The well-worn path from modelling to acting is paved with more calamities than success stories.
Think Cindy Crawford in the dud thriller Fair Game, or Gisele B adindchen as a bafflingly bad Brazilian bank robber in Taxi.
Ahead of her movie debut in the Adam Sandler/Jennifer Aniston romantic comedy Just Go With It, Brooklyn Decker is keeping a lid on her expectations.
“I am not at a point now where I could even look at an Oscar and see it as a realistic goal,” the former Sports Illustrated cover girl and wife of tennis champion Andy Roddick says.
“I am way too new and that is sort of on another planet for me. But I look at girls like Cameron Diaz who started out in (modelling) and then she went on to do things like Any Given Sunday and Gangs Of New York with (Martin) Scorsese – she has done some amazing films.
“I hope that if I just get a tiny bit of what she got, then I will be over the moon.”
The charming, curvaceous and drop-dead gorgeous Decker admits there is plenty of baggage that comes with the model-turned-actress tag.
“There are pluses and minuses,” she says. “There are a lot of doors that are open because people know of your career modelling but there are also a lot of people who close the door because you came from a modelling background and that’s hard.
“So I have been secretly doing acting classes. The biggest thing is that if you are willing to work then directors and producers are really responsive to that.”
Decker, 23, who has been modelling since her late teens, made the switch looking for a new challenge. After scoring the coveted cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition last year she went looking for a new way to grow and develop.
“I am a learner, I am always reading and wanting to learn new things so for me acting was a way for me to do what I love doing but learn along the way,” she says.
In Just Go With It, Decker plays maths teacher Palmer, who is the object of desire for Sandler’s character Danny, a plastic surgeon who pretends to be unhappily married to seduce women. Aniston plays his assistant Katherine, who is sucked into a scheme to help Danny win Palmer back by pretending to be married to him.
Nicole Kidman also indulges her lighter side, appearing as a hula-dancing rival of Aniston’s character in Hawaii.
The film topped the box office when it was released in the US.
“Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Kidman – you are working with pros who have been doing this for years,” says Decker. “That’s daunting because you know if there is going to be a weak link to the movie it’s probably going to be you, which is kind of intimidating.
“But luckily it was a comedy so it was light material and we had fun with it.”
Now she has a taste for acting, Decker is keen for more. She finished up the action blockbuster Battleship at the end of last year, which stars Liam Neeson, Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgard and Rihanna.
“I worked on that for a good four months and I think it’s going to surprise a lot of people,” she says.
“There was weapons training, stunts with cars, it’s more of an intense film with a lot of fights and a lot of yelling.”
One thing you can count her out of is mixed doubles with her top-10 ranked husband Roddick, who also has a cameo in Just Go With It.
The pair met in thoroughly celebrity fashion when the former US Open champ got his agent to get in touch with her agent after seeing her in Sports Illustrated in 2007. They have now been married nearly two years.
“It’s so bad,” Decker says of her forehand. “I think I have a worse temper on court than my husband does. I tried playing and ended up throwing the racquet but that was the end of that. I think I will leave it to him and I will stick to what I do.”
Just Go With It is released on March 31