The Cocoian Era began officially Monday night at Planet Hollywood. Nicole “Coco” Austin, she of the powerful nerves and bountiful curves, took over as Bo Peep in “Peepshow.”
Planet Hollywood, of course, was once the Aladdin, and where once a magic lamp was rubbed to produce a magic genie, now topless dancers bump and thrash and grind for good fortune. It’s a perfect platform for Coco, famous as a Playboy Playmate and also the co-star of the E! Entertainment reality TV series “Ice Loves Coco.” Ice-T also is on that show, and he happens to be a rap icon and the star of “Law & Order: SVU.”
Ice and Coco. They are quite a pair -- and that’s just Coco (ba-dum-bum). We’ve had a couple of chats, one at Ripley-Grier Studios in Manhattan when she was in rehearsals for “Peepshow,” where she steps into the role most famously portrayed by Holly Madison, and again last week for an upcoming edition of “Kats With the Dish.” That episode airs at 7 a.m. Dec. 14 on KUNV 91.5-FM.
What have we learned about Coco? Follow along:
She is strategically pierced: Coco has a fake diamond stud in her tongue, eight rings in her left ear, three in her right, one in her navel and piercings in each nipple. “I am addicted to piercings,” she says.
Coco has pierced her right ear far fewer times than her left because she uses her right ear when talking on the phone. She prefers piercings to tattoos because, “With piercings, you can take (the jewelry) out and never know they are there.”
She adds: “I am trying to figure out if I should rock the nipple rings for my role in “Peepshow” because -- it’s weird to say, having this conversation about my boobs is really funny -- but when I have my rings in, it looks really dainty and pretty. They are really little. People think it’s hardcore, but when they see mine, they think, ‘I want mine done.’ ”
She once lived in Henderson: Coco played a small role in the 2002 film “Angel Blade” and lived in an apartment in Henderson for three months. You know who else was in that film? Then-Mayor Oscar Goodman playing his favorite role: “Himself.”
She feels that she would have won the Bo Peep role even absent the crossover-promotional appeal of “Peepshow” on “Ice Loves Coco”: Coco says that when she was offered the role, her participation in “Peepshow” would not have fallen in the film schedule for her reality TV show.
“When we were doing 'Ice Loves Coco,' we expanded to the point where we went over 'Peepshow' just to get this in the show,” Coco says. “In the very beginning, it wasn’t going to be part of ‘Ice Loves Coco.’ I made that happen. When they came to me, they had asked me, ‘Do you want to be part of the show?’ I wasn’t filming at the time. They still wanted me to be part of the show. I just happened to make it part of the show because I am the producer of my own show. I make the stories, I make them happen. All the stuff that you see that goes on in ‘Ice Loves Coco’ are real things that happen in my life. I make it happen, you know. As soon as I said I was going to do Vegas, I needed it to be a part of ‘Ice Loves Coco.’ ”
As a young girl, she dreamed of dancing in Vegas: Coco trained from when she was a young girl to age 15. She is still in disbelief that she is in a Strip production.
“I’m going to be in a Vegas show, right? I mean, who gets that phone call? That’s what’s kind of crazy,” she says. “When you are a little girl in dance class -- and I did this, Monday through Friday, five hours each day, jazz, tap and ballet, all of that -- you know what you talk about? You’re talking about wanting to get to Vegas someday. That’s what you’re talking about. I wish I could go back to my dance class and say, “Yes! This can happen!’ ”
She was originally presented the idea of performing in “Peepshow” for an entire year: Coco’s contract is for three months, but early discussions were for a significantly longer commitment.
“There is a lot of stuff on me, I am really busy with all of my projects, and I said, ‘Why don’t we try to do it for three months and see how I feel?’ ” she says. “Let’s sign for three months, and then we’ll talk about going longer or me coming back. They wanted it longer, much longer, but I just brought it down because I literally would be moving totally, my whole life in New York, for this.
“Ice is on ‘Law & Order,’ and he can’t move. He’s on set Monday through Friday. … So it’s a really big call for me to say yes to because I am married, and I have my kids -- Spartacus and Maximus -- you know (laughs)? At 20 years old, I could have said yes very easily to doing a year contract. That’s very easy. But not today.”
Oh, and Spartacus and Maximus are Coco’s dogs, and they have a Twitter page (@CuteSpartacus. Why? So they, too, can be the stars of the show.