Britany Nola Interview – Playboy & bullying

Not only is Britany Nola a contributor to this very site, but she is also Playboy’s Miss November and is set to make her film debut as the lead role in American Ecstasy. What better reason to sit down for a chat with her? Something You Said editor Bobby Townsend did just that:

“I think it’s important that people know I have something to say. There are people that don’t want to listen to me because of the movie I have made and the boobs I have shown, but I hope they realise I’m a good person.”

Britany Nola’s company is engaging. The model/actress/writer is sweet and intelligent and through a veil of shyness shines a hilariously silly sense of humour. But, at this moment in time, her affability is replaced by utter seriousness. With the movie American Ecstasy set to hit cinemas in the next few months and as Playboy‘s Miss November, she is undoubtedly a face to watch in 2013, yet Canadian-born Nola isn’t remotely interested in the opportunities of decadence that fame may bring. She instead, intends to use her ever-growing profile for good. “Fame doesn’t drive me. The obsessive way that people live for celebrities, I don’t wish that upon myself. I don’t want to be in tabloid magazines. To get respect for what I do, to have people think that I am doing something different and taking risks would be nice.”

And so, rather than spending her time networking with Hollywood bigwigs, you are more likely to find Britany at her computer, sending emails to schools. “I’m trying to start a programme where the teachers are educated on bullying and the gay community. I think that teachers, especially in conservative areas, are afraid to help kids that are going through these things. A lot of the teachers are Republicans and they brush it under the rug rather than dealing with it. I think it’s really important for kids and teenagers to know that when they go to school and face the same people every day, that they are going to be safe and that adults have their best interests in mind. I think that teachers and principles and counsellors need to know that the most important thing is the safety of the children and that all of your opinions need to go out of the door. I’m working on meeting with therapists and with prominent gay men and gay women. I think it is very important for kids and for bullies to meet gay people that live an everyday lifestyle. It’s also important for principals and teachers and counsellors to meet therapists who deal with LGBT.”

A worthy cause indeed. And one you would think people would be clambering to help her with. You’d be wrong. “It’s hard to get people to listen to you,” she frowns. “I’ve been charging into schools. Parents get quite upset. Especially conservative parents. Because they think if you become accepting of these lifestyles that you are forcing kids to be this way. Everyone is very sensitive but it would be wonderful if people got behind me. I think that if you really stand behind what you believe in, people will start listening to you and taking you seriously. I hope if I do find success [in my career], that I can help struggling kids to one day find someone to hear what they have to say and to be comfortable in their own skin and to not be afraid of who they are.”

It’s hard to believe that a model and actress who has taken her clothes off for her art can empathise with the notion of not being comfortable in your own skin, but this is indeed the case for Ms Nola. “Being in a group of people makes me so nervous. Being in the city, walking down the street, I have to wear big sunglasses, even though no-one is interested. The more I was in front of the camera [while making American Ecstasy], the more I gained confidence with myself in actual reality. You have to let go of so much and that really helped me in my normal life. You have to reach deep inside yourself, there is no more holding back and then it’s all out on the table.”

The film, directed by Jonathan Leder, tells the story of a sweet and vulnerable exotic dancer (played by Britany) who falls in love with another girl. The girl then disappears, which leads to the downfall of the protagonist. With the movie’s release on the horizon, I ask whether the unassuming Britany Nola is ready to be thrown into the spotlight. She takes a deep breath. “If I do become someone that people are interested in seeing, I think with regards to the film, I will give that to them, but in my personal life, I’d rather live up in the woods and remain secret. It would make me kind of nervous to live a public life. I don’t know how I’ll handle it. Maybe I’ll go crazy like Lindsay Lohan. Both of my parents are therapists and I have a good head on my shoulders, so I think if I find success that I will handle it with grace, be aware of it and take it for what it is.”

The film’s trailer provoked interest from none other than that dressing gown-wearing cad, Hugh Hefner. Having liked what he saw of Britany from the short clip, he expressed an interest in putting her in his magazine. And so, earlier this year, Playboy came a-knockin’, resulting in her becoming Miss November. It wasn’t an easy decision though. “I really wanted to do it the right way if I did it. It could have hurt me in a very strong way if I didn’t think it through. I loved the Daisy Lowe shoot. It was really well done, it looked like a fashion editorial. It showed her personality, it was sweet and there was something more to it. It wasn’t vulgar.”

And so, with a career in movies and modelling ahead of her, as well as her desire to stamp out bullying in schools, Britany Nola is set to be mighty busy for a while (she’ll also continue to contribute excellent articles like this to our website). And, happily, she heads into the future content with her position as a strong female role-model. “There are other people that wouldn’t agree but I believe wholeheartedly in everything that I have done. I’ve made good choices. I never feel bad about the life I have. I feel grateful and thankful and I accept who I am and where I am.”



Interview by Bobby Townsend. Photos by Jonathan Leder. See more Britany Nola articles here and follow her on Twitter here.