Interview by Rhonda McKnight @ouchmagazineny
1.What projects you are currently working on? Which project is going to release first?
I had a super exciting start to my year! My film, “Open Marriage”, in which I’m the lead, premiered in January on Lifetime! I am currently waiting for the release of one of my favorite projects I got the pleasure of working on called “A Girl Is A Gun”. For this role, I had to push myself physically. I also got to do my own fight stunts and gun handling!
I also have a highly anticipated Turkish comedy to be released this year that also stars Steve Guttenberg, who played my father in the film. My character spoke only Turkish so it was a huge challenge for me. You want to be able to act the language and react in the language, so for 2 months I had to immerse myself in their culture to better understand my character. It was challenging but living in Turkey was such a blessing and something I will cherish forever!
2. How did you feel auditioning for your role in “A Girl Is A Gun”? What drew you to the character?
The audition for “A Girl Is A Gun” was a bit overwhelming but I still felt confident. The night before the audition, I got 12 pages of dialogue to learn and they wanted me to be off book. It was a very emotional scene on top of that! Emotions are what I love and I think that is what resonated with me about my character, Santa Fe. She goes through such a wide range of physical and emotional obstacles. She is admirable and someone I feel like viewers will want to root for. I love Santa Fe.
3.What do you do when not working?
Very good question! I feel like I am always working. When I am not working on a set, there are always other things I am doing to better my career: acting classes, reading scripts, and creating content for my social media which is a job in itself. I am currently working on a series of videos called ‘Getting Real with NL’. The videos consist of me trying things I’ve always wanted to try before. We have some fun stuff that we’ve created!
However, when I do get time off I am playing with my amazing dog Kodi or traveling. Traveling is so freeing. I believe everyone needs some freedom; they need culture. Going other places allows me to appreciate new people and environments. People get so stuck in the Los Angeles bubble when there is a whole world out there to explore!
4.Which people do you believe are the most influential in life?
My Grandma (I call her ‘GMA’) is the person who was the most influential in my life and she just passed away. It has been the hardest thing for me to deal with and even harder for me to realize that my rock isn’t there anymore to talk to. I couldn’t also be more blessed to have the parents that I have. They are the people I look up to and aspire to make proud. With the passing of my grandma, I have learned so much more about my mom and I have never met more of a genuine, strong, and beautiful person inside and out.
5. Would you travel to space if it was possible for a vacation? Why or why not?
Hell yeah!! Why not?! Like I mentioned before, traveling is my passion. If I truly got the opportunity to travel to space I think my appreciation of life on Earth would get that much greater. Going to space might be something that makes people uncomfortable but that is what life is all about. Pushing those comfort levels. Be adventurous!
6. Who would you take on a date to space and why?
Well, when you say “date” do you mean romantic? Because if you are letting me pick anyone out of this whole world I would choose Wentworth Miller! I am a sucker for intelligence and beautiful eyes and I know that Wentworth Miller has those two things in the bag. He spent his developing years studying English Lit at Princeton! Also I found out that he performed with an acapella group, the Princeton Tigertones. Beautiful vocals, stunning eyes and a brain! I’m sold!
7. What are your hobbies or hidden talents that fans wouldn’t know about?
My hobbies include driving, golf and sports in general. Driving is one of my favorite things. My ‘Getting Real with Nikki Leigh’ series will highlight my friend, Indy Race car driver Ryan Phinny, teaching me how to drive. I got all the basic training so next it’s time to hit the track! Golf is all about being one with the course. I appreciate times that allow me to do an activity that makes me feel meditative and yet physical. I love attending sporting games, watching sports, playing sports, talking about sports. You name it! I have no problem going to games alone. One year I went to 6 hockey games by myself. So you can say I am a REAL sports fan.
8. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In ten years, I see myself being a household name actress with my own foundation or two. I want to help kids/families as well as animals. Also, ambitiously enough I see myself starting a family by that point. Being a mother is going to be one of my favorite and most amazing accomplishments. I want to make sure I do this when I have a full life, that will inspire my children to be the best that they can be.
9. Are you a bathroom singer?
Oh my god, YES! I am a bathroom singer, a shower singer, a bedroom singer and a HUGE car singer! Basically, put on some amazing jams and I will rock out like no one is watching. And to be completely honest, when I am driving I act as though I am puting on a concert, which is funny because I have had a lot of people try and keep up to my car to watch. If I notice them I will start performing to them, I wonder if I should start charging for that. I have no shame in my singing game! If you follow me on Instagram and have ever watched me live, I am most likely singing and performing for my followers.
10. How can fans reach out to you? Any last words or comments?
Hi fans! You can reach out to me on my social media platforms; I use Instagram the most to connect to fans.
I want to thank you all! My fans who have been with me from the beginning and to the new fans, I always welcome your comments and your feedback. I also always love your opinions on what you want to see from me next! Thank you so much for your love and support. XO -NL