If you imagine Australia to be a far-off land where enchanted things happen, guess what? You’re right. Because Australia is the land that produced Maxim cover girl Jessica Gomes, a tantalizingly exotic beauty with the most dangerous curves in any hemisphere. Linger on these photos of the world-renowned swimsuit model and you’ll finally have something to toast to at Thanksgiving dinner.
Did you have a good time at this shoot?
It was so much fun. Literally the day before I’d been voted off of Dancing With the Stars in Korea. But my agent called and said, “Don’t worry, you’re doing a Maxim cover in L.A.” And I was off! I didn’t feel a comedown because I was so excited to do this shoot.
Glad we could help. Are you big in Korea?
I started shooting commercials there four years ago, and that led to a TV show called My Name Is Jessica Gomes, which was a sort of documentary about my career and my life. They followed me around New York to shoots and parties.
Are you a good dancer?
I came in third on the show! I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy it. I learned so much, too. It taught me how to move my body in different ways. Dancing really pushes muscles you don’t normally use. I’ve gotten into the shape of my life.
You don’t say. Do you like the beach?
I love it. When I’m in Sydney, I go all the time to Bondi Beach and have lunch on the beach with my girlfriends. I like to float around and then tan all day.
As a teenager you were on an Australian television show called Bush Patrol. Is that what it sounds like?
It was a children’s series about Aboriginal dreamtime and the magical adventures of kids in the bush.
Video: Sizzlin' Jessica Gomes
So, no. Could you survive in the bush?
I don’t know! At school we learned what to do if a snake approached—stomp hard on the ground to scare it away. And in high school I did outdoor education, where we were taught how to pitch tents, sail, rock- climb, cook in the wild, all that kind of stuff.
You left home at 17 to model. Was it scary?
It was, but at the same time I felt so independent and strong. I protected myself and didn’t take anything from anybody.
Video: Sizzlin' Jessica Gomes
You don’t have a typical fashion-model body.
Yes, I’m very skinny on the bottom, but then I have these big boobs. When my body started changing, I would go to castings and and call my agent, very upset, saying, “My boobs are growing, and they’re not fitting into the sample-size tops!” But I was very lucky that, as I was becoming a mature woman, other people were digging it, and I was able to be a swimsuit model.
Your father is Portuguese, and your mother is Chinese. What traits do you get from each?
My work ethic comes from my mom. But my curvy body comes from my father’s side. And when my dad saw me on Dancing With the Stars, he said, “You get that from the Portuguese side. We have the moves!”
After living in the U.S. for a few years, what did you learn about American men?
They’re very career-driven—it’s all about the hustle. But that’s not a bad thing. It was an eye-opener. America really is the country about living your dream. Everyone is so passionate and always talking about how you can make it.
We still know how to have fun, though!
Definitely! In Australia we don’t have cool bars that play hip-hop, which I’m a big fan of. But in New York it was everywhere. My friends and I would go dancing, and everyone would be so into it. I went to a Jay-Z concert, and the crowd was jamming so hard. America’s energy is just amazing.
Hometown: Melbourne, Australia
Birthday: September 25, 1985
Ideal Destination: “Portugal. There’s so much love and culture, and everyone is so easygoing.”
Hottest Skill: “I’m very good at roasting. I put everything in the oven and roast it, like vegetables and whole chickens with rosemary, olive oil, and garlic.”
Pet Peeve: “I’m a neat freak—even a little OCD. When I’m driving, there must be no rubbish in my car. And I have to have the volume on an even number or I can’t continue driving. It’s bizarre.”
Hidden Talent: “I can play the didgeridoo! I have one at my house. The wax at the top has come off, so I haven’t been able to blow into it. But I love playing. It’s such a beautiful sound.”
By Maria Fontoura