In five years on the air, Tyra Banks has gone undercover as a homeless person, an obese woman and even a man. Plus, she’s interviewed everyone from Beyoncé to Janet Jackson and Miley Cyrus. But nothing thrilled the host of The Tyra Banks Show like her interview with one particular U.S. senator.
“I was so nervous, sick to my stomach and my hands were shaking,” Banks tells PEOPLE of her interview with then-Senator Barack Obama. “I asked him to look into the crystal ball and said, ‘What do you see in your future, Senator?’ And without hesitation he replied, ‘The White House.’ That clip ran on CNN and every national morning show. I’ll never forget being a part of political history.”
She found a place in pop culture history, too.
“I even got bitten on the neck by Twilight‘s sexiest vampire, Robert Pattinson,” says Banks, whose talk show will air its final episode Friday. “I don’t think I’ve ever felt so envied.”
But the supermodel-turned-mogul, 36, is hardly slowing down with the end of the talk show. With her company, Bankable Enterprises, Banks plans to branch out into film production. She also plans to publish a series of novels, and cycle 15 of her reality staple America’s Next Top Model will feature a new partnership with Italian Vogue.
Looking back on her talk show, Banks says it was, “always about my life’s mission of expanding the definition of beauty. I wanted everyone to understand that life is about accepting and loving yourself, flaws and all.”
“A woman told me she saw the Kiss My Fat Ass episode and put down the pills she was going to use to commit suicide,” says Banks.
Of course, she appreciates the lighter moments, too.
Jokes Banks: “Hell, I even love the women who come up and say, ‘You rockin’ your real hair or a weave today, girl?’ ”