Check our exclusive interview with SoCal gorgeous actress and model Nikki Leigh, who can next be seen as a lead opposite Denise Richards in Blackpills’ “A Girl Is A Gun.”
“A Girl Is A Gun” follows three women living in Los Angeles who go missing, creating wave of panic in the city. While the police suspect a serial killer is behind the disappearance, the three women have actually joined a secret guerrilla camp where they train to avenge the injustice of a misogynistic system that humiliates and exploits women. Nikki plays Santa Fe, one of the three women. The series will be launching soon on Blackpills’ new app.
Later this year, Nikki will be starring as Jessica in the Turkish comedy “Ay Lav Yu Tuu” with Steve Guttenberg. The film follows a couple, Ibrahim and Jessica, who learn that Ibrahim’s village in Turkey is struggling. They head back to Turkey to help out and introduce the townspeople to the modern ways of the western world. The film, which has been described as a mix between “Borat” and “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, will be released on September 22, 2017.
Nikki’s additional credits include CBS’s “Two And A Half Men”, CBS’s “NCIS”, “The Bold And The Beautiful”, “The Wedding Ringer”, “The Bet” and “The Vigilante Diaries”.
Hi Nikki, please you tell us a little about you?
Oh gosh, where do I start? I am a Southern California native and I love to travel. I’m a big people person and love being able to tell someone’s story through acting. I graduated college with a BA in sociology and I feel like it has been a great tool in my acting. This education has allowed me to really get in depth with the characters that I play which is so helpful. I’m always trying to learn and try new things because I feel that’s the point to life!
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Trooper, hungry, adventurous.
Name one your strengths?
Empathy. I dont judge… there is no point. No one has the right to judge, they don’t know what another has been through. Instead I try to understand and share their feelings. People on this planet deserve love, not judgement.
Do you have a role model?
Honestly, my mom. We recently lost her mom, my G-ma, and I always knew how badass and strong my mom was but this unfortunate happening really showed me what my mom was made of. Through all the hurt and loss she took the reins of everything like a boss and balanced the whole family, work, arrangements, and so much more. Mom, you are my Wonder Woman! I will never forget the strength I have seen her possess while also being gentle, kind and affirmative. Truly inspiring.
When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to either be a veterinarian or a teacher. I just wanted to help. I have always been that way, and still am. I care about animals and people. I am always thirsting for knowledge and I want to take what I know and pass on my acquired knowledge.
How and when did you start into acting and modeling?
I started into modeling and acting out of college. There really wasn’t a break in between. Although it is funny because the whole time in college I never thought I would be in this industry. I always wanted to be, but as a child that capability was never expressed to me. I guess when I felt I finally had the control of my own life I just went for it. I jumped in front of a camera and just kept asking what I needed to do to be in the business and then I would take that advice and apply it. I have so much respect for those in my industry and who are trying to be. It really tests you as a person.
What did you learn from your biggest failure?
That this too shall pass. Every so called “failure” I have had honestly felt like the end of the world at the time. But if you really concentrate and stay aware, you realize that there is a bigger plan for you that wouldn’t have been able to be reached had you not gone through that “failure”. And for the record, I don’t see things as failures, I see them as lessons!
Now tell us about “A Girl Is A Gun”? And about your role as Santa Fe?
“A Girl Is A Gun” is a rape and revenge story that tells the stories of three women (Nenuphar, Santa Fe, Vegas) who disappear without a trace. With the police hot on the trail of what appears to be a serial killer, a media frenzy ensues, imposing fear and panic in the city. But these missing women are actually in an secret guerrilla camp, where they train to avenge the injustice of a mysogynistic system that humiliates and exploits women. Feminism, sex, murder — here comes the Revolution! Santa Fe’s journey shows us the revolution, the rise up from the mysogynistic system. You follow Santa Fe through a very tough and personal journey that later becomes so much bigger than herself. Santa Fe has to toughen up and grow a lot in this movie. She is very relatable. We all have a little Santa Fe in us.
How was working with Denise Richards?
It was really great! I loved her in “Wild Things” so it was awesome to get to work along side an actress I was a fan of! While on set she was very nice to everyone. I remember the weather while shooting was unfavorable and we had to keep encouraging each other that we were going to get through each take. We also tried to think of warm thoughts!
And now tell us about the Turkish comedy “Ay Lav Yu Tuu”? And which character do you play?
The Turkish comedy is a sequel to the first, “Ay Lav Yu”, which was about my character Jessica meeting her husband Ibrahim while she was traveling through the Middle East and them getting married. She brings her family over to Ibrahim’s village and the movie shows the two cultures colliding, similar to “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”. The cultural clashes and the characters really provide a laugh out loud experience. The sequel takes place 10 years after and we live in Texas. But we get word that his village isn’t do so well and view him as a traitor so we go back and try to help families come to the states and also just teach them a more western, civilized way of living. Again, the character in this movie and the cultural differences are super hilarious. I was laughing the whole time on set! Plus I had to learn Turkish for the film!
What is your own definition of happiness?
Feeling secure and confident in life while always challenging yourself to become a better you.
Do you support any charities?
YES! I recently joined the fight against animal testing! Cruelty Free International recently ran a campaign involving The Body Shop. Animals don’t have a voice and I believe it is our responsibility to stand up for them! The other charities I am also a part of are Best Friends Animal Society — a nonprofit that works against the killing of animals and encourages pet adoption — and Art of Elysium. Art of Elysium brings together artists and those in need. They work with hospitalized youth, special needs education centers, homeless shelters, elderly care homes and hospice care facilities and help them emotionally triumph whatever they are dealing with through art. It is a very special program that brings a lot of happiness to people who need it most.
What’s the advice you live by?
Always look on the bright side. We need to look at things in life with more positivity and love. Even in the darkest situation there is light. Sometimes it is not easy or immediately able to be recognized but you have to think positive and trust that there is a greater reason as to why something is happening. Trust in the good of the universe and what it has in store for you!
Who is your favorite actor/actress? And why?
Oh my gosh there are so many that I love! I love Meryl Streep. She is able to play so many characters and look flawless doing it. She is also in a movie that I would watch over and over again as a kid: “Death Becomes Her”.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Michael Jackson. I feel like he was taken from us too soon and I have always wanted to meet a man so full of love, passion and talent. Plus I would love for him to teach me some moves!
Something people don’t know about you?
I can out-eat you!
Name 3 things you can’t live without.
Music, travel and my dog Kodi!
Who is your biggest beauty inspiration?
Marilyn Monroe. She had that look, the flawless natural and playful look. She is timeless and you always see photos of her with a smile! A smile is everyones best accessory.
How would you describe your fashion style?
I love being casual, so I love days that I get to throw on my blue jeans and a comfy shirt. But if I get to dress up and choose my look I have an obsession with the rocker look. Leather and a choker are my favorite things! It is funny though, the more I try to get out of my tomboy tendencies, the more I pay attention to seasons and what colors/patterns are most appropriate.
Five years from now you will be….
Better than I am today. I just want to make sure that every day I become more knowledgable about the world around me and the energy I provide. I believe that the universe is very giving if you let it be and it has a plan for me that I learn about every day. If I had to guess right now what 5 years will look like it will be full of movie projects.
Where we can follow you?
Favorite book: The Mists of Avalon
Favorite sports team: I love sports so I have a favorite for each one!
NBA: Lakers and Clippers (and yes, you can like both! I love to follow players and these teams have had many crossover players)
Favorite restaurant/bar: I love sushi and a place with an amazing steak.
Favorite drink: Don Julio 1942 on the rocks with a lime
Favorite song: At Last by Etta James
Favorite travel destination: So far it’s Amsterdam!
Favorite movie: “Death Becomes Her” with Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn
Favorite TV show: American Horror Story