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Tyra Banks Interview
with Tony Potts

In today's world it is the supermodel - the long-legged, larger-than-life, world renowned beauty - that steals the spotlight. Now, ET's own Tony Potts takes a limo ride with Tyra Banks to get the real deal about men, dating, and the proper time and place for Victoria's Secret lingerie!

So do you ever get nervous going to these fashion shows where there's going to be thousands of people?

I never get nervous for appearances ever, ever. I get excited and energetic about it cause with modeling and even with acting you're not working with an audience, you're not performing for an audience, 'cause rarely do I do fashion shows anymore so this is the time when I get to see the public and interact.

It's nice to get that energy too. You can't get that energy when you're acting by yourself.

Yeah, you can't. When you're posing for a magazine you can't.

Big question. A lot of women probably want to know - what do you wear on a first date because you have said "It's very important what you wear underneath in addition to what you actually wear for clothes. What would you wear on first date?

I have a date tomorrow. Let's see. I probably don't want to look like I'm trying too hard so I'll wear some jeans and probably a T-shirt and some flip-flops. (Laughs). Some Nike flip-flops or something. But I do my hair a little and some makeup and make my jewelry nice and simple and cute so it looks like I spent a little time but I feel kind of weird if I get really dressed up. I feel kind of desperate. "Like me, like me." I try to say, "this is how it is when I wake up in the morning" even though it's not. You make them think that it is.

I don't think you have to worry about that do you?

Oh yeah I do.

Are guys afraid of you? Afraid to approach you?

All the timeguys are afraid to approach me and even if I approach them, we go out a couple of times, they're comfortable in the beginning and then they flip out. I'm like normal and natural acting all stupid and goofy, picking my nose and all that kind of stuff and they're just like "This is a model! This is Tyra Banks!" Then they flip out and run away.

That must be the flip side of being a model. Sometimes people can't handle it and they go, "Oh, it's Tyra Banks as opposed to this cool person."

Exactly. And I'm like "Okay, this is date number four, so he'll probably flip out on date number seven. So we have at least two more times to have a good time."

Now, you're not telling me that you're lonely, are you?

Oh no. I'm not lonely. I have lots of friends but I do get desperate sometimes and then I'll go on these blind dates and get hooked up and stuff but I'm not desperate right now.

Tyra Banks goes on blind dates?

I've gone on blind dates before.

Wow.

I don't have to say "I'm the one in the red sweater," I guess.

Was that nerve-racking?

Yeah, it is. I get all nervous and weird. It's never worked. It's never, ever worked. 'Cause my friend's like, "No, he's fine, he's cute." And I'm like, "He's 5'2" and I'm six feet tall!" So, it hasn't worked.

So those lifts aren't working for the guys, I guess.

No. It only makes them an inch and half taller.

What about lingerie kind of stuff. Do you wear things on dates underneath - not that they're going to see it - but things certain lacey things that make you feel good... like Victoria's Secret type stuff. They won't see it, but you know you feel good.

I wear Victoria's Secret all the time but I don't necessarily make it fancy for a date 'cause they AIN'T gonna see it. So, we'll just make sure it's some cotton bloomers or something 'cause it doesn't matter. I'm not one of those types of girls.

No, but what I'm trying to say is that sometimes people like to feel good.

Not me.

You just go with what you've got.

Yeah.

So, you have date tomorrow night, huh? Are you nervous?

No.

Are you up to the sixth date yet?

No, this is the first one!

It's not a blind date, is it?

No, I've seen him before.

Is it tougher to date famous people than people who you just meet in your daily life?

It's tough to date famous people or even have famous friends that are guys because people think that you're dating them. You can't hang out. I have a famous friend who's married and we're like really cool friends but every time we're out it's like "Ooohhh... they're cheating on the wife." And it's like, no, we're just really good friends. He's one of my best friends. But when it comes to dating, yeah it is difficult. They just talk about you and then you hear rumors. I had an ex-boyfriend that happened to be famous and he heard that I was in a club, that I don't really go to, with some man in L.A. I was in Paris for two weeks! You know what I mean? But if I was in L.A., he would have been tripping out.

So that makes it tough. Do you ever planned to get married down the road?

I don't really care. I don't really care about marriage. That's terrible to tell all the American families, to not get married. No...

That is a choice. That's why we're in America.

My mom raised me really strong. So it's not like I'm looking for this husband to take care of me or to even complete me. But I do want kids! So, I guess I'll have to adopt cause I don't really want to have them, y'know come out of me without a husband I guess. So that is my family values there. But I would adopt.

Yeah? You don't want to do the whole Jodie Foster thing?

No. I want people to know who the daddy is. Do people know who her daddy is?

Not too many people I don't think. Nobody knows.

I rather just do the adoption type thing.

What are some of the sweeter things people have said to you?

People think they're saying sweet things to me, but they're not. Like, "You look so much prettier than your pictures. You're so beautiful in person." I'm like "You're saying that my pictures are ugly." I actually care less how I look in person. Where I make my money is in those books, so I'd rather the compliment was flipped.

Just say, "You look as beautiful as your pictures."

They never say that. I've never heard that. It's always, "Better in person."

What's the ideal guy for you? To be a buddy and maybe a date?

Somebody who you can just have fun with. Y'know, that I can just have fun. It's important, if I did have a boyfriend to be able to tell him my insecurities. 'Cause I'm really strong and I don't really tell people what's bothering me, so I have to have somebody whose shoulder I can cry on.

This interview is from August 8, 1998


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