MILAN Despite all the glossy perfection from photographs in the worlds top fashion magazines, supermodel Bar Refaeli is beautiful in person the way a woman doctor or archaeologist or marine biologist are beautiful. A real beauty, in short, with looks and movements and a full awareness of her surroundings. Meeting her after the recording of the Italian television show Chiambretti last weekend, where she was billed as the most beautiful model in the world, Refaeli strikes you with her spontaneity as much as the statuesque aesthetic. And as a native of Israel, there is inevitably more to talk about than just fashion runways and the jet-set.
What do you think about Israel? What do you like about your country?
Since I grew up there, it is my favorite place. I think people often do not see the essence of Israel, but it is a place full of history, playfulness and good weather.
You didnt fulfill your compulsory military service, which caused some controversy in your country. Do you think this obligation is out-dated?
Unfortunately, it is still necessary. I wanted to do it, but I got married and according to the law, it was no longer required -- then I got divorced. In any case, military service is not important in itself, but because of what it teaches you.
January 27 was Holocaust Remembrance Day: what does it mean for an Israeli?
My grandparents experienced the tragedy of the Holocaust, and I think it is very important that we all learn from history and remember those we lost and those who survived.
Where do you live now?
In London. I travel a lot and so its a convenient place to be.
It seems that naturalness is your main trait: you are a top model, but you look like a normal girl, the anti-Kate Moss. Are you aware of it?
My mother taught me to be myself, so some people will like me, and others wont. Sometimes its actually fun having someone hate you. If I werent myself, I wouldnt be able to enjoy the success for being something Im not.
Is there anything that makes you feel different from other women?
Everyone is different. Not just me. My name means wild child, and I feel a little bit of tomboy.
When was the last time you were on holiday?
Over Christmas, I was in Brazil and Uruguay. Punta del Este is a truly magical place.
Do you like Italy?
I love the food, the people and the fact that every city has a different atmosphere. I'm sorry for the way everyone is judging the Italians for what happened on that (Concordia) cruise ship. I am an Israeli, and so I know that its better for people not to be judged by nationality.
What is the secret to reaching the status of supermodel and not simply a model?
It's a combination of luck and hard work.
Any plans for changes in your career?
I think I'll always work in the fashion field. I just launched my own brand, and in 2012 there is a lot of traveling ahead of me. But I hope to become a mother soon.
Are you involved with anyone?
No, I am completely free.
You are not used to speak of your ex-boyfriend, Leonardo DiCaprio. Why?
And ... I wont here either.
Have you seen J. Edgar, the film where he is the protagonist?
Not yet, but I will soon.
You also dated the son of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and it seems that Carla Bruni-Sarkozy got jealous for one too many looks at her husband.
Im not expecting anymore invitations to the Elysée (presidential palace).
Are you planning on doing some movie?
Actually a TV show in Israel, but we havent started shooting yet.
Who are your favorite actors?
Daniel Day Lewis, Sean Penn and Meryl Streep.
Some say you are the most beautiful woman in the world.
I'm flattered. The best is when someone knows me and tells me I'm also a nice person. Theres no higher compliment than that.
What is your standard of beauty?
My mother. She taught me that I can be beautiful, but if Im not also kind I will never have any success.
One thing you would like to learn to do?
I would like to study Spanish or French. And I would like to become good at playing the drums! I just started: I told you Im a tomboy!
Read the original article in Italian
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