Esther Baxter AKA “Miss Freek-a-Leek” AKA Joe Budden`s latest wifey is not afraid to get dirty for a good cause. Her new shoot is directed to the Gulf Oil crisis with a PSA using real oil. VIBE interviewed Esther on the set of her PSA about the Gulf Oil Spill, check out what she had to say about the cause, her career and her love life:
VIBE: How did you get involved with the Oil Spill PSA?
Esther Baxter: Well, I was just talking to a friend of mine one day who also models and we felt like we needed to get involved. It just didn’t make sense to us that more wasn’t being done to fix the problem. I mean 70,000 gallons of oil are being spilled out everyday. Plus, not enough people in the industry are aware of it. So we decided to try and help the cause and bring awareness to the problem. No one in the industry has really took the initiative to speak out and help bring attention to the cause, so hopefully more people will catch on and help after this.
You really got down and dirty for the cause…
That’s the whole point of this campaign—we want to show people that we’re really getting involved and doing whatever we have to in order to fix the problem, even if that means getting down and dirty. I don’t see enough people reaching out—I just can’t understand how BP is allowed to get away with it and they’re still selling gas! We’re covering ourselves in oil to show that nobody or nothing can be as beautiful as their full potential when they are covered in this stuff. I mean we have like a swimsuit thing going on but yeah it’s pretty much just oil.
In the last few years you’ve been relatively quiet on the modeling scene. What have you been working on?
Right now, I’m getting into acting. Basically, I feel like I’ve conquered the urban modeling and video scene. I was one of the top video models and top paid. So I just felt like it was time to build my career further and challenge myself. Really, acting is something I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve done a few commercials and TV shows here and there but it’s time to really build my career.
Your first movie Speed Dating just premiered in Chicago. Were you nervous during the filming?
I was extremely nervous! But the director and whole cast were really cool. They all helped to give me direction and just told me to be natural. It wasn’t difficult or stressful though—really it was a lot of fun. The movie is hilarious. I took some acting classes at one of the top schools in New York before I came out. The classes were actually scarier than shooting the movie [laughs]. I mean we had to act like wild animals during some of the training exercises… in front of the whole class. I was embarrassed.
You also have another flick coming out with Meagan Good and Haylie Duff called Video Girl. Is the movie as cliché as it sounds?
I was a little skeptical at first, just because of the title. But after reading the treatment I realized that the storyline was really deep. And the fact that Megan Good who plays one of the main characters and Haylie Duff were on board also helped me believe in the movie. Video Girl really shows all the insides and outs of the whole video model industry and how it really is. There are all sides of the story in the movie.
Do you find that guys still get intimidated by you?
Yes, all of them [Laughs]. Guys are always really shy when they want to come talk to me. I’d see them just staring or something and it weirds me out. They’ll have someone come try to talk to me for them. Grown men… [Laughs]
What was the craziest thing you’ve seen on set?
Well, I remember doing this video by Big Tymers and R. Kelly called “Gangsta Girl” and we had a scene where were riding scooters down South Beach. And one of the girls lied on her casting sheet about knowing how to drive one. So we all take off and she ends up crashing into some of the other girls, getting all scratched up. She could have killed me.
You’ve really come a long way since you were introduced to the world in Petey Pablo’s “Freak-a-Leak” video. How have you changed since that first day on set?
I feel like I’ve been growing ever since that day, but I feel like since the beginning I was always a very mature and level headed young woman. I managed myself in the beginning. Thank God I’ve never gotten star struck in my life, so I’ve never had that whole “oh my god I’m doing a video with so and so” problem. I’ve always been professional but now my business savvy has gotten stronger.
Do you remember anything about that shoot?
It was freezing! We were in South Carolina and it was so cold, everyone was wearing fur jackets and they have these outfits like bathing suits for us. I honestly didn’t even know who Petey Pablo was at the time and everybody was telling me not to do the song because it was degrading to women. But the treatment didn’t seem that bad so I did it anyway and turned out to be a huge for me.
Are video girls really catty and horrible to each other during shoots?
I witnessed some cattiness. In all honestly I let a lot of girls know that I’m not the type to sit here and try to be catty. I’m not there to make friends, if you don’t like me I don’t care. I’m still getting paid the same amount and I’m out. I think a lot of girls knew that and never really brought anything to me. The only bad thing that has happened to me was some petty girls stealing my clothes.
I know you don’t want to talk about anyone specific, but are you happy with your love life?
Yes, I am. I’m very happy with it.
But is it even possible to keep you love life private with Twitter and all the gossip blogs out there?
Actually, I think it is. We (she and Joe Budden) kept our relationship private for a while. A lot of people don’t even know how long we’ve been together. It wasn’t until recently that we didn’t deny it anymore. But I don’t care what people say. Why go to certain extents to try and hide it?
Do you see wedding bells in the future?
Um…I don’t get into any relationships without thinking about that and seeing it happening.
So marriage is a possibility in your current relationship?