Industry Insight: Monster Energy’s Gemma Lee Farrell
Section: Industry Insight Post: Simon Makker
MotoOnline.com.au gets an Industry Insight with Monster Energy’s Gemma Lee Farrell.
She’s one of the hottest Monster Energy girls gracing the podium at every round of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship, but there’s a lot more to the stunning Gemma Lee Farrell than meets the eye.
We caught up with the New Zealand-born 24-year-old while she holidayed in one-horse town of Pirongia to talk about her transformation from a small-town Kiwi girl into one of the most recognisable girls in action-sports, partying with Dirt Shark and Kevin Windham, being crowned Miss Monster Energy Cup, her thoughts on the 2013 AMA Supercross season, and why she rarely gets hit on at the bar.
First up, Gemma, how on earth did you go from growing up here in this tiny black-block New Zealand town to becoming one of the most recognisable women in action sports?
Well I grew up here in Pirongia, but I moved to the Gold Coast with my boyfriend when I was 16. There I did a shoot for Ralph magazine and that started getting my name out there. I started missing my family so I moved back home and got a job in the parole office at a prison, but I had to leave as too many inmates had my poster on their wall and it got a bit creepy! (laughs).
I moved back to Australia and scored a cover with FHM, then I won a Playboy competition and they flew me to the US and did a non-nude shoot with them. While I was there I won another contest at the Palms Casino in Vegas and they made me the face of the Playboy Club there until it closed down a few months ago.
I loved the US so much I decided to move to Los Angeles in 2009. I signed a contract with Dreamgirl Lingerie, who I’m still with, and picked up work with Monster Energy at the Street League skateboarding tour with the likes of Rob Dyrdek.
While that was going on I got hired to promo for Monster at the supercross, then I won the Miss Monster Energy cup contest in 2011 and it’s all unravelled!
Wow that’s a quick ride to the top! Have you always been interested in supercross and skateboarding, or is it something you sorta fell into?
It’s funny, because when I first started supercross I didn’t know anything about it. I didn’t know any names or anything, but now I know a lot of the racers, such as Chad Reed and Ryan Dungey.
Dirt Shark has helped out a lot. And now that I know the riders it makes the races so much more exciting, you want them all to do really well and not crash.
But yeah, it’s so much fun to be a part of this industry. The atmosphere at a supercross is amazing and I’ve made a tonne of great friends. It’s definitely not somewhere I want to end my career, but it’s been a rood ride so far and I hope it lasts a bit longer.
So let’s talk supercross. 2013 is already shaping up to be an epic year. Are you looking forward to another 17 weeks on the road?
I’m looking forward to it soo much. With so many riders coming into the season fit and healthy it’s going to be amazing to watch and I think the racing will be better than ever. At the moment I’m waiting for my green card to be processed and I had to miss A1 because of it.
I’m hoping to be able to be back for Phoenix this weekend though, although the timing could be tight.
Fingers crossed it all comes together! Who’s your favourite rider?
Ryan Villopoto is a winner, man. He’s unstoppable. When he cleaned up the 2011 Monster Cup he was on a different level then and he’d just got married, so his wife would’ve been pumped [laughs]!
Last year he was amazing too, and I think he’ll bring it again this year. I’ll also be going for [Dean] Wilson and [Chad] Reed.
Gemma is a Ryan Villopoto fan, but also cheers on Dean Wilson and our very own Chad Reed.
Being so involved in the action-sports industry and spending most of your life living it up in hotels and clubs, you would’ve seen some pretty epic parties, yeah?
Ohhh yeah [laughs]. I have some really influential friends like Dirt Shark. When we’re away together we’re just crazy and bounce of each other so much.
If he doesn’t drink I won’t either, but if he does, we just go wild.
The best event I’ve ever attended was called Party In the Pastures out at Kevin Windham’s house in Louisiana. It was for charity and Monster sponsored it, and it was just crazy. There were hillbillies running around with missing teeth, fireworks, and so much alcohol.
Me and Dirt Shark always reminisce on it as the best night we’ve ever had, probably because it was so random.
If you ask any of the Monster girls who parties the hardest, I can guarantee they’ll all say I do. I take full advantage of Monster’s hospitality [laughs]!
Hey, why not, right? So tell me, when you’re out partying at the club, do you get hit on much by random dudes?
I swear to God that if you ask any of the girls about that, they’ll all say we don’t get hit on that much. I guess nobody ever thinks they have a chance and they’re intimidated by us, which is weird. I’ve heard a fair few cheesy pick-up lines, but it’s rare for a guy to make a serious attempt to pick me up.
So, you’ve mentioned Dirt Shark a few times now. We heard you’re helping him out with his new website as well?
Yeah, Monster has helped Dirt Shark launch www.dirtshark.com. Basically it’s going to be the TMZ of motocross and I’m going to look after the Sharklet section. I’m really excited about it and I think motocross needs more edgy shit like this.
A lot of the sport and riders portray the clean-cut image. but I think it needs to get balanced out with more things like Dirt Shark.
Sounds good. Finally, you said earlier you didn’t want to finish up in sports. What are your ultimate goals?
This year I’d like to branch out some more into acting and opening a business in LA, but I’m not sure what direction to take with that yet. I’ll also be sticking by my Monster family and I think I’ll always be involved with them somehow.
Great stuff. Thanks for the chat, Gemma. See you at the supercross!
Sounds great. Thank you!
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