K.D. Aubert is a model and actress known for her stunning good looks. But even though many recognize her for her beauty, Aubert is more than just a pretty face.

You might recognize Karen Denise “K.D.” Aubert from her appearance in the 2004 Lloyd Banks music video for “Karma.”
Or perhaps you remember her as one of the four original Fantanas, female spokesmodels for the soft drink company Fanta.

No matter where you recognize her, it’s no secret that K.D. Aubert was everywhere during Y2K. From music videos to commercials, the “Trade It All Part II” video model has covered it all.

But Aubert isn’t new to this, she’s true to this. The “Soul Plane” actress has been turning heads since she was young. She got her start in the industry after being discovered working behind the makeup counter at Macy’s. Soon after, she began modeling for notable companies such as Victoria’s Secret, Frederick’s of Hollywood, and Noxzema.

An Exclusive 21 Ninety Interview with K.D. Aubert

Back in the early 2000s, K.D. Aubert was THAT girl. And today, not only is she still THAT girl, but she’s much more than that. Now, K.D. Aubert is a model, actress, singer, AND businesswoman. Even better, she sat down to talk all about it in an exclusive interview with 21Ninety. Take a look:

Brittni Williams: Why did you decide to become a video model?

K.D. Aubert: Honestly, it really wasn’t like I set out to do it. This was just like the rest of my career. Things kind of kept falling into my lap. Things just kept happening and happening. 

I believe it started off as an audition to a modeling agency. And thinking back to my first video, at the time, there weren’t a lot of girls who looked like me. I started off as a model so it was just kind of a natural progression to go out on an audition for a music video and I was clueless so…but it worked out. It all worked well.

BW: What has been your favorite music video to work on?

KD: I can never narrow it down to one as a favorite but one of my favorite videos would have to be the Lloyd video, “Lay It Down.” And side note: shout out to female directors — that was my first time doing a music video with a female director so that was special. 

So funny story, I was hanging out, hosting a music festival on the island of Curacao when I got the call for that video. And I remember it was me, Idris Elba, John Legend — it was a cool thing, it was a really cool event. I was hanging out and Polow Da Don contacted me — he was a friend of mine — and was like ‘K.D., we really need someone to take this to another level.’ 

And I hopped on a plane right away.

But that’s how my career has been. My career has literally been one amazing thing after another and it makes for such an awesome story or book one day.

BW: Tell us about the landscape for video models at that time. Was it competitive? Was it misogynistic? Etc.

KD: You know, I really wouldn’t say it was competitive. I don’t really focus on that. This is all fun for me. It’s not like I was like “Oooh, one day I’m going to become a video model.” I just enjoy the ride. 

There were some cool girls and some not-so-cool girls but I always believe in the idea that there’s enough for everybody.

BW: Did you and the other models become friendly, or was it strictly business?

KD: Oh no, I always try to make friends. I love bonding with women. It’s not always easy because a lot of them aren’t receptive. And I think a lot of people expect me to be a certain way because of how I look.

Claudia Jordan is actually somebody who was always friendly. And she and I are still cool to this day. 

You know, she was the star of some really good videos. And it was a different time with music videos then. Because with music videos back then, the artists actually let the girls shine with the closeups and the slo-mos and the lighting. That was a time when you could launch a career from a good music video. And I was always very picky about which video I was in. I had to like the song. I had to like the concept. It wasn’t like “oh yeah, I’ll do it.” I was very picky about which videos I accepted.

BW: What was your favorite or most iconic look that you wore for a music video?

KD: I think it would be the look that I wore in the Fabolous “So Into You” video. It would be the scene where I dove into the pool and then when I came out. Because that shot where I was coming out of the pool with the bikini and the belts and stuff — I think the stylist actually designed that on set — but that whole moment, that whole scene is something that I will never forget because they didn’t know I was a swimmer.

There was a lot of stress surrounding that scene because I had to dive and I kind of had like one take or I would’ve had to get out and get my makeup done over, etc. so I had one take to do that dive.

And when I tell you when I came out of the water, there was such a sense of shock. Because they were like “We got it, let’s move on.” That was all me so when I came out of the water, that swimsuit, the hair — yeah, it was pretty awesome.

BW: What was the craziest thing you saw while on set for a music video?

KD: There wasn’t anything really crazy or bad. I always kept it professional. I’m in my own world. I’m in my bubble and negativity really doesn’t penetrate my bubble when I’m on set. It’s just fun for me and it allows me to use my imagination and act like I’m really in love with this guy. My imagination is a world of unicorns and fairies and stuff.

BW: That’s so refreshing to hear. How do you maintain your authenticity in the industry?

KD: I made the decision early in my career that I was going to stay true to who I am and stay true to my upbringing. I had an extrememly adventurous childhood and so that plays into this thing we call acting. 

I grew up with a tree house and a tire swing and go-karts. My house was the hangout. So I just had a really awesome childhood so a lot of that plays out into how I conduct myself.

BW: You briefly mentioned acting, what prompted you to start acting?

KD: It just happened. “Friday After Next” was my first movie and my very first audition for film. But you know, I started off as a model. And I was a model with issues because I had weight problems. I was extremely thick which wasn’t a problem for me, but that wasn’t the style when I stepped onto the scene. I had to really drop down [and] get a runway coach.

So when it came time for me to get into the acting thing, no one knew if I could actually act. So “Friday After Next” was actually a set up that went well. That was a setup. They were like ‘Hey, we know she’s not going to get it.’ That’s what the agency told the casting director for “Friday After Next.” [They said] ‘We know she’s not going to get it but can you audition her and let us know if she can act or not because we’re looking to sign her.’ That’s how it went and I didn’t find this out until later.

The funnier part to that story is at the time I was extra, extra religous. Super religious. Sold out for Jesus. So when they told me I got the part, I turned it down. Cause I was like ‘I am not doing a movie where they’re smoking weed and cussing. I am not doing it.’ But I’m a whole different person now.

BW: What made you say ‘yes?’

KD: Because my whole team called me. They called me on a conference call. I rememeber my manager saying, ‘You know what, K.D?’ and he said the “F-word” like three times before saying ‘Does that mean I’m going to hell?’ 

And I was like ‘I don’t know, you need to take that up with Jesus. But I know you cussing at me on this phone…[laughs]

But they convinced me about how this would change my life and how this was such a classic, cult film, etc. They just convinced me, so I took some time and I thought about it and I was like ‘Alright.’ But I wasn’t happy about it at first.

BW: What has been your favorite TV/film project to work on?

KD: Well, believe it or not, I did a sci-fi movie called “Frankenfish.” And it’s about these clinically-engineered fish that can eat people and they can breathe out of water. 

We filmed it in Mobile Alabama so I think this was one of the first films that I filmed out of state. So it was in Mobile, Alabama. I have a lot of family from Mobile Alabama so that was fun. And we filmed at a swamp in the middle of winter. It was actually one of the coldest winters on record. 

We had a safety team in the water letting off explosives. And I did 98% of my own stunts. They made me a fake stunt certificate when I finished the movie. 

“Frankenfish” was probably my — that and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” — but “Frankenfish” was one of my favorite experiences because everything was shot at night. And it was so fun because we got to work at night, and then we got off at like 7 or 8 o’clock in the morning. So it got to the point where we were like zombies but we were all staying at the same hotel, so it was like ‘Hey you want to go out for drinks after work?’ and that was like 8 in the morning. So we were like drinking at the bar while everyone was going to work and we had just gotten off work so that was cool. 

And then I bought my dog out of the newspaper while I was filming. It was my birthday so I was like ‘I want a dog.’ So I found a Shitzu in the newspaper. And this older couple brought me the dog and was like ‘Well we know you’re an actress so we bought you the one with the most personality.’ And so I named her after my character in the movie. Her name was Eliza, she passed in 2014. 

And it was so funny because the whole crew was taking care of my dog while I was filming. The Kraft service guy was giving my dog Cup o’ Noodles. I’m like ‘What are you doing?’ [laughs] It was awesome.

BW: What can fans expect to see from K.D. Aubert in the future?

KD: Well, I’ve been living overseas and I’m back in America now. And it’s great because I feel like I’ve been given a fresh start even though I’ve been in the industry for a really long time. I’m looking at it through a completely different set of eyes. 

And now what I want to do and what I have been doing — which you’ll probably start seeing these movies come out next year — is I’m taking on roles that people have never seen me in. I’m talking about that overly masculine, tough, no-makeup character. And what I’m doing is I’m focusing on setting myself up for action movies, more sci-fi, detective, action hero roles. Those are the steps that I’m taking and the roles that I’m positioning myself for.

BW: How exciting! Where can fans follow you to catch up with everything you’re doing?

KD: My YouTube channel, KDeez World or @kdeezworldxoxo.

I’m really interested in people getting to see me from another side. I’m showing more of my intellectual, spiritual side on my YouTube channel and the things that I’m into — stuff like that. Because the fun part is people getting to know who I really am and I think the more people find out who I really am, it’s like I’m building an army.