Interview: Maranda Pleasant

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

Allison McAtee: Being in nature is inspiring. I grew up in rural Pennsylvania and spent countless hours of my youth wandering the woods in awe of the beauty that exists all around us.

MP: What makes you feel vulnerable?

AM: Falling in love.

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

AM: “Look to see the best in everyone—especially in those who refuse to do the same. Perhaps your kindness will break someone’s shell or be a catalyst to change their mind.”

MP: How do you handle emotional pain?

AM: I’m a crybaby, which means I barricade myself in my house and scream for awhile, and when it subsides enough that I can leave, I go for a run. Tears make great fuel. Night runs, or rainy days, are best for this as you don’t get as many questioning looks.

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

AM: I’ve recently started practicing japa meditation. Meditating has always been a bit difficult for me, but japa asks you to focus on the space between things, and psychologically knowing I have anchor points frees me to do so.

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

AM: To let go. I have spent many years holding so tightly to things—wants, desires, etc.—but inevitably, they or something even better only arrives when I release the grasp.

MP: What truth do you know for sure?

AM: Life is ever evolving. The only certainty is change.

MP: What is love for you?

AM: The peace that comes in the quiet stillness when your heart is full.

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

AM: I love Bikram Yoga. I tend to move and think at a fast pace, and the heat forces me to slow down and just focus on my breath. I’m also a fan of Kundalini yoga. It’s still a new practice for me, but I’ve found it infinitely helpful in getting me present.

MP: Tell me about your latest projects.

AM: This season of The Haves and the Have Nots is full of drama. [My character] Maggie Day has gone against age-old advice and can’t seem to stop herself from mixing business with pleasure. The web that is being woven is ever more convoluted and twisted. It’s a blast!

Allison McAtee stars on OWN’s hit show from Tyler Perry, The Haves and the Have Nots, as Maggie Day. Allison is best known for her roles in Californication and the film Bloomington. She has had roles on many television shows, including every CSI, The Mentalist, and Revenge.


Photo: Ben Miller, Hair and Makeup: Cat White 

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