In 2012 Melissa Stetten was on a plane getting hit on by a man who had a soft spot for Heineken and who believed that their meeting was “divine interception.” Thinking the whole situation was ridiculous, Stetten decided to live-tweet their conversation. Pretty soon the lighthearted tweets turned sour when it was discovered by one of her followers that the man was in fact actor and vocal Christian Brian Presley, who was married and allegedly sober. “Did I just ruin Brian Presley’s life via Twitter?” Stetten tweeted. Pretty soon this comedian/actress was flooded with requests for interviews (which she declined) and offers of book deals and professional writing gigs, some of which she did take advantage of. Now, Melissa Stetten is writing for Esquire and xoJane and she had a popular column on Vice. She’s one of the wittiest ladies on Twitter, which is why she’s our latest Femme on Fire.
Playboy.com: I totally missed the boat on the Space Jam table read you were a part of the other week. That must’ve been so much fun!
Stetten: It was one of the best days of my life. I’m a huge Clippers fan; I go to all of their games. I’ve been tweeting Space Jam jokes at Blake Griffin for the past six months, asking if he’s ever seen it and so forth. My boyfriend Jensen Karp, who coordinates these live reads, told me that they were going to get Blake for it and DeAndre Jordan, too. When I found that out I told him he just had to put me in it! I have like three small parts in it, but it was so worth it, so amazing.
Playboy.com: You have a bit of a comedy background, too; didn’t you intern for Tim and Eric in 2008?
Stetten: I did! I was actually on a dodgeball team with Eric Wareheim. At some point it had come up that I loved the show and would love to intern. They agreed to the idea and I was on set for about one season. I actually forgot about it until you brought it up. [laughs]
Playboy.com: Some people know you from your modeling and others know you from your writing. How did you get started in modeling?
Stetten: I moved to L.A. when I was 22. I didn’t expect to model, it wasn’t my plan at all. I was into comedy, I was in classes at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and taking improv stuff. And then [I met]Melissa Keller, the Sports Illustrated bikini model, because she was friends with my boyfriend at the time, and she essentially said, “You’re tall and pretty! You should go to open calls for agencies!” So I ended up going to an open call for this agency called The Q and they signed me! It was kind of hilarious. Then they just started sending me out on auditions and casting. That was about four years ago—I was 25. I started modeling really late; I should’ve been retired by then. [laughs] I couldn’t imagine doing that at 17, it would be crazy.
Playboy.com: So at UCB were you doing writing or improv?
Stetten: I was doing both, I was taking improv classes and sketch writing classes. I knew that I wanted to do something in comedy, I just didn’t know what exactly. Then I kind of just started modeling. [laughs]
Playboy.com: You recently started writing for xoJane. What drew you to writing for the site?
Stetten: I had read it a few times and then Emily McCombs, their executive editor, sent me an email in December telling me that they were looking for a Fashion/Beauty Director and asking if I wanted to apply. I went to New York and met them, but I don’t really have any editing experience so I just feel more comfortable writing a couple of times a week. So I now write three to five articles a week, mostly on women’s fashion but also about anything else I feel like writing about.
Playboy.com: In one of the articles you wrote for xoJane, you admit to faking 99 percent of your orgasms, which must not have been the greatest for some guys to read. Are there certain things in your life that you just will not write about?
Stetten: I don’t know. I feel that at this point I’ve written about almost everything. Not crazy stuff, but I definitely live most of my life online through Instagram and Twitter, so I’m okay with making fun of myself.
Playboy.com: You’re pretty open about your thoughts on what we put on the Internet in terms of legitimacy and how much social media can change someone’s life, most notably in the Brian Presley incident.
Stetten: That’s what’s started everything. That’s actually how I started writing. My life kind of came from sharing online, giving opinions, so in a way I feel obligated to stay public. I don’t mind it, it’s fine, but I feel like a lot of people share the same sentiment on it. If I disappeared for two weeks it would be weird if I wasn’t making fun of people on Twitter.
Playboy.com: Have your views on modeling changed since you’ve gotten older?
Stetten: Yeah, I don’t hate it as much. When I was in New York going to five castings a day and I was always freezing, I was making pretty decent money but people would be mean and I was this 25-year-old in a sea of 16-year-old girls. Like, what was I doing? [laughs] I actually got pretty bored, too. I would work in these showrooms for three weeks straight trying on clothes all day long and it was so boring. I hated it for a while. Since I’ve moved to L.A. I haven’t worked as much but when I do, people will say, “You should be thankful that you’re tall and you’re pretty!” All the while I’m like, “Blah blah blah, shut up!” I guess I could be doing worse things.
Playboy.com: Do you have anything in store for this year?
Stetten: I am hopefully doing something with the Esquire Network! I’ve written for them before, things like “What Makes Women So Sexy?” or whatever. But yeah, I’ll be doing a bunch of things with them, silly YouTube shows and guy stuff for Esquire. But I’m mostly writing. I’ve got a book proposal that I’ve been working on forever. I don’t want to be a model when I’m 30!
Playboy.com: What’s your…
Favorite food: Can I say Girl Scout cookies? I just bought five boxes and they’re already gone. I could eat them always and forever.
Favorite drink: I like a good Dark 'N' Stormy.
Worst pickup line: I get so many comments on Instagram that are like, “I wanna have sex with you!” Like, what’s going on? What do you want me to say? I get those a lot. Sometimes I respond with “cool!”
First memory of Playboy: I think when I was 15 I was hanging out with my friends and we went to a 7-Eleven where the guy would sell to underage kids and one of the guys who we were hanging out with thought it’d be badass to get a couple of Playboys. We were blown away by his balls.