People 08 August 2018
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
For decades, women have been unknowingly suffering from PSD and intergenerational trauma, but now Dr. Valerie Rein wants women to reclaim their power through mind, body and healing tools.
As women, no matter how many accomplishments we have or how successful we look on the outside, we all occasionally hear that nagging internal voice telling us to do more. We criticize ourselves more than anyone else and then throw ourselves into the never-ending cycle of self-care, all in effort to save ourselves from crashing into this invisible internal wall. According to psychologist, entrepreneur and author, Dr. Valerie Rein, these feelings are not your fault and there is nothing wrong with you— but chances are you definitely suffering from Patriarchy Stress Disorder.
Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD) is defined as the collective inherited trauma of oppression that forms an invisible inner barrier to women's happiness and fulfillment. The term was coined by Rein who discovered a missing link between trauma and the effects that patriarchal power structures have had on certain groups of people all throughout history up until the present day. Her life experience, in addition to research, have led Rein to develop a deeper understanding of the ways in which men and women are experiencing symptoms of trauma and stress that have been genetically passed down from previously oppressed generations.
What makes the discovery of this disorder significant is that it provides women with an answer to the stresses and trauma we feel but cannot explain or overcome. After being admitted to the ER with stroke-like symptoms one afternoon, when Rein noticed the left side of her body and face going numb, she was baffled to learn from her doctors that the results of her tests revealed that her stroke-like symptoms were caused by stress. Rein was then left to figure out what exactly she did for her clients in order for them to be able to step into the fullness of themselves that she was unable to do for herself. "What started seeping through the tears was the realization that I checked all the boxes that society told me I needed to feel happy and fulfilled, but I didn't feel happy or fulfilled and I didn't feel unhappy either. I didn't feel much of anything at all, not even stress," she stated.
Photo Courtesy of Dr. Valerie Rein
This raised the question for Rein as to what sort of hidden traumas women are suppressing without having any awareness of its presence. In her evaluation of her healing methodology, Rein realized that she was using mind, body and trauma healing tools with her clients because, while they had never experienced a traumatic event, they were showing the tell-tale symptoms of trauma which are described as a disconnect from parts of ourselves, body and emotions. In addition to her personal evaluation, research at the time had revealed that traumatic experiences are, in fact, passed down genetically throughout generations. This was Rein's lightbulb moment. The answer to a very real problem that she, and all women, have been experiencing is intergenerational trauma as a result of oppression formed under the patriarchy.
Although Rein's discovery would undoubtably change the way women experience and understand stress, it was crucial that she first broaden the definition of trauma not with the intention of catering to PSD, but to better identify the ways in which trauma presents itself in the current generation. When studying psychology from the books and diagnostic manuals written exclusively by white men, trauma was narrowly defined as a life-threatening experience. By that definition, not many people fit the bill despite showing trauma-like symptoms such as disconnections from parts of their body, emotions and self-expression. However, as the field of psychology has expanded, more voices have been joining the conversations and expanding the definition of trauma based on their lived experience. "I have broadened the definition to say that any experience that makes us feel unsafe psychically or emotionally can be traumatic," stated Rein. By redefining trauma, people across the gender spectrum are able to find validation in their experiences and begin their journey to healing these traumas not just for ourselves, but for future generations.
While PSD is not experienced by one particular gender, as women who have been one of the most historically disadvantaged and oppressed groups, we have inherited survival instructions that express themselves differently for different women. For some women, this means their nervous systems freeze when faced with something that has been historically dangerous for women such as stepping into their power, speaking out, being visible or making a lot of money. Then there are women who go into fight or flight mode. Although they are able to stand in the spotlight, they pay a high price for it when their nervous system begins to work in a constant state of hyper vigilance in order to keep them safe. These women often find themselves having trouble with anxiety, intimacy, sleeping or relaxing without a glass of wine or a pill. Because of this, adrenaline fatigue has become an epidemic among high achieving women that is resulting in heightened levels of stress and anxiety.
"For the first time, it makes sense that we are not broken or making this up, and we have gained this understanding by looking through the lens of a shared trauma. All of these things have been either forbidden or impossible for women. A woman's power has always been a punishable offense throughout history," stated Rein.
Although the idea of having a disorder may be scary to some and even potentially contribute to a victim mentality, Rein wants people to be empowered by PSD and to see it as a diagnosis meant to validate your experience by giving it a name, making it real and giving you a means to heal yourself. "There are still experiences in our lives that are triggering PSD and the more layers we heal, the more power we claim, the more resilience we have and more ability we have in staying plugged into our power and happiness. These triggers affect us less and less the more we heal," emphasized Rein. While the task of breaking intergenerational transmission of trauma seems intimidating, the author has flipped the negative approach to the healing journey from a game of survival to the game of how good can it get.
In her new book, Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Barrier to Women's Happiness and Fulfillment, Rein details an easy system for healing that includes the necessary tools she has sourced over 20 years on her healing exploration with the pioneers of mind, body and trauma resolution. Her 5-step system serves to help "Jailbreakers" escape the inner prison of PSD and other hidden trauma through the process of Waking Up in Prison, Meeting the Prison Guards, Turning the Prison Guards into Body Guards, Digging the Tunnel to Freedom and Savoring Freedom. Readers can also find free tools on Rein's website to help aid in their healing journey and exploration.
"I think of the book coming out as the birth of a movement. Healing is not women against men– it's women, men and people across the gender spectrum, coming together in a shared understanding that we all have trauma and we can all heal."