#SWAAYthenarrative

Catching Up With Alexandra Daddario: Her Broadway Dreams and New Role As Executive Producer

People

With more than 15 movies and 20 TV roles under her belt—as well as six upcoming projects—Alexandra Daddario is a woman to watch in entertainment. You may know her as the bride-to-be in the 2018 Netflix comedy When We First Met or as last summer's blue-eyed, beach bombshell sharing the screen with Zac Efron in Baywatch. Daddario got her start in acting when she was young, her New York City roots helping her find her footing in a tricky, competitive industry. “I got into acting because I grew up in NYC and I was about 10 or 11 when I started to take acting lessons," she explains. “I thought it was cool to go to auditions, and then I booked little commercials. It's a very comfortable environment to play and be somebody else for a period of time."


The “somebody else" embodied by Daddario that proves recognizable for many millennials is none other than Annabeth Chase, the feisty, clever daughter of Athena. Daddario notes this as one of the roles she cherishes most, as it launched her career on the big screen. “Percy Jackson was my first big movie, and that's what got me out to LA and meeting a lot of different kinds of people, so that was incredible," she says.

Daddario as Annabeth Chase in Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters. Photo courtesy of USA Today

One would be remiss if they did not ask an actress about her favorite movie, Daddario's being the wildly popular Lady Bird. Add that to your to-watch list, and be sure to include Can You Keep a Secret?, her next major project.

This upcoming project is an especially exciting one because not only will she be the star, she will also be the Executive Producer. The movie is an adaptation of the 2003 novel by New York Times bestselling author Sophie Kinsella.

Daddario will play Emma Corrigan, a young businesswoman in London who accidentally reveals every one of her secrets to the CEO of her company when she thinks their plane is about to crash. What could go wrong after a little, innocent secret-spilling? A lot, probably, but you'll have to wait and see (or be proactive and pick up a copy of the book to prepare).

Daddario says she's been interested in taking on the production side of things for some time, ready to branch out after focusing on acting for the past 15 or so years. “I'm at a point where I can task myself a project and help get financing for it, and that's a really cool thing," she says. “And to empower other women that way, and to have more power over what goes on because I've been very lucky to have worked with a lot of different kinds of people and I've seen when things go wrong and when things go right, and I am very excited to have more control and help bring the project to life." There's no release date for Daddario's debut production quite yet, but be on the lookout. Hopefully someone involved really can't keep a secret, and will give fans a hint soon.

“I'm all about women who are empowering themselves through their work, their relationships, all kinds of things, and I think this is a great opportunity in time to start producing."

Now a seasoned actress and budding producer, Daddario knows the ropes of show business and offers advice to aspiring entertainers. “You never know where it will take you," she admits. “When I first got into acting I did commercials, but I wanted to be the little girl in Les Mis and wanted to be a Broadway Star, then I ended up on TV. You can't really have expectations. You have to work really hard. Don't get caught up in any of the nonsense of the job and do it if you love it...be easy on yourself, you're going to be entering something where you're going to be rejected, 99 out of 100 times. Don't take anything personally." If her great success is any indication of her advice's merit, it should be heeded.

As a clear theatre-enthusiast, when asked of her personal Broadway favorites, Daddario doesn't hesitate to list off a bunch of the shows that resonate with her most. Les Mis, Robin Williams' Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, and Speed-the-Plow are among the standouts. “I like all different kinds of things," she says. “I love going to theatre." And who knows? Perhaps her childhood dreams of making it to Broadway will still come true; Daddario certainly is keen on the idea of finding herself on one of the coveted NYC stages. “Oh, I would love to!" she says enthusiastically. “Yeah, I would absolutely love to. I think it's such a great training ground. I'd love to be in a musical, but I can't sing. I mean, I can a little bit, but not the way they sing in Les Mis."

Singing aside, it's safe to say Daddario's name could one day be seen on a playbill, her face studding city sidewalks and lighting up Times Square.

“I travel a great deal, that's part of being an actress, you travel constantly, your life gets to be very erratic. I'm always getting dirty, and doing what we do as women, we are always active, and so Kleenex Wet Wipes, you throw them in your purse or you have them with you when you're travelling...it's such a great product to have because it's not harsh, it doesn't dry out your skin...it's just one of these things that I always carry around with me like lip balm or mascara."

Alexandra Daddario uses Kleenex® Wet Wipes when she's running from hot yoga class to meet up with friends and stayed refreshed with them at Governors Ball in New York. Photo courtesy of Michael Simon / StarTraks for Kimberly-Clark

3 Min Read
Health

7 Must-have Tips to Keep You Healthy and Fit for the Unpredictable COVID Future

With a lack of certainty surrounding the future, being and feeling healthy may help bring the security that you need during these unpredictable times.

When it comes to your health, there is a direct relationship between nutrition and physical activity that play an enormous part in physical, mental, and social well-being. As COVID-19 continues to impact almost every aspect of our lives, the uncertainty of the future may seem looming. Sometimes improvisation is necessary, and understanding how to stay healthy and fit can significantly help you manage your well-being during these times.

Tip 1: Communicate with your current wellness providers and set a plan

Gyms, group fitness studios, trainers, and professionals can help you to lay out a plan that will either keep you on track through all of the changes and restrictions or help you to get back on the ball so that all of your health objectives are met.

Most facilities and providers are setting plans to provide for their clients and customers to accommodate the unpredictable future. The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C. An enormous amount is on the table for this coming fall and winter; if your gym closes again, what is your plan? If outdoor exercising is not an option due to the weather, what is your plan? Leaving things to chance will significantly increase your chances of falling off of your regimen and will make consistency a big problem.

The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C.

Tip 2: Stay active for both mental and physical health benefits

The rise of stress and anxiety as a result of the uncertainty around COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way. Staying active by exercising helps alleviate stress by releasing chemicals like serotonin and endorphins in your brain. In turn, these released chemicals can help improve your mood and even reduce risk of depression and cognitive decline. Additionally, physical activity can help boost your immune system and provide long term health benefits.

With the new work-from-home norm, it can be easy to bypass how much time you are spending sedentary. Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity. Struggling to find ways to stay active? Start simple with activities like going for a walk outside, doing a few reps in exchange for extra Netflix time, or even setting an alarm to move during your workday.

Tip 3: Start slow and strong

If you, like many others during the pandemic shift, have taken some time off of your normal fitness routine, don't push yourself to dive in head first, as this may lead to burnout, injury, and soreness. Plan to start at 50 percent of the volume and intensity of prior workouts when you return to the gym. Inactivity eats away at muscle mass, so rather than focusing on cardio, head to the weights or resistance bands and work on rebuilding your strength.

Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity.

Tip 4: If your gym is open, prepare to sanitize

In a study published earlier this year, researchers found drug-resistant bacteria, the flu virus, and other pathogens on about 25 percent of the surfaces they tested in multiple athletic training facilities. Even with heightened gym cleaning procedures in place for many facilities, if you are returning to the gym, ensuring that you disinfect any surfaces before and after using them is key.

When spraying disinfectant, wait a few minutes to kill the germs before wiping down the equipment. Also, don't forget to wash your hands frequently. In an enclosed space where many people are breathing heavier than usual, this can allow for a possible increase in virus droplets, so make sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Staying in the know and preparing for new gym policies will make it easy to return to these types of facilities as protocols and mutual respect can be agreed upon.

Tip 5: Have a good routine that extends outside of just your fitness

From work to working out, many routines have faltered during the COVID pandemic. If getting back into the routine seems daunting, investing in a new exercise machine, trainer, or small gadget can help to motivate you. Whether it's a larger investment such as a Peloton, a smaller device such as a Fitbit, or simply a great trainer, something new and fresh is always a great stimulus and motivator.

Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine.

Just because you are working from home with a computer available 24/7 doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your entire day to work. Setting work hours, just as you would in the office, can help you to stay focused and productive.

A good night's sleep is also integral to obtaining and maintaining a healthy and effective routine. Adults need seven or more hours of sleep per night for their best health and wellbeing, so prioritizing your sleep schedule can drastically improve your day and is an important factor to staying healthy. Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine. This can help the rest of your day feel normal while the uncertainty of working from home continues.

Tip 6: Focus on food and nutrition

In addition to having a well-rounded daily routine, eating at scheduled times throughout the day can help decrease poor food choices and unhealthy cravings. Understanding the nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy can help you stay more alert, but they do vary from person to person. If you are unsure of your suggested nutritional intake, check out a nutrition calculator.

If you are someone that prefers smaller meals and more snacks throughout the day, make sure you have plenty of healthy options, like fruits, vegetables and lean proteins available (an apple a day keeps the hospital away). While you may spend most of your time from home, meal prepping and planning can make your day flow easier without having to take a break to make an entire meal in the middle of your work day. Most importantly, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Tip 7: Don't forget about your mental health

While focusing on daily habits and routines to improve your physical health is important, it is also a great time to turn inward and check in with yourself. Perhaps your anxiety has increased and it's impacting your work or day-to-day life. Determining the cause and taking proactive steps toward mitigating these occurrences are important.

For example, with the increase in handwashing, this can also be a great time to practice mini meditation sessions by focusing on taking deep breaths. This can reduce anxiety and even lower your blood pressure. Keeping a journal and writing out your daily thoughts or worries can also help manage stress during unpredictable times, too.

While the future of COVI9-19 and our lives may be unpredictable, you can manage your personal uncertainties by focusing on improving the lifestyle factors you can control—from staying active to having a routine and focusing on your mental health—to make sure that you emerge from this pandemic as your same old self or maybe even better.