Karissa: Heidi's Sex Tape Partner?

Karissa Shannon is making headlines for her alleged sex tape romp with Heidi Montag, but when we first spoke with the Playboy model; her name was far from the front pages of the nation’s newspapers. The insight into the Karissa Shannon persona from our interview, given the building scandal, is priceless.

Karissa Shannon

Karissa is one half of the sisters that became known as Hugh Hefner's "Twins." Along with sister Kristina, the pair is trying to get the world to notice them as individuals. Part of that effort is heading to Argentina this month to film a new reality series that will showcase their unique personalities while capitalizing on the world still knowing them as the "Shannon Twins."

With the news of the Heidi Montag sex tape circulating, Karissa, for one, is certainly emerging from the shadow of being a twin, but not exactly by the means she was expecting. But, when all is said and done from the Heidi Montag sex tape scandal, the result will likely achieve Karissa Shannon's goal of being seen as an individual. As they say, time will tell.

Karissa Shannon phoned SheKnows for an exclusive interview before the Heidi Montag sex tape news topped the headlines. Although completed prior to the scandal breaking, the model-turned-actress (she's appearing in Sofia Coppola's latest film, Somewhere) may get her wish of individual fame, but we ask: At what cost?

Catching up with Karissa shannon

SheKnows: With everything going on in your world lately, what keeps you going?

Karissa Shannon: I have a lot of goals. I want to be very successful when I get older. I never wanted to be a school teacher or something small, I wanted to be something that people could look up to. I always loved entertainment. I always put on little shows or plays with my sister [Kristina] and made our family watch. I wanted to do something like that when I got older, something that I love to do.

Kristina and Karissa Shannon

SheKnows: What aspects of entertainment inspired you?

Karissa Shannon: I like everything. I wanted to be a model when I was younger. People always told me and my sister, "You and your sister are really pretty. You should be a model." Then, when we did Playboy and started to do reality TV and the movie with Sofia, we really wanted to get into acting. Now, we just love having cameras around us.

SheKnows: You said you like having cameras around, but did it take some getting used to?

Karissa Shannon: I got used to it really quickly. First, it was really uncomfortable, but you get used to it. I had cameras around me constantly for around two years. Being in the spotlight with Hef, you get used to things very fast.

SheKnows: Looking back on that time at the Playboy Mansion with Hef, how was the experience versus what you expected moving in? Secondly, what did you take away from the experience?

The Shannon twins with Hugh Hefner

Karissa Shannon: Taking away from the experience, I'm a lot more mature. I grew up a lot. There were a lot of rules there. Hef showed me how Hollywood was, the safe way [laughs], not going out at 18 and partying all the time. He had a really strong team behind me, so I came out much more experienced. Going into it, I didn't know what to expect. I just knew I wanted to go [laughs]. It was really exciting and you learn the ropes as you're there.

SheKnows: Did it help having your sister there?

Karissa Shannon: Oh yeah, having my sister being around, she's my best friend. I couldn't have done it without her. She's a really good support system for me.

SheKnows: Not all siblings that go into entertainment get along. As a matter of fact, most do not.

Karissa ShannonKarissa Shannon: Usually families get torn apart when they appear on TV shows because of jealousy. We stayed really close, I'm proud of that fact.

SheKnows: Is that a tribute to how you were brought up or was it inherent in your relationship?

Karissa Shannon: It was just in our relationship. We're really, really close. We hang out every day, we talk every day, our goals are the same, and we think the same. We're actually trying to be more individual as we get older. Now, we're just trying to get people to notice us individually. It's hard because we are so much the same.

SheKnows: How much is that a challenge now that you're out of the Playboy Mansion?

Karissa Shannon: It's tough, especially being known as "The Twins" or "Hef's Twins." For instance, since we moved out, we don't dress the same anymore. We're a lot more mature. I have a boyfriend, she has a boyfriend. There's a lot more different things going on in our lives. We're just trying to get people to know the individuals. We're starting a TV show, like The Simple Life concept. It's going to be filmed in Argentina. We're filming six to ten episodes. I feel that will get people to know us more individually than being on the Girls Next Door show portrayed as the same person.

SheKnows: Going to Argentina, talk about your world opening up a little bit…

Karissa Shannon: Oh, yeah. I've been very blessed to do what I've done between being 18 and turning 21, which I am now. I've been all over the world. It's crazy [laughs].

SheKnows: How was the shooting experience with Sofia [Coppola] on Somewhere?

Karissa Shannon: It was really good. Sofia made us feel really comfortable on the set. We definitely want to do more of it. It was a really good experience. It was great to work with Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning and a great director like Sofia, an Academy Award-winner.

SheKnows: Did you find it inspiring as a woman that she's done so much as a director, a rarity in Hollywood?

Karissa Shannon: Oh, yeah, definitely and her background with her father Francis, and her cousin Nicolas Cage, they're all very powerful and Italian. I'm Italian! Sofia's someone I look up to, between her style and what she does with a camera. Sofia's movies are more pretty scenes, like a painting with content.

Tags: girls next door kristina shannon

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Comments on "Karissa Shannon dishes life after Playboy mansion"

Sandy October 27, 2010 | 9:24 PM

This is for EWWW. Hate to disappoint you but is was not there mother who raised them. The one who did the damage was no other than there father and grandmother. You shouldn't judge if you don't know what the truth is.

Sandy October 27, 2010 | 9:18 PM

Those girls never put on any shows and had there family watch. You just got taken if you bought into that one. They didn't have that type of life at home. Do your home work. If you had you would know that there life was not a bowl of cherries.

ewww!! October 21, 2010 | 7:37 PM

They are just nasty!!They have no morals...I can see them having like 6 or more kids with Diff men..I bet their mom is like that I can see it..They had to learn their behaviors from someone...They are in L.A and have money they really need to look into getting a nose job ewww...

Mark September 02, 2010 | 1:59 AM

Strange that she didn't mention her and Kristina getting caught giving a guy (famous rapper) a bj at a mansion party and Hef kicking them out to the "Playmate" house. Only to be caught doing the same thing to rapper Jarule in an Atlanta nightclub, and finally being kicked off the property. Twin Kristina is back at the mansion again and Karissa is writing a mansion tell all. Truly someone to look up to, not like a teacher or something small. Fame is always a great goal.

Apostate August 28, 2010 | 10:13 AM

My mistake...I gave her far more credit than she deserves by slightly misquoting her. Won't happen again,folks.

Apostate August 28, 2010 | 10:07 AM

"I wanted to be someone people could look up to..." I prefer to look down on you,especially in a horizontal position. You clearly don't mind.

Jim P August 25, 2010 | 10:59 PM

Being a teacher is something small? Can you believe this? Acting is more relevant than teaching our children. This coming from a woman who had three to four times a week with an 80 year old man, maybe even with her sister. Isn't that what we are expected to believe when they live out in the open the way they did? All they are are prostitutes who got paid with money, clothing and fame, or better yet, infamy. I guess this is what this generation believes success is.

RRBILL August 24, 2010 | 9:53 AM

the tape with Heidi may be fine, but we'd really prefer Karissa and Kristina together.

Patience August 23, 2010 | 3:26 PM

"I have a lot of goals. I want to be very successful when I get older. I never wanted to be a school teacher or something small, I wanted to be something that people could look up to. I always loved entertainment." Are you kidding me? Someone to look up to? Please. So, you being a ho would accomplish that and well, as for teachers being small ... am I the only one here that see's an noun to describe her besides moron? Noun moron (plural morons) (obsolete) A person of borderline intelligence in the former classification of mental retardation, having of an intelligence quotient of 50-69. (informal) A person who makes uncool, unfunny, uninteresting, or irrelevant (see lame) attempts to impress others and draw attention to himself, especially in a flawed attempt to act like someone else. (slang) An idiot. I have two four pound bunny's more intelligent than this one.

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