Playboy Africa Cover Feature November 2021

with Natalia Nikolaeva / @natalia.nikolaeva_

Photography by – Evgen Kochetkov 

Producer by Valentina Gurova / @valentinagurova 

Natalia, you are a well-known international actress with many projects and major roles in the past. Now you are starting your career in Hollywood. How does it feel for you to be on the Playboy cover? It’s a new and exciting experience for me! As an actress and artist, I like exploring different aspects of my personality. Including my body, my sexuality. I love being immersed in the energy of femininity. When we expose our bodies, we become more vulnerable, it’s easier for us to open up our souls and share our innermost feelings. Sex is the energy of life. Masks come off when we open up to this powerful force. That’s why being on the cover of Playboy magazine was an interesting experiment and a great honor for me. 

Can you tell us a little bit about the history of these photos? They’re beautiful. Thank you. It was on the Pacific coast, in Los Angeles. Evgen and I were making a music video for my lyrics. It was my personal creative experiment, and one of the most interesting and beautiful works of my life so far.At one point I decided to play with the waves and went into the water in my dress. I got goosebumps all over, it was very cold, but exciting at the same time. Evgen switched from video to the photo mode, and quickly took a few random shots.When we saw the result of our work, we both exclaimed, “That’s for the cover of Playboy!” And, as they say, mental energy can materialize – and here I am.

Tell us about your creative experience. What does it mean for you to be an actress? There’s a famous phrase: “An actress is a little more than a woman, and an actor is a little less than a man.” To be an actress means to be able to turn off the flow of thoughts, to be in the moment of “here and now”, and in absolute connection with your feelings. To be spontaneous, emotional, unpredictable.To love and accept yourself as you are, with all your sides. I can be different, bright, modest, a homegirl, or a wild, free-spirited woman, I have both dark and light qualities in me – and it’s all me, and none of these sides conflict with the other.Acting really develops and enhances a woman’s energy. A man, on the other hand, is more about “consciousness,” the mind. However, if a man is in touch with the creative part of his personality, and yet remains masculine, reliable, and strong – it is incredibly appealing. At least for me. I love talented, extraordinary, creative people. 

What is your favorite role so far? What are you proud of? My favorite role is the one I haven’t played yet. I like transforming and setting new challenges for myself. In one of the projects, I played a girl who talks to the spirits of the dead. In another, I lived the whole life of a character from 18 to 45 years old. In a third one, I ran away from the sheik who wanted to confine me in his harem and make me his favorite concubine. At present, I prefer subtle psychological dramas. There are several projects in Hollywood, already been approved, and I’m actively preparing for the new roles. Most of all I want to embody my own vision and worldview. In the future, I see myself not only as an actress but also as a co-screenwriter and creative producer. 

That’s cool! What was the most dangerous filming experience for you? Was there anything really crazy? There was, and oddly enough, it was connected with Africa. I once took part in a reality show called Survivor, filmed in the wild African jungle. I stayed with a Zulu tribe for 40 days, working on plantations for a cup of rice, living in a tent, and soaking under heavy rains. Every day I encountered wild animals and dangerous snakes. The most interesting thing is that this project started almost immediately after the Miss Universe beauty pageant, where I represented Russia. So after a luxurious, glamorous life, I plunged into the atmosphere of survival. In Africa I kept a diary – my main dream at that time was to have a hen that would lay eggs and feed our team. And the richest people for me were the ones who had at least one cow. I got to know life from a completely different perspective, I learned to appreciate comfort and everything I had. It was unforgettable. So, Africa is forever in my heart. I can also say – I was definitely an African woman in my past life! I love the powerful, elemental energy that the people of your continent possess! 

That’s really nice to hear. And your experience is really impressive! What does it mean for you to be seen as a strong, intelligent, ambitious woman? It means loving yourself enough to have an interesting, vibrant, extraordinary life. To live and act by your own rules. To let all your talents unfold to their fullest. And this requires strength, ambition, and intelligence. But at the same time to remain a woman and be able to sincerely love a man. That’s the real balance.

And what does it mean for you to be able to love a man? It is to accept him the way he is – with your open heart. To look at his strengths, and to appreciate what’s in him, not what somebody else wants to be fixed. To believe in him, care for him, and always be a real woman in his presence.

We are sure you experience a lot of male attention on and offline, any advice you would like to give to men out there who are hoping to catch your eye the right way? I like it when a man practices what he preaches. There are men who talk a lot – but do very little. There are those who say nothing, but their actions show that they are interested in a woman. Love is a verb. If you want to attract a woman’s attention – show your interest through your actions. Find the time, show your attention. It is really very valuable. Then a woman begins to blossom. And a man’s actions are rewarded in full. But a man should not expect it. It is really beautiful when two people show sincere generosity towards each other. 

What about those crazy DMs you must receive! Care to share a few funny stories regarding those? This is going to sound weird, but I’ve never received anything “crazy”. I even wonder what it looks like. My admirers are very intelligent and tactful Men. I have not encountered rudeness or harassment. On the contrary – a respectful attitude towards me makes them show their best qualities. But I do not have much time for my personal life. I devote myself to art and creation, and to fulfillment in the business that I love.

Besides acting, what is your passion about? I really love writing, expressing my feelings on paper. Creating worlds – and then bringing them to life through visual art. I love music very much and would like to express myself in it as a singer and songwriter. I am also excited about exploring different religious traditions, and I like to look beyond the boundaries of everyday reality. I practice meditation, and I apply a method called energy healing. That is, I can heal people’s energies even without touching them with my hands. Those who have had a session with me say that afterward, it feels like a good massage or spa. I really do have that power to change people’s energies and sometimes their lives for the better. And I really enjoy sharing my light, love, and beauty – with other people. It’s my personal way of making this world a little bit better.

What exciting things do you have lined up for next year that you can share with us? First, there are my new roles in American films.Second, there are my original projects. Right now, I am working on a music video based on my lyrics. I am working with one of the best writers in L.A. on a short film script.But most importantly, next year I plan to publish my book and make a movie out of it. This is the dream and the goal that I am pursuing.

Thank you so much for sitting down with us and letting us get to know you! Any last words for our readers out there? Follow your passion. Be extraordinary. Take risks. Create something new. And love. Sincerely love women. Treat your Woman as a Goddess. Then you will get the whole world as a reward – and even more.