"Oh my gosh, you don't even know. I've already been proposed to, like, 20 times! From teenagers following me around at the beach to crypt-keeper-looking old dudes promising to buy me houses, I've had them all," Sumlee laughingly responds, "But I can always use a few more!"
It's late in the afternoon on a Thursday and Sumlee Anderson and I are sitting in one of the dozens of cafes that line 6th Street in the Koreatown enclave of Los Angeles. Wearing oversized gold-rimmed sunglasses and a loose-fitting sheer beige top, Sumlee doesn't seem to notice the throngs of old Korean businessmen ogling. And why would she? Between her non-stop giggling (Sumlee's a self proclaimed goof), sipping on a banana-strawberry smoothie (not a fan of coffee), blossoming career (upcoming roles in CSI: Miami and Deep in the Valley, a film co-starring Denise Richards and Kim Kardashian) and the dozens of courters (newly single and down to mingle), Sumlee's impervious to attention. She's used to it. Thanks to the wanton advances of men before me, the closest I'll get to second base is a confirmation on my friend request. The thousand Facebook stalkers? Make that a thousand and one.
Interview By Carter Jung.
So what is this stuff about you almost being an Olympian?
I started playing rec ball when I was 10 years old, and when I turned 12, the girls in our league were going into travel ball or junior Olympics softball. I've always been uber-competitive and thought, "I'm going to do this and I'm going to kick major buttsicles." The next thing I know, my dad took it seriously and started coaching me like a he was a drill sergeant.
What position did you play and what was your batting average?
I played short stop and center field thanks to my speed skills. My batting average was around .300.
Damn, slugger! You weren't messing around. Do you play any other sports?
I like to wrestle! [laughs] Just playing. I do love flag football and basketball is my fave. I go to Boomers and rock out on their air hockey machines . . . wait, is that considered a sport?
About as much as Street Fighter is MMA.
[laughter] I don't know about that, but I do rule the air puck! Bottom line, if I can compete in it, I like it. I like it even more if I win!
Did you pursue softball in college? What college did you end up going to and what major?
No, in college, I stopped playing softball and got more into modeling. Softball was more a hobby to me, and by that age, modeling became more than that. I went to Palomar College and studied biology to get into forensics.
Forensics? Where did the interest in dead people come from?
Too much TV as a kid! [laughs] No seriously, I used to watch tons of crime scene and detective shows trying to figure out 'whodunit' before the plot was revealed. I was always like 'I knew it!' so I thought I should be an investigator but then actually having to touch smelly brains and hearts didn't sit pretty with my tummy. I'd be great at forensics as long as I didn't have to touch, look at, or smell the dead stuff.
And now you're in the mob?
[laughs] Yep, I come mobbing deep. I love video games and my Facebook fans got me started on Mafia Wars. It's fun collecting weapons, starting fights or wars and robbing people-I love it! P.S. to would-be rivals: my weapons and mob are bigger than yours!
What other games do you play?
I'm all into Madden and Call of Duty. It's become a ritual where I have to play Madden before my Chargers play, so they can be ready to win their game. No one can mess with my Hail Mary! I love the action of COD, except I kinda suck at aiming my gun. So instead of shooting, I'm like a ghost ninja hiding and slicing people with my knife-you won't know what hit you! If I'm starting to sound kind of violent, I'm really not. I'm a cuddle bug, I swear!
A sweet little cuddle bug who likes to shank peeps! [laughter] Sounds like you're a bit of a nerd . . .
If nerd means not caring what other people think, then yes. I'm a dorkus. I don't care if I'm silly or do silly things. I have some brains but I got a lil' more swagger and sexy than the average nerd.
Do you date nerds?
[laughs] It depends-does he look like Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp? [laughs] As long as they're not the full-on Dungeon and Dragons, living-with-mommy type of boys, I'm ready to mingle. Know of any?
Not many nerds here. Readers of other D-list car mags, maybe. What do you look for in a guy?
Someone who can be himself, confident and honest. Being athletic or talented at something doesn't hurt, either. I always seem to go for the bad boy-the talented guy with dreams. They are relatable but not always the best.
What are four major turn-offs for a guy?
Smelly. Dumb. Lazy. Insecure. The last trait sucks the most.
When you and your friends are on the prowl for men, where do you go? Facebook?
Usually we are the one being pounced on, but usually clubs, concerts or even a baseball game.
What's the worse pick-up line you've ever heard?
I've heard so many to the point I'm not surprised anymore. There was one that did throw me off: 'Girl, even your armpits are sexy! I would lick 'em for days!' I was like, 'Ew . . . really?' [laughter]
That's gross. Your toe-pits, maybe. The aluminum zirconium in deodorant is like licking a nine-volt battery. Yuck. How did modeling come about?
I was scouted as a kid but I didn't get the full motivation to do it until one of my exes and I broke up. After I took some photos and saw the look on his face, I fell in love with photography. The industry as a whole has taught me so much. I got picked up by HIN and won Miss HIN Arizona. From there I started doing fashion and glamour stuff. I landed print work, landing on several magazines and was a Maxim Hometown Hotties semi-finalist and was featured on fhmonline.com. Recently, I've been going back to doing more high fashion commercial work.
What was the oddest gig you've ever had?
It would be either working on a Telemundo show called Machate or rubbing Johnny Drama's feet on Entourage-so gross and hairy! [laughter] Machate is like a Spanish version of America's Next Top Model except a midget would come to whoop your booty if you had no skills. I had to dance while holding up cards to get the crowd to either cheer for or against the contestant who had just sung. The worst part is they would pass the mic around to ask the models questions, but I can't speak Spanish. The whole time I was just nodding my head and smiling!
Have you had any weird, non-modeling jobs?
[laughs] Oh my god, yes! I had a job as a food broker where I had to sell food that was about to expire, had a flaw or was overstocked, to prisons, hospitals and schools.
Prisons, I can understand. Hospitals, maybe. But schools?! How did it feel to be the Catholic priests of the food business?
[laughter] Not all of it was completely bad!
Did you have to try any of the food?
Eww. Yes. Sometimes I would have to try new types of food that was the dried version of the original, like powdered spaghetti sauce . . . I think we were trying to kill some people at the prisons with that. Powdered ketchup paste, yucky soda fizz, and dust-crackers . . .
What was the grossest stuff you tasted?
Hmm . . . it's a toss between the powdered spaghetti sauce or the powdered basil soup mess-straight-up tasted like pesto puke. On second thought, I think they were trying to kill me, too! [laughs]
Death by gross-dehydro-cution. Bio major, softball, model, and former food broker, you're practically an entrepreneur.
[laughs] I am! I have some crazy ideas. For instance, I know I'm not alone when I say this, but have you ever been out with the homies drinking at the pad and all of a sudden you run out of booze? Because I was either buzzed or lazy, a friend and I came up with the idea of "Alcho-call-it"-a home delivery of alcohol when you need it, one call away! The only problem I foresee is licensing issues . . .
Genius. Domino's Pizza meets liquor store. I'll totally go in it with you. You can't have a liquor store without the token Korean. Speaking of pizza, can you cook?
Yes, I love to cook. The best dishes come out when you go into the cupboards and start using everything that sounds good and just wing it. All my girlfriends can cook mad crazy so I've learned from the best. But I am the ultimate pancake chef. It's all in the pre-cooking pancake dance . . . which oddly also works when bringing luck to my Chargers.
Except for the pancake dance-weird, by the way-sounds like you grew up a tomboy . . .
It would have to be because of my dad-we would always hang out. When I was a kid, he would take me fishing. I remember infomercials on TV for a lure called Banjo Minnow. It thought it was so cool and with it, I could be the first female pro fisherman, so I begged him to buy it. Sure enough, he couldn't resist my puppy pout. So for days I watched bass fishing on TV, practicing with my fishing pole. Finally, my dad finally took me out to the lake! When we got there we asked the fisherman what kind of fish were biting and he said catfish. Whatever they were, I needed these fishies! We end up next to a dam and I put my pole in the water. . .
You just said you put your pole in the water. Tee-hee. Sorry, go on.
Dork! So I put the fishing rod in the water and the next thing you know, I see the tip fly down! I'm scared but I start screaming and dancing. I ended up catching the biggest fish in the lake that month! My name and picture were in the city paper and I named my fish Charlie.
Did he taste good?
No, we didn't eat him! I couldn't let my dad kill Charlie. He lived in our bathtub and I fed him people food . . . but I ended up killing him by mistake. I didn't know fish couldn't eat chicken!
That's because they're the chicken of the sea! Any other funny stories? Preferable one that doesn't end with a potential PETA case?
Many! Didn't I tell you I was a dork? So, I'm in Pasadena about to get my hair did for a gig I had. I was on my cell phone and when I hung up, I put my phone in my side pocket. I was wearing tight jeans-of course-and as I crossed the street and lifted my right leg up onto the curb, my cell phone slipped out into the storm drain! I start freaking out. My cell is my lifeline and I don't have the contact info for the place I'm supposed to go to. I'm going nuts trying to squeeze my ass into this little slot trying to get my phone. It was right there-I could see it but couldn't reach it!
Along comes this guy riding a bike and asks what fell in the drain. I told him it was my phone. I asked if he could watch it, while I went to find something to pull out my phone. Some other guy, who happened to be watching us, comes out of his shop with a broom and duct tape stuck to the end and tries to reach for my phone. A random lady started watching him go for my phone and now my phone is starting to draw a small crowd.
Meanwhile, my stressed arse is running down the street back to my friend's hair shop and a fire truck passes by. They stopped to see if I was OK and I tell them that I'm fine but my phone fell down the drain. The firemen laughed and said that they would help. I start apologizing to everyone because I couldn't believe how uber-lame it is to have this many people fussing over a cell phone . . . when a second fire engine pulled up with their sirens on! The next thing you know, a bunch of firemen pry open a manhole and go in to rescue my phone. By now, the whole street was watching. People were cheering and the firemen asked to take their picture with me. I was so embarrassed, and it was all thanks to those tight jeans! [laughs]
Ethnicity: Thai, German-Swedish
Birthday: August 6th
Hometown: San Diego, CA
Thanks: All the photographers, editors, directors, managers and investors who gave me a shot. Also, my family, friends and fans who have always supported and believed in me.
Up Close And Personal:
Styling By Tiffany Dean
Make Up & Hair By Yuji