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 411mania » Movies » Columns

411mania Interview: Playboy Miss May Nikki Leigh 04.28.12
Posted by Steve Gustafson on 04.28.2012

Every Playmate's journey is different. For some it's years of patience before earning the coveted honor. For the beautiful Nikki Leigh it was a moment of boredom while on vacation! Nikki is not only turning heads in the pages of Playboy, this sociology student is impressing many by graduating this May from California State University, Fullerton...WITH HONORS!

Posing for Playboy has always been a dream of Leigh's. "As a 13-year-old, I would get a hold of my dad's Playboy magazines and thought the women were just stunning," she says. Now that her dream has come true, Nikki is most looking forward to bringing joy to others. "If being Miss May gives me another way to spread happiness, that's awesome. I'm all set to travel and do whatever I can to be an incredible ambassador for Playboy. In fact, I can't wait!"

I had the opportunity to speak to the southern California native recently where we spoke about how she made it to become Miss May, how her life has changed, and what had her laughing at the movie theater.


Steve Gustafson: Hi Nikki! Thanks for taking a few minutes to talk to me. Let's jump right into it and tell me how you got your start in modelling.

Nikki Leigh: Actually, this Playboy experience is my first modelling thing ever!

Steve Gustafson: What! That's crazy!

Nikki Leigh: (Laughs) Yeah! I'm completely a newbie!

Steve Gustafson: Wow. OK. So take us through the experience. How did you get involved with Playboy?

Nikki Leigh: Well, I was on vacation and my friend left me with my own boredom so I went on Facebook and I saw a girlfriend of mine from high school who was a Playboy model. So I asked her, for shits and giggles really, to connect me with anybody there. She gave me an email address and I sent over just a regular photo of myself and it ended up being a casting director for Playboy. He was like, "Come in for a test shoot! That's perfect!" I let him know that I was really only interested in being a Playmate specifically and he was like, "Come in and let's see where you sit! Great!"

So I went in and became good friends with them and they liked me. They took me under their wing and put me in an audition. The rest is history! It was all very quick! (Laughs)

Steve Gustafson: It sounds like it! I hear all sort of stories about how the Playmate's get to their moment. You just went 1, 2, 3...Boom!

Nikki Leigh: (Laughs) I know! Everyone is like, "What was your process? It must be so intense!" I bet it is! For me it was really simple. A lot of these girls stress out and I'm glad I didn't have to go through that. Thank God!

Steve Gustafson: No doubt! OK, so you get the audition. How did you first hear you'd be Miss May?

Nikki Leigh: I first heard at school. I currently go to Cal State Fullerton and I was walking to my car between classes and I got a phone call. They said, "We want you to go to a Centerfold Test Shoot!" So I did that. I was over my friends Dani's (Mathers) place, she's a fellow Playboy model, and we're hanging out and I get the call saying, "Your Centerfold is approved!" They didn't tell me right away that I was going to be Miss May. I kind of got the run around. At first they said it could be January and then maybe a Summer month like June or July and eventually we landed on May!


Steve Gustafson: Perfect! How about the actual photoshoot? Were you nervous or did you just go with the flow?

Nikki Leigh: I totally went with the flow. I had never done anything like this before; not even clothed modelling! (Laughs) We didn't shoot at their regular studio, we rented out one because they had to build a set just for my shoot. I walk in and everything is being built in front of me and it was amazing! Everyone was saying, "This is for you!" It was the most surreal thing and so crazy!

Everyone was really, really, really nice. They made me feel so comfortable. I had shot with Steve Wayda before and felt really relaxed. We had a Disney casting on the other side so they told me to be careful walking around nude because of the kids and Disney! (Laughs) About halfway in the shoot I was feeling great and in my own mind. It was surreal and I was so excited, I was just loving everybody and I went to go get some coffee and I totally forgot that I was nude. Everyone was like, "Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Disney!" I was like, "Shit!" (Laughs) So I put on a robe but I was really comfortable the whole time.

Steve Gustafson: (Laughs) That's funny! I always hear how everyone at Playboy goes out of their way to make you feel relaxed and comfortable. That's always good to hear.

Nikki Leigh: Yeah. We had one guy who was like my personal assistant who would ask me, "Do you need anything? You want water? Do you need anything?" Finally I had to grab him and say, "I'm good! If I need anything I can get it myself or I'll ask you! I'm having an amazing time! I want you to have an amazing time! You have a naked girl in front of you! Enjoy it!" (Laughs)

Steve Gustafson: (Laughs) You definitely sound like you're still grounded! Good! So how has your life changed since becoming Playboy's Miss May?

Nikki Leigh: It's changed in a few ways but stayed the same so far. I'm about to close one chapter with school and begin a brand new one. With people, I get more attention. I have a lot of people who are proud and happy for me. But at the same time, I've lost a few girlfriends and it's unfortunate. It maybe jealousy, that's what some people are saying but this experience has been a filter for people who are really there for me.


Steve Gustafson: I can only imagine. I'm sure the sudden attention takes a lot of adjusting to. Let's switch gears and talk about some pop culture stuff! With your busy schedule do you get any time to watch TV?

Nikki Leigh: I'm not home too often but I DVR a lot. I really got into Revenge last season. And I'd have to say my guilty pleasure is Gossip Girl! (Laughs)

Steve Gustafson: Yes! That's what we want to hear about! The guilty pleasures! (Laughs) What about movies? What have you seen in the theater recently?

Nikki Leigh: The last movie in the theater was...I saw Hunger Games and I also saw that comedy...21 Jump Street! Hilarious!

Steve Gustafson: Very cool! You'd be surprised that sometimes I ask the question and the Playmate hasn't been to the theater in a year!

Nikki Leigh: What! I'm a huge movie person! I'm always at the theater!

Steve Gustafson: Awesome! OK, I'm sure you have a ton of new fans. What's the best way for them to keep tabs on your latest happenings?

Nikki Leigh: I have a website that is in the works. The address will be Iluvnikki.com. That's in the works. I'm on Twitter. You can follow me at @NikkiLeighXO. I also have a fanpage on Facebook. That's at www.facebook.com/nikkileigh12.

Steve Gustafson: Got it! OK, so what does the rest of 2012 have in store for Nikki Leigh?

Nikki Leigh: I graduate in May so that will be the closing of one chapter and I'll be starting a new one one with Playboy! I just want to take it all in and never say no to new experiences. I just want to enjoy life!

Steve Gustafson: Perfect answer! Nikki, thanks again for your time! Congratulations on becoming Miss May and congrats on graduating! All the best to you!

Nikki Leigh: Thank you!


Pick up her issue on newsstands NOW!
Photos courtesy of Playboy

Check out some of my other Playboy Playmate interviews:
Miss January 2012
Miss February 2012


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