Playboy has been an institution in American culture since its inception in 1953. With a loyal legion of fans, the company followed up in 1960 with its next venture, the Playboy Club. This week (September 19), NBC is taking viewers back to the time of the satin bodices, fluffy tails and satin headbands with ears with its new series The Playboy Club.
This past May UnRated Urban got the chance to talk to actress Naturi Naughton who will be featured in the series as Bunny Brenda. Naughton is best known as a former member of the R&B group 3LW and for her portrayal of rapper Lil Kim in the bio-pic Notorious, based on the life and death of rapper The Notorious B.I.G.
UUM: So I understand that you are in the upcoming Playboy Club series, can you tell me a little bit about it?
Naughton: Yes, we started shooting in March and I will be coming back in July to finish it up, it will air on NBC on Monday nights and I'm so excited because I play one of the few African American playboy bunnies and it's in 1963.
UUM: That's awesome and so great for you!
Naughton: I think it's going to be really special, this show is going to take people back to when the playboy club first started in 1963 as well as other things going on like the civil rights movement, the feminist movement and so many things that the show is going to make people more aware of.
UUM: Tell us a little bit about your role in this series and what it's like to be an African American woman who is a bunny back then?
Naughton: I play Bunny Brenda, a young ambitious, sassy girl who knows what she wants and is not afraid to go after it. My character is a fighter who if the world tells her that something is not possible, she believes that it's possible. It's hard being a bunny period, however if you are an African American woman in the 60′s you have more challenges to overcome and I think I channeled in on some of those challenges. Going back and talking to some of the women who were original playboy bunnies made me realize that they just worked extra hard and were very confident and they were able to get to where they are today. At the end of the day it's about being a woman who knows what she wants and I believe we can all achieve that.
UUM: We are so happy for you and with how your career is taking off so nicely.
Naughton: I feel blessed with opportunities to get to this point, from playing Lil Kim in Notorious to Fame and Lottery Ticket and now I'm one of the lead roles on a prime time NBC show The Playboy Club. So I feel really honored & I'm excited.
UUM: That's great, how are you enjoying Chicago?
Naughton: I love Chicago, even though it's the windy city and it's cold and it's raining tonight actually. However, it's such a great city with a beautiful skyline and when I go out and attend different things and I see the amazing culture and atmosphere of the city I feel at home and I love Chicago! I can't wait to come back and resume shooting.