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Molly Sims: Luck, Be a Lady

From a superstar model to one of television’s most fashionable actors, Molly Sims is living it up. Her hit TV show Las Vegas, her busy modeling career and star turns with some of filmdom’s leading men keep her busy and on her toes. Here, in an exclusive to us, we get up close and stylish with the very fortunate Molly Sims.

There’s something in the way she moves. Literally. Starring on NBC’s bona fide television success Las Vegas since 2003, Molly Sims has slinked through casinos and graced the hottest clubs as the super chicDelinda Deline, working at the fictional Montecito Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas. With co-stars Tom Selleck, Josh Duhamel, and a bevy of other gifted talents, her role is that of a queen bee in a hive buzzing with gambling power. “Delinda’s been a fun girl to play over five years—reading those lines from the scripts and being that girl,” Sims shares. “She’s changed from being the manipulative bratty daughter of the boss who wanted to get back at her father,” Sims reveals. “She develops a close relationship with him because she sees what he’s accomplished with the hotel,” she explains her character’s evolution. “It’s been an amazing rollercoaster. Josh [Duhamel] says it’s like the little train that couldn’t, but did. We celebrated our 100th episode, and to think that Gary Scott Thompson, the show’s creator, took soap actors and models and bet it would be a hit is amazing.” She’s on a show about luck and her booming career attests to her own good fortune these days. Call her lucky…as long as you call her talented, too.

Because of the transitory nature of that wildly unpredictable desert city in which all the action takes place, the plotlines and characters have had an endless parade of guest stars such as Dean Cain, Cheryl Ladd, Laura Flynn Boyle, Jon Lovitz, Sylvester Stallone and even the all-girl singing and dancing sensation, The Pussycat Dolls. Yes, there’s always trouble in Sin City as Sims and her co-stars look for cheaters, host famous guests and, as mayhem usually ensures, take personal care of those who win too much. Sims, like most actors who make it big, is amazed at the success and longevity of the show. “If you would've told me back then that I'd be here five years later, I would've said, ‘You're crazy.’” But, she does have an inkling as to the show’s popularity, “We have the best dysfunctional family—we’re passionate, we laugh, and we joke around,’’ muses Sims about the working environment of her series. Of seasoned actor Tom Selleck she notes, “Tom is so great and he adds a different element to the show. Nothing will replace Jimmy Caan, who was there before him.” Selleck’s reputation preceded him on set, “He is Magnum, after all, and we were all a little bit nervous in the beginning because he is such a television icon. It’s been great to not expect what he‘s going to do.” She adds, “Chemistry with co-stars is something you can’t make up, and we all have it on the show.”

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In person, Molly Sims is incredibly charming and that’s putting it lightly. “She's as girl-next-door as they come, as humble about her beauty and successes as anyone I've ever met, and she has a heart as big asTexas,” says longtime friend and Texas resident Michelle Lokey. There’s no doubt Sims exudes realness not often found in Hollywood these days. Maybe it has something to do with her Southern roots. Sims, born in 1973 in Murray, Kentucky, was always the cool girl in school. After graduating high school, she attendedVanderbilt University with hopes of pursuing a career in law. As a junior, she sent a few photographs of herself to a modeling agency at the suggestion of her roommate. It was a shot in the dark because hundreds of girls across the country mail glossy headshots daily, yet Sims hit the jackpot when she received a call from NEXT Models. Deciding modeling might take her further than being a legal eagle, she left college to pursue it full-time and she soon found herself working and living in London. And the rest, as they say, is style history.

There are myriad examples from celebrity lore where very few make the transition from top model to actress. Yet, Sims' straight-to-the top acting career began its ascent when she became the host of MTV's House of Style, the show where Cindy Crawford had previously led the style brigade. Big shoes to fill? Of course, but that opportunity led Sims to signing an exclusive, multi-year contract with Cover Girl cosmetics and soon after the glamazon began acting in Old Navy commercials.

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The image of style and sophistication at 5’9” in her stocking feet and the perfect size two, Sims’ beauty and talent have not faded one bit. People recognize her from not only her television career, but also prestigious advertising campaigns for Chanel, Jimmy Choo, Michael Kors, Giorgio Armani, Nautica, H&M and Maidenform, to name a few. Her smoking hot images in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue four years consecutively, as well as in Victoria’s Secret, have added to her allure with her male fans, too. The covers she has graced read like the wish list of any woman in the world: Glamour, Self, Mademoiselle, Cosmopolitan, Lucky, French and Spanish Vogue, French Cosmopolitan and British Marie Claire. “Anything I do from modeling to hosting to acting, I give it my all,” Sims enthuses. “One thing with acting that I didn’t do with modeling is using my brain and intelligence in a way that I can hopefully have a career doing what I love for a long time.”

Sims—as Hollywood experts or any person tuning in could tell you—is much more than another pretty face. What many people don’t know about her is that she was once a competitive swimmer, where she derived a discipline she applies to her acting career, too. Plus, she’s genuinely pleasant. Sims explains her demeanor, “I’ve gotten as far as I have because I’m nice. I like being nice.” However, Sims doesn’t let her sweetness hinder her ambition, “I’m from the South and when I’m gung ho on something, there is just no changing my mind, either.” Of course, even with her confidence and vast accomplishments, she is still a Southern belle at heart, “I still have really good manners and that’s why I love it when men open doors for women, or stand up when I excuse myself from the table. It’s a Southern thing that makes them extra special.”

Sims’ star appeal doesn’t stop at her television and print success. She appeared on the silver screen with Texan Owen Wilson in Starsky and Hutch and in The Benchwarmers with David Spade. It seems she is attracted to co-starring in comedies, as this December she co-stars with another comedic genius Jim Carey inYes Man, where she plays his ex-wife in a film about a man who turns down invitations, manufacturing wild excuses to get out of having fun until a chance meeting with a stranger who advises, ‘Say yes more.’ The film embarks upon on a year-long odyssey of eccentric discoveries, unexpected delights and, in the true nature of comedy, a few unsettling experiences.

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“I had to bite the inside of my mouth because I laughed so hard at Jim Carey,” recalls Sims. “His physical comedy is so phenomenal. He even fractured two ribs from doing the film. Plus, we have a kissing scene in the film, and Jim said, ‘Just go for it. Put your tongue down my throat.’ Which I did, in between all the laughs.” Sims got more out of filming than just a few laughs, “I loved going to work with every day. Jim is worth every penny of the twenty million dollars a picture he earns. I learned so much from him. His commitment to the work is inspiring.” She’s on the big screen again co-starring with Steve Martin and Andy Garcia in the Pink Panther sequel. She loved making that film, too. Chalk it up to her sunny outlook, inspiring costars… or a bit of both.

When it comes to her acting influences, Sims counts Meryl Streep at the top of the list, along with Audrey Hepburn and Doris Day. Considered to be a style icon herself by fashion leaders, it’s easy to understand how Molly Sims makes a career out of being both smart and beautiful. Her inherent personal style transcends the page or screen. Lara Shriftman, Los Angelesevent planner and public relations expert, regularly hosts Sims at her parties and notes, “Molly has an amazing style. She is so chic and sophisticated—a true trendsetting image-maker. One of the things I admire most about her personal style is that she has a way of mixing designers to always look fantastic in whatever she wears.” Sims is candid about her unique sense of style. “I always like to change it up, but I’ve gotten more paired down,” she says. “Last night at Madonna’s benefit at Fashion Week, I did a ‘60s hairdo and wore a Gucci outfit with tights and hot pink shoes.” Confidence in dressing is key to her. “With acting, it’s good to be yourself and to know the way you dress. Now, when I do photo shoots, I love to be me and I love to dress up,” she enthuses.

When asked about her style these days, she emphatically states, “I really love the Bohemian look, but, I also like classic jeans and white t-shirts.” For spring Sims says she is a fan of bright colors like yellow, blue, purple and chartreuse. “With the economy these days, these colors are bright, bold and really uplifting,” Sims explains. Her style icons include Sarah Jessica Parker and Jackie O. “Maybe it’s the era Jackie represents. And who doesn’t love a man in a beautiful suit from back then?” she divulges.

Although she keeps a place in New York after many years of residing there, Sims recently purchased a home in Los Angeles. In her free time, she enjoys getting away from the pressure cooker of celebritydom with hiking, yoga, spending time with friends, taking long walks with her puppies and her call to service. “I support El Faro, an orphanage in Mexico that means ‘lighthouse.’” Sims elaborates, “We take care of 110 orphans in Tijuana and it means so much to me. I also support OCR [Ovarian Cancer Research] and UNICEF. It’s so important to give back time and money to help those people who really need it.” Coming from a woman who gives back to the world so generously with her talents as well, Sims continues to be the one to watch and to be leader of a very stylish pack. While Sims may believe in magic and good fortune, her staying power comes from much more than a little luck.