But there is more to this Southern California girl than just wearing over-the-top sexy outfits that hug her voluptuous curves and being arm candy to her man at celebrity events. She is also a business woman and an advocate of full-figured women being comfortable with their bodies.
The 34-year-old, blond bombshell’s latest project is Peepshow at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. The striptease show has wowed audiences. Coco was even named by Las Vegas Weekly to be one of the top 13 performers to watch in 2013. TheCelebrityCafe.com had the chance to speak with Coco about Peepshow (which has been extended through Sept. 1st) and how she manages to make her marriage work despite the distance.
TheCelebrityCafe.com: What can people expect at Peepshow?
Coco Austin: When people hear the term peepshow they automatically think of it as a sleazy, grimy-type atmosphere. But this show is the opposite of that. It’s a musical love story. Everything you would expect at a Vegas show is in Peepshow such as Cirque du Soleil-like entertainment, comedy, singing, and dancing.
Another thing viewers won’t expect is the character I play, Bo Peep, who is shy and timid, which is the exact opposite of me. A lot of people didn’t think I could pull it off. In fact, after each show I do a meet and greet with the audience and some actually thought I really was shy like my character. So it’s nice to know that I did my performance so well that people really thought I can be timid.
TCC: Do you personally sing, dance, or do any acrobats on the show?
CA: I only dance on the show. When I first got the call to do the Vegas show, I had seen Holly Madison prior to taking her place on Peepshow and she was singing and dancing. So I said, “If I am coming all the way from New York to Las Vegas for the show I want to dance.” The reason why I said this is because I have been dancing my whole entire life. Peepshow gave me the opportunity to show off my skill. There are not too many times that you start something in your childhood that you actually get a chance to show off later on in life. I might tweak it a bit and incorporate singing in my performance. But for right now I’m not too into it. I can hold a tune, but I’m not comfortable doing that just yet. I am not on the level of the talent we have on the show. So I’ll leave the singing to them. (Laughs)
TCC: Since this is a burlesque show there is nudity involved, right?
CA: Um…maybe I shouldn’t give it away, but in the show my character gets some help on how to be more comfortable with her body. So there is nudity involved. I won’t tell you what parts are shown, but it happens suddenly that the audience doesn’t expect it.
TCC: Were you nervous during your debut because of having to bare your body in front of an audience?
CA: I get asked that all the time and what people don’t realize is that you do so many rehearsals before you actually hit the stage. After practicing over and over again when you finally perform on stage it comes off natural. Also, when on stage what the audience doesn’t know is that you can’t see them because of the stage lights that hit you in the face. It’s a trick that stage performers do. So that helps me a lot when I’m doing my thing on stage.
TCC: Is Peepshow something only men will enjoy or could they bring their wives or girlfriends with them?
CA: It is for all audiences. Let me tell you, I have a really big female fan base. So I mostly see more women than men in the audience. And they come in packs because of girls’ night out or celebrating a bachelorette party. Back then I used to have more of a male fan base during my swimsuit modeling days. But now that I do television more women are my fans and so they come to see my show. And I am grateful for that.
Also, women love musicals and love stories, sometimes they bring their husbands with them. After watching Peepshow people always say to me that it was more than what they expected. It is so much more than a musical. It has a lot of energy and is fast-paced. You are entertained the whole time watching it. One guy from Germany watched Peepshow every single day for the whole week he was in Vegas. He found the show to be that interesting. Some have watched the show more than once because there is so much going on that you miss a lot the first time you see it.
TCC: Would you want to do burlesque shows permanently?
CA: This has been a great experience. When you’re on stage, you really feed off the audiences’ energy. There is nothing like it. After Peepshow I really don’t know what my next project will be. But I would like to keep on doing theater. I think I could do that forever.
TCC: How does it feel being a 1,000 miles away from your husband, Ice-T, while doing the show in Las Vegas?
CA: We do a lot of Skyping. That’s like our NO. 1 thing. When I’m not in New York visiting him, he’s out here on the weekends to see me. But now that the season for Law & Order has recently ended, Ice will spend the whole summertime with me. He really likes Peepshow. He said to me, “This show fits you perfectly.” It feels nice getting approval from your man. I want him to be proud.
TCC: Would you like to dispel rumors that you and Ice-T are on the brink of divorce because of an alleged affair you had with rapper AP.9?
CA: The internet is complete rubbish. We never like to read anything off the internet. We hear rumors but we don’t feed into it. Our relationship is very strong. We have been together for 12 years and will continue to be for many years. Simple as that.
TCC: Will there be a fourth season of Ice Loves Coco?
CA: Right now the show is on a break. We just finished season three. Ice has finished Law & Order and I’m doing Peepshow so we are going to figure it from there. It’s a lot of work doing three shows at once. You never really know.
TCC: Now in regards to your clothing line Licious that’s dedicated to curvy women. Why do you think the general public equates curves with being fat?
CA: I believe every woman’s body is beautiful in its own way. I have never understood that just because a woman has thick thighs she is considered fat. For so long I’ve been around in the modeling world and have tried to break that barrier. But I think now it’s turning around. In my opinion, I believe there are more curvy girls out there than skinny girls. To have curves means you are healthier. But when you are super skinny you are not eating correctly probably because you are not eating at all, I mean, let’s be honest here.
The reason why I started the clothing line Licious is because I had trouble finding clothes for my body type. I figured if I’m having trouble finding clothes for me being curvy I know girls with my body type are probably facing the same issue. And so with the help of my designer, I came up with the idea of creating my own clothing line. They are clothes that I like to wear and people like the style. It’s a hobby. I really don’t consider myself to be a designer. But I feel full-figured women deserve to wear clothes that show off their curves in a flattering way. When you have clothes that fit your body type you feel more confident and comfortable with yourself.
Follow Coco Austin on Twitter @Cocosworld.
And for more info on PeepShow and how to purchase tickets, please go to her website at CocosWorld.com or www.lasvegaspeepshow.com
Photo courtesy of John Ganun