Claire Robinson-Ayres: You've modeled for some well known brands, including PETA. What has been your most memorable modeling job and why?
Meggan Anderson: I don’t think anything can top being one of the 'Painted Ladies' at the Playboy Mansion! It honestly reminds me of doing nude demos for PETA. Recently I was a part of a print Campaign to Save Conan O’Brien from NBC. The company gave away free T-shirts that I was wearing in the ads to promote Conan and his career accomplishments… I decided to have Jesus Christ in one of the ads after he walked up on the street, complete with a Starbucks in hand! True Story!
CRA: Do you prefer runway or print modeling and why?
MA: Print, definitely. I don’t do as much runway as I used to. I prefer print because it’s more of a creative collaboration with a team of people. With runway, you are more of a puppet on a string.
CRA: You received a leading role in indie film 'Starked Out'. What was your favourite part about filming the movie?
MA: We were all sleep-deprived goofballs who were having fun filming this crazy script in the middle of this simply GORGEOUS desert! We all were taking our work seriously, but the 'behind the scenes' of the film were just as funny as the actual film itself. It felt like we were on the set of Animal House.
CRA: Your TV credits include MAD TV, CSI and Chuck. If you could get a role in any show what would it be?
MA: SNL (Saturday Night Live). Although the thought of living in New York doesn’t appeal to me, I’d love to be a player on a sketch show. Oddly enough however, I’d love to act in an awesome ‘Period Piece’ mini series of some sort.
CRA: What made you want to start acting and modeling? What inspiration do you look for to take on the role being asked?
MA: I’ve always been a fairly rambunctious person. It’s just something in me I’ve always had that I’ve wanted to get out. I know a lot of people in this business that get into drugs and whatnot, but to me acting IS the drug. To be someone you’re not with absolutely no consequences or ridicule IS the high for me. It’s very liberating! When I’m taking on a new role, I look for a number of things for inspiration. With sketch or improv, it is a very 'in the moment' thing when you have to turn off a part of your brain and crank up another. Your first intuition will get the most laughs. With scripted half hours or films, I never allow a part of myself to be inter-twined with that character. The character on the page is completely their own and I can’t judge them for that.
CRA: You say 'Acting allows me to be someone I'm not'. Which parts of yourself/personality go into hibernation when you become a character in a film?
MA: I let my entire being go out the window. When I’m playing a character, I put all of Meggan into hibernation and stand, walk, and speak like my character, because I AM my character. Sometimes the character will have similar traits as myself in real life, but even if I allow myself for a split of a second to think as Meggan would think, the spell is broken and I’m out of the character and its no good.
CRA: Have you ever played a character that you wish you were more like in real life?
MA: No. I enjoy who I am and I’m very comfortable with myself. I look at some characters that I have played and I’ll think to myself “Boy, I’m glad my life is not as fucked up as hers,” etc. I think a lot of actors dabble in a dangerous territory when they literally become their characters, and not know who they themselves really are in the mirror. You’ve got to know when to turn the 'On' and 'Off' button. I’m happy to go home at the end of the day and put on my jeans and t-shirts and eat cheap burritos.
CRA: You have a degree in flute performance. What drew you to the flute and do you see yourself playing professionally at any point?
MA: If past lives exist, I must have played the flute in one! As far back as I can remember, I’ve always been fascinated by them. I’ve played since I was 11. I’ve played for a few studio sessions before here in Los Angeles. I’ve also written songs on the piano since I was a child as well. I actually composed, and performed a song that was commissioned for a feature length independent film last year. I also play once a year in a Flute Convention that is held in the States every summer.
CRA: Your profile was disabled on Facebook for a while. What happened to cause that?
MA: (Laughs) Apparently Facebook didn’t like some thongs photos I had up from a print ad I did for a GPS company, and they didn’t like some Animal Rights Protest photos I had up on my page. Apparently cleavage is okay, butts are not… I am more offended that you cannot fully display your first amendment rights on Facebook. Out of frustration to the situation I wrote a sketch about it. (http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/72f782fca2/too-hot-for-facebook-music-video)
CRA: You're vegan. Were you a vegetarian before becoming vegan? What inspired your move to full vegan?
MA: I was a freshman in college doing a Google search to something completely unrelated to Animal Rights, when a video from PETA called Meet Your Meat popped up. Being a very political person all my life, I did further research and stopped eating all meat cold turkey except for fish and then I dived into the ocean of Veganism around 6 months later. It just disgusted me to think that after growing up in a state where’s there’s more pigs then people I never made that connection until I was 19 years old and living in California.
CRA: When you're on set what do you eat/drink to get you through long days?
MA: I’m really fortunate that Catering and Craft Services always have a wide variety of choices. I love having Vegan Breakfast Burritos for breakfast, soy milk, cereal and fruit in between scenes, and for lunch/dinner there’s always a huge salad bar and plenty of pasta, grilled veggies and tofu to feed an army!
CRA: Where is your favourite vegan restaurant and which menu item can't you live without?
MA: Madeleine Bistro in Los Angeles. Their Beet Tartare and Chocolate Souffle is an orgasm on a spoon!
CRA: Have you managed to convert friends and family to vegetarian/veganism? What do you say to persuade them?
MA: My mom is now a vegetarian after she saw the film Earthlings from Shaun Monson. The rest of my family tell me that they are eating less meat and love to tell me when they have tried a good veggie burger on the grill.
CRA: You won PETA's 'I'm Too Sexy For Leather' competition in 2007. What inspired your entry and what did you do when you found out?
MA: (Laughs) Well I was at a shoot for another print ad I was doing, and I’ve worked with this photographer numerous of times, so I asked him at the end of the shoot to do “Shoot some frames for this online thing.” All I wore was a pair of black panties and pleather knee high boots. Sometimes I think less is more… until the picture had 5 Meggan’s on it instead of just one.
CRA: What would you say to anyone reading who wears leather?
MA: There’s nothing more sexy then wearing your own skin rather than wearing the skin of a dead animal.
CRA: You've been involved in a number of PETA publicity stunts, including laying with your legs in a bear trap (to raise awareness of bear trapping), and being painted with reptile skin (to raise awareness of the skin trade), what's been your most memorable and why?
MA: We did a full nude anti-fur demo in Brattleboro, Vermont that got so much attention that it ended up being on the cover of the Wallstreet Journal. There’s nothing like walking past the news stand and seeing yourself nude on the cover of anything! Another time we were doing another anti-fur demo in San Diego in front of a mall, and the mall owners tried to charge us with AETA (Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act). They loss the lawsuit eventually. I’ve been called every colorful name on the streets covered in fake blood, wearing real dead animals, head to toe animal costumes, even just panties… but never call me or anyone else standing up for injustice a damned terrorist! My most memorable moments have been having those intimate one-on-one conversations with people about animal cruelty, and how the industries legally beat animals, force them to do stupid tricks, get boiled alive for your food; and to see their light bulbs go off in their heads. It’s not about who’s right and who’s wrong… it’s about what we all can do to not contribute to the needless suffering and to help stop it!
CRA: You are currently one of PETA's Lettuce Ladies. What have you got coming up to support your role as a Lettuce Lady?
MA: Well, the summertime is the time where we will go across America giving out our free veggie dogs to people and hand them free vegetarian starter kits... all while wearing our Lettuce Bikinis of course. It’s a great way to open people up to vegetarianism when you’re giving away free veggie dogs for them to try when they might not ever buy one themselves to try. Plus people love getting their pictures with us and then they tell their friends how hot these vegetarian girls are!
CRA: How did it feel to receive the President's Volunteer Service award from George W Bush for your work with PETA?
MA: It was pretty cool to receive an award from the President, even though I thought he was a horrible President… Anything that I can do spread the word about Animal Rights is okay with me. I have the award sitting in my closet here at home. If it was signed by Obama… then it might be framed on my wall.
CRA: Finally, if someone came to you and asked which of PETA's current campaigns they should get involved which one would you choose and why?
MA: The ‘Go Veg’ campaign. Just by not eating animals, you save more on CO2 emissions then by driving all of the worlds cars, trucks, trains and planes combined! You will save more water than you would use in a years worth of showers, and you’ll lose weight and feel great! Not to mention that you would spare the suffering of around 90 animals a year that wouldn’t have to be killed for your taste buds!
For more information about Meggan you can visit: www.meggananderson.com and check her videos out at www.funnyordie.com/meggananderson