HannaH Davis likes to win. After years of struggling to make a name for herself in the notoriously high-turnover world of modeling, the former tennis champion is now squarely front and center—on our TVs, on our newsstands, and in the tab- loids. In the past year she became the star of arguably the most controversial swimsuit cover of all time, the popular host of the successful Lifetime spin- off Project Runway: Junior, re-created the iconic role of the girl in the Ferrari in last year’s National Lampoon reboot, Vacation, and captured the heart of her fiancé, former Yankee and five-time World Series Champion Derek Jeter. Spend a minute with her and it’s obvious why the 25-year-old has risen to the top of her profession—and gotten one of America’s most enduring bachelors to retire from playing the field.
We met at Long Island City’s Circus Warehouse — her choice — because she wanted to try aerial acrobatics. I arrived early, but she was even earlier, happily sitting in the waiting area without handlers like any twenty-something from the neighborhood, ready to start her Sunday hanging upside down. Even in casual workout clothes and no makeup, she is ridiculously beautiful. Her eyes are an unusual shade of blue-green, and her skin is the color of toasted sand. But what strikes you immediately is her warmth, her quick smile, her easy laugh.
Eyeing the people spinning above us near the ceiling, without a net, I ask “Why trapeze?” hoping for a bit of reassurance from the former athlete. “I like to try new things,” she says with her slender arms crossed. “I thought this would be fun.”
Our instructor, Summer Lacy, begins the lesson by showing us how to hold a trapeze bar, telling us to trust that our harnesses will work as we leave the comfort of earth.
“I’m not a worrier,” Hannah says. “There’s no point. My philosophy is to let everyone else worry.”
Read the full interview with Hannah Davis in Maxim's March issue, on newsstands March 1st, and be sure to subscribe so you never miss an issue.