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SI: When you and Heidi got together for the Swimsuit shoot, the atmosphere seemed....
FERRELL: Hot! Yeah, she's a wildcat. Pretty much every shot came down to one of us trying to get the other's pants off. The one where I'm biting her—can I say A-S-S?—that was one of the craziest moments. She told me, "You need to just bite my ass." I was kind of half doing it, so she stopped and said, "No! Really bite it!" It was one of the most surreal moments in my entertainment life.
SI: How did Mrs. Ferrell feel about all of that?
FERRELL: My wife is incredibly accepting of these things. She just rolled with it. She came by the shoot and walked in right at the moment when I was biting Heidi's butt. Heidi felt slightly self-conscious for a second—and then she got right back into it.
SI: Do you have any Swimsuit memories from your childhood?
FERRELL: I wasn't exactly a Playboy-under-the-bed kind of kid, but I do remember—I think—a Christie Brinkley shoot down in the Seychelles Islands. I remember thinking, Wait. This is SPORTS ILLUSTRATED? What is going on here. Mom?! It threw me for a loop, but I remember being extremely excited about it after that.
SI: Did you have fun with the '70s period clothes you wore as Jackie Moon for the shoot and for the movie?
FERRELL: Absolutely. Especially the basketball short shorts. I actually had to push our wardrobe person to make mine shorter. I think today's basketball player doesn't have the guts for it. When the Lakers came out in them a month ago, they seemed ashamed. But I found that they lent increased mobility and supreme aerodynamics.
SI: You were one of the rare models who had issues about disrobing. Why?
FERRELL: Well, Heidi kept trying to get me in my underwear. Begging, really. I had to say, "Believe me, I don't have a problem [disrobing]; I do it a lot in my movies." There isn't a moratorium on pants removal; I'm just trying to be a little more judicious about it. It put me in the unimaginable position of turning Heidi Klum down when she asked me to take my pants off.