Fierce, fabulous and bossy (as in a boss), Ashley Graham has taken the fashion industry by storm.
The model, who happens to be plus-size and not ashamed of her curvy figure, has graced the pages of Vogue, appeared on NPR and Entertainment Tonight to talk body acceptance, hosted a TED Talk and was one of the faces of Christian Siriano’s Lane Bryant Collection. In 2016, she landed on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, becoming the first plus-size model to do so, and by the end of the year, she was named one of the judges on VH1’s revamped continuation of America’s Next Top Model hosted by Rita Ora. She even took time out of her busy schedule to sexy up DNCE’s music video for “Toothbrush.”
Of course, there’s no slowing down when you’re on top. For Graham, that includes debuting the Addition Elle Dark Beauty Collection, her 12th(!) line of luxury lingerie with the Canadian brand, landing more high-profile magazines (“I want to get a few more covers”) and setting her sights on stage and screen -- or at least setting her inner diva free.
“I actually feel like there is a Broadway woman living inside of me and she’s never really been able to come out because I can’t really carry a tune,” Graham tells ET during her photo shoot for Addition Elle, where she modeled her latest designs for the Valentine’s Day-inspired collection that exemplifies the model’s brand of body positivity. “But deep down in there, she wants to come out. I do love Disney songs.” Asked for her favorite Disney princess, she responds Jasmine before singing the Aladdin song “A Whole New World.”
While it’s not uncommon for models to dovetail into acting (see, most recently: Emily Ratajkowski, Cara Delevingne and Brooklyn Decker), Graham is content being herself, as seen every Monday on America’s Next Top Model, where she serves as judge and mentor to cycle 23’s aspiring models. A new addition to the long-running reality competition, Graham has made herself at home, dishing out stern critiques, offering advice and even posing naked with the contestants. “I’ve always talked about having my own talk show,” she says of life beyond modeling. “I think that would be a lot of fun. Maybe in 2017.”
But that doesn’t mean she’ll turn down a good part if it comes her way. “If somebody wrote a part for me, I’m not going to deny taking it,” she says.
Perhaps her entry into acting could be as a Bond Girl in the next installment of the long-running James Bond franchise? “The only way I would be able to be a Bond Girl is if Idris Elba was James Bond,” Graham says, throwing her support for the English actor, who many have said should take over for Daniel Craig. “He is just so fine. He’s confident. He is sexy and he looks like the type of man that just takes charge.”
“I would do it for free,” she says, before quickly adding: “Don’t tell my agent that, though.” Or her husband, Justin Ervin. “If it were a job, if I was getting paid…” Graham laughs while trying to guess what he would think of that.