Q: What is one thing you can’t live without?
A: My kids.
Q: Why is it important for women to support women?
A: At the end of the day, I feel like when one of us rises, we all rise together. If history has proven anything, if women don’t lift each other, no one else will.
A rising tide floats all boats!
Q: If you could spend the day with anyone living or dead, who would it be and why?
A: I’d spend one last day with my grandfather who passed away almost five years ago.
Q: What has been the most rewarding project of your career?
A: In terms of acting, I’m really proud of the work I did on Awkward and really proud of the show that we made. In my personal life, I’m extremely proud of the work that I’ve done and continue to do with the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and the Alzheimer’s Association.
Q: When were you happiest?
A: Now. My youngest son currently has a healthy heart. Both of my kids are thriving. My husband and I are fortunate enough to still be together after 20 years. We have great jobs, a roof over our heads and we are surrounded by incredible family and friends.
Q: What is the worst job you’ve done?
A: After the first season of Awkward was filmed, I was interning at a production company because I wanted to learn the business side. They started me by answering phones and I couldn’t figure out how to use them, so they took me off and had me just read scripts instead. It wasn’t the worst job I’ve ever had but the most incompetent I’ve ever been in my life.
Q: Where is one place in the world you would love to visit next?
Q: How do you relax?
A: I love to take baths while watching TV on my iPad.
Q: What is your daily skincare routine?
A: I use products from Dr. Lancer, a dermatologist in Los Angeles. It’s a whole regimen that takes about 10 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes at night. It involves exfoliating, cleansing, spraying, applying and more applying. I just started using the products and I can already see a huge difference in my face.
Q: What is your most cherished beauty product?
A: Dry shampoo, sunscreen and Aquaphor.
Q: Favorite accessory and why?
A: I have a necklace that was made by my friend Monica Stanley at Leenabell. She makes bar necklaces and I have my sons’ names engraved on each side. I never take it off.
Q: What is your favorite high-end brand to splurge on?
A: My face products by Dr. Lancer. I don’t really splurge on anything else.
Q: What is the biggest misconception about your profession?
A: That it’s always glamorous and just because you’re an actor, you’re always successful. Only 5% of actors make enough money to not have a second job, so it’s an extraordinarily tough profession. There are people in the industry that present themselves as if they’re more important because of what they do for a living, but that’s not true. No matter what job you have, everyone is equal.
Q: Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
A: I recently listened to several podcasts that I was a guest on and for an academic, it was astounding and horrifying how many times I used the words “like” and “um”. I’m trying to be more cognizant.
Q: What trait do you most admire in others?
Q: Who would play you in the film of your life?
A: If it was a movie about my childhood, Michaela Russell. If it was about my 20’s, Kaitlyn Dever and Brie Larson for my 30s.
Q: How would you like to be remembered?
A: I would like to be remembered as a person who loved hard, a great mom, a great wife, a great friend and a person with a service driven heart. A person that left the world better than she came into it.
Q: Is there a specific film or actor that inspired you to act?
A: Yes, “Singing in the Rain” and Barbra Streisand in “Funny Girl”.
Q: Why did you start the What We Are blog? And can you discuss why vulnerability is our superpower?
A: Jen Dede, What We Are co-founder, kind of walked into my life at that point in time where I was like, ‘I want to wake up and I want to be the most authentic version of myself. And I don’t care if it’s messy and I don’t care if it’s ugly. And I don’t care if my messiness makes people uncomfortable.’ This is important. This is important to living a good life.” From this revelation, we founded What We Are. It started as a hobby blog has now turned into a platform and a movement for women about women.
It takes more strength to be vulnerable than it does to pretend, deny or be in resistance to your feelings. You actually can’t feel your feelings without vulnerability. Only by being vulnerable can we truly learn to love and accept ourselves; and love and accept others. Only through vulnerability can we live an authentic life.
Q: Who’s an actor or director that you would love to work with?
A: I would love to work with Diane Keaton, Allison Janney, Holly Hunter, Julianne Moore and the list goes on. As far as directors, Steven Spielberg and Greta Gerwig.
Q: Can you tell us about your work with The Alzheimer’s Association? How did you first get involved and what it means to you.
A: I first got involved when my father was diagnosed with Pick’s disease, a very rare and aggressive form of dementia in the summer of 2017. I also lost my grandfather to Alzheimer’s and my father’s mother also has it. I’m a big believer in turning your pain into purpose and living a life of service, so it made perfect sense for me to get involved with the organization based on how dramatically it has impacted my family. It’s the 6th leading cause of death in the US and every 65 seconds, someone is diagnosed. It is a disease that needs our awareness, our help and our money.
Q: Do you have any upcoming projects with Hallmark that you can tell us about?
A: Right now, “Two Turtle Doves” is airing on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel, which will be playing throughout the holidays. I’m currently in development on a three other projects for 2020.
Photographer: Inda Reid at Images by Inda
Hair: Kyle Hennessy
Make Up: Ashley Beverly Cordova