Entertainment Scoop caught up with Nikki Leigh who will star on January 14th in the Lifetime film, Open Marriage. The Southern California beauty fills us in on the film’s steamy subject matter and gives us a peek into what else she is adding to her fast growing resume’.
ES: Can you tell us a little bit about the plot line for your new Lifetime film, Open Marriage?
NL: Open Marriage is about a struggling married couple, Becca and Ron who get propositioned by their friends to try an open marriage. Reluctant but curious, they try it out. Their passions are rekindled but jealous and betrayal soon follow. I play Becca.
ES: Obviously the subject matter for Open Marriage can be considered sort of risqué’ or provocative. As an actress, how do you prepare yourself mentally for such a role?
NL: Although it deals with the subject of an open marriage, Becca is still very much in love with her husband and she is just trying to figure out a way to make their relationship spark again. I really liked my co-star and cared about him as a person a great deal so it helped me go through the internal steps Becca needed to save the bond between the two of them, two people who never stopped loving each other. As an actor, you have to understand what the characters are fighting for first and foremost and then the rest of the emotions follow.
ES: You just finished a short format Blackpills’ series, A Girl Is A Gun. You star in this with Denise Richards and from what we can tell, it seems like a very physical film. Did you have to undergo any sort of special training?
NL: Yes, it was very physical. I had a lot or training with a wonderful stunt coordinator named Joel Hebner that started a week or two before filming began. I was thankful for the opportunity to learn fighting skills and I became more fit and flexible. I really improved my own physical abilities along with my self-defense skills because of this role. What’s better than that?
ES: A Girl Is A Gun is a commentary on how some men treat women in the world. What do you think about the overall theme?
NL: I think men and women should be respected equally. This project was able to zero in on the handful of men who mistreat women and it shows women fighting back for their equality. It is badass! As much as we would like to think that everyone is treated fairly, that is just not the care. Hopefully this will touch at least one female who is being mistreated and inspire her to rise up for herself. That hope concludes making this show so worth doing!
ES: You recently worked opposite Steve Guttenberg in the comedic film Ay Lav Yu Tuu. What was it like working with such a seasoned comedic actor?
NL: This movie is sort of like a mix between Borat and My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It is hilarious! It is about a couple, Ibrahim and Jessica (my character) who get word that Ibrahim’s village in Turkey is struggling and in turmoil. We go back to Turkey to help out and introduce the townspeople to the more modern ways of the western world. The comedy is undeniable when you see the physical efforts and cultural disconnect between the teachers and the villagers. It was great fun.
ES: You shot Ay Lav Yu Tuu in Turkey. Do you speak Turkish?
NL: Going over there, I thought I was doing the film in English and thought there might be a line or two in Turkish. To my surprise, on the second day of being in Istanbul, they gave me a Turkish script and asked me to bring it to what I thought was just a meeting with a translator that they were providing for me while I was in Turkey. I could not have been more wrong. I was a lead so my character is in most of the scenes and I had to do it all in Turkish. I had to take a crash course in Turkish. I had never even heard Turkish spoken before this film. I worked on it with an amazing language coach named Cag! I worked with her the week before and into the first week of shooting. Then I was on my own. I even learned how to read and write a lot of Turkish. It is such a complex language so I studied about 4 to 5 hours everyday. I learned all of my lines and the meaning of each word as well as my co-stars lines because I had to react correctly in every scene. Acting in a Turkish language film as well speaking the language was SO different from anything I have ever done in the States but I could not be more thankful for the experience. The cultural and language knowledge I gained was a true blessing.
ES: You are a native of Orange County, California. Did you always want to be an actress? How did you get started on your Hollywood career?
NL: I always felt I could be an actress but I was so into education that I never though about pursuing it as a career. I really wanted to be a singer or a performer too. But again, school came first. I am a real nerd at heart. I was introduced to Hollywood because I was doing some modeling and from there came a cameo role in a movie. I loved being on set and seeing everyone being such a tight knit family, all working towards a common goal. It is inspiring and so I stuck with it.
ES: Please answer the following in one word answers…
-Actor you most want to star opposite: Kristen Wigg
-Dream vacation destination: Maldives
-Favorite dessert: Cheesecake
-Luxury car or muscle car: Muscle
-Favorite movie: Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (Sorry, that’s 4 words!)
-Comedy or drama: Comedy
-If you were not an actress, what would you be: Psychologist
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