Last year, Playboy proclaimed Arizona State University "America's biggest party school." This year, students can study the anatomy of the university's own Jaime Hammer, who graces the cover of the magazine's annual College Girls issue on newsstands now. Inside, the comely co-ed displays her school spirit in sharp stilettos and a great big smile. In person, the Illinois native isn't nearly as cheerful about Hef and company, who she claims paid her zilch for the shoot and have done nothing to help sustain her fabulous new stardom.
New Times: Hey, you took off all your clothes for a national magazine.
Jaime Hammer: Yeah, but my life really hasn't changed much. I've had a lot of random e-mails from people I don't know, and that's kind of weird. And I've gotten to do some cool promos and appearances, stuff like that, but I don't feel any different.
NT: What did your mom say about you being completely naked like that?
Hammer: Well, at first she was pissed because I kind of didn't tell her about it, and someone I know back home told a kid who's in my brother's class, and that's how she found out. She's cool with it now.
NT: And are guys acting like jerks lately because you posed naked?
Hammer: No. People I don't know are being nicer to me, though. But they don't, like, tell me why or anything. They're just nicer. I don't have a stalker or anything.
NT: But I'll bet you're featured on several dorm room walls.
Hammer: And on some bathroom floors! You know, the only negative response I really got was when I went on this AM radio talk show with Charles something, I don't know his name, I don't think anyone listens to his show. And someone called and said they didn't understand why some bimbo got to be on the radio. But [the caller] was probably some old guy, just some conservative or whatever.
NT: What about girls -- how are they treating you?
Hammer: My girlfriends are being really supportive. Some other girls are being kind of jealous in indirect ways, but it's pretty obvious to me that they're jealous.
NT: Do people think you're a ho?
Hammer: No. It's not that big a deal to do this kind of thing anymore. All of the pictures are really tasteful, and there isn't one picture in the layout that I'm embarrassed about. Playboy is the most PG-rated, and the most classy of all the men's magazines. Even little kids know what Playboy is. I wouldn't even go there with Penthouse. Never.
NT: Times have changed. When Mamie Van Doren posed for Playboy, she got a lot of flak.
NT: Mamie Van Doren. She's an actress who posed for Playboy back in the '50s. You haven't heard of her?
Hammer: No. I've heard of Marilyn Monroe. She's an actress who posed for Playboy. You know, I like to make it clear that I'm on the Dean's List, I'm graduating with honors.
NT: Well, if you remind people of that, they won't think you're some dumb tart.
Hammer: Right. Exactly.
NT: I'll bet your good grades were responsible for Playboy picking you, too.
Hammer: Well, I don't really think that's what they were looking for. But you know, I think it's good that I have that kind of balance. Brains and beauty, you know?
NT: So you're sitting in trigonometry class, and everyone knows what you look like naked. What's that like?
Hammer: That was a little weird at first, but I don't really think about it anymore.
NT: Did you have to fill out that likes/dislikes thing for Playboy?
Hammer: Um, they made me fill out this extensive survey, and then they picked one quote from it that was totally stupid, and I'm kind of annoyed with them.
NT: Oh, no!
Hammer: They picked this quote that I wrote about how I dressed really bad in the '80s.
NT: Who didn't?
Hammer: I know! Out of all the things I wrote down, they chose that one. Whatever. I'm sure people aren't going to be focusing on the quote, you know?
NT: I do know. So, did they pay you a pile of money and let you keep all your props?
Hammer: Oh, no. You sign a release that says that you're not gonna get paid crap [for the shoot] and they own the pictures, they can use them whenever and however they want.
NT: Playboy is mean! I called six different publicists there, trying to get a phone number for you, and none of them called me back.
Hammer: They don't do anything for anybody. They only gave me one free issue. Like, I've been doing a lot of, like, promos for it and stuff. I keep asking for more issues and they're like, "Nope." They're really cheap about it. Like they don't have enough money. You know what I mean? It's just ridiculous. One issue.
NT: Well, they have helped make you a star.
Hammer: No. Everything I've gotten up to this point is completely on my own. And I'm making them a lot of money.
NT: That doesn't seem fair.
Hammer: Well, it's probably because it's a special issue [of the magazine], and, on the food chain, special issues are way at the bottom. I'm making them a whole bunch of money, because like the issue is already sold out in a bunch of places. I've done the radio thing three times now, I've done news shows, I'm like plugging it and it's selling, so it's the least they can do. A friend is throwing a party for me, and she had to buy 50 issues, because Playboy wouldn't give them to her. It's just a big pain in the butt.
NT: I guess I should ask what you're majoring in.
Hammer: Communications. I'm graduating in May, and [the entertainment industry] excites me. I'm going to try to get into that. It's nice because now I've gotten to see what radio is like, what TV is like. I know that it takes, like, three days to do a photo shoot.
NT: Why does it take three days to photograph a naked woman?
Hammer: We got behind because on the first day of the shoot I had an exam, and I couldn't tell my teacher, "Uh, could I reschedule? I have a Playboy shoot." So I shot until about 2:30, ran back to class in full makeup and eyelashes -- everyone was staring at me -- and got an A on the test. That was my multi-tasking for the day.
NT: It's nice that you didn't have to ditch school to appear in Playboy. So, are those your real breasts?
Hammer: Yes. But I don't knock cosmetic surgery, except when people get obsessed with it and do things that make them look ridiculous.
NT: It's obvious you wouldn't do anything that would make you look ridiculous. I guess having the cover model in the College Issue of Playboy won't change ASU's reputation for being the country's number one party school.
Hammer: Well, ASU has sort of a long history of having girls appear in the College Issue. But I'm the first one to appear on the cover.
NT: Which could lead to big things!
Hammer: I don't know what. I mean, so far it's opened little, tiny doors. But those double doors haven't opened yet. I'll be graduating in May, with honors. Cum laude.
NT: You speak Latin! So, tell me: How are the guest towels at the mansion?
Hammer: The guest towels? Um, I've been to the mansion, but I didn't go to the grotto or anything. I went to the mansion when I was 17, because I lived in L.A. when I was growing up, and this girl in my grammar school, her dad was some old actor who was friends with Hugh. Robert Culp? I don't know if you've ever heard of him. Probably not.
NT: Robert Culp? Well, yes, actually, I have heard of him.
Hammer: He was on, like, I Spy with Bill Cosby a gazillion years ago.
NT: I seem to remember something like that.
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Hammer: Anyway, that was her dad, and he was a friend of Hef's, so he gave us tickets to a pajama party at the Playboy mansion. I was a little intimidated, because I'm originally from the Midwest, and this was a whole other ballpark. I was blown away by that party, and that's when I started to get intrigued by the whole Playboy thing. Ever since I visited the mansion, I was like, "I'm gonna make it back there one day."
NT: Well, good luck.
Hammer: I figure, if [Playboy] isn't going to pay me for all the promoting I've done, the least they can do is give me a free ticket to the mansion. And hire me to do another shoot. I'm selling their product like crazy.