa Pascale Rust • Photo Credit: Camilo Rios | www.instagram.com/riocam