Courtney Bingham began her career in modeling at the age of 17. She later went on to work under Christine Peters(How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days, The Out of Towner’s)at Paramount Pictures/CFP Productions. She went on to produce the movie Inappropriate Comedy starring Adrien Brody, Rob Schneider, Lindsay Lohan, and Michelle Rodriguez. She currently has two radio shows on XM and IHeartRadio Platform, The How 2 Girl, which offers thrifty how to tips for today’s busy woman, and the half hour weekly pop culture show Behind the Gates. It was a delight to sit down with her and talk just before her pending marriage to Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx.
What were you like as a little girl? What are some of your most fond childhood memories? What did you want to be back then?
As a little girl I was always creative. I loved doing arts and crafts and my favorite day of the week was Saturdays because that is when I would get to go to the craft store and pick out fun projects to do at home. I loved school but mainly the social aspect, not so much the studies. Some of my favorite memories growing up were spent building sand castles at the beach where I was born and raised, riding Space Mountain at Disneyland with my mom and learning to ski at three years old in Utah where my moms family lives. I always saw myself being an “moviestar” when I was little, but oddly enough I never had the actual acting bug, I think I just liked the glamour in it all, not the work.
What led to you becoming a model at 17?
Growing up I was obsessed with Cindy Crawford. I thought, and still do think she is the most beautiful woman in the world, plus she’s an extremely intelligent and business savvy woman. I used to watch her work out videos when I was little and just loved everything about her. I was always tall and thin, I would sometimes get teased, especially in middle school and my mom would always say move over Cindy Crawford. I was not only fascinated with Cindy, who I later in life got to know and love, but the fashion world really mesmerized me. As soon as I hit 5’10 I was on a mission to find an agency and start my career, soon after I signed with Wilhelmina Models.
What was it like when you first left America to live abroad in Europe? What was running through your mind when you first arrived there?
When I moved to Milan, Italy to pursue modeling at 17 I was beyond excited and ready to start a new chapter of my life. I think a lot of girls would be intimidated or nervous at that age to move to a new place let alone a country that mainly speaks Italian but I could not wait for the adventure and for the experience that awaited me. I have always been the type to dive in head first to new things without fear or hesitation. When I arrived and met my agents at Why Not Models I instantly fell in love. The Italians are the sweetest, kindest people and I felt so much support right from the start. Everyday walking around to go-see’s I was blown away by the beauty in the architecture, the people, the fashions, the language, and the food. This was when I believe my passion and love for traveling and food began.
How did you come to work for Christine Peters? What did you learn from your time at Paramount?
Christine Peters and I were introduced through mutual friends when I was 18. Christine was hot off of producing the hit romantic comedy, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and we immediately clicked and became great friends. In 2007, at 21, I had just returned to LA from living in Madrid, Spain modeling and she welcomed me into her production family with open arms. I was always very interested in film production and what better way to learn than from a seasoned veteran! The two years I worked with Christine were unforgettable and life changing. I really learned so much from her and she mentored me more than she will ever know.
Did you develop a love of cinema at an early age? Do you happen to remember what move first made a lasting impression?
I always loved going to movies like any child or teenager, but what really caught my eye and my attention was all of the details that went into a film. I was always very interested in all of the components that make a film great, the editing, the sound, the music, the lighting, the casting, you name it. I was able to dissect all of the sometimes overlooked details that take a film from good to amazing. That is why I believe I became a great producer whether in film or producing segments and radio for my DIY brand The How 2 Girl, I understand what all goes into making a project great.
What was it like to work as a producer on Inappropriate Comedy? What was the most challenging aspect of bringing this film into being?
Working as a producer on Inappropriate Comedy was one of the best learning experiences of my life. I had to get out of my comfort zone because the material and type of slap stick comedy that the movie consisted of wasn’t exactly my cup of tea. I was also lucky to work with a vast array of people all with very different personalities and was able to bring everyone together for the common goal of getting this movie made. My favorite part of the process was spearheading the casting, working with wardrobe to find the right outfits that suited the actors and the scenes, and working with the amazingly talented Adrien Brody. To say the production was filled with a lot of fun times and a lot of laughs would be a huge understatement.
Do you think producing film is something you will do more of in the future?
I love film producing and most certainly will be doing it in the future. I just finished writing my fist script, the working title is A Dog Movie. I had the time of my life co-writing it and hope to produce it myself and bring it to the big screen with Disney.
Are there any little known things about you that your fans might be surprised to learn?
I am deathly terrified of sharks and refuse to go far out into the ocean to swim or surf. I am a home body. I am not a big reader, I lose interest in books very quickly and that is something I’m trying to change. I have never been a very patient person, also something I am working on. I am scared of snakes. My favorite three movies of all time are My Cousin Vinny, Clueless, and Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion. I love the show Snapped. I also love working out to Motley Crue.
Do you think the media puts too much pressure on the average person when it comes body image?
Absolutely. I am a big advocate for women to be healthy, whatever that means for your body type. I think eating right and exercise is super important for your mind, body, and soul. I naturally have a thin frame and when I look at a lot of these fashion magazines I can’t believe how thin some of the girls are now. They make me look big and I’m a size 2. It’s not only crazy and impossible for any woman to achieve but it’s wrong. Fashion houses should think about using women that are not 15 and look like little boys in their adds. I’m sorry but this is why so many teenage girls have bad body images. When I was modeling I refused to starve myself and work out 3 times a day because that is ridiculous and when I lived in NYC, I was considered too curvy for a lot of the fashion shows. A size 2 too curvy? That’s crazy. I think curves are sexy. People need to realize it is ok to have curves and to embrace them.
What advice would you offer other women in regards to beauty and self image?
Be the best you can be. Work with what you’ve got. Accentuate your assets that are unique to you. Don’t measure yourself to someone else or someone else’s genetics, that’s just a total waste of time!
How do you come up with all the ideas you offer up on The How 2 Girl? Do you think it is important to know how live on a budget in today’s economy?
I think it is important for everyone to save money anyway they can. I look at how lucky I am and how lucky so many of us are to have roofs over our heads and running water. That is a gift. There are so many people that have to do without, so I think spending money frivolously on things when you can find them or do them for less is wasteful. Of course there are those things we like to splurge on, but when you can save money without losing quality why not? That is an obvious choice in my book. Most of my How2Girl ideas actually come from a need I’m filling for myself, my family, or my friends. I love being creative and getting the most bang for my buck and I love nothing more than passing on those time and money saving ideas to my followers.
How did you and Nikki first meet? Were you a fan of his music before you met? What is he like as an individual?
Nikki and I were introduced through a mutual friend because he thought we would click as friends. We spoke over the phone for a few weeks and when we met in person, we instantly clicked. I knew a little about his band but not too much about him when we met.
How are you feeling about all the attention your wedding has been receiving? Does it make you any more nervous about the upcoming day? Do you enjoy attention or would you say you are more introverted?
I have loved being able to share aspects of our special day with the world. It’s been amazing!
What do you think is the key to a life well lived?
Riding the rollercoaster and not sweating the small stuff.
Do you have a dream project you would most like to complete?
I want to build The How2Girl brand into the next Martha Stewart Living via television, radio, home goods, makeup lines, hair care, and home improvement goods.
An absolutely EXCELLENT interview! Simply splendid!