Interview: Miranda Kerr

It’s always interesting to think how things might have been. When Miranda Kerr was growing up, her bedside table housed a tiny framed photo, torn from a magazine. It was a picture of her high-school crush. While other girls growing up in the late ’90s may have idolised Romeo + Juliet heart-throb Leonardo DiCaprio or bad-boy pop stars Oasis, Kerr’s heart beat faster for Prince William. The physical similarities between the 1.75cm Victoria’s Secret Angel and 1.78cm Kate Middleton, the woman the prince ended up marrying, are not inconsiderable. The luxe brunette waves. The youthful, pretty faces. The long, long legs. What might have happened if Kerr had been in the right place at the right time?

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Not that she missed out on her handsome prince, and an Englishman at that. The girl from the north-east NSW town of Gunnedah grew up and married Lord Of The Rings actor Orlando Bloom, and produced a genetically blessed son, 20-month-old Flynn, who’s having a nap in the room next door during marie claire’s interview. We know about the homes in London and New York, their shared love of health and wellbeing and we even think we know about their marital troubles – at the time of our interview, Kerr had been spotted without her wedding ring and the couple were fighting off rumours their union was on the rocks. However, the gigantic sparkler (it’s the size of a small olive) on Kerr’s finger today suggests otherwise.

“People make things up because they have nothing better to do,” she says, when pressed. “Obviously, I was going to work. I don’t wear my ring to photoshoots – I’m not supposed to. So why take it with me?”

And besides, we’re not here to talk about that. We’re here to talk about the model, the ambassador, the small-town-girl-made-good and, above all, the face and body that can sell almost anything.

It’s a face and body that its owner looks after. Today, a few weeks after the New York cover shoot (her first for marie claire), the 29-year-old sits down at our interview armed with a kitchen garden’s worth of healthy food: a tuna, kale, olive, tomato, feta and avocado salad she chopped for herself the night before, as well as a little box of wrinkled, salty plums, or umeboshi – a fermented Japanese delicacy that is supposed to be good for the digestion. “Have one!” she urges. “They don’t taste good, but that’s what I’m like. If something’s good for me, I’ll eat it.” She’s right. They taste like sports socks. “You’ll feel fantastic afterwards,” she insists.

Health is top of Kerr’s priority list. Her diet is almost all organic and includes a crime-fighting host of superfoods, like coconut oil and noni juice. It’s a non-negotiable part of her life she seems to genuinely enjoy. “As a child I cried for my vegies!” she laughs.

She has also released her own skincare range, Kora Organics, and practises yoga and Pilates regularly, cranking up the fitness routine at Victoria’s Secret parade time. But she’s not a total goody-two-shoes. She confides: “I live by the 80/20 rule: I’m 80 per cent healthy, and then 20 per cent indulgent.”

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She chose to take on her latest role, that of ambassador for Clear Scalp & Hair Beauty Therapy, because she felt it fell a little bit into both camps: the range of shampoos and conditioners are not strictly natural or organic like her Kora range, but infused with vitamins and nutrients and formulated to look after the health of the scalp. “I haven’t found an organic hair product that works like this,” explains Kerr. “It nourishes and balances the scalp, which leads to beautiful hair.” Good luck keeping your spot as a Victoria’s Secret Angel – or, for that matter, heading campaigns for brands as diverse as David Jones in Australia and Miu Miu in Paris – without beautiful hair.

But what’s beyond the beauty and the discipline and the jetsetting family life? “I’m quirky,” she says. “I have a weird sense of humour. My dad’s the same. We love watching Monty Python together.” She laughs easily and rarely cries. She’s often forced to leave buildings via secret exits so the paparazzi don’t track her down – at our New York photoshoot she exits through the front of the building to confront waiting paparazzi, while Flynn is taken out through the back. They reunite after Kerr circles the block.

She says most people don’t realise that she has a “big heart”, is “compassionate and understanding”. Kerr has never felt starstruck, because “everyone’s human; they have two eyes, arms and legs”, although she was a little in awe the first time she met Penélope Cruz because of the actress’s beauty. Surprisingly, she doesn’t make others feel too starstruck, either. In person, she’s as natural as the food she eats.

So what’s next for our favourite face? More babies? “Not yet,” she says, quickly. “I mean, you never know. But not yet. I just want to enjoy Flynn.” She has a new book in the works, a follow-up to Treasure Yourself (Hay House, $24.95), her 2010 self-help tome for young adults. Perhaps there’ll be more contracts, more exposure. Certainly her youthful looks show no signs of fading. But for now the girl from Gunnedah is happy to keep doing the job she loves and nurturing the world she’s created. And eating some pretty crazy-tasting food.

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1. She has a fear of heights. “But I went bungee jumping to try to get rid of that,” she reveals.
2. She loves music – from Mozart to The Smashing Pumpkins – but one of her favourite genres is hip-hop, especially Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg.
3. Her last meal would be a toss up between her grandmother’s roast chicken with vegies, or fried chicken and hot chips.

Style notes: our cover star arrived for her interview in a summer ensemble of Erdem floral separates, Louis Vuitton necklace and Prada bag– with a homemade lunch that she photographed herself. “I love taking pictures of food,” she told us. “It’s a bit of a hobby!”