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Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive or inspires you?

Laura Regan: Everything about the morning. Dawn, sunrise. My children waking up. My breakfast smoothie!

MP: What makes you feel vulnerable?

LR: The changing climate. For instance, the current drought in California is stressing the coastal oak trees, and they are dying in alarming numbers. I recently went for a walk in a state park and found that some of my favorite trees had collapsed. It makes me feel vulnerable, personally and for my children.

MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be?

LR: “You are beautiful and you matter.”

MP: How do you handle emotional pain?

LR: I’m still working on that! It’s a constant process for me to learn to take the time to really understand what hurt me and how best to address it or respond. I tend to be reactionary, and that doesn’t help me or others. I do try to keep my heart open.

MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine?

LR: I always feel more grounded and stable when I have balance in my life; I’m a Libra! I’m most often surrounded by people, so what I usually crave is time alone. If I can have even a twenty-minute walk or swim and another twenty quiet minutes to myself at night, I can be much more giving all day long.

MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life?

LR: That I can still function when I don’t have that balance I crave. I had a tendency to be precious about acting, thinking of it as something mercurial that required all the right conditions, but now I know that even if I don’t get any sleep, I can still work, I can power through. The stars don’t have to be perfectly aligned for me to do a good job.

MP: What truth do you know for sure?

LR: That more stuff and more money don’t bring more happiness.

MP: What causes or organizations are you passionate about?

LR: I’m passionate about caring for this planet. I’d like to bring awareness to ways that individuals can reduce their carbon footprints without waiting for governments to change things on a policy level.

MP: Tell me about your yoga or mindfulness practice. What influence has it had on your life?

LR: I try to follow the teachings of Eckhart Tolle. I have a copy of The Power of Now permanently on my bedside table, and I turn to it whenever life feels challenging. His message is simple but pervasive, and it always helps me to live in each moment at a time.

MP: Tell me about your latest projects.

LR: I’m starring in the film adaptation of Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand’s epic novel from 1957. It features these passionate, principled, larger-than-life characters. I also guest star in the new NBC show Constantine.

MP: Why are these important to you?

LR: With Dagny in Atlas Shrugged, I really relished the opportunity to play a classic literary heroine. She falls in love with a man whose beliefs are the antithesis of hers. I like the idea that neither makes any romantic move until their philosophies are aligned.

MP: What is love for you?

LR: Family.

Laura Regan stars in Atlas Shrugged: Who Is John Galt?, in theaters September 12. She played the wife of Sterling Cooper’s head media buyer, Harry Crane, on Mad Men.

PHOTO: RUSSELL BAER

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