[10/16/09 - 12:05 AM]
Interview: "The Girls Next Door" Co-Stars Crystal Harris, Karissa & Kristina Shannon
By Jim Halterman (TFC)

Earlier this year, there were some huge changes for "The Girls Next Door" when Holly, Bridget and Kendra all left Hugh Hefner (and the reality series) for new lives. Holly appeared in Las Vegas's "Peepshow," Kendra has her own hit show on E! and a baby on the way with new husband Philadephia Eagles' Hank Baskett, and Bridget kept busy hosting "Bridget's Sexiest Beaches" for the Travel Channel. The franchise however continues with Hef's newest girlfriends - Crystal Harris and twins Karissa and Kristina Shannon. To find out how the girls are adjusting to their new life and the ever-present cameras as well as how they keep from getting jealous of each other, our Jim Halterman called the infamous Playboy Mansion earlier this week to talk with the new "Girls Next Door."

Jim Halterman: How are you adjusting to all the craziness with the show?

Crystal Harris: It's been a lot of fun and we're all getting used to it pretty quick.

JH: And it was a year ago when you first met Hef, right?

Crystal: I met him at his Halloween party 2008.

JH: So your one-year anniversary is coming up! Any big plans?

Crystal: Hef, the twins and I are all celebrating our one-year anniversary.

JH: Is there going to be a party?

Crystal: We're having two Halloween parties this year so we're going to celebrate and we're also celebrating the twins' birthday.

JH: You said in the season premiere that you had some heartache and so did Hef after his breakup with Holly Madison. Did that help with your connection?

Crystal: Yeah, it definitely helped because I knew how he felt. I mean, he thought Holly was the love of his life so I could relate to him that way.

JH: And you say you don't get jealous of the twins or any other girls in the mansion. Was it tough to get to that place?

Crystal: It was pretty natural. Hef explained his lifestyle ahead of time so when I came in here I knew either I'd like it or not. I like it and love everyone around. It's a lot of fun with a lot of people.

JH: You've said that you're shy but I'm guessing some of that shyness is disappearing with this experience, right?

Crystal: Oh yeah, definitely. Being able to overcome it is just like being thrown out there. I don't really have a chance to think about being shy and everything with the show. I did the Playmate test and I'm just learning how to just go for it and I just started singing lessons, too. The best way of overcoming my fear is facing it so I've been doing a good job with that.

JH: Do you feel any pressure of living up to the other girls who were known as The Girls Next Door?

Crystal: No, I just want to be me and just be real and just be myself and then hopefully the viewers can relate to that so that's what I'm hoping..

JH: What was it like the very first time you were at the mansion. Could you imagine you'd someday be living there?

Crystal: No, I had no idea! The other three girls were still living here when I first met Hef so I had no idea what was going on but it was so fun and I was just living for the moment. Now I'm here and it's so much fun.

JH: Your down to earth personality seems to balance out well with the twins, who seem more playful.

Crystal: Yeah. For sure.

[Crystal turns things over to Karissa and Kristina.]

JH: You're both so much fun on the show. Can you tell me about your first time at the mansion?

Karissa Shannon: The first time we came to the mansion they were filming the show and we were testing for the 55th Anniversary Playmate and we had so much fun. It's like a big family here.

JH: What did you think, Kristina?

Kristina Shannon: Same thing. [Laughs.]

JH: Did you ever think you would be living there?

Karissa: Not at all! I knew when we came here we didn't want to leave so it's good that that came true.

JH: How has it been having the cameras following you around? That must have been an adjustment.

Kristina: Me and Karissa got used to it really fast. It just came so natural and we never really paid attention to the camera or look at the camera and think, "Everyone is going to be watching us."

JH: I know from having twins in my family that you end up sharing a lot but did you ever think you'd be sharing Hugh Hefner?

Kristina: No! We never would even think of sharing the same guy but Hef is a different story.

JH: What is it about Hef that captured your heart?

Karissa: Hef likes to have a good time and he has a really big heart and we have so much fun with him. He has the same likes and he likes watches movies. He's a partying playboy and that's what we like.

JH: We get to see Crystal on the show talking to her mother. How does your family feel about your new life?

Kristina: We Skype with our family every day. It's like a webcam thing. It's like a program you select and we just Skyped the other day and talked to them the other day and they're very supportive. My dad is 39 so he came out her and visited for Christmas last year and my whole family is coming out for Christmas this year.

Karissa: The holidays are like the best time around the mansion. Christmas we do it all up... Thanksgiving... the holidays are the best at the mansion.

JH: Crystal said in the premiere episode that she sees you as the same person. Do you agree with that?

Karissa: We have totally different personalities but we do everything the same.

JH: What is your hope that fans take away from the three of you in "The Girls Next Door?"

Karissa: I just hope they like us and we represent Playboy well. I hope they don't hate us. I just hope that they watch for us and don't prejudge us.

"The Girls Next Door" airs Sundays on E! at 10:00/9:00c.

  [october 2009]  


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