Nikki Ziering interview, National Lampoon’s Spring Break interview

Nikki Ziering, National Lampoon’s Spring Break, Nikki Zeiring

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Nikki Ziering is not only smoking hot, but also hilarious and could kick your ass with her purple belt in martial arts. She’s also sweet as the day is long, which was evident given that she sat down with us clowns for a full 20 minutes in between moving and making a trip to Bed, Bath & Beyond for a curtain rod. Her latest film, "National Lampoon’s Spring Break," hit DVD on March 13. Bullz-Eye.com got the chance to find out the craziest thing she ever did on spring break. She also let us in on what it was like to film the bachelor party scene in "American Wedding," what thrill-seeking she likes to do in her downtime and one thing that not many people know about her (the answer may surprise you).  

Bullz-Eye: Hey Nikki, how are you? 

Nikki Ziering: I’m good! I’m sorry that we didn’t get a chance to talk earlier! My cell phone battery died and I didn’t get your message until now! (Editor’s Note: We actually had a time set up earlier in the day to chat with Nikki, but she was avoiding us like the plague. We’re thinking she just made up that cell phone battery story.) 

BE: Oh no problem, I’m glad we finally got a hold of each other! Are you excited that your new spring break movie ("National Lampoon’s Spring Break") is hitting DVD today?  

NZ: Yeah, you know what? Is today the day that it comes out?  

BE: Yeah. 

NZ: OK, yeah, we worked on that like a year ago, so I had forgotten it came out today. But yeah, spring break shows are always fun!  

BE: (laughs) So did anything crazy happen or what?  

NZ: (laughs) Well I hosted it, so I just kind of introduced the clip that they shot when they went traveling around to different spring break locations, you know, because they were in Mexico and a few other places. So, I just kind of introduced the segments and then we shot all of my stuff down at the beach in Malibu. I wasn’t actually at any of the spring break locations.  

BE: Well that stinks!  

NZ: (laughs) I know! 

BE: So you missed out on all the fun? 

NZ: (laughs) Yeah, but I had plenty of my own spring break fun back in the day!  

BE: Well, what’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done on spring break then?  

NZ: Well, probably the most memorable thing when I think back to spring break is Havasu. Lake Havasu used to be the place to go on spring break. One time I was with a group of crazy people and we needed beer money, so I entered a "hot legs" contest and I won $500!  

BE: Nice! That’s pretty sweet!

"In my down time I like to be silly, I like to play, I like to, you know, just do arts and crafts and make things. I haven’t done this in awhile, but I love to go skydiving. And I love roller coasters! My favorite thing is to take the afternoon and go to an amusement park and just ride around all day!"

NZ: (laughs) Yeah, so I was kind of the hero on spring break that year!  

BE: I was about to say you needed to include something involving half-naked women for our readers and of course, my enjoyment. You came up big with the "hot legs" contest so you didn’t disappoint!  

NZ: (laughs) Yeah, I wasn’t nude but it was in a bikini and it was the only thing like that I’ve ever done.  

BE: Now, you’ve worked for National Lampoon before. You did "Gold Diggers" right?  

NZ: Yeah.  

BE: I love National Lampoon movies like "Van Wilder" and "Christmas Vacation."Is it normally a fun set to be on?  

NZ: Yeah, definitely! Being in a National Lampoon movie is another great thing to have under my belt. But what’s funny about that movie is that they show me on both sides of the cover and on the DVD disc, but I’m barely in the movie. You would think that I’m in the movie more than I really am!  

BE: Those bastards used you for the cover!  

NZ: (laughs) Yeah, I mean, they talk about me throughout the movie, but my actual screen time isn’t that much.  

BE: You’ve done a bunch of other movies too, such as "American Wedding," "Austin Powers in Goldmember" and "Serving Sara." What’s the most fun you’ve ever had on a set?  

NZ: Definitely "American Wedding." It took two weeks just to shoot one scene; you know the bachelor party scene?  

BE: (lying through my teeth) Yeah, I think I’ve seen it.  

Nikki Ziering, National Lampoon’s Spring Break, Nikki ZeiringNZ: It was like a two-week-long bachelor party, and of course I’ve never been to a bachelor party! Working with Jesse Dylan, who directed it, was such a great experience because out of all the directors I’ve ever worked with, he was the one that just let us do whatever we wanted. He was pretty much working with a cast that had already started to film the movie and everybody had already developed their characters, so that (scene) was basically loose and unscripted. I mean, there was a script, but we got to do a lot of things that were unscripted and they were literally writing new stuff every day and letting us improv certain things. It was really fun to be silly and do that kind of stuff.   

BE: I can only imagine that if a director is looser with his actors, they’ll not only be better for it, but the film as well.  

NZ: Exactly. I thought that’s what made the experience great. We shot a lot of extra footage just for the DVD, so you know it was like anything goes with that stuff! It was just a lot of fun (laughs)

BE: So did Jason Biggs (Jim in the "American Pie" series) try to hit on you or what?  

NZ: No, but he’s adorable! And those guys (the rest of the "American Wedding" cast) are so cute and funny, and they’ve evolved such a friendship from working on all of those movies. So when Amanda Swisten (the "naughty maid") and I came on to do the scene we were like the new kids, but we didn’t feel like it you know? They made us feel very at home and comfortable.  

BE: That probably made life easier, especially since you were stripping for them!  

NZ: Yeah! It was kind of cool to be a part of that whole series, because I loved the first one. "American Pie" is like one of my favorite movies ever.  

BE: Yeah, that movie kind of set the bar for future teen comedies.  

NZ: Exactly, but I felt like "American Wedding" still did a great job You know, because usually when you get to the third movie, it’s never as good as the first one. But I think that the writer (Adam Herz) really stuck to the formula of how well the first two worked and it came out great.  

BE: I saw in "Serving Sara" how you completely beat the hell out of Matthew Perry! That had to be fun filming.  

NZ: Well, that was fun because that was the first stunt role I had. A stunt coordinator actually hired me for that part. I’ve done a lot of kickboxing over the years.  

BE: Yeah, you do martial arts too, right?

NZ: Well, I used to do martial arts when I was a teenager. I did United Studios (of Self Defense), so I have a purple belt, which is as far as I got. And then I stopped going to that and I started just doing kickboxing with my trainer as more of like a workout. So, that’s why I got to do that scene, because I actually can do the kicks and the whole routine. It was a lot of fun. 

BE: Now, do you watch the Ultimate Fighting Championship and that stuff or do you not go that far with it?

NZ: Well, I’ve seen that stuff, but that’s pretty gnarly! Once I saw somebody’s leg bend the wrong way I was like, ahh! I’m done with this! So, I don’t think I’ll ever be doing anything like that!  

BE: Since you’re in California, do you get into any sports out there? What’s your favorite?

NZ: Well, I had an opportunity to play football a few years ago when they did the first "Lingerie Bowl." Did you ever hear about that?  

BE: (once again lying through my teeth) Uh, I think so.

NZ: It’s a Super Bowl halftime event on Pay Per View.  

BE: (coming clean) Actually, OK, yes I have.

Nikki Ziering, National Lampoon’s Spring Break, Nikki ZeiringNZ: OK yeah, so we played full contact tackle football and I never even knew how to play football. Angie Everhart and I were the quarterbacks for our teams and we had Eric Dickerson as my coach and Angie’s team had Lawrence Taylor. We really spent, I mean, several months doing football practices and we played real football, so it was pretty intense! So, that was fun and it was really a cool experience.  

BE: So you don’t have any professional teams that you follow out there in California? Because there are tons out there.

NZ: Well, you know, I love the Lakers as far as basketball, but football I’ve never really followed. I’m one of those people who love to watch sports when I’m at the games, but never have really followed any one particular team. But I love going to Laker games at the Staples Center.  

BE: Cool. Well, what’s one thing that people generally don’t know about you? One thing that people can’t find on your website or through interviews that you, of course, would want them to know?

NZ: Um, one thing that people don’t know about me? Hmm, let me think.  

BE: Other than your cell phone battery sucks!

NZ: (laughs) Yeah, right, exactly! (after a pause) OK, one thing that people are usually surprised to know about me is that I like to go to the do-it-yourself car wash and wash my own car.  

BE: Really? OK, yeah, that’s cool I guess!

NZ: (laughs) Yeah! You know, the ones you go and put the quarters in? I just love doing it! I never go to the car wash, because they don’t do a good job! I love doing it myself, like it’s therapeutic for me! No one cleans my car like I do and I like to keep my car really clean and people are always like, why do you do it yourself, you know? Why not have somebody else do it? But it’s fun, especially in the summertime when you can get into a water fight with the thing (laughs)!  

BE: Are you like that around the house too? Everything has to be spotless and organized, and in its place?

NZ: Yeah, I clean my own house. I don’t have a cleaning lady. So yeah, I wash my own car and clean my own house because I’m just weird about having somebody else do it.  

BE: Hey, that’s not weird at all! That’s normal in my book! How many celebrities do you hear about that have to have everything done for them?

NZ: (laughs) I know! People are always like, "I can’t believe you don’t have a cleaning lady do that for you!"  

BE: Self-reliant, I like it! So, what’s one career move that you could make right now and do it for the rest of your life? Whether it’s movies, television, modeling, basket weaving, etc.

NZ: You know, one thing that I’m trying to get involved in now is comedy. My biggest role model is Goldie Hawn. I just love her career path, you know, how she started off as this sex symbol but then she proved she could do comedy and she had a full career. I mean look at her, she’s what, in her 60s and she’s still working? And so that’s a career path that I totally love to emulate, her roles and stuff.  

BE: So would you rather be in television or movies? Or you don’t care?

NZ: You know what? Either one. I mean, I’ve done films and I’ve had the opportunity to do appearances on different sitcoms but I’ve never actually had my own television show. So, that’s something I’d still like to do, but I’ve been kind of fortunate enough to where I’ve done it all. I mean, I’ve done game shows, I’ve done reality shows, I’ve done sitcoms, films and I’ve not yet ready to be labeled as one thing. Because I think for a lot of people, you know a lot of TV stars don’t get work in film. You know what I mean? They get kind of labeled as one thing, and I’ve been fortunate enough to where I’ve sort of done it all and it’s all still open for me. I like that.  

BE: I was on your website and right on your home page you have a video montage of everything you’ve done in magazines, TV, film, etc. And I was cracking up! I think comedic roles would definitely be up your alley!

NZ: (laughs) Thanks!  

BE: Are you happy with everything in your career so far? I mean, you always want more for yourself as far as your career, but are you happy with the way everything has come together for you so far?

NZ: Yes! I mean I started off initially as a print model doing Frederick’s of Hollywood catalogs and swimsuit catalogs. And I just feel like my career, if I were to stop now and completely do something different, I feel like I’ve exceeded my highest expectations of what I ever thought I would do. Do you know what I mean?  

BE: Absolutely. 

Nikki Ziering, National Lampoon’s Spring Break, Nikki ZeiringNZ: So, I’m very proud of that, but everything has been a stepping-stone for me. I mean, I’ve been in "Playboy" and then "The Price is Right," but you know, I’ve taken it on when I thought it was ready for me but I also think that there is another whole level for me and so much more to do. Do you know what I mean?  

BE: For sure, definitely.  

NZ: So yeah. I don’t want to ever feel like I’ve done it all, because where do you go from there? But I want to spend the next however many years taking on a little more, and a little more.  

BE: Absolutely, you seem to have carved a nice niche for yourself by doing everything from print modeling to major motion pictures, so you’re not pigeon-holed into a certain role. You can cover a wide spectrum of roles.  

NZ: Right, right.  

BE: We’ve talked a lot about your career, but what do you personally like to do in your down time?  

NZ: In my down time I like to be silly, I like to play, I like to, you know, just do arts and crafts and make things. I haven’t done this in awhile, but I love to go skydiving. I’ve done it (skydiving) a lot of times. And I love roller coasters! My favorite thing is to take the afternoon and go to an amusement park and just ride around all day!  

BE: You like the thrill rides huh?  

NZ: Yeah, exactly!  

BE: Do your PR people freak out when you tell them you’re going skydiving?  

NZ: (laughs) No, not really!  

BE: They figure you can take care of yourself out there?  

NZ: Yeah!  

BE: Well, I really appreciate your sitting down and chatting with us. I know you must be busy with the move.  

NZ: I’m actually on my way to Bed Bath and Beyond right now getting a curtain rod! See, I do all this stuff myself thank you!  

BE: (laughs)  

NZ: (laughs) I gotta go home and hang my own curtains, so yeah, I’m actually pulling into Bed, Bath & Beyond right now!  

BE: (laughs) Sounds fun! Well I’ll let you get your shopping done, but like I said, I’m glad you got a chance to call me back and sit down to talk.  

NZ: No problem, and I’m sorry I missed you this morning!  

BE: You know, it’s going to take some time but hopefully with therapy and what not, I’ll get over being hung out to dry by you! I’ve already stopped sitting in the corner… 

NZ: (laughs)  

BE: Just teasing. Thanks again and I wish you all the best in everything else that you do.  

NZ: Thank you so much! It was really nice talking with you! 

BE: You too!  

NZ: OK, take care, bye-bye!

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