Lara Bingle. It’s the name synonymous with killer curves, an incredible smile and, at times, a touch of scandal.

From international modelling and numerous magazine articles to her own reality program (and most recently her current squeeze, actor Sam Worthington), Lara has captured Australia’s attention like few other homegrown celebrities.

It’s why the sun-kissed babe just had to be Cleo’s May cover girl. And while her star might continue to rise, Lara doesn’t get wrapped up in the hype that follows wherever she goes.

“I don’t consider myself as a celebrity or as someone that’s at the top of their game. For me, it’s about doing what you love, surrounding yourself with people that you love,” she tells Cleo at our exclusive shoot in Sydney.

While we’d totally disagree with her there (what non-celeb has 345,000+ Instagram followers?!), it’s Lara’s laidback attitude that has us captivated.

And it’s this same diplomatic outlook on life that’s helped her deal with the fall-out from an incident with a US paparazzo, who allegedly assaulted Lara when she was in New York with Sam Worthington.

“Focusing on the positive not the negative is really important for me. I’m very resilient. Ever since my father passed away I’ve learnt to be very strong,” she tells us.

While she might be a total professional on set, Lara’s love of mischief is never far away. When we finish shooting around lunchtime, she can’t resist Instagramming a photo of her G-string in the couture skirt she wears on Cleo’s cover.

Think celebs spend thousands on exxy products? These stars pay next-to-nothing to look amazing.

It’s pretty clear that no matter what the situation, she’s always happy to be the real girl: irrepressibly Lara. And it’s hard not to be charmed by that.

To read the rest of the interview with Lara, pick up the May issue of Cleo, on sale Monday 28 April.

Source: CLEO Magazine
Issue: May 2014