In addition to being smart and beautiful, Brittny Ward is persistent.
About a year-and-a-half before being named Playboy’s Miss January 2015, Ward’s test shoot was rejected by the men’s magazine. Undaunted by the setback, the gorgeous 24-year-old brunette continued to model, tweaked her hairstyle and once again attempted to earn Playmate status. Mission accomplished.
“The new pictures looked amazing,“ Ward said from Los Angeles just before Christmas. “I was more comfortable and confident this time.”
Becoming the first Playmate of 2015 is the latest chapter in the young Californian’s interesting life story. In addition to modeling, Ward has a background in the teen pageant world; she served as a UFC ring babe and she has been rumored to be the love interest of hunky actor Kellan Lutz (he played Emmett Cullen in those Twilight movies your girlfriend bugged you to see).
Ward talked to BC about her Playmate experience, Dana White hand-picking her for UFC and her Nor-Cal sports allegiances.
BC: Have any random people from your past made contact with you as a result of your appearance in Playboy?
BW: Definitely. A lot of people have reached out to offer congratulations. One was an ex-boyfriend who was like: ‘I really want to see you again sometime.’ Uh, no, it’s OK… It’s easy with Instagram for people to get in touch with you.
Has anyone in Hollywood reacted to you differently since news broke that you were named Miss January? Were there any notable celebrity reactions?
I’ve been living here for two-and-a-half years. I’m not super into the Hollywood scene. One cool thing that did happen: I posted something about my mom’s birthday to Instagram and — you know the rapper The Game? — he liked it. I’m thinking: ‘You’re The Game. I used to listen to your songs in middle school.’
You once served as a UFC ring babe. What’s a fight night like from that perspective?
I was 19 years old when I did that. They found me through a surfing magazine. Dana White saw me and said: ‘I want her,’ so they got me to do it…Arianny (Celeste) and another girl were there. They could not have been any nicer to me.
Fight night is pretty intense. I’ve never been to one before that, but it is brutal. Overall, it was a great experience. The Rock was there, too. Everyone was following him around trying to get pictures with him. He was very handsome.
You also competed in pageants. What, if any, similarities are there in the pageant world and UFC? Which scene has more drama?
You know, it’s pretty close. People get really aggressive in the pageant world; it’s so cutthroat. Sometimes, you do want to fight another contestant.
I would say that pageants definitely have more drama than UFC. Those girls are super competitive. Guys fight; girls will talk behind your back.
Are you into pro sports at all? Which teams are your favorite and why?
I’m strictly Nor-Cal: the 49ers, Giants and (Sacramento) Kings. I loved the Kings. That whole era with Mike Bibby and Chris Webber was the best…I’ve been to quite a few stadiums: Candlestick Park, Dodger Stadium. My friend (Jason Demers) played for the Sharks, so I have gone to a lot of hockey games.
There is something about hockey that draws attractive women to it. I think it’s the hockey players.
(Laughs) A lot of hockey players are attractive, and — now that you mention it — I have gone to hockey games and seen many beautiful women there.
A lot of hockey players have beards, too.
Yeah, beards are hot right now.
How will you spend your New Year’s Eve?
I don’t have definite plans. Maybe Costa Rica or Cabo or Vegas (Editor’s Note: She went to Barbados). I won’t get too crazy. I like to do low-key things…mellow things. My nickname is Grandma B. I love the Golden Girls; it’s like Sex and the City for senior citizens.
I noticed that many of the entertainment writers who have linked you to Twilight’s Kellan Lutz often spell your first name incorrectly. How do you feel about that — and the intrusion into your personal life?
It’s a long story. There was a mix-up on my driver’s license, so there is an “a” there. I tried to clarify it, but it’s just a big pain.
Living in L.A., even if you’re just friends with someone, people want to make it a bigger story than it is — or put a label on (your friendship with someone). It’s Hollywood; everyone is looking for a story. People will take anything and run with it.
Have you had any bad paparazzi experiences yet as a result of the rumors?
I haven’t had any weird experiences. I haven’t seen them.
You’re incredibly fit. You bio indicates that you’d like to open a fitness company someday. What’s your biggest guilty pleasure — food or drinking or whatever — that doesn’t pair well with your fitness regimen?
Candy. I’ve always loved candy. Skittles are my favorite. They aren’t good for an after-gym snack, but I love them.
Where else do you hope this opportunity will lead you?
I want to enjoy working for Playboy. Why not go after every opportunity that’s out there? I also look forward to meeting some interesting people as a result of this honor. It’s an amazing chance to do things I wouldn’t be able to do otherwise.
The January 2015 issue of Playboy, featuring Brittny Ward as Playmate of the Month, is on newsstands and iPlayboy.com now.