Jenny McCarthy got candid about her near-disastrous audition for Playboy at age 22.
“When I was trying out to be a centerfold, they actually gave the girls five days of a test,” the 44-year-old model and actress recalled on “Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen” Sunday.
However, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner wasn’t impressed by McCarthy’s look.
“So eight hours a day for five days, on day four, the producer said, ‘Come meet with me, Hef is on the phone’,” she explained. “And Hef said, ‘You’ve got one more chance. Go home and practice, because your face looks like you just hit a deer with your car. You look so horrified.'"
McCarthy continued, “So I went home that night trying to find sexy, and I came back and go, ‘OK, listen, all you’re going to get is a smile. That’s all I know how to do’.”
McCarthy’s megawatt smile landed her the deal of a lifetime – she was selected out of thousands of applicants for Playboy’s October 1993 issue. She went on to receive the coveted title of “Playmate of the Year.”
Hefner died in late September at age 91.
McCarthy never forgot about the opportunity Hefner gave her to make it big. She previously spoke about her relationship with Hefner on her self-titled SiriusXM radio show, calling him “the most good-hearted, caring, generous, supportive friend and mentor.”
“He’d always say, ‘Thanks for sharing the dream, Jen’,” she said at the time while holding back tears. “And when I thought about him passing last night, I just thought, I wanted one more chance to say thanks. Thank you for sharing your dream with me and for giving so many girls and so many people the opportunity of a lifetime.”
She added, “I will always miss you Hef. You will never be forgotten.”