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Thriving Miss Daisy

From MTV Veejay to Model to Actress to Talk Show Host, Daisy Fuentes Is Always Seeking New Worlds to Conquer
Shandana A. Durrani
From the Print Edition:
Pierce Brosnan, Nov/Dec 97

"I would be either a rocket scientist or brain surgeon," Daisy Fuentes says with a laugh, tossing back her glossy brown mane. The MTV host, Revlon supermodel and former cable talk show host is mentally thumbing through some of the careers she hasn't tackled at the age of 31.

Sitting in the back seat of a Lincoln Town Car as the driver traverses Manhattan, the 5-foot 10-inch Fuentes is rushing to an appearance on "The Rupaul Show" on VH-1, where she will be picked at and prodded before her on-air interview with the famous drag queen. She has just spent more than six hours with a TV Guide photo crew, being picked at and prodded for a handbag spread in the magazine.

In addition, cameramen from E! Entertainment Television have shadowed Fuentes all day as part of its popular "MODEL" series, in which they capture the day-to-day life of supermodels. For most, this pace would be stressful, but Fuentes carries it off with casual aplomb.

"It can get hectic," she says, with a sigh. "When I am in New York or Miami or L.A. for work, I am usually there for a week and we try to really pack up that week. We try to get as much done at each place as possible."

Dressed in a short white miniskirt, black tank top and sandals, Fuentes leans her long frame back against the leather seats of the town car and relaxes. Though extremely busy, she has time to chat. She greets you in a warm, Latin manner, as if you are a long lost friend, and it becomes immediately apparent that she is genuinely as nice as she appears on television.

Fuentes begins to talk at length about her great loves: television and music. Then there is her other great love, Latin crooner Luis Miguel, her boyfriend of three years. Although she is mum about the details of their relationship, she does say that she is extremely happy and in love.

Fuentes is also quite willing to talk about her newfound appreciation for cigars. From an early age, she was surrounded by the cigars her father and grandfather smoked. She would steal puffs and ask them for details about the smokes. But it wasn't until recently, with the cigar boom, that she developed her own affinity for cigars. She now enjoys smoking premium cigars and drinking fine Cognac in laid-back moments with her close friends.

"I always thought it was so interesting," she says. "It is such an art and there is so much history to it. And once you learn about it, you have a respect for it."

Fuentes' palate is attuned to such mild brands as Macanudo and Dominican Romeo y Julieta, but give the girl a Cuban Cohiba and she is in heaven. "I just smoked a Cohiba the other day. It was great," Fuentes enthuses. "You have to appreciate everything that cigar is."

Hectic and fast-paced days are nothing new for Fuentes, whose life has been bustling since 1988, when, as a fledgling television personality (she was a weather girl for a Univision affiliate), she sent a Spanish audition tape to MTV. The music channel was at its peak in popularity, and Fuentes hoped to combine her love of television with her love of music. When MTV didn't respond immediately, Fuentes gave up hope. Then, six months later, MTV called and asked the Cuban-born beauty if she would audition for a south-of-the-border version of MTV. Fuentes auditioned and earned a job on the weekly syndicated "MTV Internacional," the success of which led to the creation of a separate channel devoted to the Latin music scene, MTV Latino, for which Fuentes was a major player as a host and a veejay. With her beauty, poise and natural rapport with the camera, MTV U.S. soon called her to audition; she eventually landed the plum job of MTV veejay.

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