Esther Baxter Talks Getting Down & Dirty, Career Moves And Joe Budden
Esther Baxter may have the looks of a vixen but her assets measure up to much more than just 34DDD-24-40. After taking a hiatus in 2007 from the hip-hop music video and men’s magazine circuit, the Miami native is now looking to make her mark on the big screen. With ambitions of being taken seriously as a thespian, Baxter recently completed three films including a forthcoming melodramatic comedy alongside Meagan Good appropriately titled Video Girl. During a recent PSA photo for the devastating BP oil spill, VIBE pulled the young mother aside to get the goods on her involvement in the fight against BP, her transition into becoming an actress and, of course, her rumored relationship with rapper Joe Budden. —Mikey Fresh
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.
I mean, it’s a huge change from being in music videos…
It was actually less stressful than a music video shoot. With a music video, they don’t really give you a lot of direction but they expect a lot from you, based on the fact that you’re one of the top models. With shooting movies, they weren’t really expecting me to be anything but myself. Wesley Jonathan was really nice and extremely helpful. He would just give me little pointers like how to use the different levels of my voice. Holly Robinson was so sweet. She talked to me like I was an old friend.
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.
Which actors would you really want to work with?
I'm open to working with anybody. If you would have asked me this question maybe a year or two ago I would of have told you a whole long list of people. But after working on a few movies, I really learned that anybody can have a great story and that’s all I care about.
What if your celebrity crush was cast in a love scene with you, how would you handle that?
I don’t really have a celebrity crush though…
No! [Giggles] No I don’t, but when I was younger I used to have huge crush on Vin Diesel. I actually met him on plane before but I’m over him. I guess it would be cool to do a movie with him now, but I wouldn’t get all crazy around him… anymore. [Laughs]
Do you find that guys still get intimidated by you?