Kendra Wilkinson Tells Us About Her New Show, New Love, And The Wedding

by | June 1, 2009 at 3:02 PM | Cover Story

Kendra Wilkinson has good news and bad news for fans. The good news is that she has her own new reality show, Kendra, premiering June 7 on E! The series chronicles her new life away from the Playboy mansion, where she lived while starring on ‘Girls Next Door.’ Talking to Kendra one morning before her hair appointment, it’s clear she’s thrilled about the change of scenery. “I never go backwards,” she says. “I just want to go forward with my life.” And so she has, which may be the bad news for fans. She’s in love and engaged and planning to wed football hunk Hank Baskett. And even though she once described herself in a Fancast blog as a “sex icon,” she doesn’t plan to do any more sexy Playboy layouts. “I don’t think so,” she explains. “We’ve had, what, three layouts? I think I’m good.” She spoke to me about about her new show, how Hank proposed and more.

Check out a Kendra photo gallery

Let me get right to the stuff everyone wants to know. Why Hank? How did you know that you were in love with Hank? Was it love at first sight? No, it wasn’t love at first sight. We started off as friends. Even though it was very fast the way everything happened. It did start off as friends. I’m not all about love at first sight. I’m about being friends first. I’m a tomboy too. I’m friends with a lot of guys so I’m not going to just jump into a relationship with a guy. I’m like a guy myself. I can hang out with guys and I know their language and stuff.

When was it love? I first realized I loved him when both of our grandparents were passing away. We could have easily had other people there for us but we decided to lean on one another. They were dying at the same exact time so being there for each other lead us into a different step in our relationship. It’s kind of spiritual. And just being friends. On out first date was at a Dodgers game and I threw out the first pitch and he was there to watch me and cheer for me. And that’s one thing that I’ve always wanted. To have a guy that’s always cheering and rooting for me. That showed me that he’s really going to take his time and be there for me as much as I want to be there at his games watching him.

How did he propose and what kind of a ring did you get? Well the night before he proposed was Halloween and I had a Halloween party down in San Diego. And I was really tired because I flew up to Seattle that morning and I didn’t get one minute of sleep. I was going up there to see him play. He was playing the Seahawks. So I told him I was going to take a nap and he said alright I’ll be right back. Let’s go to Space Needle after. I was like ‘he may as well propose to me up there’ but I was totally just joking! I was so tired and he came and got me and I was like ‘I don’t want to go. I’m tired.’ And he was like ‘No! We’re going. Come on get up. You have five minutes to get ready.’

Watch Kendra moving into her new home

And then what? So I got ready and when we got there it was really exciting because my mom and my brother were there and his Mom and Dad. So we were just going around taking a bunch of family photos at Space Needle. And there just so happened to be the Eagles camera crew up there. It was not even our camera crew it was the Eagles’. I didn’t know this at the time but his mom tapped the guy and said you might want to film this. So that’s how we got the footage on my show.

Everyone’s in on the act! So yeah we were just going around taking pictures at the Space Needle and he was being all weird. He kept saying let’s take one more picture. Then he popped out of the picture and he was kind of mumbling. I had no idea what he was saying. But he didn’t even have to talk because I knew what he was doing.

How were you feeling? I was so nervous and had so many different emotions inside me. And he goes down on one knee – and I still didn’t even hear one word – I swear I heard someone yell at me just answer the question! I think I was just hallucinating because I probably didn’t even hear anyone say that. I was like freaking out and I said the weirdest yes. I screamed yes!

Has Hef given you any advice about the wedding or what to expect for these first few years? Well no, I mean his marriage didn’t really work out too well. I don’t think he has too much advice to give me. He’s just really excited. He keeps telling me I can’t believe my little tomboy grew up to be such a woman.

Do you already know what kind of wedding dress you’re going to wear? Yeah, I’m not giving out any details about the name of the designer or anything but I can say it’s very different. It’s very princess-ey. I’m helping design it. I’m not a lace girl. It’s more of a silk satin. Lace doesn’t look good on me at all. Or any of that other material. But it’s an all out princess dress.

Let me switch gears. What’s a typical day for you. I just got done filming my show. Every day was busy then but now things are starting to slow down a bit. So things are different now. Hank went back to Philly so I’m kind of alone now. He gives me my wake up call every morning before he goes to practice. I’ll wake up and I usually go on a hike. There are little things that I have to do every day. Like for the show and stuff like an interview. And I go grocery shopping.

Watch Kendra as she shops till she drops

And he’s in Philly with the team? It’s an off season work out. It’s like training.

What’s it like when Hank is gone? Do you get lonely? He’s not here now, and I’m so lonely. I don’t even want to sleep in my own bed. I sleep on the couch because I feel too lonely.

You’re kidding. I’m so used to him being there. So I sleep on the couch so I can fall asleep with the TV on. We talk a lot but it sucks, ya know. We’re always there to help each other physically and emotionally. It just sucks that he’s not here. We love the wedding planning stuff together but now it’s all up to me.

How’s all of the wedding planning going? Oh, it’s going great. It’s almost here!

Are you nervous? Um, yeah! I mean I’m not nervous to get married I’m nervous about how the wedding is going to turn out. I hope it turns out good.

How many guests are you planning to have? Is it going to be a huge blow-out? That’s up in the air right now. But you’ll get to see it on the show.

What else are we going to get to see on ‘Kendra’?

You’ve seen Kendra from the ‘Girls Next Door.’ And then Hank comes in and helps me become more conservative. You’re going to see a transformation. The show just so happened to be there to pick up all that stuff that was going on. It’s kind of a documentary home video about me on my next step in life. It’s all real so every step and every concept is real. And it’s crazy because I can have this the rest of my life and I can say to my kids ‘this when your mom was first on her own.’ And it’s real, it was the first time I was on my own. There’s a lot of things because there’s the wedding planning on there. I kind of have a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other. It’s like the party Kendra and the conservative, engaged Kendra. It’s funny in that way – and then when Hank comes into my life it’s kind of like ‘I Love Lucy.’

What would you say are the biggest differences between the woman you are now and the woman you were in the past?

Well in the past I didn’t really have anything to care about. I really didn’t care. I was just like I’m going to go crazy and I don’t care what anybody says. I’m going to flash the world. I just wanted to be the center of attention. Live my life to the fullest and just go crazy. I was crazy. Every day I woke up with so much energy and wanting to just go crazy. Now of course, naturally I’ve slowed down. I’m getting older and slowing down a little bit. Not that I’m getting old. Everybody has their time to be that way, get crazy, party, and see what’s out there. But it’s only fun for a little while. I definitely have grown up. I’m still the same Kendra, just more grown up. I’m learning that there’s more to life than just partying.

Check out Kendra and her family

What about Hef, Holly and Bridget? Are they going to be guest stars?

Yeah they all come in. Holly comes in on like the last episode. Bridget is on there a couple of times. Of course, Hef is on there.

So you and Bridget both have shows (‘Bridget’s Sexiest Beaches‘) Do you think Holly will be next?

Yeah she told me some good ideas of what she wants to do. I would watch it if she had a show so I’m hoping she gets one.

You girls have been so successful. Did you ever sense any jealousy?

No, not at all. We’ve always been on our own. We’ve always kind of done our own thing. We weren’t twins ya know? We weren’t going at the same goals. We all started at different ages, come from different backgrounds, and we’re all going for different things. That’s what made it so unique and special. I think that’s why it worked out because we’re all such different people with different goals. We’re all living separate lives and doing great things. And we’re all still great people with good hearts.

What else are you working on right now?

Well I’m wrapping up with my show of course. Now I’m going over to Europe and promoting the show and a couple of things. Just promoting and having a lot of fun out there. I love going to movie premieres, they’re fun. And I have a stripper pole coming out. Yeah it’s really fun – and I just saw the color of the box because I shot for the cover and it looks sooo good. It’s called “The Kendra Sport Pole.” I’m really excited about it because it comes in a couple of pieces and it’s easy to set up and just put anywhere you want in your house. It can hold any guy. It’s so strong and so much fun. It’s like its own building.

Check out and buy your own Kendra Sport Pole!

Do you have any other plans? I can see a book, clothing line, sexy lingerie or things like that. Any hope for these?

If things work out like that then they do. I’ve definitely thought about those things, but ya’ know, I would like to wait a couple more years to write a book so there’s more of a story. I don’t know how much more could happen since obviously I’m ready to get married. But I’ve lived my life to the fullest the past couple of years. I definitely want to write a book later in life.

Are you thinking about doing any more modeling for Playboy?

Um, no I don’t think so. I think things have changed and my life has moved on. Not that I’m moving on from being friends with Hef or anything like that. I’ve just naturally moved on with my life. We’ve had, what, three layouts? I think I’m good.

What are you favorite TV shows right now?

My favorite reality show right now is Tough Love on VH1. I don’t watch any other shows but that one. I watch stuff on the Discovery Channel and National Geographic. Those are my favorite stations but also South Park and Family Guy. They are my two favorites. I get crazy about them. I get the most excited when they are on.

What about the sexiest actors on TV?

Stewie from Family Guy and Eric Cartman! Haha. Hayden Panettiere. I think she’s really pretty. But um, I don’t really even watch TV that much.

How about Hank?

He watches the same things I do. He watches those kind of shows like Family Guy and the Discovery Channel and stuff. We really don’t watch anything on TV.

You and Hank seem to have such a strong relationship. What’s your secret?

We have a show on TV but at the same time we are the most private people you will ever meet. We are so private. We don’t go out, we just love to be in our own world. My advice would be just to have fun with each other. Do things together. He plays golf and I love golf and I’m really good at it. I can go out on the course with him any day and kill him. I can go out there and give him a good challenge. I guess just being friends with the person and enjoying their company. Being able to do things that you want to do with that person. You don’t want to be with a person who is like ‘I’m going to do this and you go do that and we’ll meet back up. ‘ You always want to be with someone who will at least try to do something that you like to do. It’s just about putting effort into a relationship even if you don’t like to do something. You always want to make that other person happy by at least trying.

Are you guys thinking about kids? Have you talked about that yet?

Um yeah we’re definitely thinking about that! On MySpace and a bunch of places I’ve always said that I wanted to be a young mom.

And when you have kids would you take them to the mansion where they have all of those wild parties?

Of course! You don’t really see it on TV but they have the best Easter egg hunt up there and all kids are invited. All celebrities go up there with there kids and it’s such a great thing. It’s a great day with ice cream and it’s a fun place where kids can go. Kids go up there all the time. I’d take my kids to the mansion any time.

What if you had a girl and – at 18 or 21 – she said she wanted to pose for Playboy. How would you feel about that?

Well of course then it’s going to be a lot different. It’s weird because people don’t really believe me when I say this, but I am a conservative person. I want to raise my kid in a smaller city. I want to raise my kid different from me. I definitely wouldn’t push for my kid to be in Playboy. I would try to guide my children in a different way to have a career. Something besides being an actress, singer or model. I’m definitely going to push my kids in the other direction. But hey, if they are 18 they’re old enough to decide what they want to do.

Do you miss your time at the mansion?

I don’t sit here and cry but I miss Hef. That’s like the only part. Every now and then I’ll run across a couple of pictures and I’ll be like ‘aw that was a great time.’ Hef made my time there just great. He’s the greatest guy in the world. But I go forward, I never go backwards. I just want to go forward with my life.

Check out Kendra saying goodbye to Holly and Bridget

What are your work out and fitness secrets? How do you work out and what is your diet like?

Well lately I’ve just been sticking to a lot of fruit and a lot of raw vegetables. Mango is my favorite fruit so I eat a lot of those. I don’t really like hot food right now so I stick to cold. And with working out, it’s been really nice out so I love to take my dogs on hikes. We go up to this nice trail that’s five minutes away from my house. It’s called Runyon Canyon and I go up there almost every day. We try to beat our time and do it faster every day. That’s my cardio. I’d go to the gym but I’m not a gym person I’m more of an outdoors person. I love sports and really enjoying the outdoors. Why would you go to the gym when you have a beach right down the street? And you can go and play beach volleyball or something.

Watch ‘Kendra’ Sundays on E! starting June 7th at 10:00pm.