FROM PAGE SIX TO PENTHOUSE MAGAZINE
I interview model/actress April Floria (born May 28, 1982) by phone Friday, July 8, 2005.
Luke: "When you were a girl, what did you want to be when you grew up?"
April: "A singer. I'm working on that now. I started out modeling [at age eleven] and then I thought, maybe I should get into acting. Then I thought I should get back into singing while I'm doing the acting.
"My father was a singer and his mother was a singer in Italy.
"I grew up all over the place. I was an Air Force brat. I was born in Mount Clemens, Michigan. Moved to Texas, San Francisco, back to Michigan, Pennsylvania, lived in New York. Now I'm in Florida."
Luke: "How do you think moving so much as a kid affected you?"
April: "I loved it. It's nice that some people grew up in the same place and had the same friends but I don't think that I could do that. I love being able to leave that place and become a different person and start anew. People don't know that I used to do cartwheels all the time. Not that it really matters but in fifth grade everybody knows your business. But nobody knows when you move unless you tell them."
Luke: "What were you expected to become?"
April: "I think everybody has always known that I was going to be in the entertainment industry. It's not like anybody thought I was going to be a lawyer or anything even though I'd probably make a pretty damn good one."
Luke: "What kind of crowd did you hang out with in highschool?"
April: "I was a nerd until ninth grade when I became the cocoon turns into a butterfly thing. In the middle of tenth grade, I moved to PA. I was the girl who was friends with everybody."
Luke: "You didn't have a particular crowd?"
April: "I guess you could say the sports people and the preppie popular kids. I was a soccer player (midfielder) for ten years. Can't you tell by my legs? I ran track. I was number one in state in sixth grade for sprints."
Luke: "What kind of a student were you?"
April: "I was supposed to be skipped up to two grades but after my father passed away when I was 13, I was like, ok, whatever. I think I was supposed to be taken back a grade. Then I got back into it and sometimes I'd be a straight-A student and sometimes Cs and Ds.
"I was a social butterfly. My mom told me that they checked me to see if I had ADD or retardation or something. Even though I was so smart. The Rain Man. I would dance around the classroom and draw butterflies on my tests."
Luke: "Did your mother punish you if you got bad grades?"
April: "No. But when my father was alive, he would come in a lime-green jumpsuit and ponytail, and he had barely enough hair to put in one, and he was Italian, he had it zipped down a little and there was a little hair poking out on his chest, and he'd come and embarrass the heck out of me if I did badly in any subject.
"I sorta miss that. It was so hilarious. I was so embarrassed at the time. I think that was the biggest punishment I ever got."
Luke: "What did you do after highschool?"
April: "I gave myself a year and then I went to New York [to model]. Then I decided to become an actress."
Luke: "Did you get on the chatboards?"
April: "I just looked at that yesterday because people were telling me about it. I know just who those people are. It's not like it's random fans or people who hate me. Those are people in PA I became friends with after I graduated. One of the girls is bipolar. She was my best friend. Another one is an ex-boyfriend. I'm friends with most of my ex-boyfriends.
"It doesn't really affect me. If they have time to go online and research me and follow my career, then it obviously means they care. You would think that I would be all upset about it but I'm a tough cookie."
Luke: "Did you post on there?"
April: "No. I wouldn't waste my energy on it."
Florio is separated from her husband. They married December 28, 2004. "He wasn't a very nice person."
Luke: "How would your best friends describe your personality?"
April: "Outgoing, truthful. I'll just say the first thing that comes to mind. I'm a social butterfly who needs to get checked for being ADD again. I love being funny. I still feel like I'm 16 sometimes. Last night I took my camcorder out that my mom got me for Christmas, and [with her friends] we did skits and picked up a couple of my ex-boyfriends. I have a youthful spirit and I like to stick around people who do as well."
April: "You sound interested. Huh. Huh? Are you sleeping yet?"
Luke: "I'm interested. I haven't slept for a week so I'm a mess."
April: "Ahh. I didn't sleep the whole time I was in New York."
Luke: "You understand. I listen to people when they talk, so I don't have a preset list of questions that I bang off. I listen. I think. I respond."
April: "Ohmigod, a man who listens?"
Luke: "What qualities do you find attractive in a man?"
April: "Truthful. He doesn't have to be thinking about something when you ask him, what are you thinking about now? I like nice hands. That's the only physical trait I love. I don't like an insecure man. I've dated so many. You just want them to be happy, so you're complimenting them all the time."
Duke: "Are you into older guys or what age range?"
April: "I blame it on the Gemini in me. That changes. I used to like the younger boys. I remember the guy I was truly in love with. He [Mark] was 16. I was 18 when we started. It was my longest relationship -- a year-and-a-half.
"After that, I started dating people who were younger than me. It's like you can teach them. I don't know. I might've ruined him."
Luke: "Isn't that called statutory rape?"
April: "I didn't do anything badly to him until he was at least 17-and-a-half. It was legal at that point. That's how you can tell I truly liked him. I didn't try anything on him for a while."
Luke: "Are you normally the aggressor?"
April: "Yes. But I let him grow to be that way. He was very mature for his age. He went through a period where he wasn't, like after we broke up.
"It seems like when I date older men, like when I said Brad Pitt was my mother's age, men go through this period where all they want is to get laid, and that's not what I'm interested in.
"I just wanted to be around somebody who looked further than skin deep and really liked who I was. I figured that if I went a little older, that it would be that way. I know my mom's got it together and she's about to be 42."
April and I bond over our both being born on May 28. "That's awesome," she says. "I always love people who are born on that day. There are a lot of May 31sts and they end up being evil. Us Geminis can be crazy and then there are some who are balanced. Our two personalities get along with each other."
Luke: "What are the characteristics of someone born on May 28?"
April: "We're independent. We love different things. We're whirlwinds. We get disinterested pretty easily unless you really have drag and you really love something and you completely stick to it. That's why I didn't mind moving, but obviously you said you minded."
Luke: "I found it really traumatic."
April: "Aww. It makes me want to cradle you."
Luke: "You're pretty outgoing, I guess. I found it more difficult to make friends. Did you make friends easily?"
April: "Yes, I did. There's always a period, a week or two into your moving, where you don't know anybody..."
Luke: "I wonder how all that moving affected you?"
April: "Are you doing psychology on me?"
Luke: "No. I've never taken a class in psychology."
April: "Well, I did. I went to college for a bit, psychology, but I'm like, I can't do this. What I like about psychology is interpersonal relations and people-watching and trying to figure out how long someone's been together and if they're happy. I'm the sort of person who likes to help people. It took me years to figure out that people like to help themselves. That they have to help themselves. You can only give them a little push. I decided that if I do that in my real life, why would I want to do that in my job? It would just take over. And there are so many sad stories.
"When I was growing up, people would say, oh, you just want to hang out with this person because they have a worse life than you and you just want to feel better about your's. I'm like, no, I really have this thing where I want to reach out and help everybody.
"I figured out who I could help.
"I went through a lot of traumatic experiences. 'Let me help you and let you know that everything's going to be ok and try to steer you in the right direction. And if it doesn't work, then maybe you just want to be that way. Maybe in time you'll be stronger and want to do that yourself.'"
April says she's had more male friends since her early teens.
Luke: "Do girls get jealous of you?"
April: "I don't recognize that. I don't even recognize when men are checking me out. My mom recognized it when I was 13 and we were walking through the mall. She was like, 'Eww, that's my daughter.'
"I'm a flirty person. Not a tease, but I flirt with men, women. It's just part of my personality. Maybe that would bother people. But I'm not a boyfriend stealer. Or a husband."
Luke: "Did you get hurt by the publicity that surrounded the Brad Pitt thing?"
April: "It might've hurt my career. I still have yet to figure that out. I wasn't personally hurt. It's really hard for me to be personally hurt. You have to say something really messed up. The only time somebody has really personally hurt me has been talking about my dad passing away.
"I've had such an interesting life where I had to start anew and things happened that were traumatic and then you wake up another day and things are fine.
"After a month-and-a-half of going through all the publicity, I realized that I could completely handle it. It's not that hard to say, no, I'm not working at a carnival or dating Yani."
Luke: "Has all this affected the way people treat you?"
April: "Maybe a few people. I've never been one to talk about the things that I do because I do them for myself and my career. If somebody asks about them, then I'll say something.
"When I'm going out, my friends love to call me 'Homewrecker!' as a joke because of the whole Brad thing. But it really didn't happen. My friends will say: 'She's a homewrecker! She stole Brad away from Jenn.' I'll be like, ohmigod, and then I'll laugh. And people will say, 'Ohmigod. That's you? I liked you before but I like you so much more now.'
"If there had been an interest between him and I while he was married, I would've brushed him off because I'm not the kind of person who gets involved with someone who's married."
Luke: "What do you do with your spare time?"
April: "What spare time? I'm still working in all facets of the entertainment industry -- film, modeling and starting to sing again.
"When I got married, I made him promise that he wouldn't mind my career. But when we got married, and he realized that I was going to be on the phone or on the internet or on a trip, I'm not going to see her a lot and she's going to be around all these people, and there starts to be an insecurity and then your relationship goes down the tubes. I think it's his fault."
Luke: "What do you love and what do you hate about working in the entertainment industry?"
April: "I love in acting to become another person. I was working at that when I was younger. I worked at a ton of different jobs -- car wash, t-shirt girl at Hooters, waitress... Just so I could have a taste of everything and so that would help me further my acting experience so that if I could play a part, I knew I had already had experience in it.
"Singing. I've always wanted to be a moment in someone's life where they had their first kiss and they had me in the background.
"I want to make people laugh. I want to make people cry. I love the arts and entertainment. There's not much of an excuse for the modeling. It's just something that pays. I don't mind striking a pose."
Luke: "Would you pose naked?"
April: "That would be a tough thing. For years I've had my mom, who I love dearly, say don't do it. Maybe I would down the road. I love my body now. I'm not a skinny girl. I'm a thicker Beyonce/JLo thing. That's the Italian/Brazilian in me. I love my body but I'm not sure that I'm ready to bare it to the world. I used to say that only the person that I'm married to is going to be able to see it, but that didn't last very long. We'll see what happens with my naked body in the future."
Luke: "When you play many different roles, do you ever find it hard to reestablish who your true self is?"
April: "No. That's one of the great things about me."
She laughs. "That's one of the wonderful things about me -- I'm obsessed with myself.
"No. Because I loved who I was for a long time. For a while, I forgot about that when you go to highschool and all that stuff. Eighteen to twenty two is a change in your life. You realize what you don't like about yourself and you try to become as close as possible to that clear simple person, that logic you had as a younger. That's what I've done now.
"Most of the acting I do is comedy, which doesn't make me feel like I've fallen into another zone.
"I like this interview. It's very curious. I had a few earlier and they were like, hey, bla bla bla. This one's cool. I like being interviewed."
Luke: "I like to go deep."
April: "Get deep into the core of April Florio."
Luke: "I'm not interested in the Brad Pitt tabloid stuff. I'm interested in what makes you tick and who you really are."
April: "That's good."
Luke: "What would you say have been the biggest turning points in your life?"
April: "My dad made me try out for the Mickey Mouse Club when I was eleven. I got third or fourth callback. I guess I wasn't ethnic enough. It's funny that Britney Spears and Christina Aguilerra were picked that year.
"That really made me want to do the singing, the acting, the everything. I knew that I had what it took. I would give a $100 reward to somebody at Disney who could come up with my audition tape. I rocked out Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. I think I had a better voice when I was younger because I went through years where I smoked cigarettes.
"Before that [Mickey Mouse Club audition], I was just singing and dancing in my kitchen with my family after my dad got out of work. We taped that. Maybe one day you'll see those out.
"When my father passed away, that was a negative turning point. You go through all your grievances, your sadness, shock, anger. I remember in ninth grade I threw a book at my teacher.
"Then I had a Drivers Ed teacher. He had the wheel as well. He knew that my father had drowned. Everyone in Lake Orion had read in the paper and knew. He yanked over his wheel while I was driving correctly and he said to me, 'Do you want me to throw you in the lake like you did your dad?'
"I was balling my eyes out. I told my mom about it. He got fired. He was a senile old man.
"If anyone ever said anything about my first love [at 18 when she first saw Mark], that hurt. First love is when you give your heart away completely. You can't give it away completely to anybody else after that.
"Mark was dating one of my best friends, Stephanie. She'd asked me to talk to him to see if they could get back together. This was four months after they had broken up. I ended up falling head-over-heels in love with the kid."
Luke: "What was it about him that so moved you?"
April: "He was the person I wanted to go back to. He was me when I was 16. He was a Gemini. May 22. Nothing had touched him. He was cute. He was the simple pure person I wanted to be."
Luke: "Who ended the relationship?"
April: "It was a mutual thing. You're getting really deep down into everything now. I had panic disorders. I guess I had post-traumatic stress after my father died.
"After my father passed away, we had a psychologist. Her husband bought her the practice. She ended up killing herself two months after. She left a note saying she couldn't handle it.
"There goes me going, 'Ohmigod, I killed my psychiatrist too.'
"I got a panic disorder for two years [18-20]. It kept getting worse. I'd go somewhere and I'd get a panic attack. A lot of people experience them and they're the worst. I didn't want to be on medicine.
"I talked to a priest. He said I should go on medication.
"We went through every exercise we could to make the panic go away. When Mark and I broke up, I was afraid to leave my house. I was agoraphobic for a couple of months."
Luke: "What type of things would trigger the panic attacks?"
April: "I knew it had something to do with my father dying. He was the only man in my life when I was younger. I was daddy's little girl. The whole thing involved me. I had fallen into the lake and he had to rescue me. And that was the way that he passed [in a separate incident].
"The psychologist who killed herself told me that I had post-traumatic stress disorder. I never did anything about it. I read that if you don't do anything about it, it turns into panic disorder.
"I've been to counseling. It doesn't seem to help. If someone tells me a sad story about someone passing away, it just freaks me out and I'll get a panic attack. I think it's mental and hormonal."
Luke: "Does it happen before the monthly thing?"
April: "Yes. It gets worse before that time. I'd become sad. Everything would touch me. Lifetime movies, you better get out of here. I would ball.
"I've been on the medication for a year-and-a-half.
"He said a month after we broke up that I had changed. I didn't go on the medication until after I broke up with him. My emotional overdrive went 100 miles per hour. I would be all sad and sweet and want him to be near me. He was in highschool and he was hot and all the cheerleaders wanted him. He ended up dating a 15-year old cheerleader for a minute so he could get that out of his system.
"Wow. I don't think I even told any of my good friends any of this stuff. You're getting to the core. You don't have a psychology degree?"
Luke: "No. I went to therapy for years."
April: "Hello? We've got our own crew."
Luke: "Have you kept a diary?"
April: "My diary mostly consists of poetry. I find it easier to write in rhyme and beautiful words and things like that. I'm such a dramatic person. I like everything to be magnified.
"Right now I'm outside and it's so beautiful I could sit here and write a poem. That's what I like to do on my down time -- I like to draw and write poetry. I'm also going to work on a script."
Luke: "What are the most common themes you write about in your poetry?"
April: "It's usually love and then it goes deeper than that. I have a poem I wrote years ago [at age 16] that was about nail polish and how women can be like nail polish. They can be painted on and taken out and everybody adores them. Then, in one swipe of alcohol, they can be gone.
"It's all really deep stuff. Like somebody you meet who'd gone to 'Nam and was on acid for a hundred years and the stuff they talk about. All the way deep down into that core. Life is too short not to try to figure out everything."
Luke: "Can you recite for me any of your poems?"
April: "This one is really important to me but it's not like the most beautiful poem. This is how my father's death affected my relationships with men."
To walk on water
To walk on water
"Oh God. I messed up. 'A chance to live almost Heavenly.' That's what it is."
To walk on water
"I am really messing up. That's the most bland but it has to do with walking on water. If I had been able to walk on water, nothing would've happened with my father.
"There's a part about not having to live in doubt or fear. It intertwines with being able to fall in love.
"I either wanted people not to leave or wanted to not have them in my life because I didn't want anything to happen to them.
"It wasn't a psycho thing: 'You can't leave and here's the knife in my hand.'
"Now I've built up a wall. For years I was trying to help everybody else. Now I'm being selfish."
Luke: "Do you swim?"
April: "I couldn't swim for years. When I moved to Florida, I wouldn't swim anywhere where I couldn't see the bottom. I decided I had to get over this. One day I just started swimming. I'm basically a fish now.
"I almost drowned a few times before my dad passed away. My mom almost passed away a few times. She can't swim either. She can doggy paddle. She makes golden retrievers jealous."
Luke: "If you were stuck half a mile off shore, could you swim in?"
April: "I don't know. After smoking cigarettes, I can't even run to the stop sign. I think I could stay treaded long enough to scream to get people to help me."
Luke: "Do you have a favorite poet?"
April says her family (her mother's maiden name is Hess, a relative of Adolf Hitler's friend Rudolph Hess), a couple of generations ago, owned the land that is now Harlem.
April: "Everybody thinks Harlem is so scary now but it is one of the safest places to go. The Harlem Renaissance is coming back. You'll see people's paintings on the corners or playing jazz or writing poetry."
Florio says she talks to her mother every other day.
"I take trains instead of planes as much as I can so I can be peaceful and look at the scenery."
Luke: "Are you afraid of flying?"
April: "No. It's kinda gross. My ears bleed. I get ear infections easy. Pressure when I'm up that high kills my head. I don't think you want to sit on a plane next to me and have my head explode all over you.
"Your voice is so chill. I think I'm tired again.
"So Luke is back from his zombie-like sleep."
Luke: "Playing the greatest hits of the '60s, '70s and '80s."
April: "Is that what you play?"
Luke: "I like '80s music."
April: "So do I."
Luke: "My favorite group is Air Supply."
April: "I can't live if living is without you. I love all that stuff. My ex-boyfriend played that song for me and then asked me back out. I want to sing so I can have one of those stories.
"I wish there was more Air Supply. You like the deep stuff too. I can tell. Let's get down to the bottom of Luke now. This is my turn. Are you having women problems? Let's talk about it. I can hear it in your voice.
"I don't like cats otherwise I'd be one of those ladies with a whole bunch of cats."