Nikki Leigh – Open Marriage
By: Jamie Steinberg
Q) What are the recent projects that you are working on?
A) I just finished a series called “A Girl is a Gun” with Denise Richards. I just wrapped that on December 22nd. Right before that, I was in Turkey filming a movie.
Q) What drew you to the role of Becca in the film Open Marriage?
A) I really thought it was interesting. Nowadays, there are a lot of marriages where people are so quick to divorce. I just really enjoyed the fact that this is about a couple who are struggling financially and trying to get pregnant. I really want a kid and so does my husband, but there are all sorts of problems that can go wrong with that. I just really enjoyed seeing that this couple gets this really crazy idea from their friends about trying open marriage. I appreciated the fact that they tried, but there is a lot that comes with it. It is not something you can just jump in and jump out. There are a lot more complications to that because humans have a lot of emotions and ties. I just really appreciated the effort and then seeing the reality of what it could be. A lot of people have been like, “I just heard recently someone I know got proposed this or is going to try this.” So, this is a real subject going around. It was really interesting to get feedback from people that I knew saying they had heard about this. It was so relevant!
Q) Was there instant chemistry when you began working with on-screen husband Tilky Jones?
A) I had to say there was. [laughs] We worked really well together and he is a really great guy and a great actor. We also really loved our director Sam Irvin. He is just the sweetest guy ever and really works with you. So, it was really easy to get the chemistry going because the movie had such a great director and great people around as the actors.
Q) Was there anything you added to Becca that wasn’t originally scripted for you?
A) She has a twist, which is really amazing. It’s kind of like a Gone Girl meets Single White Female. So, there is a really good twist. I really feel like you have to see it to see how she reacts. She is kind of shy. I kind of put that out there because knowing that she is really trying this open marriage idea and trying to get pregnant while trying to hold on to this relationship you see the struggles of going back and forth whether it be an exciting experience or something that could be a negative to the relationship. You just don’t know. So, I tried to put in there the reluctant part, but also it is really fun when you see her react to what is being said. You think, “Oh my gosh, she’s really interested in this.”
Q) What advice did director Sam Irvin provide you that you really took to heart?
A) I don’t know about a specific thing, but all around he was really amazing. He didn’t have to tell me too much about Becca because there was really good chemistry with Tilky so it was kind of easy to have that love in that relationship. You can really kind of see that on film. It was really nice to have Sam be such a supporter of that.
Q) What were some of your most memorable moments from filming Open Marriage?
A) One of the really cool characters is played by Debra Wilson. She was on “MadTV” and is actually in the film. She is such a light! She is a very cool, upbeat, out there person – very close to her “MadTV” characters. She was really amazing to work with. The days I got to work with her was really enlightening and exciting because she is always very positive and uplifting. Those days were always ones I would look forward to when I saw her on the call sheet. Also, it was just the whole crew and time with all of the actors. It was all just really exciting because everyone worked well together. It was really a well-oiled machine and it was beautiful to come to work every day knowing that everyone had such respect for one another and that everyone was going to nail every scene since everyone had a lot of care for this project.
Q) Lifetime is known for their signature films that become instant classics that you can watch over and over. What makes Open Marriage a great fit for the network?
A) I am obsessed with Lifetime movies, anyways. Who isn’t anyway? You’re right, any time you hear about a Lifetime movie you think “instant classic,” in your head. You are just so excited to see it because the network is always so suspenseful and dramatic and this is very, very suspenseful and dramatic. There is a lot of twists and turns in it. You see a lot of good relationship stability between the two different relationships that we examine. You see this thriller and there is a really big twist to it. I love that Lifetime is always a very suspenseful movie. You always know something dramatic is going to happen and this definitely hits it on the head with drama, suspense and mystery. It really goes with the formula of Lifetime movies. You’re always able to stay home and watch a Lifetime movie because you knew it would be pure entertainment and suspenseful. It was really cool because when I was a little girl I loved Lifetime movies because I could watch these crazy, suspenseful and dramatic movies that I kind of felt was a little bit forbidden from my parents. So, every time you hear Lifetime movies I hear in your head, “Oh my gosh, this is going to be great suspense or dramatic. I should call up my girlfriends! I have an excuse to stay home and watch Lifetime.” So, it is exciting to be a part of the network and hopefully this movie is one of those iconic movies that people want to see over and over again because it was a really good build and calm. It starts out nice where you see the relationship and what is going on in these peoples’ lives and then it takes a really crazy turn. It is really surprising, suspenseful and thrilling. I am really excited to be a part of hopefully the iconic legacy of Lifetime.
Q) You are a part of social media. Are you looking forward to the instant fan feedback you will receive to the movie?
A) Oh yeah! I always love feedback. It just betters me as an actress and lets me know what my fans are intrigued by. You don’t really grow, I feel, if you don’t read and take to heart what your fans say. I really can’t wait for people to let me know and it is really nice to be able, in this world, instant feedback. You didn’t get to hear everyone’s voice like you do today. Everyone has something to say so it will be really interesting to see how people react. It is a Lifetime movie so you kind of know what to expect. As long as they love that Lifetime formula, they will definitely love this film. So, I’m excited to hear what they say.
Q) Is there anything else you want to be sure fans know about your character Becca or the movie?
A) It’s really exciting. The poster is really, really badass. It even looks intriguing nd exciting for a Lifetime movie. So, I’m pretty excited for even just that visual. It gets intense. The movie is very suspenseful and it really captures a lot of people. When you go in to watch a Lifetime movie, they know that something crazy is going to happen and I love how crazy this gets. There are a lot of unexpected things that happen and it is really exciting because we had a scheduled release date for later and then all of a sudden they said they were airing it Saturday. So, Lifetime obviously thought people would want to see it now. So, it’s really that great and I can’t wait to see the turnout, especially with social media and having it be so instant.
Q) What would you like to say to everyone who is a fan and supporter of you and your work?
A) Thank you! First and foremost, thank you. There are so many people in the world and in your life that you should and do care about that you should respect and check up on every day. I really appreciate being one of those people. Someone who does what I do or is in the entertainment industry, you are nothing without your support system. So, I couldn’t’ thank them enough! I wish them all the wealth, prosperity in their lives.