Best known as Glee‘s fiery lesbian cheerleader Santana Lopez, Naya Rivera has been a rising star since she was a baby, landing adorable roles on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Family Matters in the 90s.
Now 26, she’s on the verge of launching her music career at Columbia Records and starring in a non-Glee movie role in Nicholas Mccarthy‘s upcoming thriller Home.
She’s also absolutely SLAYING the August/September 2013 issue of Complex Magazine. The vintage F. Scott Schafer-lensed photo spread finds the beauty taking herself on in a game of strip-poker.
Stylist Taylor Jacobs drapes Naya in a White hot Giorgio Armani tuxedo, a lime Emilio Pucci halter top and pants combo, sexy black Dolce & Gabbana lingerie, black lipstick, and a fierce red manicure.
Inside, she talks about her gay character, her album, boyfriend Big Sean, and more. Enjoy a few snippets below, along with photos from the shoot.
On the importance of her character on Glee:
“Having gay characters makes a difference, especially when you are a teenager and you need people to look up to. Your world feels so small. The tiniest thing can make you think, ‘I’m gonna die!’ I’m glad Glee is around for people dealing with something that big in such a small world. It’s important.”
On kissing her female co-star on camera:
“Kissing a girl was a little awkward just because we had a million grips, and all the guys wanted to visit the set that day. Heather and I just laughed it off.”
On her new movie:
“It was crazy. There were stunts and prosthetics involved, but there wasn’t much screaming. It’s not a jumpy film… It’s more like, ‘That’s messed up.’”
On her forthcoming debut album:
“[It’s] feel-good music for hanging out. If you were having a summer barbecue, this would be the perfect album to play.”
On making time with Big Sean:
“With anything that you want, you’ll work at it and make the time for it.”