After getting pulses racing, Maxim model Arielle Raycene wants to show off a completely different talent.
The Kansas City, Mo. pinup says she’s determined to make her mark as an actress. And while many would expect the stereotype from a model, Raycene said she’s eager to take on the challenge. In fact, she’s been studying at the prestigious Groundlings, the Los Angeles-based venue for improvisation and sketch comedy that has launched many famous careers, including Phil Hartman, Will Ferrell and Lisa Kudrow — just to name a few.
Raycene is also starring in a new off-Broadway play in New York City titled “Used,” where she plays a high-end escort who forever changes the fate of a privileged banker. And when she’s not on stage, Raycene goes on social media to raise awareness on the importance of body positivity.
Raycene spoke to Fox News about appearing in Maxim, taking on acting and how she deals with online trolls.
Fox News: You were previously featured in Maxim. How did they approach you?
Arielle Raycene: I was building my portfolio, and it’s just one of those things [that happened]. It’s a casting, and then you’re in Maxim. With Maxim, you do a lot of destination places, so it’s a whole thing that lasts a week, but I flew to Australia, Bali and Thailand for it. It’s very tropical. It’s out of your element, and it’s not a vacation because you’re working the whole day, but it’s fun. This took place two years ago.
Fox News: What was your reaction when you saw those photos for the first time?
Raycene: Well, I didn’t think it was me. You know when you’re looking at yourself and you’re like, “That’s not me. That can’t be me,” because sometimes you’re really proud of … You’re like, “Wow. That’s what I did?” I think I called my mom. I always call my mom.
Fox News: What were some of the challenges that you faced in the modeling industry, especially when you’re expected to be a certain size?
Raycene: Well, you’re never going to be the perfect anything, and that’s one thing you have to accept about yourself. That’s a journey, and it takes a lot of time to accept you for all of you and who you are. I think the modeling industry has definitely opened up in what they accept now.
But there is still a funny … It’s like there’s a middle size that gets passed on. You either have to be thin, or plus size, or curve. I still think they have to work in that area. But yeah, I think after you accept yourself for who you are, that’s when you start to shine because it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
Fox News: It’s been said you want to raise awareness of people suffering from eating disorders and body dysmorphia. Why?
Raycene: Well, I’ve had family members that have suffered from things such as that. It’s a hard, hard disease because you don’t really think of it as a disease, and they don’t think of it as a disease, and they don’t see themselves like that. So it’s something you have to tip-toe around, that I have tip-toed around my whole life with people around me. I didn’t really even realize what was going on when I was younger. I think it’s something that we just need to be more aware of, and understand that they’re actually going through something that they can’t tell, or they can’t see.
Fox News: How did you end up becoming an advocate for body positivity?
Raycene: I would say just getting picked on a little. Yeah, getting picked on. There’s a lot of haters on Instagram that can flood your inbox. Once you realize not to look at all of that stuff and stand for change, that’s … I guess when you get picked on enough that’s when it happens.
Fox News: How do you deal with trolls on social media?
Raycene: Well, now I just don’t even look at it. I do not go into my … Actually, Instagram does this cool thing where you have to go look… through a different inbox, which is nice. So you have to go look for the direct messages that should not be there sometimes.
Fox News: How can we embrace body positivity in the digital world?
Raycene: I would say accepting everyone for who they are, which I don’t know if that is an answer or a solution. But we have to start doing it at some point. I don’t understand why people want to be rude or mean to other people. I think people should just start focusing on themselves.
Fox News: What there ever a point in your career where you felt like giving up because things weren’t going your way?
Raycene: Yes. I think I have a meltdown probably every six months that my mom has to listen to. If I could tell myself when I was younger that this is a long game and not a short game, and you have to have so much faith in yourself — that would have helped.
I mean I’m starting to realize that now, but how do I overcome it? I have a meltdown moment. It lasts for like a day or two, and then I don’t know, I’m just back up on the horse. Because it’s like, what else would I be doing? Nothing else. That’s how I know I have to go back out there.
Fox News: Tell us about your new off-Broadway play “Used.”
Raycene: We are part of the New York Film Festival, and it’s a circuit that runs all year. And then there’s a summer version too. I’m the lead. “Used” is about a transactional relationship, the art of it, and also the rise of capitalism.
There’s a lot of hidden messages inside there, but it’s also about if we can come together and not just look at ourselves as an individual, or be so absorbed with yourself — look on the grand picture. That’s when harmony … My name is Harmony, so that’s one of the hidden clues in it. But that’s when harmony happens. And no one ever feels bad about helping someone else. That’s something we all need to look at.
Fox News: What drew you to the script?
Raycene: Well, I like to make people feel uncomfortable. It’s one of those plays that do that. It’s a very intimate moment that people don’t ever get to see, which I think is really cool and fun.
Fox News: You’ve have had a successful modeling career. Why acting?
Raycene: I’ve been modeling since three, and then I got my SAG card when I was also three. I think the acting was always in me. I always wanted to act but modeling just kind of … I did more modeling, and then I decided that acting is what I really, really have the true passion for, so that’s what I’m doing now.
I’ve been using the video camera and performing in front of the camera and for my family since I was very, very young. I started doing plays in high school, and I studied theater in college actually, and journalism. But then after college, I just knew acting was the one thing I needed to do in my life.
“Used” is playing at New York City’s Hudson Guild Theater on Feb. 22.