Playboy.com: Last time we spoke was a year ago; you weren’t voted in as Cybergirl of the Year yet. What has this been like for you?
It’s been an experience, that’s for sure. I feel like it’s helped me grow up with my modeling career and just with my life in general. I go out in public and people are really excited to see me. It means so much to me and it’s really sad that it’s coming to an end.
Playboy.com: Do you get recognized in public often?
Yeah, I do. It’s mostly when I’m at the airport—people are just like, “Are you Leanna?” and I’m like, “Yes,” and they keep walking. I’ve been doing a lot of autograph conventions and that’s what made me realize how many people actually know who I am and that made me feel good. One fan was crying and so happy to meet me—that meant a lot to me.
Playboy.com: What has been your favorite shoot?
I have two favorites. My first favorite is the shower scene with the black striped panties that has a natural soft feel. I just love the makeup on my face, my hair, I love everything about it. My second favorite shoot is the one that just came out this week; it was totally badass and different than anything I’ve ever done before, so I love that one too. I had on latex bottoms and a red bandanna and shoes with spikes on them. It was so out of my little country girl element. When I’m shooting that’s when I feel sexiest—I look forward to getting my hair and makeup done and putting the lingerie on. When I have that on I feel like a woman and very sexy instead of feeling like a little country girl like I usually do. I feel like a different person when I get in front of the camera.
Playboy.com: How do guys react when they find out you’re CGOY?
They’re just like, “Oh my god, I’m so excited to meet you, it’s such an honor!” People are like “Is that really you?!” because I’m a little country girl and have glasses. My ex-boyfriend recently gave me an ultimatum; it was either modeling or him. I decided I was never going to let a guy get in the way of what I wanted to do, so that has come to an end. Some guys are really understanding and think it’s awesome and some guys are jealous and have their own opinions about that, but most people are really, really supportive.
Playboy.com: Name your biggest challenge over the last year, professionally.
A lot of girls will message me and ask for advice on how to become a Cybergirl, and I really don’t know what to say because there was nothing in particular that I did. I always say you’ve got to be there for your fans because they’re the ones that get you where you are. That’s the hardest part for me. The only other thing is that I do live in a very, very tiny town and once one person knows, everyone knows. I love talking about being CGOY when I’m out of town, but when I’m here I have to see these people every day so I’ll just smile and nod. It’s a hard thing to get used to because I’m really such a shy person. When I say Playboy.com has helped me grow as a person it’s because they’ve helped me come out of my shell.
Playboy.com: In 2011 you told us you learned to take people’s criticism constructively. What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in 2012?
I learned that you have to think of yourself as a business if you want to make it and also that I can’t take everything to heart. When it comes to modeling there are some people that support it and some people that don’t, and I try not to let it get to me. My fans mean everything; I have to please them before I please myself. I feel like I’ve grown up a lot. I now think of modeling as my life and every single second of the day I’m doing something to help my modeling career.
Playboy.com: What’s next for you?
I still want to become a Playmate, that’s always going to be in my head. I also want to get into acting; I have a script I’m trying to learn right now, but of course I always want to continue modeling. Playboy is the main goal.
Playboy.com: What would you do differently?
I honestly don’t think I’d change anything. It’s really been great and I can’t believe it’s over; I’m in shock. If I could change anything I’d make the time go by slower.
Playboy.com: Last time we spoke you claimed to be the best kisser in the world…is this still true?
Ummm, that has not changed and is still true, I still believe I am. [laughs]
Playboy.com: Have you developed any other new talents?
I’ve become a lot more flexible and I’ve been doing kickboxing class so I can beat someone up if they mess with me.
Playboy.com: Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
I really just want to thank Playboy.com and everyone involved in Playboy.com that I’ve worked with because they’ve made it such a great experience. This is the first time I’ve actually been really sad to leave a set. Normally you’re tired from being on set all day, but I could shoot for Playboy.com for two days straight and not be tired because they make it so great. Of course I also want to thank all of my fans for being so supportive and great.
Keep up with Leanna on Twitter @Leanna_Decker