We're suckers for blondes, especially those with an accent which is why The Power of Few's Nicky Whelan is our latest Femme on Fire. The Power of Few is now available on DVD, Blu Ray and Video on Demand.
Playboy.com: Your role of Marti in The Power of Few had a lot of angles. What initially drew you to that kind of character?
Whelan: It was originally written for a completely different kind of woman. They were looking for someone that was in her 40s, overweight…a little different from me! So when I went in I wasn’t what they were looking for, but it interested me enough to try. [laughs] It’s a character that I wouldn’t usually get to play, and even though they were casting for something completely different, I went in with my version and it paid off! It worked; they ended up changing the character. And in the end I got to play alongside Christian [Slater]. It was just marvelous that I didn’t have to play the bouncy, flirty sort of girl that I usually jump on.
Playboy.com: Did you get to do any cool training?
Whelan: Yeah, I did, actually; now I’m really fine with guns, I can say that I’ve been to those places where you’re allowed to shoot guns and all that stuff! But I didn’t like it at first, it really scared me. I had to be trained how to hold a gun and walk around with one, because you hold a gun a certain way when you’re clearing a building and all that sort of stuff; it’s all really exciting. But I was paranoid during one scene which had Christian putting a gun to my head; I would make him check the gun like 20,000 times. [laughs] Just absolutely paranoid! Maybe I’m a little nervous around those things, but it was a lot of fun. Then there was a scene where I take out the terrorists, so I had to have quite a bit of training of how to beat someone up without really doing it. It was completely emotional and draining; I put absolutely all of my energy into playing Marti so by the end of it I felt as if it was fight or flight! [laughs] It really screwed me up for a minute! Everyone was so beautiful and kind, though; I was so flattered because I had never done anything like this before. It was quite the experience.
Playboy.com: So you got to work very closely with Christian Slater, which is many women’s dream; what was that like for you?
Whelan: I am the biggest True Romance fan in the entire world, and I’ve got to say it’s so surreal coming all the way from Australia and walking onto these sets to see all of these people you’ve watched growing up. It felt like family—I know that sounds weird—because you’ve seen them in movies so it feels like you know them, and he’s the most easygoing, friendly, funny guy. I was always playing the soundtrack for True Romance for him [laughs] and he was looking at me going, “What are you doing?” while a song by Hans Zimmer plays in the background from that scene where they’re on the beach…I’d play it on my phone and he thought I was absolutely crazy. [laughs] But anyway, I’m a huge fan so it was definitely an added bonus of being featured in this film and getting to work with these people for sure.
Playboy.com: What was your favorite memory from set?
Whelan: The whole experience working down in New Orleans; I had never been down there before and I loved it. On our days off we’d do some tours around the town, and it’s a whole different vibe. It was a very weird, different clique, because you’ve got only so many parts of the movie filmed there and there’s always these sort of odd people walking around the set in these weird locations, so the whole experience of everything was so different than what I usually do. Being in such a weird location was so much fun.
Playboy.com: You’re also in the upcoming season of Franklin & Bash! Do you want to share a little bit about that?
Whelan: I play a kinesiologist who starts dating Mark Gosselaar’s character Peter Bash. It started out as a four-episode arc but actually ended up turning into about seven or eight episodes, which is such a treat because it was such a last-minute thing. So I went in and met everybody and I was having the time of my life with the cast, and of course the fact that my character owns a spot on the beach…And that’s my job! [laughs] And again, so many awesome, funny, kind and talented people there, and of course being able to work with Mark-Paul and Breckin [Meyer]—he and I are both addicted to Star Wars so we had a great time! [laughs] But the whole show is very special, and being able to play a character on it was wonderful. We actually left the character open in case maybe I can come back! [laughs]
Playboy.com: So in this point in your career it’s safe to say you’ve worked in a variety of genres. What would you say has been your favorite?
Whelan: I love all of them and enjoy working in all of these different genres for the experience of it. I’ve done mostly comedy but I’ve been really enjoying my auditions lately for more drama, I’m really delving into that. I think you go through phases in your life and sometimes whatever you’re going through in your real life you perform in some weird movie or television show. It’s so odd because at the moment I’m loving drama, but who knows, that could change tomorrow. I do love a live audience, though; I did a sitcom pilot shot in front of a live audience and did a pilot last year that was also for a sitcom, and the whole live audience thing is another experience I’ve really enjoyed, so maybe going back to that would be good too!
Playboy.com: You’ve got a lot of films in postproduction at the moment. Are there any that you’re dying to share with your fans?
Whelan: I’m really looking forward to showing off a film we did called 7500, which is a horror, it’s so crazy! It’s from the creator of The Grudge; even filming it was creepy. I got to play alongside an awesome cast; I play an American annoying wife and I’m wearing a brown wig. It was something that was very different to me, in such a serious movie I was playing this idiot character. In the end there were all of these things happening to the cast, and to my character as well, which I hope make it in the final cut because it was just such an unsettling experience! I also have a spot in a Terrence Malick movie called Knight of Cups. The character is so great, and I’m not just saying it because I play it! [laughs] That was probably one of the best jobs I’ve ever worked on in my life. It’s so secretive I can’t talk about it, but that was something else, a whole other level of performance and I am so damn excited to be a part of it.
Playboy.com: What’s your…
Favorite drink: I don’t drink anymore, but I’m an Aussie so I’m good at drinking. I’m not sober or anything but I just don’t have time for it anymore! But if I am to order a drink I order a vodka and something. I’m so girly and lame.
Favorite food: I don’t even know if this qualifies as food, but I ate a bag of M&M’s today and I’m on my way to buy another now. I am so obsessed with chocolate! So when you said that to me, it’s the first thing that comes to mind. But I really love everything and anything.
Worst pickup line: On Twitter now you get some real crackers! I’ve had some situations where people have gone to extreme measures to have a date with me, which is very flattering. I saw someone who saw me in a lift and I ignored them. And then they asked for my number at the valet parking and I said, “No, I don’t know who you are!” And they went away and literally investigated who I was, razzed security, worked out which office I was meeting in, asked the office I was in which agency I was with and contacted the agency. And I was so flattered I ended up going on a date with this person! [laughs] He was the most beautiful man, and I’m still good friends with him. It’s not really a pickup line, but it was a pickup situation that’s worth mentioning. People always say it’s creepy but I thought of it as epic.
Embarrassing moment: If I’m tired I’m really clumsy and goofy and have bit it on carpet events, but I would say I’m very shy and the only moment that I can think of right now wasn’t embarrassing but was getting my gear off in Hall Pass. I was so shy, and everyone else was really casual and cool about it, but it was really embarrassing, I was mortified, curled in a ball, before I did that scene. Owen [Wilson] was very sweet and kind and everyone was very respectful, but I was totally in my own psychotic headspace before that scene. It’s not too embarrassing, though; more of a shy moment.
First memory of Playboy: When I was 18 I was dating a professional motorbike rider in America and I came over here and we had a party at the Playboy Mansion, a Red Bull party. And we went along and it was like everything I’ve ever imagined, and to top it off Pamela Anderson was there. So being an 18-year-old from Australia, I was having the time of my life! Fast-forward six years later, I come to America and do a movie with Pamela Anderson, she did a guest spot in a movie I was a lead in, so it was quite bizarre! I have some really fond memories of going to the parties at the Mansion.