For the first five seasons on E!'s popular "Girls Next Door" reality series, Holly Madison was known as Hugh Hefner's #1 girl along with Kendra Wilkinson and Bridget Marquardt. But when the three girls moved out of the infamous Playboy mansion, it didn't take long for the girls to launch their own endeavors outside of Hef's plush paradise - Kendra's self-titled reality show (also on E!) is a ratings hit and Bridget hosted "Bridget's Sexiest Beaches" for the Travel Channel last year and announced recently that her own reality show is in the works.
What about Holly? The 30-year old moved to Las Vegas and what was to be a three-month stint in the topless burlesque show "Peepshow" at Planet Hollywood has turned into a much-longer gig. So what better place to shoot a reality show featuring Holly than her life in Las Vegas? "Holly's World" premieres this Sunday on E! and features the adventures of Holly and three of her friends living life in Sin City. Our Jim Halterman recently rang up Holly to talk about her new show, how it is living in Las Vegas and whether being in "Peepshow" has brought on the acting bug.
Jim Halterman: How did 'Holly's World' first come about?
Holly Madison: The people behind 'The Girls Next Door' were talking to me about doing a spin-off of the show and then I got this job at this burlesque show at Planet Hollywood. The show just kind of revolves around me and my friends playing around in Las Vegas. It's really funny and good to look at and it's very fun.
JH: Of your three friends we see on the show, is everyone also in "Peepshow" with you?
HM: Josh is in the show with me. Angel is my best friend and Laura is my roommate. I've known Angel and Laura for several years. The show is a docudrama and is really a fun look at living in Las Vegas and the people who live here.
JH: Can you describe the roles that they play on the show?
HM: Josh [Strickland] is my co-star in "Peepshow." He's a singer, really good looking and he's super fun. Laura is my roommate and she's the crazy one who wants to party. Angel, my assistant and best friend, is so cute and sweet. She just turned 21 and she just had a baby. She's so much fun.
JH: You're a producer on "Holly's World." How was that experience been a big adjustment for you?
HM: Not really. I'm the kind of person who really likes a challenge and I'm always sticking my nose into any business I'm involved in. Even with "Girls Next Door" I was really involved with getting the plotlines together and trying to help out whatever way I could.
JH: Your show is just pure fun but some of popular reality shows are more about over-the-top characters getting into trouble or misbehaving. Why do you think those shows are so popular?
HM: I think if you see someone start acting really crazy you just can't believe it. It's like a car crash that you can't take your eyes away. But I also think in a lot of ways people have to feel superior so watching those shows makes them feel better about their lives.
JH: And "Peepshow" was supposed to be a short gig but they've kept you around. How did that happen?
HM: When they brought the concept to Planet Hollywood, they initially wanted to rotate headliners in every three months but I came in and I really fit in with the role well so they offered me a year contract.
JH: How do you keep it fresh for yourself so it doesn't get boring?
HM: It's just so much fun every night. The cast and crew are so goofy and fun. The audience is also different every night so sometimes they are higher energy than other nights but it makes it a different experience every night.
JH: Has being in "Peepshow" made you want to venture in actually acting in films or television?
HM: I don't know that I'm that interested in that kind of thing. It depends. For a long time I haven't been interested in being an actress.
JH: Las Vegas is primarily a vacation destination for most people but how is it to actually live there?
HM: It's a lot of fun living here because obviously there's so much to do and there are new people in town everyday but the locals are also very sweet. It's like a great small town.
JH: You're also working on a book, right?
HM: I'm writing a book that incorporates Vegas history and a guide from the first season of my show. It's a travel guide and it's been a lot of work but it's also been fun.
JH: What would you tell someone who has never been to Vegas how to prepare themselves?
HM: I listed a lot of my favorites. Gambling and drinking are ubiquitous here. You can do that everywhere here but I'm listing my favorite activities like the outdoor things to do around the area, great restaurants and attractions. I think people aren't really prepared when they come to Vegas. They have pamphlets and brochures when they come here but this is something they can use ahead of time so they can plan what they want to see.
JH: What do you watch on TV when you're having some downtime?
HM: I don't get to watch a lot of TV. I try to keep up with Kendra's show, of course, and I catch the Kardashians now and again but I usually have CNN on in the background.
JH: Are you still surprised that your life has gone in this direction? Could you have predicted it?
HM: Well, I have a really big appetite and I always wanted to be in the entertainment industry somehow but in this day and age you can become famous in so many different ways. It's really unpredictable.
JH: What advice would you give someone who wants to break into the entertainment business?
HM: I would say follow your dreams, reevaluate your goals all the time and stick to it no matter what anyone says because people will try to discourage you.
"Holly's World" premieres Sunday on E! at 10:30/9:30c.