“You have to be careful. There are so many people trying to take advantage of actors who are getting started. Being aware of your surroundings and your situation and working hard is the key.” Nikki Griffin (advice for those just getting into the entertainment business)
Actress Nikki Griffin began her career as an extra on the TV series “Dawson's Creek” in the late 1990s and has since landed guest spots in various TV shows, including “Dr. Vegas,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “CSI: NY” and “Entourage.” She also played two different characters on the popular soap opera “The Young and the Restless” (2004 as a coffee house girl, 2009 as Kelly), but is perhaps more recognized for playing Jess Sathers in several episodes of the hit teen series “The O.C.” (2005-2006). On the film front, Griffin portrayed sexy love interest Katie-Lynn Johnson in the feature film adaptation of “The Dukes of Hazzard” (2005). Other movie credits include “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift” (2006), “The Forgotten Ones” (2009), “Deep in the Valley” (2009) and “The Penthouse” (2010).
In 2005, Griffin was named “Best Hick” by “Stuff Magazine.”
“I have little schoolgirl outfits in my closet. I like the schoolgirl look because men are obsessed with youth and I have such a young, innocent look that they love it. I was going to get a nurse’s outfit, but my mom is a nurse and that would just be a little weird.” Nikki Griffin
Raised in Germany
Childhood and Family:
Jeanne Nicole Griffin, who would later be popular as Nikki Griffin, was born on April 16, 1978, in Vicksburg, Mississippi. She spent most of her childhood living in Germany where her parents worked for the U.S. government. She did not return to the United States until she was a teenager. Settling in North Carolina, she went to high school at New Hanover High School in Wilmington, N.C. She became interested in films and took a film class in high school. Her teacher was notable voice actor Marc Matney. In 2000, after graduating from high school, she and a friend moved to Los Angeles to try their luck in show business. Although her friend went back home a month later, Nikki remained to become an actress.
Prior to finding a manager, Nikki attended a professional makeup school in Los Angeles. In 2009, she returned to school to finish her BA Degree by attending Oregon State University.
Nikki enjoys playing poker and trivial pursuit. Sharing about her favorite food, she said, “I love fried chicken, green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy, and sweet tea.”
The Dukes of Hazzard
“I modeled when I was younger, but I didn't have the connections in the entertainment industry that I could utilize to get auditions. I moved out to L.A. with a friend and he went back home after a month. He hated it, but I stuck it out. I didn't know anyone when I moved here. I did it the old fashioned way. I got a job at a restaurant. I was out here for about a year and then I met my manager. We instantly clicked and she really believed in me. One of the most important things is to find that person that really believes in you and is willing to work their hardest to help you.” Nikki Griffin
Nikki Griffin made her first screen appearance when she was hired as an extra on the television teen drama series “Dawson's Creek” in 1999. The following year, she secured a somewhat larger role on the TV film “Darktales,” which was directed by Bud Dowdey. It was followed by an unaccredited part as Gabriel Mann's girlfriend in the 2001 romantic comedy “Summer Catch,” starring Freddie Prinze Jr., Jessica Biel and Matthew Lillard. The Michael Tollin directed movie debuted at No. 6 at the U.S.
In August 2004, Griffin resurfaced on the small screen when she appeared as a coffee house girl in two episodes of the CBS daytime soap “The Young and the Restless.” She would return to the hit show five years later playing a two episode role. In October 2004, she appeared in an episode of the short lived Rob Lowe series “Dr. Vegas” called “All In.” The next month, she was featured as a cheerleader in The WB's “Jack & Bobby” episode “Lost Boys.”
Griffin received the supporting role of Risa Howard in the direct to video thriller “Wild Things: Diamonds in the Rough” (2005), the third sequel to the “Wild Things” trilogy. The film starred Sarah Laine and Sandra McCoy. After playing Alison Guralnick in the pilot of the ABC drama series “Eyes” (2005), starring Tim Daly, she joined the Fox popular teen drama “The O.C.” from April to May 2005. She reprised her role of Jess in an additional episode in March 2006 titled “The Undertow.” She stated, “Though I'm comfortable with myself and my sexuality, I'd prefer to be the cool, fun chick that everyone wants to hang out with to being the girl that everyone wants to sleep with. Nobody wants to be that girl. I knew girls like Jess in high school with that confidence, that sexual energy, the raging hormones.”
After her stint on “The O.C.,” Griffin received the supporting role of Katie-Lynn Johnson, a sexy college girl who becomes the love interest of cousins Bo and Luke Duke, on the adventure film “The Dukes of Hazzard” (2005), which was adapted from the TV series of the same name. The big screen version starred Johnny Knoxville, Seann William Scott, Jessica Simpson, Burt Reynolds and Willie Nelson and was directed by Jay Chandrasekhar. “The Dukes of Hazzard” received negative reviews from critics, but opened at No. 1 at the box office.
Griffin next portrayed Christine in the TV pilot “Secrets of a Small Town” (2006). However, ABC decided not to pick up the show. Later that same year, she appeared as Cindy, Clay's (played by Zachery Ty Bryan) girlfriend, in “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift,” a third installment in “The Fast and the Furious” film franchise. Although the reception to the film was mixed, “Tokyo Drift” enjoyed success at the box office by collecting over $62 million in the domestic market and over $95 million internationally. The actress then costarred with Jake Thomas, Taylor Dooley, Vanessa Angel and Matthew Lawrence in the direct to video movie “Monster Night” (2006), which was co-directed by Leslie Allen and Lorenzo Doumani.
Following a guest stint on the CBS sitcom “How I Met Your Mother” (2007), Griffin portrayed Pennie in the comedy film “Bar Starz” (2008), opposite Derek Waters, Charlie Finn, Jana Kramer, Jon Gries and Charles Q. Murphy, among others, and Claire in the 13 minute film “Last Meal” (2008), directed by Mark Stern. In between, she portrayed Vivian Knox in a 2008 episode of “CSI: NY” called “Enough.” In 2009, she supported Jewel Staite and Justin Baldoni in the direct to video horror film “The Forgotten Ones,” which was written and directed by Jorg Ihle, worked with writer/actress Skyler Stone in the comedy film “Why Men Go Gay in L.A.” (2009) and played Ashlyn in the sport themed film “H2O Extreme” (2009), along side Chris Carmack, Nikki Griffin, Rider Strong, Tad Hilgenbrink and John Schneider. She also appeared in “Deep in the Valley” (2009), a comedy film written and directed by Christian Forte. The cast of the film included Chris Pratt, Brendan Hines, Scott Caan, Rachel Specter, Denise Richards, Christopher McDonald, Blanca Soto, Tracy Morgan and Kimberly Kardashian. She also appeared in an episode of HBO's “Entourage” called “Drive.”
Recently, in 2010, Griffin had a supporting role in the straight to video comedy film “The Penthouse,” directed and co-written by Chris Levitus. Costars of the film included Rider Strong, Corey Large, April Scott, James DeBello, Kaley Cuoco and Mya. She has completed filming “Closing Time” (2010), a short film directed by Brett Gursky.