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Franki Russell

Your name is Frances but you like us to call you Franki, right?
I love Franki! I feel it suits my personality more, right?! My family call me Frances and when I’m trying to be professional I’ll use that too.

Cool. Tell us a bit about your background and life so far, Franki.

My mother is Filipino and father was New Zealander-European. I grew up in Dunedin, New Zealand. My father passed away when I was 12 which I feel made me grow up a lot faster and become mature minded. After I finished high school I moved to Sydney knowing nobody except my older brother who I’m so grateful for helping me a lot. I’m born and bred in NZ, so I’ll always be a kiwi gal, but Sydney has definitely stolen my heart… for now. Three-and-a-half years later and here I am, taking every opportunity that comes my way and making sure I’m always having fun!

Would you say you are a, er… woman of the world?
Haha, I’d say so! No-one can ever guess my mix or my accent. I always play guessing games with people wherever I go. And exploring and adventure is something I need in my life — I can’t just sit still knowing there’s so much out there. Thinking about how much there is to see in the world gets me so excited.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I don’t think I’d want to live in just one spot. I always want to be travelling and mixing things up.

Well, you have definitely been travelling a lot lately.
Honestly, I don’t think I’ve travelled enough! So far this year I had an amazing trip to Bali with my three best girlfriends — Brittany, Jess and Claire, visited the beautiful Hayman Island in Queensland, went to Melbourne and Brisbane for weekend trips with the girls and I occasionally pop back home to NZ. Oh, and I’m currently doing this interview at a poolside bar in Fiji. Actually, Brittany is here with me soaking up the sun. The girls and I have some more exciting trips planned together soon.

Yes, and you call your girlfriends “The Squad”. What’s the craziest night out you ladies have had to date?
One night that springs to mind is after a music festival last year we were at an after party event for some of the DJs. After Diplo’s set one of his crew came up to us in the crowd and asked for us to join them in a private party with Diplo, Axwell & Ingrosso, etc… Then they decided they wanted to go see Duke Dumont play, so we all piled into a motorcade of SUVs and went to party until the sun came up! This is a pretty standard weekend adventure with the Squad – you just never know what’s going to happen!

What did you enjoy most about this MAXIM shoot?
I felt so beautiful and confident, especially as MAXIM is considered a magazine for gentlemen. And it’s amazing to be working with such a dream team.

Well, you look on point. When do you feel at your sexiest?
Thank you! I’d probably say a moment when I feel sexy is when I’m on a date and I catch the guy staring at me. When they give you that look in their eye it makes you feel like you’re looking amazing.

What’s your best asset?
I always get told my laugh is contagious. It can get me into trouble sometimes — I’ll laugh in even the most inappropriate situations! Slighty awkward.

Speaking of laughter, in 2014 you appeared as a contestant on Beauty and the Geek Australia. What were the best and worst parts about doing a show like this?
The best part was the crazy six-week experience and the friends from all over the world I made whilst living in a beautiful mansion. The worst part? Definitely holding a snake and eating creepy crawlies and fish eyeballs to name a few. Some of those challenges really took me out of my comfort zone.

Would you ever date an overweight geek with limited personality?
I think having a great connection with someone is much more important than what they look like, but I do like to take pride in my appearance and live a well-balanced lifestyle. So, I would look for a partner who shares those same values. There’s nothing sexier than a strong physical attraction.

How about dating one of your Instagram followers?
If they were willing to make an effort past Instagram, then sure, why not?!

You’re currently single — what do you love most about it?
I do love how being single can bring you more opportunities, as your full focus is on yourself. In saying that, being really into a guy is one of the best feelings.

What do you look for in a man?

Confidence, drive, humour… someone who is fun, spontaneous, affectionate, caring, hilarious and a gentleman. They should make me feel like I am the only girl in the world. Haha, I don’t ask for much do I?! I love guys’ biceps, too. Even on a first date I can’t help but hold onto a guy’s arm walking down the street.

Would you kiss, and get with a guy, on the first date?
If the moment was right, why hold back?

What’s the best way for a man to win his way to your heart?
I need a guy to make me feel special. I love a man who is not afraid to be romantic and full-on right from the get-go. Also, he needs to be able to be completely silly with me.

If you took MAXIM on a date, where would we go?
I’m assuming this would be the second date because the guy always takes the girl on the first one. We would go to Luna Park, be silly with all the games and rides but also get a little romantic on the Ferris wheel! Dinner and wine by the water afterwards for sure.

Sounds good. What’s the worst pick-up line you’ve ever heard?
“Your status made me laugh. After reviewing this unique outlook on life I have concluded you could be a potential candidate to sail off into the sunset within the direction of Barbados via Bora Bora and then go on to be my future ex-wife and take me for everything I’m worth. Can we go on a first-drink date to test the waters?” I give him points for creativity!

Finally, finish these sentences:

My best hidden talent is… talking about nothing.
I can beat anyone at… screaming.
Public nudity is… something that shouldn’t be illegal.
My biggest phobia is… when birds come near me while I’m eating — I literally scream and have to leave the venue. Don’t ask me why! I’m generally quite a frightened person and jump at even the smallest, sudden noises.
In five years I would like to be… having a family. It’s always been a huge dream of mine. I would hope in five years I have met the man of my dreams and having lots of beautiful babies. ■

Status Update

BORN: July 24, 1994
HOMETOWN: Dunedin, New Zealand
LIVES: Sydney, Australia
FIVE-WORD SELF-DESCRIPTION: “Affectionate, spontaneous, loving, bubbly, unpredictable.”
HOBBIES: “Trying new restaurants, bars, going to the beach and just being with my friends.”
FAVOURITE FOOD: “Japanese — I can’t get enough of fresh sashimi!”
GO-TO DRINK: “Champagne because it makes me extra giggly.”
HANGOVER CURE: “Jumping in the ocean and lots of fresh juice.”
RELAXATION REMEDY: “Listening to music — it can put me in any mood I want to be in.”
DREAM JOB: “I want to have my own successful business that will give me the flexibility to travel the world and do what I want with my time.”
GIRL CRUSH: “Actress Shay Mitchell. She was actually my inspiration for this shoot.”
INSTAGRAM: @missfrancesrussell
SNAPCHAT: @francesrussell1

PHOTOGRAPHED BY WAYNE DANIELS

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Lewis Hamilton