The 10 pennies that played T.I.’s leading beauty in his “Why You Wanna” video is a woman not to be misconstrued. Akira is the L.A. angel’s name (fittingly defined in Japanese as “shining light”), and she’s as clear on what she wants out of life as she is on what she doesn’t want. Having been gorgeous for pretty much all of her 21 years on earth, modeling offers are nothing new to the half-Black, half-Irish creamsicle. Even while assisting video director Diane Martel with casting, Akira ignored chances to jump in front of the lens. “It was always for something raunchy,” remembers the Portland, Ore., native. “There were so many instances where I turned down roles because of my own insecurities with wearing bathing suits with heels on top of a car in a video,” she laughs.
With her “anti–video girl” policy being so strong and steady, it was an exceptional moment indeed when Akira okayed T.I.’s request to help spotlight King’s visual. But the Grand Hustler himself needed a connect to even get the opportunity to offer his pretty please. Coincidentally, this apple of his casting eye’s best friend was his big-screen leading lady, Lauren London (who played T.I.’s girlfriend New New in ATL). It was Akira wanting to follow in her buddy’s footsteps that led her to accept the role. “I’m serious about acting,” she swears. “I don’t wanna do like Roll Bounce.”
But you wouldn’t believe who this stunning vision would like to share the screen with. “I need to do a movie with Adam Sandler!” she begins gushing. “I’m so in love with him. He wears swimming trunks and sandals to award shows! I won’t stop until I do a movie with him.”
Akira, who probably gets tickled by the phrase “foosball,” and is admittedly inspired by Julia Roberts, has no interest in performing anything in front of a camera that doesn’t involve a full wardrobe and a serious script. Unfortunately, her stance could possibly mean we may never see her jaw-dropping curves on TRL or 106 & Park ever again. “Right now, I’m saying this was my last video. But if I did another one, it would have to be bigger and better than Tip’s—like for Michael Jackson!”
With such a strong identity and awareness of where she’s headed, you just have to wonder if this Taurus is more fun to look at than to wife. Coming home to latte-flavored skin, a sunshine smile and body proportions so perfect they look man made is one thing, but the investment and maturity required to keep this independent woman happy might be too tall of an order for most gents out there.
“I love being in a relationship. I’m always receptive to Mr. Right, but I’m not looking for anyone right now,” she says. “See, when I’m serious about somebody, I’m serious, like knife-to-the-throat serious.” Approach with caution.