Holly’s New World

The former Girl Next Door opens up about the Hefner days, her impact as a co-producer and her new roles as a wife and mother


From the Playboy mansion to the Peepshow stage, Holly Madison is no stranger to the spotlight, but her experience hasn’t always been all bunny ears and bow ties. Motherhood and her recent marriage have brought a new perspective and renewed ambitions. As Madison gears up for the new year, she keeps family first while eagerly anticipating her next act.

What was the best part of the Peepshow experience?

The friends I made. The cast and crew became really close, and I met a lot of great people I’m still really close with today. Especially Josh Strickland; he’s one of my best friends. It was a big part of my life, and definitely the people I met were the best things about it.

How do you feel now about your Hugh Hefner/Girls Next Door days?

Very different than most people would think. Fans of Girls Next Door would come up to me after Peepshow and ask, “Don’t you miss the mansion?” My first thought was “No,” but I would try to say that in a really polite way. I don’t look back on it as a very happy time. We came out with a Girls Next Door book of pictures and behind-the-scenes stories. I was looking at the pictures, and I just had the most obnoxious, fakest smile on my face. I look at that and think, “Ewww, I was really miserable.” And, “Wow, that was rough.” So one day, I will get into detail and tell my story. But I look back on those days as not the best time. Life has definitely been a kagillion times better since.

On Holly’s World you got co-producer credits. How was your experience behind the scenes there?

I actually didn’t have as much control as I would’ve liked, unfortunately, because that was a spin-off of Girls Next Door, and was still owned by Playboy. I had to fight pretty hard if my opinion differed at all from the producer or the other stakeholders. My whole intention of the show was for a modern-day Mary Tyler Moore character, someone who used to be in a relationship and now she’s single, and going out and making it on her own. It was, but I felt like they tried to stick too many Playboy throwback things in there, or tried to introduce other Playmate characters I wasn’t really that close with—always this hidden agenda to push Playboy. Overall, I had a great experience on the show, but when you bring up the behind-the-scenes parts, I wish I would’ve had more say than I did. It was called Holly’s World, not Playboy World!

Congrats on your wedding and on baby Rainbow Aurora. What was the wedding highlight?

The fact that it seemed like everybody had a great time, which isn’t always the case at weddings. Having our own Fantasmic! show was a lot of fun. It’s a really amazing show they do on the water at Disneyland that has so many things going on in it; even if you’ve seen it before, you forget about the little details. Just having our own private viewing for less than 200 people was really a grand thing. It really made an impression.

How has your new role as a mother changed your outlook on life?

You have this new person who’s a huge part of your life, and every decision you make isn’t just for yourself anymore. It’s for yourself and that other person, so life is absolutely different. I would say I’m only 10 percent who I used to be. The other 90 percent turns into me as a mom.

Career-wise, what’s exciting at the moment?

Unfortunately I can’t really delve into too much detail because the projects really aren’t at that stage yet, but I have a couple of things I’m working on for next year that I’m excited about. And that means that I will be able to be behind the scenes on them and have some creative say. One of them is live and onstage, and one of them is TV.

You’re celebrating your 34th birthday on December 28 at Moon. Anything planned for that?

I don’t have anything specific planned, other than to just go with my friends and have a really great time. I don’t go out too much anymore, unless it’s my husband’s event, So this is a special occasion, and I’m really looking forward to it.

Anything planned for New Year’s Eve and at midnight specifically?

Yes, my husband has an event in Anaheim called White Wonderland. I’m excited about it; it’s a really fun party. [At midnight] I’ll probably be in the midst of a huge crowd. They always have a big countdown extravaganza on one of the stages, so that’s where we’ll be. Among a sea of white.

What’s your New Year’s resolution?

I actually did a bunch of resolutions at Burning Man back in September. Those are my major ones. My New Year’s resolution is super, super boring. It’s just to get more organized, because I’m a mess right now. I’m like a Tasmanian devil, just streaking through life. Not naked streaking, but just leaving a mess in my wake like a tornado.

You biggest hope for 2014?

I just want to have as great of a time with my family as I’ve had in the last year. I’ve been really blessed, and more of the same would be amazing.

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