Virginia Elizabeth "Geena" Davis (born January 21, 1956) is an American actress, film producer, writer, former fashion model, and a women's Olympics archery team semi-finalist who most people may not realize began her rise to fame with Victoria's Secret.
Geena's big break came in the early 1980s when she was a top Victoria's Secret model. A movie was being cast in New York City, where she lived.
"There was a part as Dustin's dressing roommate for someone that's going to be in their underwear a lot of times," she says. "So the casting director thought, 'Let's call model agencies and see if they have any models who can act.' "
Geena went to the audition and did fine, but when she got a callback, she was in Paris walking the runway.
"My good fortune at that moment was that I had been in the Victoria's Secret catalog," Davis says. "So they sent over the catalog with these perfectly lit, airbrushed, wind-blowing-in-your-hair photos."
Geena snagged the part of April in "Tootsie," but that was only the beginning.
"At that time, the big models like Christie Brinkley and Lauren Hutton were getting parts in movies. I thought, 'Oh, well, all I have to do is become a successful model and then maybe I'll get hired for movies,' " she says, laughing at her idea that becoming a supermodel would be a breeze.
Well, becoming a big star did turn out to be a breeze for Geena. "Tootsie" got her all sorts of follow-up roles, and she became a leading lady. However, she did not give up modelling, at least right away. Even when her signature role, "Thelma and Louise," was in production in 1992, she was modelling for Versace in Paris. Other important roles came along, such as her appearance as a baseball player in "A League of Their Own." Geena Davis remains a top Hollywood star to this day.
|Geena modelling for Versace in Paris in 1992|
It all goes to show that dreams do come true.
"My big break was getting cast in Tootsie as my very first acting job and as a result of my very first audition," Davis says. "That's a ridiculous, ridiculous break to get. But that is exactly what happened."