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Parade

Naomi Campbell on 'The Face': 'I'm the Tough Love Coach'

Naomi Campbell isn't only one of the famous faces on The Face, Oxygen's new reality modeling competition (airing Tuesdays at 9 p.m.), she's also its executive producer. The show splits aspiring models into teams coached by Campbell, Karolina Kurkova and Coca Rocha and puts them through the catwalk and photo shoot paces.

The supermodel sat down with Parade.com to discuss her new, out-of-character venture and what new sides of her we'll see.

"I forgot the cameras were around me," Campbell said as she tucked into a cupcake. "Once I do something I like doing, and I like bossing people around, I was oblivious."

Read on for more with Campbell:

On how the show will prepare the contestants for the industry.
"It gives them professionalism and teaches them to be present and to listen. If you didn't hear something the first time, don't think you'll hear it a second time since you might have lost the job. It depends on how much you really want that contract and how much you want to be that model you've dreamed of."

Being the "tough love" coach.
"I forgot the cameras were around me. Once I do something I like doing, and I like bossing people around, I was oblivious. With my girls, I was very authentic since I wanted them to know what it's really like out there. I didn't want to sugarcoat anything because it is competitive and it is hard. There are many models, agencies, publications: you have to have that extra special something to catch the eye. I'm the tough love coach, you can call me that. They're not the same girls that walked in the door and that makes me feel good. It's not about me, it's about them."

The differences between her and fellow mentors Karolina Kurkova and Coco Rocha.
"I would mentor my girls in a general way though I would point out individual things they would have to enhance or let go. The foundation was the same but then I would tweak things. I don't want them to be me. I want them to keep their individual personalities. That's why I chose them in the first place. I wanted to enhance their personalities, to learn, and to use it to their advantage."

On advice she wished she got during her early days.

"There is plenty [of advice she wished she got] but life goes the way it goes. I got advice from my mother who showed me how to walk or asking some girls at the Yves St. Laurent couture show how to take off a cape since I didn't know how. I would always ask if I didn't know. It would have been nice to have someone mentor me like how I mentor my girls [on the show] but I get to pass it along, which is the most important thing."

On jumping into TV.
"What attracted me to being on the show was being a mentor and not judge anyone. I had been offered TV shows in the past but I didn't want my life to be followed. I can pass on what I've learned in my 26 years of experience. I do believe in sharing and that is one of the factors that got me excited to do the show."

What she looked for in her team.
"Passion and being able to take direction. And having thick skin since this business is not a walk in the park."

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