When Britany Nola‚??s graduating class at Wallenpaupack Area High School elected her ‚??Most Likely to Be Famous,‚?Ě her recent turn as Playboy‚??s Playmate of the Month may not be exactly what they had in mind.
But then again, the beautiful young blonde has always done things her own way.
Born in Ontario, Canada, her family moved to New York before settling in Hawley, where she spent her formative years.
‚??I spent my middle school and high school career in Hawley, so I count it as basically (my hometown),‚?Ě Nola explained during a phone interview.
‚??I go there a lot. Because I‚??m bi-coastal, I have a place in (Los Angeles) and a place in New York, but when I don‚??t have anything to do, they let me go home and I spend a week or two weeks there until whenever I have to work again. I spend it with my parents and my brother.‚?Ě
With both her parents working as therapists, child psychology was her back-up plan, but she truly wanted to be an actress, even knowing her chances were slim.
During her senior year, she took classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, where she would frequently meet a friend who was a model for lunch. She convinced her to try modeling for herself, and before she knew it, Nola‚??s new career ‚??happened really fast,‚?Ě scoring her first major job ‚?? a 16-page fashion spread ‚?? at the age of 18.
‚??I dress very strange. Well, not strange, but very, very New York, so I have a hard time in LA because I don‚??t dress the way that everyone else does in LA. I get a lot of stares. When I go out to dinner with girlfriends, they kind of hate what I‚??m wearing all the time,‚?Ě she related with a laugh.
‚??Ever since I was little, everyone always called me ‚??unique,‚?? but they always said it in a very strange way, like, ‚??Britany, you‚??re very‚?Ľunique.‚??‚?Ě
Her eccentricities, however, may have helped her get noticed.
‚??A lot of it is about connections and about networking and stuff. The people I meet like me because‚?ĽI have a different personality,‚?Ě Nola noted. ‚??I‚??m very opinionated. I don‚??t back down, not in a tough way, but I‚??m not afraid of confrontation or anything.‚?Ě
She soon caught the eye of photographer and director Jonathan Leder, who thought she resembled actress Mariel Hemingway.
‚??I guess I became his muse, which neither of us like to call it that, but that‚??s the easiest way to say what it was. He shot me for like everything,‚?Ě including commercials for Louis Vuitton and Adidas.
‚??I can attribute not being shy about nudity to the films that I‚??ve watched, but I think I also attribute it to Jonathan Leder because I was the shiest person ever before I met him.‚?Ě
He also helped her live her childhood dream, giving Nola her first starring role in his film ‚??American Ecstasy,‚?Ě a black-and-white art piece described as ‚??a lyrical journey through the decadent American landscape.‚?Ě
‚??I spent like two years of my life on the road with him. We went to Florida to shoot the film,‚?Ě she recalled. ‚??Jonathan has pushed me to do things in public or go talk to people and ask them if we can shoot there. He just pushed me out of my shell these last two years.‚?Ě
Nola first posed nude for a German magazine, wearing a brunette wig ‚??in the middle of New Jersey.‚?Ě Her Playboy shoot at a home in LA, featured this month in the magazine‚??s centerfold, was a decidedly different experience.
‚??It‚??s about you. It‚??s not a fashion shoot. In the fashion world, you‚??re a model showing off and you‚??re doing someone else‚??s concept,‚?Ě she pointed out.
‚??They had a very big meeting in the beginning to speak about your interests and everything about you. They want to find out everything they can about you and then try to portray it in the shoot. That was cool because I felt really confident‚?Ľbecause it was exactly what I wanted and the clothing was what I wanted. I was able to listen to my own music, and everyone was so kind.‚?Ě
The retro furniture and vintage record player in the photos are evidence that she feels ‚??stuck in a different decade,‚?Ě citing B√©atrice Dalle, Brigitte Bardot, and Jane Birkin as influences.
‚??You don‚??t feel weird seeing them. You don‚??t feel strange because they‚??re comfortable and they aren‚??t ashamed of their naked body. I think I‚??ve drawn a lot of confidence from seeing those women,‚?Ě she acknowledged.
‚??In other cultures, when they do show the nude body, they don‚??t necessarily over-sexualize it, you know? I feel like in America we get a little nervous about doing it because it‚??s such a taboo and because people are weirded out by it.‚?Ě
Not even her parents are phased by her nude modeling, but Nola guesses that this may be due to their Canadian origins.
‚??They raised me to be a pretty well-rounded person, and I think they really trust me and they think that I know what I‚??m doing. They think that I can handle myself, and they think it‚??s cool. They‚??re amazing.‚?Ě
Once the 21-year-old gets on the topic of movies, her favorite being Wim Wenders‚?? ‚??Wings of Desire,‚?Ě it‚??s apparent that she‚??s more than just a pretty face.
The quote on top of her Twitter page ‚?? ‚??Machine men, with machine minds and machine hearts‚?Ě ‚?? comes from ‚??The Great Dictator,‚?Ě Charlie Chaplin‚??s famous talking picture.
‚??He was such an inspirational person. I have a really bad habit of calling people machines. I think that a lot of people need to open their minds and open their eyes and learn about our world. ‚?ĽThere‚??s just a lot of hate in this world and a lot of conformity,‚?Ě Nola commented.
‚??I‚??m really trying to train myself to live by my moral standards, not society‚??s, so every time that I do something, I ask myself, ‚??Am I doing this because society tells me I have to or I can‚??t, or am I doing this because I feel like it‚??s right or am I not doing it because I feel like it‚??s wrong?‚??‚?Ě
Nola feels that ‚??American Ecstasy‚?Ě may help expose this deeper side of her personality to future collaborators.
‚??I‚??m hoping that people who see this film will realize that this is where my interests lie,‚?Ě she continued. ‚??I would love to work with people who have a bit of a different mindset, people doing new things and interesting things.‚?Ě
Her Twitter account, which she reluctantly started at the request of her agent, has also been a conversation starter in a much different way.
‚??People write me all the time and I always forget to check my accounts and to write back. ‚?ĽI go through them all and reply and I guess that‚??s the weirdest thing ‚?? people on Twitter that I went to high school with are congratulating me and asking me how I am,‚?Ě she said.
‚??I bought my place in New York before I graduated high school, then I graduated high school and I just got in my car and I left that day. I haven‚??t really been back. I was back maybe a month ago and I went to my football game for the first time. That was very strange. I haven‚??t talked to so many people since I was in high school, so that‚??s kind of cool to talk to people through the Internet and see what‚??s new with them and how their lives are turning out.‚?Ě
Few may have as compelling a story in just three short years.
Birth Date: April 12, 1991
Weight: 125 lbs
Birthplace: Ontario, Canada
Hometown: Hawley, PA
Turn-ons: ‚??A man with passion and intelligence.‚?Ě
Favorite movie: ‚??Wings of Desire‚?Ě
Favorite song: ‚??Where Is My Mind?‚?Ě by The Pixies
18 Playboy Playmates, who are featured in the magazine‚??s centerfold, were born in Pennsylvania. Scranton native Sarah Clayton has posed as a Playboy Cyber Girl on Playboy‚??s website, and Emma Michaud, ‚??Kiki,‚?Ě of Harveys Lake has been featured on Playboy TV.