You can't be nice all the time. How do you channel rage?
For me, anything kind of physical is a huge stress reliever. Surfing is one of the best ways. I mean, growing up in Santa Cruz, it's a huge part of the culture there. You just grow up around it. My parents met surfing, and my aunt used to be on the pro tour. So, it’s something that I’ve grown up around forever. Obviously, with work and me traveling all the time, it's few and far between that I get to do it. But it’s something that I always come back to, and the beach is my home. Even when I travel somewhere, if I’m on a beach there’s a certain level of comfort there. Oh, and boxing!
I started boxing—it's great because no matter what you were feeling when you walked in the gym, it's completely gone when you leave. You get it all out.
Do you spar? Yeah, sometimes. If my trainer felt he trusted the person enough. You know, not to like, knock my tooth out. [Laughs.]
It seems like it could be risky for you. If I go out and get a black eye, I can just come back to work the next day, but...
I know, exactly. That happened when I first started training—I got popped right in the middle of my lip. It healed fine, so it was OK, but even at that point he was like, "We can't. This modeling thing is really getting in the way of your training."
Some of the suits take like, 16 hours to paint. Then there’s the obvious fact that you don’t have any clothes on. It’s a little challenging, but the end result is cool.
What was your reaction when you were first approached about doing the body paint for SI?
I had seen it in previous issues, so I was aware of it. It’s a pretty unique experience, and they only select a few girls to do that in every issue. But it’s a challenging day in a lot of ways. Some of the suits take like, 16 hours to paint. Then there’s the obvious fact that you don’t have any clothes on. It’s a little challenging, but the end result is cool.
On a scale of 1–10, how much more prestigious is it to pose for Complex than Sports Illustrated?
Well, the thing that’s cool about Complex is it’s totally different. It’s something different for me, which is what made it really exciting for me to do.
You’re going to pass on the 1–10 rating?
I don’t think you can compare. It’s not the same thing [Laughs.]
It’s totally different, don’t you agree?
I think we’re a little cooler than them.
Yeah. SI is very corporate. You guys are like the fun, cool people. So in that way, yes, that’s why I think it’s so different.
They don’t take you downtown.
[Laughs.] No, not at all.
WATCH MARISA'S BEHIND-THE-SCENES VIDEOS:
ADDITIONAL CREDITS: (STYLING) Anoma Ya Whittaker. (HAIR) Dominick Pucciarello for Bryan Bantry. (MAKEUP) Meredith Baraf for the Wall Group. (MANICURIST) Christina Zuleta at the Katy Barker Agency using OPI. COVER, FIRST, EIGHTH, AND ELEVENTH IMAGES: Bikini Top by Diesel / bottoms by Rosa Chó / shorts by Sass & Bide / rings by Lia Sophia / bracelet by Marco Bicego. SECOND AND TWELFTH IMAGES: Tank by Hanii Y / bra by Elle Macpherson intimates / necklace by Marco Bicego / necklace by Maya Brenner (worn as bracelet) / shoes by Balenciaga. SEVENTH AND TENTH IMAGES: Lingerie by Agent Provocateur / bracelets by Lia Sophia. THIRD IMAGE: Tank top by Obesity and Speed / bra by Araks / bracelets by Hayden-Harnett, Disaya, and Ksubi / Shoes by Bruno Frisoni. FOURTH AND NINTH IMAGES: Bra by La Perla / jeans by Insight / necklace by Marco Bicego / bracelets by CC Skye and Disaya. FIFTH IMAGE: T-shirt by Worship Worthy / underwear by Agent Provocateur / bracelets by Disaya. SIXTH IMAGE: Swimsuit by Insight / bracelets by Lia Sophia and CC Skye / earrings by Gara Danielle / shoes by Pollini.