Interview with Olivia Jordan: Model, Actress and Miss USA 2015
Olivia Jordan became the first woman representing Oklahoma to bring home the Miss USA crown in 2015. Prior to her reign, Olivia was an advocate for Alzheimer’s Association, a cause that her parents have been dedicated to for over 30 years, and lobbied on Capitol Hill for increased research and funding to find a cure. Olivia was the host for a previous Oklahoma Chapter Alzheimer’s Association Memory Gala where she was proud to declare that $2M was raised in 2015 in Oklahoma with $1.3M raised in her hometown of Tulsa alone. Olivia has also been recognized as an outstanding advocate of Children of the Night, an organization that is dedicated to getting children out of prostitution in the United States.
Standing at nearly six feet tall, Olivia stepped into her reign with a head start in Hollywood as a model and actress. The film credits that can boast her include Hot Tub Time Machine 2, 10.0 Earthquake, and Starving in Suburbia, among others. Olivia can be seen on TV screens across the globe from domestic and international commercial campaigns she has been in with brands such as Volkswagen, Agent Provocateur, and David’s Bridal to name a few.
Now, Olivia Jordan has made a name for herself in LA through modeling and acting.
We interviewed Olivia to get an overall look on how she became the woman she is today – including her recent accomplishment of becoming a Top 6 Finalist for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Search.
MUO: What has the process of the Sports Illustrated [SI] Swimsuit Model Search been like from the beginning to where you’re at now?
Olivia: I have always dreamed of being an SI swimsuit model, which has led me to follow the Instagram accounts of the magazine, photographers and creative director for years. One week, I saw all platforms posting about an opportunity to submit an application for a model search via Instagram and I knew I had to take the chance. I posted a video, tagged #SISwimSearch and crossed my fingers. Within a few days, I had an inbox message asking me to come to NYC and meet them as one of the 35 finalists. From the NYC meetings and test photo shoots, the number was narrowed down to fifteen finalists. All fifteen of us went to Miami Swim Week where we shot the first ever Sports Illustrated swimwear campaign and debuted their new swim line on the runway. After the show, we all returned home and waited for the call of who would continue on. Several months went by and then that dream call finally came through from the SI Creative Director herself. Now the final six of us will shoot for the 2018 issue and attend the launch in February!
MUO: What have you learned from the SI Swimsuit Model Search?
Olivia: The SI contest has been similar to pageants in many ways, but instead of narrowing it down in a two-hour show, SI has been narrowing down from 5,000 applicants since April. The extended elimination time has taught me a lot about patience. I’ve had to stay very conscious to chase other goals and not just wait by my phone and wait for the SI call.
MUO: What health and wellness tips do you have for young women?
Olivia: It's all about balance and self-acceptance. The number one question I was asked before Miss USA and the SI Model Search is, “How will you get in shape?” The reality is that I try to live "in shape". I workout 4-6 times a week, eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full. Some meals consist of veggies and lentils, while other meals include gluten free pizza and cupcakes. I’ve learned that diets don't work for me because if I restrict, then I end up binging on junk foods. I allow myself the freedom to eat whatever I want - in moderation - and set realistic goals so I can comfortably keep my body healthy when exercising.
MUO: What advice would you give to someone who hopes to have a modeling or acting career?
Olivia: The entertainment field is a difficult industry to get into. Know yourself and get specific about what you want to accomplish and why. If you want the glamour of the industry without the work, acting will not be your path - 90% of the day-to-day will not be glamorous, it’s challenging. You are required to be your biggest self-advocate to get auditions, impress casting directors and get on set to do good work - even on tiring 14 hour days. There will be much more rejection than success, but if this is what your heart is telling you then go all in.
MUO: From Miss USA to now, how have you grown?
Olivia: One of the biggest challenges as Miss USA was losing part of my personal identity and adopting the perceived identity of "Miss USA". Everywhere I went people knew my title before they knew my name. After giving up the crown, I had to - first of all, catch up on sleep - then refocus on what my next goal would be. I dove back into improv classes to shake off the pageant persona of always being "on”. Actors have to be comfortable being imperfect, messy, and utterly unattached to how they are perceived. I had to reconnect with that, so I spent a lot of time over the past year and a half in acting class to reconnect with my creative side. I grew a lot and faced a lot of challenges during my Miss USA reign. Now, I feel stronger and more confident than ever - in part because of my journey in the MUO system.
MUO: How do you feel that 4 out of the 6 girls chosen in the Top 6 were all once part of the MUO system?
Olivia: It’s not surprising to me to see so many "pageant girls" in the final rounds of SI. Pageants teach us how to advocate for ourselves and how to go after what we want. My agent couldn't get me the SI audition, so I did it myself. That kind of mentality is one that is innate to a contestant with a competitive mind in the Miss Universe Organization system. If you have a goal, go after it.
MUO: Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
Olivia: Within the next five years, I hope to be a lead actress in a television show. Acting has always been my biggest passion. I hope that all of the relationships that I’ve built since becoming Miss USA to where I am now, will help open the doors to make my acting dream a reality.
MUO: Anything else you would like to add?
Olivia: Follow @TheOliviaJordan on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to see behind the scenes moments of my upcoming shoot with SI Swimsuit. I will also be posting updates on the release of the two films I have worked on this year.
Congratulation Olivia on your incredible accomplishments! We are looking forward to seeing what you do next.