Exclusive: Supermodel Chrissy Teigen Reveals How to Be a Vodka-Swilling, Burrito-Scarfing Social Media Ninja
“I just think so little of nakedness.”
With the possible exception of a certain Tweeter-in-Chief, at this moment there is no one on the planet who dominates social media quite like Chrissy Teigen.
Whether she’s sleeping through the Oscars, squeezing into a skintight jumpsuit, or dealing with the repercussions of a Super Bowl nip slip, the 31-year-old supermodel and Lip Sync Battle co-host skillfully spins the situation into often-hilarious (and always sexy) gold.
Just this week, she was caught in a severe rainstorm while accompanying her husband, music icon John Legend, to the Time 100 Gala in New York City. No matter—Chrissy posted an eye-popping Insta pic worthy of any fancy-schmancy fashion magazine.
If you want to know how she does it, gather ’round and listen up. Maxim had the opportunity to spend some quality time with Chrissy at a cocktail party hosted by Smirnoff vodka, and she’s somehow even more awesome in person than we ever imagined. In a world full of fakes, she’s the real deal.
Your Smirnoff commercials are great, especially that one where you come home from the club, pour yourself some vodka, and totally house a burrito.
It’s very realistic. That was one of the easier ones to do. The one where my mom and I are mixing the cocktails was tough because I’m not a good cocktail mixer, but the burrito one we nailed in like a couple hours.
How many burritos did you have to eat while shooting?
I had one bite of 54 burritos. That’s gotta be like 10 burritos or something.
Were they good burritos at least?
They were. I asked that they be from Cactus Taqueria on Vine in Hollywood. They do this fine steak and rice mixture that’s tossed nicely—not like big, thick slices of steak.
If you’re eating after a night of partying, you don’t want a big piece of steak.
Pretty much. This one you can just put in a bowl with a spoon.
What’s your favorite way to have Smirnoff?
I’m a Smirnoff 21 and soda girl. I like it very simple, with a little splash of lime, not too much acid because I’m an old person.
What was the first booze you drank when you were a kid?
Everclear. I made that mistake. But I actually didn’t have a sip of alcohol in high school—not that you should drink in high school, obviously. But I was not a partier. I waited until I was able to drink responsibly, and then that one drink just really took me over.
I didn’t know anyone over 21 actually drank Everclear.
It was a dare. I never did it again. I can still feel it.
You’re incredible at social media, you truly have a gift. When did you first get online?
I was always a big lover of social media, whether it was message boards or in AOL chatrooms.
Do you remember your AOL screen name?
It was definitely MissChrissy-something-1130—my birthday. I loved advice message boards, I was always interacting with people.
Did you ever pretend to be someone else?
Oh yeah, I think being British was my big thing.
Blimey! One of your greatest social media moments was when you were caught sleeping at the Oscars.
That was very real. Basically what happened is that it’s a very, very early day. And I get ready really early, because I have this hair and makeup team that I really love. And in order to have them, you’ve got to go let them do their big superstars, and you kind of take whatever time you can get. So I get ready very early for it, and I take my mid-day nap, and then there’s the green room, and you don’t really want to sit in the seats because you’re talking to really incredible, beautiful people. By the time you make it to your seat…I was out for a solid eight minutes by the time that had happened.
That’s pretty impressive.
I can sleep anywhere. People thought I was doing it in some kind of protest of Casey Affleck or something, but I really was just sleeping.
You were inadvertently “woke” by being asleep.
Ha, yes! Exactly. Everyone was like, “I love that she did that against Casey.” I’ll take it.
The talking boobs thing was also amazing.
I actually didn’t watch that because I was scared. I didn’t see it.
How do these things come to you?
Honestly, I don’t know. I just think so little of nakedness. I’ve been modeling for such a long time, and it’s a job. You strip down, you put your pants on, you zip it up, you just stand there, other people are dressing you. I remember when I first started, I’d kind of hide behind things. At this point, I just want to be efficient, so I’m like, get naked, put your arms out, let other people put lotion on you, they put your pants on, they zip your pants, and that’s it.
And everyone is professional.
Truly. Everyone thinks photo assistants have the best job in the world, but they just hold the light reflector and stuff.
They’re carrying crap all day. They probably have incredibly sore muscles.
Yes! They’re not getting boners. They’re really working, and it’s just part of the job. It’s more boring than you’d think.
Your ability to use your words to shut down haters also seems like a natural gift.
It can be exhausting sometimes. I always wonder why I do it because it draws attention to them.
Sometimes they’re asking for it. And I have a need for justice, and I like people to know that there’s somebody else on the other side of the computer, and someone is reading this. More often than not—and this kills me, I hate it so much—they’re like, “Oh my god, I love you! I just wanted a reply.” That is what kills me. The people who actually hate me, I’m kind of more down for that than the people that are just begging for the reply.
Yes! I wish they actually hated me.
Your relationship with your husband John Legend seems so great. Do you have any relationship advice?
I think all the greatness would come from his side. I’m very moody, I’m up-and-down, and I’m very passionate. When I love something, I love it, when I hate it, I hate it. You can always tell what’s on my mind, which I think is really great, because you’ll never be left wondering if I am happy. If you ask where I want to go to dinner, I don’t say, “I don’t know, where do you want to go to dinner?” I have somewhere I want to go and something I want to do. John has always just balanced that really nicely by being so accommodating of every single quirk of my personality. It’s not easy, for sure, and I just got lucky that he balances me so perfectly.
What advice would you give to guys who haven’t been able to find a relationship like you have. Do you think meeting online is a good idea?
Yes, I love that. John and I have been together for so long that I was never a part of that world of meeting people online, but I do love it. We’ve been to a few match.com weddings, and I feel like it’s really great for people to get out there and take that risk. I feel like finding someone at a club, for example, you never really know who’s ready for a serious relationship. And at least on these websites, you know that you’re both looking for something, whether it’s just a hookup or an actual relationship. It’s out there, and you know it.
Any other advice?
I really think people should take more risks—it’s really good to go outside of your comfort zone. John was never the type of guy I wanted, and I never thought I’d be with someone as brilliant and well-spoken and talented as John. I dated, like, club promoters and restauranteurs, and they all had tattoos. Like, one had a gun tattoo on his side. John isn’t exactly the type of guy I was going for when I was younger. I liked surfer dudes and everything.
Even though he’s so cool, he’s got a kind of nerdiness.
Yes. I would say definitely go for the nerds. Honestly, they make you feel like a million bucks, you’re never going to get bored with the conversation. I’m learning something new every single day, and I’m proud of it. I’m proud to have someone that’s able to explain absolutely anything on this planet to me and be excited to explain it to me. That kind of stuff will never ever get old. And my spark of fun, taking him out and making him see this adventurous side of the world, is never going to get old to him, either. I think the opposite thing really works well.
Finally, do you have any tips for taking a great selfie?
I’m not a big selfie person. If anything, I just do those filters on Snapchat. But I’m not a selfie person. I take one million. I’m the worst at it. And the worst part is, when I get around people who can really take a good selfie, I get extra nervous and I look so stupid. Whenever I’m around Kim [Kardashian] or something, I’ll make this face because I’m trying to be too sexy. It’ll be too thin, or too pucker-y, and then I look even crazier than in my normal solo selfies. So no, I’m not the one to ask.
Kim doesn’t have to take a hundred selfies to get it right?
No, she pretty much nails it. She’ll do a couple angles, but she nails it.
She’s even good at the ones in the bathroom where it’s not a sexy background, and you can see like spare rolls of toilet paper.
I’m telling you man, it’s a talent.