Bar Refaeli – ‘not a bikini kind of girl’ – Jewish Chronicle

"Quite the little Jewish tomboy." Bar Refaeli says she is happiest relaxing with friends and family

“Quite the little Jewish tomboy.” Bar Refaeli says she is happiest relaxing with friends and family

Supermodel, businesswoman, former girlfriend of Leonardo DiCaprio. So how does Bar Refaeli see herself? Apparently, as just your average tomboy, happiest in T-shirt and jeans and enjoying “a beer with my family”. And “not a bikini kind of girl”. She also loves London, which she has been visiting since childhood and where friends of her extended family live. She was back here to attend the GQ Awards before heading off to Paris Fashion Week.

“I am from a very big family so have always felt very maternal towards little kids, having seen so many of my siblings grow up around me,” Refaeli says. “And I see them a lot, even though I am away working. During Chanucah I always go home to Israel and we all get together and it reminds me how much I miss being part of a big family.

“I love beach weather and beach games, too. But I never ever seem to bring good weather with me wherever I travel in the world. Having been brought up in Israel, it did feel like summer a lot of the time. My life back then was always about being near the beach. I’m very fortunate to be working in a job where I have done photo-shoots in some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Those in the Caribbean stand out for me. The Israeli beaches are really underrated and obviously they are a home from home for me sitting out there with my friends all day. But there are big eco problems affecting the world’s beaches and that has always interested me. How we can make them safer.”

I say I’d read that she is a keen surfer. Refaeli replies that she is also a keen swimmer and indeed enjoys all water sports. “I love to get into the ocean at every opportunity – clean oceans hopefully.”

I’d love to try another movie. I have taken acting classes

At 29, she doesn’t put a time limit on her modelling career, but does suggest she will settle down “when I start to get really tired from all the travelling. I suffer from really bad jetlag and sometimes I even forget where I am when I land at the airport.

“But no matter how jetlagged I am, you’ll find me at the museums or the theatre. I’ve been fortunate enough to see some great shows on my travels like Mamma Mia! and The Lion King. I also love listening to all kinds of music as I’m walking through airports – from Stevie Wonder to Justin Timberlake. I especially love travelling to Los Angeles and staying in West Hollywood.

“What I love about being there is the quiet and I love to drive around the city in my little green car. West Hollywood on a sunny day with my special friends – there’s nothing better than to head to the beach with them. To be honest I prefer relaxing to dancing. I guess I’m just that kind of girl.”

Though she declines to discuss DiCaprio, he clearly encouraged an interest in acting. “I was in a movie called Session, a psychological thriller. It was me playing opposite a psychiatrist who had a really love/hate relationship with my character. He was obsessed with me and it got really scary. It was great working with an Israeli director, Haim Bouzaglo, and it was a fascinating project to work on. I’d love to try another [movie] at some point. I have taken a few acting classes over the years.”

Which modelling shoots has she enjoyed the most? “Probably Victoria’s Secret lingerie and I was really excited about a set of photos for Sports Illustrated.

“I really, really always wanted to be their cover girl so that has been amazing. I think it’s something that every model, if they are being honest, would like to do in their career.”

Would she ever pose for Playboy? “Mmm, I don’t think so. I think people who vote me ‘body of the year’ are stupid. No I’m kidding. It’s very flattering but I don’t walk around in high heels all day. I’m quite the little Jewish tomboy. And what does she consider her best feature? “I would never tell you,” she replies in a whisper.

“I have been told that I have very blue eyes which were even bluer when I was a little girl growing up in Israel. You know something? The older I get the more time I want to spend in Israel with my friends and family.

“It all comes back to family in the end.”


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