Catch of the Day
cara wakelin is the one who almost got away
Cara Wakelin's mother made her do it. It was a cold day in October 1998, and when Cara's mom read that the Playboy 2000 Playmate search bus was coming to their hometown of Toronto looking for new Playmates, she urged her hesitant daughter to go for a photo test. Thank goodness she did.
Q: This is your first modeling gig. How did your mother persuade you to try out for Playboy?
A: When she saw the newspaper article about the Playmate 2000 search, she started jumping up and down, saying, "You have to do this. You can do it." I've never been very confident about my appearance. As we pulled into the parking lot, I saw ten beautiful blondes waiting in line. I said, "Mom, take me home. What am I doing here?" She said, "Cara, if you don't get out of this car right now, I'm dragging you in there." After the test shoot, I thought, It would have been tragic if I had bailed out at the last minute.
Q: Your family was homeless for a year. Has that influenced your views on money?
A: For various reasons, we were financially in the hole. We would rent places and move from house to house. During my childhood, we moved 15 times. I remember some days eating nothing but soup. I lost weight because there wasn't enough food. Being poor seems like such a negative thing, but my mother taught me to turn it into a positive experience. There are so many rich kids who don't know how it feels to work for their money. But I'm not one of those women who care about having tons of money.
Q: Is it true that your nickname in school was Skippy?
A: Yes, because I skipped so many days of class. For a while, I hated school. My mom was open-minded and understood if I didn't want to go. Eventually, I realized that if you don't have an education, you're not going to go very far. I pushed myself to go all the way.
Q: What's your favorite waste of time?
A: I love to get in my car and drive. I also love to draw. I went to art school for five years. My artwork depicts wildlife and other forms of nature. I love animals. I've had so many fun, strange pets: anoles, iguanas, boa constrictors. At one point I had 13 rabbits, 40 gerbils, mice, guinea pigs, four cats, a dog, frogs and fish.
Q: What three things should a visitor from the U.S. know about Canadian culture?
A: First, we love hockey. Second, there is a difference between university and college. University is more theoretical and a bit more prestigious. College is hands-on. I graduated from university with degrees in philosophy and sociology. And finally, yes, Canadians say "Eh?" all the time.
Q: Do you plan to move to the States?
A: Probably. Even though I was born in Australia, I've lived a geographically sheltered life. I can't wait to experience different cultures.
Photography by Richard Fegley