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Her mother is an elementary school principal and her father is a used-car salesman. Estella moved when she was 12 to Toronto in order to train as a synchronized swimmer. When asked if she missed out on her childhood, she said, “You don’t know the other side, so how do you say what you’re missing out on?”
As a kid, Estella Warren said she had braces, “and because I was so athletic, I didn’t develop until much later than all the other girls…I didn’t get a lot of boy attention in high school. But look at me now!”
During her swimming career, she was a member of the National Canadian team and won 3 national titles.
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Estella Warren was discovered by the owner of a talent modeling agency when she was a synchronized swimmer living in Ontario. He brought her to New York for test shoots and she landed in Italian Vogue.
She was a senior national champion at the age of 17, and could have participated in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, but she pursued modeling instead. As to her choice, she said, “Swimming becomes a career and it’s very all-encompassing. It becomes your life…but then my solo and duet events were taken out of the Olympics and I’d worked 10 years to go there, so I was rather disappointed.”
Estella Warren has also modeled for Victoria’s Secret, Chanel No. 5, and De Beers, among others. She said, “Coming from a barely clothed childhood as a swimmer makes me really comfortable with my body.”
As to transitioning from modeling to movies, she said, “I’ve been very lucky with that. But it’s also been some of the choices I’ve made…I decided to stop modeling and focus just on acting.”
As to acting itself, Estella said, “I think you get paid to wait and travel, and you do the acting for free.” And the difference between acting and modeling is that as an actor you can learn everyday, while a model can only progress monetarily or become more famous.
Estella Warren was romantically linked with Peter Berg.
She resides in Los Angeles.