Interview: Maranda Pleasant

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

Amanda Schull: I think much of my inspiration comes from nature. I feel alive when I take a long hike with my dog or when I just spend time outdoors, appreciating the beauty of this world. I even feel alive and inspired when I walk through farmers markets appreciating and learning about local fruits and vegetables.

MP: What makes you feel vulnerable?

AS: I feel vulnerable when I am underprepared. This applies to underpreparedness with just about anything, especially work.

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

AS: I would remind people on the planet that this is the only one we have, and we need to take care of it. I would want people to truly consider what we do and how we treat the earth, the ecosystems, and animals we share it with, and think about the legacy we want to leave behind.

MP: How do you handle emotional pain?

AS: When I am confronted with emotional pain, I try to allow myself the time to properly grieve. We are caring, emotional beings, and attempting to suppress pain will only cause it to negatively manifest itself in other ways.

That being said, I am not one to feel sorry for myself. I believe it is healthy to honor one’s feelings and do the best we can to learn and grow from them moving forward.

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

AS: I have different routines for different types of chaos. When I find myself swamped with work and surrounded by people, I try to carve out time to walk my dog alone so I can organize my thoughts.

I also have a routine with breathing and visualization techniques that I go through when I feel overwhelmed or nervous.

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

AS: I think one of my biggest lessons so far in life is that hard work really does pay off. It may not culminate in the way you expected it to, but I have found that when I really put my head down and apply myself, I often get a good result.

MP: What truth do you know for sure?

AS: I know that there is absolutely good in the world.

MP: What is love for you?

AS: Love for me is comfort. I feel most loved and most capable of giving love when I am around people or in places that make me comfortable.

MP: What causes or organizations are you passionate about?

AS: I am a huge animal lover. Growing up, my mother and I rescued countless animals—dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, even a turtle. I have been accused of caring more about animals than I do about people.

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

AS: I give myself a Pilates/yoga hybrid mat class almost every day. I also continue to take ballet classes. Both of these practices help me to be aware of my body, my center, and how I move, both with my physical space and my mental space.

I also use that centering process I mentioned as a way to focus my mind and connect it to my physical body. I feel that when we are aware of our physical bodies, we become more aware of how we exist on the earth and more considerate of others with whom we share the earth.

MP: Tell me about your latest projects.

AS: I am on a TV show called 12 Monkeys; we premiered on January 16 on Syfy. I also have been working on a TV show called Suits on USA.

Most projects outside of work have taken a backseat for the last few months because of our intense filming schedule. I look forward to getting involved with a few new things and organizations now that filming is on hiatus.

MP: Why are these important to you?

AS: The work that I have been doing on television has been important to me because I have had the opportunity to portray very strong, intelligent women. It has been such a privilege to depict a woman that is independent, unapologetic, and resilient on both shows. [The series] 12 Monkeys has allowed me to investigate this wonderful character, Dr. Cassandra Railly, and how she would react when faced with life-changing challenges. This has prompted me to think about my own life, choices I have and would make, and the impact I would like to make on the world.

Photo: Annie Mcelwain

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