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Exclusive Q&A: Jenn Sterger Talks 'Tenant,' Ryan Kwanten -- And Yes, Brett Favre

Jenn Sterger
WireImage

Football fans remember that game in 2005 when scantily clad FSU Cowgirl Jenn Sterger was spotlighted on national television out of a stadium crowd of about 80,000 fans, singlehandedly helping to increase male enrollment at Florida State.

She went on to pose in Maxim and Playboy before becoming the Gameday Host for the New York Jets in 2008. That gig brought her to national attention for the scandal involving married quarterback Brett Favre -- a man whom she'd never formally met -- and the suggestive messages he left her during the season.

Sterger has remained silent about the Favre fiasco until recently, but now she opens up to us about it as well as her awkward sex scene with Ryan Kwanten ("True Blood"), playing crazy in the horror movie "The Tenant" and her new weekly show on Fuel.

You were silent for so long about Brett Favre. Why did you want to speak out about the incident now?
I mainly spoke out to give myself and my family some closure. It wasn't about attacking anyone else and I never wanted to hurt anyone. I apologize if it ever came across that way. There were things that were said last fall that I really didn't have any control over, and I regret that I didn't speak out earlier and defend myself. I didn't think the time was right to do it during the season -- it was a big enough distraction and I wanted things to die down.

Did the whole incident change how you feel about the Jets or football in general?
No, not at all. I still love football and the Jets are a good organization. I enjoyed my time there and learned a lot. You have to take something positive away from every job that you have, and I think the Jets did that for me. I can't say enough about their fan base -- they have the most passionate, loyal fans.

Is your heart still in sports journalism, or do you want to move into acting now?
I am kind of jaded after everything that happened last year. I didn't really watch football last year because I felt disconnected from it. I still love sports, but I'm not sure it's the proper niche for me. It's something I'm very passionate about and it's always going to be a part of my life, but I'm gearing toward the entertainment aspect of things, especially sports entertainment. 

The Tenant
ReelDreams

 

In "The Tenant," you play an institutionalized mental patient who gets into a fight with another female patient. What's the craziest thing you've done offscreen lately?
I'm going to be brutally honest here. I got really sick this last winter and I got a colonoscopy. I remember sitting there and thinking, I am the only person who is not a member of AARP sitting in this room. All the older people are looking at me like I'm lost or should be in the plastic surgery ward. It was such a bizarre experience, like waking up from a nap -- and had I known what had just happened to me, I probably wouldn't have been okay with it.

Are you a fan of the horror genre?
I love movies like "Scream 4" that don't take themselves too seriously. You have to have that right balance. I don't know that I'd do a straight scary movie. I'm not a big screamer, so I don't know that there is a huge future for me in scary movies, but I definitely enjoyed shooting "The Tenant."

Tell us about your steamy role in "Don't Fade Away" with Ryan Kwanten.
Ryan is wonderful. The first time I met him, he has this beautiful, thick Australian accent and you are just like, swoon. He's so cerebral that it blows your mind that he plays someone like Jason Stackhouse on "True Blood."

I play a girl who has a romantic interest in Ryan's character. She is very lost and just moved to L.A., and Ryan and I shared the only sex scene I plan on doing for some time. I wasn't nude -- the director was classy about how he shot it -- but it was extremely awkward for me, even after having done Playboy.

Ryan spends all his time naked on "True Blood" and he was telling me it was a "piece of cake," and we spent the entire day laughing it off and being as comfortable as possible. I think sex in general is awkward sometimes, so I appreciate a good bathroom scene -- disgusting, Judd Apatow type of humor -- over a sex scene. That's my niche: balls-to-the-wall men's comedy. 

Jenn Sterger
Getty Images

 

What made you want to remove your breast implants?
They were limiting the jobs I was up for and my social life, like I was always attracting the same kind of man. It wasn't the healthiest type of man for me, so taking them out would be kind of like a social-science experiment [to] get people to know me and not just a pair of boobs. There are times that I miss them because they were like a superhero costume, and I felt invincible when I had them.

Now that I don't have them, I feel a lot more vulnerable and that people will make judgments. I can't tell you how many times I've been called a "butter face," but to each his own -- I know I'm not going to float everyone's boat. I am happier without them, though, because whereas everyone else is going so fake, I thought I should go against the grain and be a lot more real.

What is your dream movie role?
I was so mad that they made "Bridesmaids" without me! That was my dream movie coming to fruition -- seeing women being able to be funny, politically incorrect and unapologetic about it. That is my end goal, to be funny and show the world who I really am.

I have been kind of locked up in a box for the past five years trying to play the politically correct girl and trying to please everyone. I'm a goofy girl who doesn't take herself that seriously, so that was the hardest part about last fall. Everyone else was making jokes at my expense, and I'm like, why can't I make fun of myself?

I think anyone that knows me very well will tell you that I keep people in stitches. I'm shameless in that respect. If it's going to get a laugh, I'll go there. People like Chelsea Handler and Tina Fey -- I would love to emulate what they've done with their careers.

What's the biggest misconception about you?
Gosh, where do I start? I never tried to portray myself as a serious sports journalist, and I'm not trying to set any women back in that predominantly male field. I'm a smart girl, though, and I don't think that takes away from what I am as a person, because I'm not trying to be that.

Where can fans see you next?
I'm promoting my new show Friday night on Fuel called "Hometown Throwdown." It's average Joes trying to fulfill their dream and be declared the toughest guy in town... without going to jail for hitting someone! I think it's one of those things where you want to root for the underdog, and that's what I am all about.

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