November 30, 2011 03:30 PM

Jordan Strauss/WireImage

It’s hard to imagine Transformers star Rosie Huntington-Whiteley as anything but gorgeous, but the model admits she wasn’t always so camera-ready. “I was a bit of an Ugly Betty when I was 15,” she tells Harper’s Bazaar. Instead of working in front of the camera, she was behind the scenes at a modeling agency, “getting coffee, lighting people’s cigarettes,” the Devon, England, native says.

Things obviously changed, and at 18 the stunner moved to New York and landed a deal with Victoria’s Secret, and a few years later, Burberry. “To be 21, working with Mario Testino and Christopher Bailey, it was a milestone moment,” she shares.

Another milestone? Sporting those Victoria’s Secret wings. “I’d love to wear them for a fancy-dress party sometime,” she says. Although it’s not as if they’re at the ready. “People assume I have wings hanging all over my house, but that is not the case,” she jokes. She might wish it was so, though. “People kind of laugh about it and think it’s irrelevant, but I don’t know a girl in the world who would put those wings on and not feel, just for a split second, very special.”

Huntington-Whiteley can at least pretend she’s wearing her wings when practicing her catwalk strut — her signature party trick. “There’s always a moment when a great song comes on and everyone’s like, ‘Do the runway walk, Rosie!’ And you’re like, ‘No, no, no,’ and then you begrudgingly get up and do your thing,” she explains, adding, “It always gets applause.”


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