‘SAF3’ star Lydia Hull: Unions would help clean up modeling industry

Lydia Hull plays a buff firefighter on the CW drama ‘SAF3’ alongside Dolph Lundgren and J.R. Martinez, so the former fashion model had to gain some weight to make sense for the role.

But how to gain those pounds – work to put on muscle, or just go and get fat?

“I have pretty thin body type naturally, and I wanted to be as believable as I could for my body. I gained 15 pounds of muscle to play the part,” she told FOX411. “I don’t think [gaining fat] would have had the same effect, but it would have been a lot more fun!”

Hull started in the industry as a model at the tender age of 15.

“I won the Seventeen Magazine cover model fashion search, which is how I got my foot in the door,” she said.

The Lawrence, Kansas native took her first flight to New York, and was soon being booked on runways, where she experienced some of the industry’s less than savory characters.

“Unfortunately I had some of that, probably not as bad as some girls have it, but there is that dark side to the industry, unfortunately,” she said. “I think that if there was a union for models like there is for actors, it would probably be a different industry.”

After roles in “Van Wilder” and “Sorority Boys,” Hull rethought her career choice and decided to go back to school, studying textile marketing at Kansas State. But Los Angeles called, and Hull returned to seek her fortune, and hit the big time with the role of female firefighter Lily Maddox.

Hull said one of the best parts of her job is her co-stars Martinez and Lundgren. Martinez was badly burned fighting in Iraq and has since become a passionate fighter for wounded veterans, as well as the winner of Season 13 of “Dancing With the Stars.”

“JR is full of energy, he’s a very energetic person, crack a lot of jokes,” Hull said. “Obviously his story is very inspirational, what he’s been able to overcome and the positive message that he can put out there.”

“Rocky II” star Lundgren, well that’s a different story.

“He’s intense, he’s serious, but he’s really nice, and he’s also extremely intelligent,” Hull said. “I don’t know if people know.”

Hull said her unique path to fame has been hard to fulfilling.

“It definitely wasn’t an overnight thing for me to be on a TV show, I’ve worked at it for awhile,” she said. “I’m extremely blessed to have the opportunity.”