THE strangest things happen when you go shopping these days. Not much less than a year ago, 20-year-old Prudence Jackson wandered down to the supermarket and came back with all you’d need for a balanced diet, not to mention the chance of a modelling contract from some bloke she’d met there. Might not happen to everyone, mind, but as you can see, Prue Jackson is not just “everyone”.
Is that really how it happened?
Yes – I was in Woolworth’s in Double Bay [Sydney], when Kevin Smith came up and asked me if I wanted to go and see the girls at Vivien’s [model agency].
What did you think?
I was shocked – but happy.
It’s a bit of a cliché, isn’t it? A guy tells you you should be a model.
I believed him because I actually knew who he was.
Did you know you had what it took, or were you completely surprised?
I’ve always wanted to be a model, but sometimes I thought I wasn’t good enough.
What would you be doing if you hadn’t been discovered?
I was doing a fitness training course.
Were you always the class spunk at school?
I was shy and skinny. A real late bloomer.
What did you think of boys?
I had a lot of boys who were friends – I really do like boys’ company.
Did you think they just wanted to be your friend?
I was fairly young, so yes. But now I look back and realise what they were really doing.
You’ve realised what boys are really like?
Yes. Boys are bad.
Not all of us, surely?
No, I’m only kidding.
Since you got discovered, have you been back to Tasmania to see the old crowd?
Yes. I went back about a month ago and saw a couple of girls from school. They said they always knew I’d do well, but I’m not sure…
You haven’t seen any of those bad boys?
Have you done much travel?
Yes, my ex-fiancée took me around the world, so I’ve been to New York, Paris, Rome…
What was your favourite place?
New York. I’m going back soon to do some modelling.
How did guys in different countries react to you?
I don’t really take any notice of that sort of thing. It doesn’t affect me too much. It happens everywhere, so I’m used to it. Just because they’re Italian men, for example, doesn’t mean they’re going to approach me any more than Australian men.
If a guy does pluck up the courage to approach you, what should he say?
He should just be himself. If being himself just means he’s sleazy, that’s his problem.
It’s tough knowing what to say to a model to get her interested.
A man should just express his feelings and say what he thinks. I usually will talk to him. I’m a very friendly person, and won’t turn anyone away – unless they’re being forward. I’m always cheerful and nice to people – I’m never mean.
You’re not the icy…
… the icy cold bitch sitting in the bar? No.
What sort of guy do you look for?
Beautiful eyes and a nice smile – if I’m going on looks. I can make up my mind better once I’ve talked to somebody.
It doesn’t matter if he’s a half-metre shorter than you, then?
Umm…I do like a man to be my height or a little bit taller.
How tall are you?
I’m five foot ten and a half [179cm].
That narrows it down a bit. All those poor short guys…
Oh no! That’s just a personal preference. You’re not short, are you?
Erm, no. I’m 182cm.
And do you have a nice smile?
Well, you know, I’ve been told… hang on – who’s asking the questions here?
I’m just wondering what you look like in case we ever bump into each other.
You’ve already said you’d be nice to me even if my first line’s no good.
What’s your best line?
“Hi babe, I work for RALPH magazine.”
And what do they say to that?
They say, “Yeah, right. Show us some ID, pal.” You’re asking the questions again. How about this: what can a guy do to get past your defences? Huge bunch of flowers?
Nothing extravagant at all. Really, it’s just a moment of connection. We both make eye contact, and smile – and bang! That’s it. I melt. But I’ve got to know him a little first, so there’s already a bit of an understanding.
That’s it? A look? Not a set of golf clubs or a small plane, or whatever?
Oh, I’ve been there, done that. Money can’t buy what really matters.
You sound as though you’ve learnt the hard way.
Yeah, I’m very wise for a 20-year-old.
What do you do in your spare time?
I love running, yoga, and meditation… generally looking after myself.
Would you expect that kind of fitness in a bloke, too?
Not really. It really is personality that’s the main thing. A little gut’s OK, I suppose.
Are you one of those models who moans about how hard she has to work?
Oh no. Modelling is everything I ever wanted, and I know how lucky I am.
What’s the best thing about it?
I just love the camera.
It loves you, too. What else are you up to?
Oh, my profile’s going to be going up soon.
What are you doing?
You’ll find out. It’s going to be big.
Oh go on, tell us.
Are you going to be on television?
I’m not telling you. You’ll find out.