Van Helsing Star Laura Mennell Interview “Feel Good About You”
Please tell us about yourself and what you do?
I’m Laura Mennell and I’m lucky enough to be able to do what I love for a living – I’ve been a professional actor for over a decade. I’ve been persistent in following my dreams, worked hard to get where I am, and I’m grateful to be working where my passion lies.
Can you tell us a bit about any upcoming projects or events that you are working on?
Just finished filming the first season of Syfy’s ‘Van Helsing‘ with the wonderful and talented Kelly Overton. Had a blast working alongside her, Paul Johansson, Neil Labute and the rest of the wonderful cast and crew. At the wrap party we had a sneak peek of the very first episode and audiences will love it. It’s dark, at times oddly quirky, gritty and a super fun vampire show.
I also shot a really lovely short film this year, called ‘Limina’, directed by Florian Halbeld and Joshua M. Ferguson. It was wonderful being part of such a positive film celebrating diversity and love through the eyes of a spirited transgendered child. I can’t wait to see it! Also, II have a guest starring role coming up on Will McCormack‘s new show, ‘Travelers‘ on Netflix. It’s been a great year!
Do you find the pressures of working in your industry significant with regard to feeling the need to have a “perfect” body? If so, how do you navigate through that terrain? How do you “not” judge yourself when others (critics, audience members, producers, etc.) “judge” you based on outward measures?
It’s easy for anyone to give into unrealistic ideals the media bombards us with, being spoon fed the need to attain a “perfect” body…whatever that is. Working in the film industry I definitely feel the pressure at times, I think everyone does, it’s almost impossible not to.
But it’s important to not give into these narrow minded ideals and remember there are more important things in life! Be true to yourself, appreciate your uniqueness and what you have to offer as a human being, rather than be consumed by what’s on the surface. It’s good to take care of yourself by exercising and eating well, and it’s also nice to dress in ways that make you feel good; but, there’s more to life than worrying about physical appearance. It doesn’t really matter what others think, especially if they are judging you on something as simplistic as the way you look—if they are, they’re not worth your time in the first place. Feel good about yourself, your talents, your intellect, your connection to the world around you—because that’s where true self love and confidence comes from, and will shine through.
To follow up with that question, how do you deal with bullying or people talking negative about you? Can you give any examples of bullying in your personal life and how you handled it?
When someone feels strongly enough to bully others in real life or through social media, their negative attitude stems from a darker place within themselves. It really has nothing to do with you. And every once in awhile if I read negative comments attacking myself online, sure it might sting a little, but I try and let it go because I don’t feel the need to let it rule my life. It’s easy to want to lash out and fuel into their verbal abuse, but it’s not worth your time. Life’s too short to engage with attacks like that, it’s best to let it go and engage in other activities that feed the soul.
What made you want to get involved with Mental Fitness, Inc. and what it is about the mission of Mental Fitness that speaks to you?
There’s not enough value placed on mental health. Having a safe space to share and promote healthy living along with self-empowerment is important. Mental Fitness, Inc. is a wonderful online community celebrating ways of nurturing ourselves through positivity. I love that! How could you not?!
Who were the role models in your life?
I’ve been lucky enough to have wonderful family, who’ve been role models by being the wonderful people they are. I have great parents who’ve always been loving and supportive of who I am and what I want to do. And I have a fantastic sister who always amazes me with her strength and accomplishments—as a mature student, she recently finished her Honours Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Toronto and will soon be jumping at the chance to complete a Masters!
What do you define as beautiful?
Beauty can be found everywhere in life. I love when it hits me unexpectedly through a song or a piece of art, surprising me through some kind of emotional honesty or simple truth. It can also be found in nature, or through people when you find honest and open connections in relationships. Beauty’s always there, we’re surrounded by it.
How do you define inner beauty?
For me, inner beauty comes through uniqueness and daring to be your truthful self. I love quirks in people and find perfection is overrated.