411mania Inteview: Playboy's Miss June Jessica Ashley
Posted by Steve Gustafson on 06.12.2014
411's Steve Gustafson sits down with Playboy's Miss June, Jessica Ashley! She talks about being her modeling career, what she does for fun, and her love of books! All this and more inside!
Jessica Ashley, a 24-year-old writer and model from the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan, is Playboy's June 2014 Playmate of the Month (issue on newsstands and iPlayboy.com now, with additional photos available at www.playboy.com/jessicaashley).
The brown-haired, brown-eyed beauty is a 2011 graduate of the University of Michigan, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and psychology. "People always told me I should model, but literature was my focus," says Jessica. The self-proclaimed book fiend started writing prose at the age of four and lists modernist erotic masters Henry Miller and Anais Nin as her favorites.
After graduating from college however, Jessica decided to give modeling a shot and has been doing swimsuit and catalog work for the past three years. "It's so exhilarating. I feel I come alive in front of the camera. I get to be something awesome!"
Playboy discovered Jessica on Facebook and she was quickly flown to Los Angeles for her test shoot, becoming a Playmate very shortly thereafter. "I treasure being Miss June," she says. "I love the summer, and posing nude with Playboy is a dream."
Steve Gustafson: Hi Jessica! First, congratulations on being Playboy's Miss June and thanks for taking a few minutes to answer some questions for 411mania.com! How did you first get involved with modeling and with Playboy?
Jessica Ashley: Thank you. I began modeling a few years ago because I had fun being in front of cameras and seeing how someone else's vision of me would translate. I found agency representation pretty quickly, and even though I'm from the Midwest and still officially live there, I made a point of regularly traveling to larger markets for bigger & better opportunities, including Playboy! When I was asked to come to L.A. for a test shoot with Playboy, about four months ago, I was very excited and a little surprised, because I had never been involved with the company before, in any of the Miss Social or Cyber girl contests or anything like that. The idea of becoming a Playmate was thrilling though, so I took the chance and came out for the test shoot. It went well, so my PMOM shoot was booked for about a week later!
Steve Gustafson: I ask everyone about their photoshoot because of the wide range of emotions. How was yours? Were you nervous? Excited?
Jessica Ashley: I suppose just agreeing that there was a range of emotions is the most true answer. I was less confident than I usually am when it came to posing, because I hadn't don't much nude modeling before, and the little I had done was not in a sexy pin-up style. But I enjoyed the challenge and I was excited to see the results.
Steve Gustafson: How did you learn that you were going to be Miss June? Who was the first person you called?
Jessica Ashley: When I was told I would be Miss June, it was during a busy day. But as soon as I could, I let my loved ones know.
Steve Gustafson: How has your life changed since since becoming Miss June?
Jessica Ashley: I have met so many great people by working with Playboy, and I've gained so many fans from around the world too. It really moved me as a model into a brighter spotlight than I'd been in before.
Steve Gustafson: What does Miss June like to do for fun and unwind?
Jessica Ashley: I try to do a bit of everything to keep a balance in my life. High energy environments are fun -- dance clubs, amusement parks, sports games, music festivals -- but I also take long quiet jogs/hikes, love snuggling, experiment with domestic activities (like my new sewing machine and cake baking equipment), and a hundred other things.
Steve Gustafson: It's no secret that you love books and reading. What are some of your favorite authors and titles?
Jessica Ashley: I've always loved books. My favorite authors tend to be wordsmiths and philosophers, so my taste in literature is a bit unusual. I like when I can feel the narrator's passion and frustrations vividly, so books like Nabokov's Lolita and Anais Nin's diaries are precious to me. Social criticism and abnormal psychology are themes in fiction that really interests me, so writers such as Baudrillard, Woolf, Proust, Antonin Artaud, and books like Musil's Man Without Qualities and Bolano's 2666 are rich.
Steve Gustafson: Can we expect to see a book from you in the future?
Jessica Ashley: Yes, I am busy but I write when I can, and I hope to have a book or two published in the near future.
Steve Gustafson: OK, since we cover Movies and TV shows here at 411mania, I have to ask you some related questions. I know you're busy but do you have any TV shows that you must watch?
Jessica Ashley: Shameless is a great series that I have followed so far. Boardwalk Empire, Magic City, and of course The Sopranos have all held my interest. I also like Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, and almost any other science shows that explore the mysteries of nature.
Steve Gustafson: What about going out to the movies? Some of your favorites?
Jessica Ashley: I don't go to the movies very often. I went to see Wolf of Wall Street when it was in theaters and that might have been the most recent film. I watch movies at home though.
Steve Gustafson: What's next? Goals for 2014?
Jessica Ashley: I am beginning a new kind of work this year actually, a big project that will involve a lot of international travel and collaboration. I'm in charge, so it's requiring me to work more as a creative director of sorts. I'm enjoying it so far. I'm also still modeling and dabbling in some acting as well.
Steve Gustafson: What's the best way for fans to keep up-to-date on your career?
Jessica Ashley: I stay pretty active on social media, I love networking. My instagram, twitter, and Facebook are all /MissJessicaAsh. I also have a portfolio up on www.missjessicaashley.tumblr.com. And I have an online store for signed photos: www.etsy.com/shop/xoxJessicaAshley
Steve Gustafson: That's it! Thanks again and all the best to you!