I recently had the wonderful opportunity to converse with and interview the multi-talented and multi-faceted Brooke Lewis. A native of the east coast who now resides out on the west coast, the vivacious and versatile Brooke Lewis has indeed made a positive impact in many aspects of her personal and professional life.
Brooke kept it really real during the interview and was truly entertaining and enlightening.
Here is my ‘Spotlight Interview’ with Brooke Lewis:
1. Trainer Z: I’m here on the phone with Brooke Lewis who has taken time out of her very busy schedule for this spotlight interview for ‘TZelement Magazine’.
Brooke: Trainer Z and ‘TZelement Magazine’, it is a true honor to speak with you.
2. Trainer Z: Brooke, you have been interviewed a great number of times and so we truly do appreciate your enthusiasm and willingness to make this particular interview happen. Before we venture into the life and times of you ‘the person’ and you ‘the professional’, are there any events or projects you have coming up that we should be on the lookout for?
Brooke: I love that question. I always have events and projects going on. The joke in Hollywood is that I’m a real vampire because I don’t sleep, and that’s true. We’ve talked about this before where my priority, first and foremost, is always for the world to know me as an actress. That is my love. That is my passion. That is what I have committed my life to, alongside now, so many positive messages, which you guys are amazing for acknowledging.
And so, shout-outs to a few projects. One, we’ve got a film titled, “Allen + Millie: A Short Romance”, directed by Markus Redmond and starring Courtney Gains and myself, that we hit the ground running with, at the film festival circuit and award shows in 2018.
Also, a shout-out to another film titled, “Psycho Therapy”, directed by Staci Layne Wilson and starring Ricky Dean Logan and myself, that crushed it at the awards and festival circuit last year in 2017.
You guys will soon hear about another short film I acted in, directed by and starring Dave Reda, “Rotting Love”, a charming Zombie romance comedy that will have its World Premiere in June at the prestigious ‘Dances With Films‘ in Hollywood.
Then a really, really proud project is the feature film that will be coming out next year titled “1/2 New Year”. Drew McAnany wrote this role for me to play, Pam Deluca, his older sister … It’s sort of a 20-something dramedy. It is such a sweet, sweet feature film that I think it’s going to do really well. I’m in love with my role. Our director’s name is Tom Morash… Amazing, and Georgia Menides is our incredible writer and producer. What a gift this was! You guys can check out the talented cast and crew list on IMDB.
Continuing projects, I am still an active Celebrity Ambassador, which you can see all the photos on my Instagram, for ‘Breaking The Chains Foundation‘, and this is an incredible charity and cause where people with eating disorders, body image issues, and self-esteem issues can heal their pain and struggles through art. Again, talk about positivity, where people come together to support people who have issues, because we all have them, and come together and you can cultivate your courage through acting, writing, directing, painting, and any art. Thanks to Debra Hopkins and the BTCF Team, this is a foundation/cause that I’m hugely proud of.
Last, but not least, a big shout out to my new clothing line addition … two years ago, inspired by my book, Alison “MetalBabe” Cohen and I produced a clothing line through her company Metal Babe Mayhem…’Rock Your Hot Mess’. It was such a success that, inspired by my recent engagement, we just launched … TZelement, you’re one of the first to hear … our ‘Bridal & Bachelorette Rock Your Hot Mess’ line, it’s like a bridal party fun and comfy line. We offer “Brides”, “Brides- to- Be”, and “Bachelorettes” “Rock Your Hot Mess” … because we are all a “Hot Mess” in some way, based on my book, “Coaching From A Professed Hot Mess”. And I Own it and we are proud to Rock it! We encourage men and women out there to just ‘Rock Your Hot Mess’. It’s okay to make mistakes. We are all “perfectly imperfect”. So again, keeping in positive mind frame, it’s okay to Rock Your Hot Mess… and check out our bridal line. You can find everything on my websites and media sites.
3. Trainer Z: That is great. You’re giving us some stuff to look out for. We definitely want to present that clothing line in our magazine as well.
Brooke: We would be honored, in fact, this is so great, because you will be the very first to hear, and we have our final meeting today… right now, we’ve got what they call “average” sizes for women in Hollywood. We’ve been getting so much interest from Plus-size models and Plus-size actresses, and curvier women saying, “What about us?”
Again, in keeping the positivity, I know Trainer Z, you and ‘TZelement Magazine’ are all about fitness and staying positive, but you can be fit and you can be curvy and beautiful at the same time. I’m voluptuous and it’s something I’ve struggled with for years from New York to Hollywood, and I’m a size 2 on a “good” day, a size 4 on a “bad day”. In Hollywood, I can be considered “chubby”, which is ridiculous. I workout five days a week, which we’ll talk about.
My point to bringing it up is… we are expanding to carry Plus-size in our ‘Bridal & Bachelorette Rock Your Hot Mess’ line, because beautiful women come in all shapes and sizes and we’ve got to embrace it and Rock it!
4. Trainer Z: Alrighty! You certainly wear many professional hats in the entertainment industry. You’re an actress, writer, producer, author, philanthropist, tv personality, life coach and dating expert. I don’t know if I missed anything, but what are some professional career accomplishments that you’re most proud of?
Brooke: Again, my first passion in life, since childhood has always been to be an actress. I love acting and have, somehow, made my dream come true… even if it is not always the way I would like them to. I have had tv series, I have lost tv series, but I’m so proud that I have managed for 20 years from New York to Hollywood to sustain some semblance of a career as an actress, because I will never quit, I will never quit, and I want your readers to know that and to follow suit that when you have passion in your heart, like you do Trainer Z for positivity and fitness, you never give up your dreams. “Be You And Be Fearless”, which segues to number two, which I never thought I would love a career, even close to loving acting.
I’m so grateful that years later after making a living acting between New York and LA, I can honestly say that I love being a life coach, and that came to pass because of my Ms. Vampy character and hosting and a talk show for teen girls, and they inspired me so with all the issues that young people are facing today, that I went back to school after having several college degrees and became a board certified life coach, launched my business, ‘Be You And Be Fearless’ in 2011, and here I stand today, a proud actress and life coach and I think that it’s okay to multi-hyphenate yourself in this day and age like we do. I’m really proud of it. Like we talked about before, I’m proud that I can use my positivity, encouragement, and support of others to bring that full circle into all my careers combined.
5. Trainer Z: What’s the one word you would use to define yourself?
Brooke: Tenacious! Even when I have had doors slammed in my face repeatedly in Hollywood, I keep moving forward.
6. Trainer Z: It seems that attending and participating in charitable events is a major aspect of your life and lifestyle. What compels you to support such a vast number of charities?
Brooke: The two words are inspiration and responsibility. I get invited to a lot of events, I get invited to participate in a lot of various things here in Hollywood, and for me personally, and I can only speak for myself, I gravitate to projects, to charities, to people whom/that inspire me, so when someone comes to me and they have a charity that speaks to my heart and soul, I want to participate, I choose to participate.
Also, I truly feel … and again, I don’t want to project my feelings onto other people, but I am so grateful to have what little I have as a “celebrity” in Hollywood, that I feel it’s my responsibility, and I love that word. I truly feel it’s my responsibility to give back and to help others that may not even be in the minimal position that I am in the public eye, and so for me, it is my soul.
7. Trainer Z: If you had the authority to change three things in the world, what would they be?
Brooke: Equality for all… all races, all sexes, all genders, that would definitely be first and foremost.
Second of all, the homeless problem that is out of control, especially when we forget how much it’s out of control in the United States, and what we see on a daily basis here in Los Angeles is horrifying. That’s one of my inspirations, why I volunteer at the Los Angeles Mission for ‘Skid Row’. That is just huge right now and is so upsetting to me.
Third, what upsets me is literally the state of the world with the haves versus the have-nots, I think that it’s just the state of the world and humanity in general. People have become more interested in technology than humanity and it upsets me greatly, honestly, energetically, and at the core. To me, we are a society that has lost true intimacy and true connection, and I would change that.
8. Trainer Z: You let it be known that you have dealt with social adversity in life. What positive message would you share with someone who’s struggling with self-esteem and or social acceptance?
Brooke: I would tell them, you are not alone, you are never alone, and that we have all experienced self-esteem issues, social acceptance issues; celebrities, public figures, politicians who the young readers may perceive as having a wonderful life, it is all appearance versus reality, especially on social media.
People can portray their lives to be so perfect and it’s a falsity, it’s a farce, it’s not true. Do not buy into the propaganda, do not drink the potion, we all struggle. In my book, “Coaching From A Professed Hot Mess”, I say it, we are all “perfectly imperfect”. I have failed and made so many mistakes too, so it’s okay. We’re all human and we are all incredibly flawed, and so that is what everyone needs to know, that everybody is flawed, and the best thing we can do is know that and stop comparing, that’s another really important component, we have to stop comparing ourselves to other people.
9. Trainer Z: Let’s talk acting … What first attracted you to begin your career as an actress?
Brooke: TV! I was obsessed with TV and I was an incredibly emotional child.
10. Trainer Z: So, the acting allows you to express those emotions or to be emotional?
Brooke: You got it Trainer Z! It allowed me, exactly, to express my emotions and to find an outlet to tap into with those emotions and have it be okay. It’s like a form of therapy for me.
11. Trainer Z: Which are your top 5 favorite movies?
Brooke: This is going to be off the cuff … so “The Godfather”; I mean come on, I’m Italian! “Goodfellas”, “Pretty Woman”, I love that movie. “The Notebook” cause I’m a romantic sucka, and I’m going to say “Swingers”.
12. Trainer Z: Who are your top 5 actors?
Brooke: Denzel Washington, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Philip Seymour Hoffman, who I think was so brilliant, and Marlon Brando.
13. Trainer Z: Who are your top 5 actresses?
Brooke: I’m going to say, Viola Davis, Helen Mirren, Octavia Spencer, Melissa Leo, and Judi Dench.
14. Trainer Z: If not an actress, what do you think would be the ideal profession for you?
Brooke: All my friends joke, from New York to Hollywood, who are in the entertainment business that I would have been the best publicist; and that’s probably true. I’m a great promoter of others, but then the other joke is that I would have run Paramount Studios like Sherry Lansing. They joke that I would have been like a mini Sherry Lansing at Paramount, and that’s probably true too. My fans will tell you, and you see it on Twitter and Instagram, I spend hours each morning and night, to the point where my fingers ache … I work my fingers, literally to the bone, and I respond to as many fan comments and people as I possibly can and be authentic about it.
I’m authentic! I tell people when I’m having a dreadful experience or day. Be authentic! It’s funny too, and you can note this, I’ve noticed, even on Twitter, if I go out and I promote a film I did, okay great; my fans are always my loyal fans, but if I go out one day and say, here’s my Tuesday Thought or Wednesday Wisdom hashtags and I share something that’s really upsetting to me, or from my heart, or some truth, or I’m having a bad day, I get double the responses, because people actually do want to know you.
15. Trainer Z: What has been your most challenging acting role?
Brooke: I would say, emotionally, a film I did titled “Sprinkles”, directed by Roger A. Scheck, and without giving too much of a spoiler alert … It’s not a horror film, it’s a drama thriller that I was blessed to actually win the prestigious Actors Awards 2017; I won for “Sprinkles” as Best Actress In A Drama; so I’m really blessed. Without, again, spoiler alert too much, it deals with rape, it’s a really emotionally intense, dark film and probably one of my favorite roles that I’ve ever had the opportunity to play; so that would be it.
16. Trainer Z: What is the most extreme change to your personality, hair, physical appearance that you have done to prepare for an acting role?
Brooke: I’ve had the opportunity to do a Special FX test which you guys can find online. I did a zombie test with an Oscar-winning company in 2011. It was extraordinary and it took 5 hours to get me into zombie makeup, and that is what they do on some of these sci-fi tv shows; I learned a lot. That was huge, but … It’s so funny, I’m such a character actress; I know people are surprised when I say that, but that’s the truth in my business, I’m like the “sexy” character actress. I’ve had the opportunity to play many similar roles, but I mean hilarious. One that comes to mind that the readers can check out, which is a horror comedy, titled “Dahmer Vs. Gacy”. I know, I know. “Dahmer Vs. Gacy”, and I played Televangelist, Tammy Hart, and it was hilarious, I had the huge ridiculous hair modeled, respectfully, after Tammy Faye Baker, back in the day, and I mean they did my mascara to the nines and my makeup all over, and the jewelry, rings on every finger, truly …
I mean a lot of films you can see me in, even “Sinatra Club” which is an Indie film that I’m most known for which is a well-known mobster drama that was based on the real life of John Gotti. If anyone wants to check out “Sinatra Club”, it is set in 1972, I am like a mobster hooker and, I don’t even think the makeup was that crazy on that one, but my hair is 1972, that kind of Afro-frizz; it is hilarious, and I’ve got these crazy hooker shoes on, but those are roles I love to play.
17. Trainer Z: What sort of acting roles will you be seeking in the future?
Brooke: I love this question because it’s something that I have recently sat down with my agents and managers and had real heart-to-heart talks with them about. As a woman who is growing up, and I often play a lot younger than I am, I am ready. I was playing high school students when I was in my late 20’s because I’m more petite, I’m shorter, I look younger, and so now, I’m just ready to step into those powerful female roles.
I need to prove a lot to Hollywood myself because they all look at me and go, she’s so cute, she’s a little sexpot; they’re just now allowing me to step into the cougar and young mom roles, but I don’t want that; that’s not my essence. What I want are those Villainess roles, the powerful, strong woman… just because I’m five feet tall doesn’t mean that I don’t have strength inside and the essence to be powerful! Now, I’m stepping into wanting to prove myself as a mature grown woman who wants to play those powerful female roles.
18. Trainer Z: You’ve accomplished so much in your profession thus far, the numerous films, awards, accolades. Five years from now, where do you see yourself in your career?
Brooke: It’s interesting, and thank you for saying that and acknowledging all of that because it all goes and happens so fast that I forget half of my accomplishments. I see my shelf here in my home with awards galore and statuettes, and I’m grateful and I thank the angels above every day. However, it all goes fast. I thought I would be on a tv series now, again, like I was years ago and I’m not.
So in five years, if had my choice, I wouldn’t be far off from where I am now, because I’m very grateful and blessed to be here, but I would like to have another tv series where I’m a series regular, hopefully, a Netflix series or an HBO or Showtime series that’s meaty and juicy; hell, I’d like to be on the next “Sopranos”, but that’s what I would like; I would like another tv series, and I would like to have more income and abundance coming with it.
19. Trainer Z: Why do you feel that for a tv series, that is something that isn’t so attainable, that it’s something you have to strive for? What does it take to make it happen? Are there things that are so out of your control?
Brooke: Like you said, 100%! There are so many factors that are out of my control, that are out of our control, so that is 100% correct. There is no rhyme or reason in the acting business. Things on a daily basis for me here make zero sense, so I’ve stopped trying to make sense of it, and this is something I have to work on every day. We have to commit to being and to doing the best we can with what we have because there’s no rhyme or reason. I could be up for a tv series and could be the best person for the job and the most talented person for the job, however, the director steps in and wants his wife to play my role, or the network steps in and says we’re going to put a bigger “name” actress in tomorrow in her place, or something comes in from foreign distribution (this is more the case with film but I’m just sharing) and they say, that actress sells more distribution overseas than Brooke Lewis, so we’re going to recast her.
20. Trainer Z: What I’m hearing you say, that’s regardless even of your status, being a B-Lister or A-Lister, that it’s not a guarantee?
Brooke: Absolutely; No Guarantee! Now also let me add, the climate of the industry, like we talked about is so different. Here’s the positive part of it because I know you’re all about positivity and I want it to stay positive. The positive part of it is…it used to be … you had to be fully established as the creator of the show, as an actress of the show to get your project seen by the networks, but that is no longer the case.
Now, and again, this is part of the whole internet and media thing where people can connect anywhere. You no longer have to live in Hollywood or New York. You no longer have to have had five tv series under your belt to be seen for a series regular. You can be a woman, you know like me, sitting in Wisconsin, right now creating a tv show and if you can somehow maneuver a way to get it into the right hands, you may be the next tv star, you may get the next Amazon original series.
21. Trainer Z: If you could change just one thing about the film and movie industry, what would it be?
Brooke:Ageism! I am so tired of hearing about age in this business. With age comes experience, talent, wisdom; those are the elements of a true artist. It drives me bananas when I hear people say, oh she’s too old, he’s too old, they’re looking for younger, they don’t make movies for that generation; not true, we need them now more than ever. The baby boomers exist, they need entertainment; people are living longer and longer.
I just think that Hollywood especially … it’s changing slowly but they need to recognize that people want content with depth. No disrespect again, but I don’t know that you get a lot of depth with constant teen films; I know teens need that, but there’s a whole other world that’s out there.
22. Trainer Z: What words of advice can you give to aspiring actors and actresses?
Brooke: Commit and study, and that doesn’t mean commit to I’m going to give myself one year to go to Hollywood and get famous. Commit your heart, your time, your energy, your money, your everything to make this dream come to fruition. It means committing every way for a very long time. This business ebbs and flows. I’ve had tv series, I’ve had tv pilots that have never aired, tv series that have gone off the air, I won the B movie award for Scream Queen of the year 2010.
All of that is fleeting, and you have to stay the course, never quit; the old cliché, never quit. Study, train. I don’t care what profession you’re in, study, train, learn, be the best that you can be at what you choose. Again, I go back to “Be You And Be Fearless”! Be yourself. It may take longer for Hollywood or New York or Atlanta or whoever to understand and to get you and perceive you the way you need to perceive, but stay true to you.
23. Trainer Z: Now let’s talk fitness. What specific fitness goals are you currently focused on?
Brooke: Leaning down … Look, I’m going to be honest. I am always focused on losing weight or maintaining and I work very hard to do that. I am not naturally thin, I am naturally voluptuous and curvy, I am ethnic, I am east coast. I like to eat, so I’m always trying to lean down and lose weight.I think the lean part, especially as a woman is really important. It is important to do weights as well as cardio. I always manage to get my cardio in but I’m slacking in weightlifting and I am committed to working harder on that and just getting lean and more muscle. When I was younger, I was really muscular naturally; people used to ask me if I was bodybuilder at the Jersey shore. Ha!
24. Trainer Z: What’s in your fitness playlist?
Brooke: That’s such a great question and it’s funny, I was thinking about that and I’m like, oh my gosh, I’m going to be honest, I’m going to do an honest share. A lot of times when I’m working out, whether it’s the treadmill or the stationary bike or whenever at the gym, I honestly am listening to either positivity … So there you go, honestly, positivity or audio from OWN Network. I have the OWN Network app on my phone, I love watching or listening to a lot of the empowerment speakers on the OWN app. I also love to watch astrology videos. I’ll be on the treadmill and I’ll be watching or listening to my astrology forecast for the week.
25. Trainer Z: That’s quite an interesting fitness playlist, more so it’s shows and empowerment than music?
Brooke: You know, because it keeps me upbeat. It keeps me positive. Honestly, I’m also, I own it, a freestyle girl because I’m Philly, Jersey, New York girl. I have great playlists of like total New York freestyle dance music from back in the day including my song … You know, I was a one-hit wonder. Everybody needs to add to your workout playlist, “Get Me Off Your Mind”. I recorded it in college and I was a one-hit wonder with Metropolitan Records in New York and in Jersey, it’s a total old Stevie B style, like dance freestyle song from the mid-90s. I’m not even kidding.
26. Trainer Z: We know that food is the X-Factor to fitness. What foods do you generally consume within your typical fitness day?
Brooke: Got to shout to the days off because I’m guilty and I own it. I honestly lately go two days of going nuts eating whatever I want, on the rest of the days though, I am mindful of carbs; I admit it, I commit to the low carbs but I also need carbs, I crave carbs. I am definitely a carnivore, I love my red meat and I do love my chicken and fish but low carbs, also, for me, no dairy. When I’m really hardcore, trying to cut down, I cut out the dairy. The dairy is just not good for my belly fat. It is not good for me. I don’t feel well when I do the dairy. Cut out all the dairy. Also, I’ve noticed a difference when I cut out sodium, I now read every label, everything, cut out salt because I can really bloat up with the sodium. The other thing unfortunately that I love that I cut out when I’m really hardcore training for a film or whatever, is the sugar; got to cut out the sugar! I love the sugar you guys, but no sugar. Sugar and dairy, when I do no sugar and dairy, I get lean.
27. Trainer Z: I’m glad you said something key out of all of that with the foods you may eat or not eat, you’re monitoring how you feel based on the foods and then making key decisions?
Brooke: Yes, like sugar, I have found … I don’t know if it’s a female thing, but I feel shaky. I am a wine fanatic, but when I am trying to lose and cut down or lean down, I got to cut out the wine and it’s because of the sugar. When I’m being super careful with my fitness routines … Again, I only bring it up with what you said about how you feel; I don’t feel well anymore when I drink too much wine, It’s better for me to do tequila, vodka, the clears. I love my alcohol, I don’t drink much, only on weekends, but when I’m leaning down again, I’ll let myself have a vodka, vodka soda or tequila soda with a little bit fresh lime, but I’m very careful.
28. Trainer Z: I often tell people that one of the key elements for staying consistent with working out is accountability. Who keeps you accountable for working out?
Brooke: My fiance; that’s the truth. He’s really great for me, also, my life coach, Lori Bertazzon. Lori holds me accountable for everything, mentally and physically. I think that we all need accountability people in our lives, coaches in our lives, people like you Trainer Z.
I used to have a trainer at the gym for years and years and he kicked my butt with accountability. It’s important, so I have to say that my fiance is amazing, he is really into health and fitness, he’ll take his Cheat Days, we take our Cheat Days but he goes to the gym at least five days a week and he’s great. Even if I’m like oh my gosh I’m so busy, he’ll say, do you want to go over the gym now, and I will take that hour break and I will go, and It’s really healthy for me.
29. Trainer Z: It’s only a Cheat Day if you haven’t done what you were supposed to do the rest of the week, otherwise, it’s a Treat Day!
Brooke: I like that term. I like that Trainer Z. I like that a lot. I think that’s one of your good mantras and stuff. That’s really positive.
Personality and Lifestyle Questions for Brooke
The questions and answers listed below will give us an insightful glimpse into Brooke’s personality and lifestyle. How well can you relate to her?
Extrovert or Introvert?
Christmas or Thanksgiving?
Cars or SUVs?
– The Maserati Baby!
City Style or Country Style?
– I am a city girl.
Cats or Dogs?
Lions or Tigers?
– The Lioness
Camping Out or Hotels with Room Service?
– The Ritz Carlton, please.
Indoor Rock/Wall Climbing or Indoor Skydiving?
– Indoor Skydiving
Boot Camp Workout Class or Yoga Class?
– Boot Camp all the way!
Elliptical or Treadmill?
Paintings or Sculptures?
Coloring Book or Canvas Painting?
– Canvas Painting
Crossword Puzzles or Jigsaw Puzzles?
– Crossword Puzzles
Board Games or Video Games?
– Board Games
Card Games or Dominoes?
– Card Games
Checkers or Chess?
Comedy Club or Music Lounge?
– Music Lounge
Live Plays or Movies?
Dresses or Pants?
Shorts or Skirts?
Shoes or Sneakers?
– Louboutin, High Heels!
Jogging or Swimming?
Nature Hikes or Skiing?
– Nature Hikes
Jet Skiing or Snowmobiling?
Laser Tag or Paintball?
– Laser Tag
Casino Tables or Slot Machines?
– Casino Tables
Golf Course or Miniature Golf?
– Miniature Golf
Bowling or Shooting Pool?
Air Hockey or Foosball?
– Air Hockey
Merry-Go-Rounds or Roller Coasters?
– Roller Coasters
Bumper Cars or Pedal Boats?
– Bumper Cars
Candle Light Dinners or Picnics?
– Candle Light Dinners
Pizza or Tacos?
– These are my two favorites; Pizza!
Beer or Wine?
Coffee or Tea?
Apples or Bananas?
Cherries or Grapes?
Cold Cereal or Hot Cereal?
– Cold Cereal
Pancakes or Waffles?
Trainer Z: There you have it; she is Brooke Lewis! Thank you once again Brooke for taking time out of your very busy schedule to share with us and enlighten us. Before you venture off, how can individuals, businesses, and organizations contact and/or connect with you?
Brooke: My press/acting site is www.BrookeLewis.com, my Ms. Vampy site for all things Ms. Vampy is www.MsVampy.net, my coaching site, dating expert site, books, everything is there, everything positive is www.BeYouAndBeFearlessLifeCoach.com, and on social media, I have a FaceBook fan page that is BrookeLewisLA, on Twitter where I’m very active is BrookeLewisLA, and Instagram is brookelewisla. BE FEARLESS!!! XO Brooke Lewis