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Nikki Ziering: The MrSkin.com Interview
Nikki Zeiring has a problem. Everyone always casts her as the blonde bimbo. Well, she's got the body for it, but after watching her hilariously sexy take as a dominatrix-cop stripper in American Wedding (Picture: 1 - 2 - 3) it's obvious that there's more to this buxom beauty than meets the eye.

The former Price is Right spokesperson and Playboy centerfold is moving onto the second stage of her career, which began as a swimsuit model and appears headed for comic stardom after landing the role of another dream girl in National Lampoon's Gold Diggers, out now on DVD.

Look for Nikki on the Brit comedy talk show The Grill, currently in syndication on BBC, and on the big screen in the upcoming theatrical release Standing Still. It appears she's getting typecast; again she's playing a cop, this time undercover as a hooker. She can also be seen in her revealing 2005 calendar or on her website at NikkiZiering.com.

Nikki took some time off to talk with Mr. Skin before shooting her 2006 calendar. Her pet dog Monkey--part lab, part poodle--chewed on her expensive high-heel shoes (lucky Monkey), while she exposed her love for Goldie Hawn, food fetishes, and how much she likes to have a whip in her hands.

You're in National Lampoon's Gold Diggers (Picture: - - 3). What's it like being part of that great comic legacy?
It's great. I'm following in the footsteps of Christie Brinkley in the Vacation sort of character. Imagine that, me playing the fantasy girl [laughs].

Do you do any nude scenes?
In the DVD I believe you're going to see a little nudity. Imagine that, me naked [laughs]. But it's not a lot. It's there.

The whole storyline is about the two boys, Will Friedle and Chris Owen, who are courting and marrying these older ladies played by Renee Taylor and Louise Lasser. They think they're going to die soon and they'll inherit their fortune, but the women are taking out life-insurance policies and planning on whacking the kids [laughs].

Do you recall the first time you saw a nude scene in a movie?
9 1/2 Weeks. I don't think it was the first sex scene I ever saw, but I remember being young and seeing that food scene, which reminds me of a funny story. My web designer was telling me that he had gone to a naked food party. I was like, "A naked food party? Here in L.A.? What's that like? Do people show up naked or do they take off their clothes?" He was like, "No, Nikki. It's Naked Foods, the company."

I think I may have gotten some insight on what turns you on ...
Didn't you think everyone would be naked eating food?

Sounds like a great combination to me! Let's move on to actresses that you think are hot.
I've always loved Goldie Hawn (Picture: 1 - 2). My favorite movie ever is Overboard, with her and Kurt Russell. I love how she started off sexy and was able to break through all of that and build a career and still be working in her sixties. She looks amazing. She's not someone who's gone crazy with plastic surgery. She's maybe done minor tweaks here and there, but hey that's fine.

I remember in Overboard, at the beginning of that movie, where she's wearing that G-string one-piece. What a body!
I know, she's got a hot bod! But she's funny, and for a woman who's considered a sex symbol to move past that and work into her forties, fifties, it's really a rare thing. I'd like to emulate her career, if I could. It'd be my dream.

What about the genesis of your career, how does a Playboy Playmate become one of Bob Barker's beauties on The Price Is Right?
It was so ironic and surreal when the whole thing happened. Janice Pennington had been on the show for twenty-nine years, and Kathleen Bradley had been on for something like 10. There had only been a few girls that had done that job, so I took over for Chantal Dubay who took over for, I think, Dian Parkinson or someone like that, and she'd been on since day one. The job just didn't come up that often. Very few women had a chance of being a Barker's Beauty.

I had been watching the show since second grade, and remember telling my mother, "That is what I'm going to do when I grow up." That the show would even be on 20 years later and when 2,000 girls audition for the part that I would get it, was something I felt was supposed to happen, a childhood fantasy.

Was posing for Playboy a fantasy, too?
It was something I had always thought about doing, but I never went after it because only 12 girls a year are picked to be a Playmate. I had been modeling for years, doing the whole swimsuit catalogue. I don't think there's a swimsuit catalogue out there that I didn't shoot for. I had a pretty successful modeling career already, and most girls who do Playboy, it's their first thing they've ever done. And they're really young. If you look at it now they're all born in the '80s [laughs].

Later in my career it all came about. I did an ad for Playboy magazine that they run called "What kind of a man reads Playboy?" The photographer who shoots the centerfolds shot it, it was fully clothed, and he said, "How come you're not a Playmate?" I said, "I don't know." And the next thing I know we had a photo shoot set up for two days later to do a test, because you always do a test, and Hef gave the approval and the next thing I knew we were shooting it.

Was this the first time you ever did nude photography?
Yeah, I believe it was.

Were you comfortable with that?
In a swimsuit you're only strategically covering yourself [laughs]. I've never been uncomfortable with nudity. I'm actually scary-comfortable with it. And you're not completely like a plucked chicken naked. You always have something beautiful on that's half pulled off of you, like sexy lingerie, beautiful shoes, a belly chain [laughs], stockings or something. The lighting is so beautiful and they're so professional about it. Like I said, I had been in front of the camera so much already that I was very used to it. It didn't really bother me so much. I had control over how tasteful the pictures would be. They can't shoot anything I'm not giving them [laughs].

I actually did it again last year, July 2004. I was the celebrity pictorial and cover. It couldn't have been too painful because I went and did it again.

And you've been in a lot of their videos, right?
When you do the centerfold, you're a Playmate, you have to do the video. It's part of the thing. I did my Playmate video and then the month before, because I was September '97, the month before my issue came out they did a special issue called "Biker Babes," which was the August '97 issue, and they put me on the cover of that. Me with a motorcycle on the cover, I'm not in the magazine, but I'm on the cover. They used a snippet from my Playmate video in that video, too.

Is there a difference between doing the videos as opposed to the centerfold shoots?
Yes. The photo shoots take a long time. It's amazing. It's like two weeks to shoot that one centerfold shot, believe it or not, and you're holding that one centerfold pose for two weeks for eight hours a day [laughs]. To me, it's usually not even the best picture. It's so contrived. But the rest of the layout -- they call the small-camera pictures -- they just shoot a ton of stuff. You could be shooting for a month.

The video, I remember, we had to do it in three days, and it's usually done in five days. They picked me up at five in the morning from my house and getting home at midnight. It was all day, no breaks, no down time. They shoot it like music-video vignettes. There are like three or four vignettes that they do, and in one of them they had a magician come. He was doing special effects and had to teach me how to do these magic tricks. I messed every single one of them up and he had to get out of there because he was late to saw some lady in half. I remember the director said, "Don't worry, it'll all come out in editing." And sure enough it did. I was laughing so hard while watching it, saying: "Oh my God, I messed up that one, I messed up that one..." But they made it look okay.

You played a "Henchwoman" in Austin Powers in Goldmember. Are you a fan of the sexually swinging '60s?
Such a huge fan, and Mike Myers is such a genius, so much fun working with him. He played so many characters, so you shoot it and he's playing "Austin Powers," then you shoot it again and this time he's "Goldmember." You see him again and he's "Fat Bastard." It's so amazing how he takes on these characters.

I also got to work with Michael Caine, who I worked with before in a movie called The Debtors. I played a showgirl in one scene. He is so funny. It's so hard not to laugh. And usually when you shoot the same scene over and over it kind of loses something, eventually it's not so hard to keep from laughing, but not with them.

You've also been in one of Mr. Skin's favorite comedy series, with a memorable scene as a domineering police stripper in American Wedding. How much of that scene was improvisational?
So much. It was fun. I had just returned from Australia doing this reality-TV show I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here, where we were in the Outback, sort of Survivor meets Fear Factor. I think they picked me up from customs at the airport and took me straight to production. I still had mosquito bites all over my body.

It was like two weeks or more of shooting on a film that was nothing like what I was used to. We had a script that we shot, but the majority of the stuff was completely unscripted. The producers would meet every day and come up new ideas and ask us what we felt comfortable with. The set was just blow-up dolls and sex toys [laughs]. It was so much fun. I remember at one point being dressed up like cowboys and Indians and running around. There's a lot of stuff that didn't even make it to the extras.

"Officer Krystal" is so unlike my personality. It's funny, because a lot of people go, "That was you?" It's so different from my personality type. I thought I would do some research on the role, maybe go check out some dominatrix, because I've never really experimented with that side of my personality. But time didn't allow for that, so the next thing I know we're on the set shooting and I got into the little costume, picked up the whip and was very surprised how naturally that dominatrix girl lived inside of me. She just came out. I was like, "Wow." But something about that whip, you pick it up and it's like Jim Carrey in The Mask.

Have you been able to let go of that character or are you still living with her?
If I pick up the whip, there she is. She's not always there, just when I have that whip in my hand.

All photos of Nikki Ziering courtesy of NikkiZiering.com

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