Photo: Ashley Barrett
It’s undeniable that Lana Parrilla has that something that makes everyone want to be her, date her, or be best friends with her. She has stolen the hearts of viewers for the past 6 seasons of Once Upon A Time playing Regina Mills (for those who don’t know the show, the Evil Queen, and for those who do know the show, let’s keep the ‘evil’ for arguments sake).
Raised in Brooklyn, New York, Lana Parrilla was no stranger to the arts; growing up with her aunt who was a working actress, and making home movies with her family. After graduating, Lana pursued her passion and moved to Los Angeles and began appearing in local theatre productions. From there Parrilla kicked off her acting career starring in Spin City, Boomtown, 24, and Lost.
Now beginning her seventh season on Once Upon A Time Lana Parrilla could not be in a better place; her dedicated fan-base has her back through and through (just look at her Twitter). Lana’s charisma, drive, and passion for community projects and efforts close to her heart is what makes her our Monday Muse.
Who is the person that inspires you the most?
I would say in regards to work ethic, my aunt. She inspired me the most growing up. A lot of men have inspired me too; Paul Newman; he was always giving back which is something I admired. Glenn Close as an actor, Joni Mitchell was always an inspiration too – just to mention a few.
What did you want to be growing up?
I always wanted to be an actress, but it’s funny because although I don’t remember learning about most of it, as a kid I was always into biology and loving animals. I always wanted to be a marine biologist because I loved ocean life, that was something I found really intriguing as a kid.
Acting was really my love of all loves. All those doors opened for me and I knew it was the right path for me to go down.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Some of it is so cliché, but actually one of the things my father said to me to help me with my visualization, was to imagine yourself in a particular place. For example if you’re a baseball player like my dad was, he would say ‘I already saw the ball going over second base. I would see it and visualize it before it happened, and then I would make it happen’. That was something I found really interesting because it practiced manifestation and creating what you really want in your life. By visualizing it, and seeing it before it happens almost creates it in some way.
It’s not so much advice to follow your heart and figure it out, but it’s almost like a tool that I found useful. That’s something I think anyone can apply to any part of their life.
What’s the worst advice you’ve ever received?
*laughs* to not tell the truth!
What do people assume about your career that isn’t true?
That it’s not a career! *laughs* People that aren’t in the industry don’t really look at why I do as a career. You hear ‘oh that’s cool, so you do this for a living?’. I think that it’s a lot harder than people think it is.
What is the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your career?
Oh my God, it took hearing the word ‘no’ a lot. Experiencing that kind of rejection but never losing sight of my goal. I stayed focus, and dedicated a lot of time and heart to this craft and what I love to do. I never wavered, I didn’t allow myself to see anything other than [that].
If you could go back and give your 19 year-old self advice, what would it be?
I would say finish University. I think I would’ve said ‘just stick with it! You’re halfway there- well more than halfway there’.
How do you want people to remember you?
As a great actor. Personally, it’s different – I think I would want people to remember me as a honest, generous, and conscientious person.
Publicly, because not everyone is going to get to know me personally, publicly I would want people to remember me as a great actress because that’s something I’ve been working really hard at for a long, long time.
ONCE UPON A TIME – “Hyperion Heights” – As “Once Upon a Time” returns to ABC for its seventh season, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 6 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network, the residents of the enchanted forest face their greatest challenge yet as the Evil Queen, Captain Hook and Rumpelstiltskin join forces with a grown-up Henry Mills and his daughter Lucy on an epic quest to bring hope to their world and ours. (ABC/Jack Rowand)
© 2017 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
I’ve had the same crush for twenty-something years! He’s so damn talented, but I’ve always had a crush on Benicio Del Toro. He’s so damn talented, and that goes so far. He’s really sexy *laughs*.
One item of makeup you can’t leave the house without?
If you could play any character on Once Upon A Time, dead or alive, that isn’t you, who would it be?
Watch Once Upon A Time’s Season 7 Premiere on ABC, Friday, October 6 8:00pm EDT