I am but a mortal man. So after three seasons of taking on all three of The Girls Next Door at once (!), this time around I'm spending quality one-on-one time with each of Hugh Hefner's gaggle of girlfriends. Up first, just as the Season 4 premiere arrives on Sunday at 10 pm/ET, is Bridget "The Smart One" Marquardt, who in this Q&A previews an emotional opener, teases her next wild get-ups, and reveals which of the other Girls — Holly or Kendra — she would most want to be her girlfriend. (And I do mean girlfriend.)
Bridget Marquardt: I'm sorry we missed you while you were in L.A.!
TVGuide.com: Ah, that was sort of a pipe dream, I asked the publicist, "Since I'm going to be in L.A. anyway, do you think I could meet up with the Girls at the mansion?" And she was like, "Sure!" Cue my jaw hitting the floor, palms getting sweaty.... But then the trip got cut short, and here we are, on the phone.
TVGuide.com: It looks like this season is going to serve up one of the most emotional moments for you thus far, because you get a video from your brother stationed in Iraq...?
Bridget: Yes, this first episode is a little bit different in that it's a little bit more emotional and character-driven, it has a little more heart to it. It's very personal to me because my brother sends me a video, at Fourth of July time, and it ends with my brother coming home on leave. Since then, he had to go back to Iraq for two more months, and now he is officially home after three years over there. He actually just came to my parents' house on Tuesday.
TVGuide.com: That has to be a relief for you and your family. One less thing to worry about every day.
Bridget: Oh, we have so much to be thankful for. He is actually going to be coming to the New Year's party [at the mansion]. My whole family is!
TVGuide.com: This season also features some sort of Alaskan adventure organized by Holly?
Bridget: Yes, Holly spent some of her childhood in Alaska, so we go with her family there and that's an interesting experience because even though we were in Ketchikan, which is one of the bigger cities, it's so little! It makes where I'm from look like a metropolis. And then we get on a float plane to go to this tiny place called Craig, Alaska, and the float plane actually breaks down while we're in air. So we have to make an emergency landing at some obscure fishing village in the middle of nowhere.
TVGuide.com: And this is all "unplanned," obviously....
Bridget: Oh, it's unplanned! Kendra freaks out. We had to feed her tons of vodka to get her back on the plane.
TVGuide.com: Any fun costumes we can expect to see you turn up in this season?
Bridget: For this weekend's episode I'm wearing a vintage 1940s-style pin-up sailor bathing suit. For our Midsummer Night's Dream party, we changed the theme to Arabian Nights, so I have on a belly dancer-type costume.
TVGuide.com: Oh, you look like I Dream of Jeannie.
Bridget: Kinda! Only better.
TVGuide.com: Of course only better. They wouldn't let her show her belly button. I'm sure you are showing belly button.
Bridget: I'm showing belly button, yeah. And in Alaska I wear some really cool woodchopper hats.
TVGuide.com: You mentioned Kendra freaking out in Alaska. Do I get the feeling she sometimes exasperates the other two of you?
Bridget: Well, sometimes I just can't believe what comes out of her mouth! Whoa!
TVGuide.com: If you went that way and only that way, who would you choose to be your steady girlfriend — Holly or Kendra?
Bridget: That's a tough one....
TVGuide.com: Holly for a meaningful relationship and Kendra for a torrid tryst?
Bridget: [Laughs] Yeah, Holly for the steady relationship, but Kendra would be a wild time. It'd depend on what I was looking for.
TVGuide.com: You know what was fun? That Nickelback music video you three participated in.
Bridget: Yeah, that was fun!
TVGuide.com: I've wondered, did each of the famous people [shown lip-synching throughout] have to sing the entire song, or just their little section of it...?
Bridget: Yes, the whole song — and several times. And from all different locations. It's a really cool video.
TVGuide.com: What sort of TV do you like?
Bridget: I have two favorite shows: one is Ghost Hunters, on the Sci Fi Channel, and the other is Ace of Cakes. I want him to bake me cake so bad!
TVGuide.com: Might you in some strange way miss having the cameras follow you around whenever Girls Next Door ends its run?
Bridget: No, because I am hoping I will be doing my own show by then. I'm hoping I'm not done with the cameras for a while. I think I'll still have that around. Hopefully! [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: When we spoke for Season 1, you said a mission of the Girls' was to correct misconceptions about the Playboy mansion. Have you seen evidence that you have accomplished that?
Bridget: Absolutely. We have our fan clubs and our Yahoo and MySpace [pages], and people email me every day saying that I've totally changed their perception of the mansion, that I've inspired them to go back to school. They say I've shown them that you can be smart and be cute and have fun with life.
TVGuide.com: Lastly, what's the raciest or sexiest thing we might see this coming season?
Bridget: Oh my gosh — Kendra's mom gets a full makeover and we do her reveal at the Midsummer Night's Dream party, and Kendra hires a guy stripper to do this striptease for her mom — right in the middle of the party.
TVGuide.com: Was Mama Wilkinson mortified?
Bridget: I think she liked it! I literally ran to Hef and clung onto him. I get so embarrassed with stuff like that.
TVGuide.com: Just for the record, when I asked about the raciest moment, I wasn't looking for one involving a mostly-naked guy.
Bridget: I know, but that's what came to mind because it was so scary for me! I totally hid behind Hef.
Catch up with Bridget and the other Girls Next Door in our Online Video Guide.
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