Women’s Health Magazine: July/August 2018 – Danai Gurira

The Walking Dead star Danai Gurira is featured in the July/August 2018 issue of Women’s Health.

In the issue:

Not only is Danai Gurira a star on one of TV’s most popular shows, AMC’s The Walking Dead, but she’s also been busy portraying fearsome general Okoye in Marvel Studios’ Black Panther and the spring blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War. As if that weren’t enough, she’s the cofounder of a nonprofit, Almasi Arts, which supports and facilitates the dramatic arts in Zimbabwe, and she’s knee-deep in her next project, adapting Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s award-winning novel Americanah into a TV miniseries.

For such a busy woman, Danai is remarkably down to earth, and she knows that the only way she can tackle her overflowing to-do list is by staying mentally and physically fit. In person, the results of her effort are clear. The 40-year-old has a powerful—almost regal—presence and moves her body with the gracefulness of a dancer: head high, shoulders back. Her secret? A mix of eating well (tonight it’s salmon, brussels sprouts, and spinach), spiritual practice, listening to her body, and, of course, exercise.

Even though her workouts are meticulously planned and quite challenging, Danai loves simply being active. She grew up participating in sports and still hits the water whenever she can. “I don’t remember ever not being able to swim,” says Danai, who was motivated to start when she saw her older sister taking lessons. “I jumped in the water and was insistent on learning to swim with her.”

Danai’s workouts prepare her for her rigorous on-camera roles, yes, but there’s a real-life empowerment element to them too. “As women, we’re not always encouraged to find the fullest extent of our physical power,” she says. “There’s something so exciting about tapping into that part of ourselves.”

Danai, who has won numerous awards as a playwright and was nominated for a Tony Award in 2016, firmly believes in the power of storytelling—especially narratives that highlight the experiences of African women. The fact that she didn’t hear or see those stories while she was growing up is what inspired her to start writing. The global success of Black Panther has fulfilled her in many ways. “It kind of affirms that little African girl’s instinct that these stories would resonate if they were told with passion, integrity, and excellence.”

Though she’s accomplished so much, there’s still work to be done. And Danai has no plans to rest. As she tells young people she meets along the way, “There’s no app for skipping hard work; you have to seek your purpose and pursue it.” What keeps her fueled is “remembering the goals,” and making sure that when she’s finished living in this world, she’ll have given it her all.

The Walking Dead returns this October on AMC.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Photography: Ben Watts / Styling: Yashua Simmons / Hair: Vernon Scott / Makeup: Gregory Arlt / Manicure: Tracy Clemens

Advertisements

Women’s Health: May 2018 – Anna Faris

Mom star Anna Faris is featured in the May 2018 issue of Women’s Health.

From the digital issue:

On her childhood: “I had a very healthy upbringing when it came to eating, but it also make me a rebel because there wasn’t any junk food in the house. I’d go to my friends’ to sneak Doritos–chips of any kind were my favourite junk food.”

On her dream podcast guest: “Michelle Obama, of course. Then all of the great comedians I admire, like Kristen Wiig, Cecily Strong, Amy Schumer, Melissa McCarthy.”

On being the magazine’s cover star: “I’m the worst person to be on the cover. Truly. Just look at me! I drink wine; I don’t work out, really; I hoard makeup.”

On life lessons: “I cherish my family, my close friends, my child–that makes the rest of it worth it.”

Mom airs Thursdays at 9/8c on CBS.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Photography: Jeff Lipsky

Women’s Health: December 2017 – Alison Brie

GLOW star Alison Brie is featured in the December 2017 issue of Women’s Health.

In the issue:

Alison Brie doesn’t want to talk about shooting the second season of the Netflix “lady wrestler” hit, GLOW. Or the two Oscar-bait movies she’s in this month. Her wedding to actor Dave Franco (brother of James) earlier this year? Thanks, but she’ll pass. The 34-year-old would rather wax poetic about split squats. (Yeah, the brutal, one-legged kind.)

“I just did my heaviest ones ever—80 pounds,” she says, slipping her legs, still clad in black camo workout pants, under a weathered picnic table in Los Angeles’s Griffith Park. “Usually I peak at 50, but today we went up and I was like, ‘Oh my god!’ It was intense.”

Alison’s enthusiasm makes sense when she describes how her workouts of the past two years have had a ripple effect on her entire life. “I came out of it feeling like a totally different person. It changed everything.”

Six years ago, when Alison started working out with L.A. trainer Jason Walsh, she did mostly circuits and light weights. She never thought hardcore strength training was “for her,” fearing it would make her bulky. “Growing up in L.A., both my sister and I had sort of touch-and-go body issues, some mildly recurring body dysmorphia.”

But when she needed to step up her workouts to prepare for GLOW—”to be able to throw people and do things like that,” she says—she boosted both muscle and confidence. “I feel like I was building strength outside and in at the same time,” Alison says. “Now I feel like strength is beautiful, rather than that stick-skinny is the beauty standard.”

She’s not speaking in platitudes. In fact, Alison has gotten to a place where, she says, “I’ve just never given less f-cks. It’s a nice feeling because you live your life more and care less about what other people think.” It’s also given her a constant. “Your career will fluctuate; you’ll have highs and lows. But I can always go to the gym and work out. I’m in control of myself and my body.”

Speaking of her career, it’s riding one of those highs and—just like in the gym—busting out of its comfort zone. She went from ancillary roles portraying wholesome women (as Trudy, wife of Pete Campbell, on AMC’s Mad Men and Annie Edison on NBC’s Community) to co-starring with Meryl Streep in Steven Spielberg’s Pentagon Papers project, The Post, and the indie-film-circuit favorite The Disaster Artist.

Having reached this magic moment in her life, Alison is looking to support other actresses—as well as any woman just trying to get healthier. “She’s a very encouraging person,” says Walsh. “Someone new would come in to the gym, and Alison would be the first to go over to them and tell them it pays off.” Now she’s here to encourage you. Want in on all that tone—and that feel-good energy? Pick up some weights and dive into Alison’s lift-heavy primer.

GLOW is now streaming on Netflix.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Photography: Jeff Lipsky

 

Women’s Health: March 2017 – Gabrielle Union

Being Mary Jane star Gabrielle Union is featured in the March 2017 issue of Women’s Health.

In the issue:

Her odd-girl-out past. Her ambivalent relationship with exercise. Her unrelenting quest for roles that mean something, dammit! Gabrielle Union, star of BET’s Being Mary Jane and the new thriller Sleepless is letting down her hair and letting loose about everything from how she keeps her youthful look to her real motivation for working out in our March issue. Here’s what she had to say:

ON AMAZING SKIN &  ANNOYING GRAYS…

“I get asked all the time how I look so young. I don’t like needles. I’m not going to rule out Botox, but the idea of putting a needle in my face… I’m not there yet. I have pretty oily skin, I drink a lot of water, I don’t smoke, and I don’t have a hard life. Of course, as I’ve aged, everything on my body hurts! My hips, back, shoulders—lots of aches and pains. I dye my hair and people say, ‘You look young,’ but my gray hairs are saying, ‘She’s old as f-ck!'”

“My best anti-aging tip is the ability to say no, no, and hell, no. We run ourselves ragged saying yes to every freaking thing, whether it’s to our family, spouses, or careers. I sleep eight hours a day and don’t let myself stress out. A lot of people call it selfish, but I don’t have any wrinkles.”

ON HER COMPLICATED RELATIONSHIP WITH EXERCISE…

“I have a family history of diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, and I know that can lead to an early death. I want to be a vital and energetic part of my family for a long time, not to be big mama in a rocking chair in the TV room, or huffing and puffing just going up stairs. I work out not because I get off on it, but because I want to live!”

“I love my arms because it’s where I get fast results. At my age, if I don’t work out for two weeks, it’s like I’ve never done anything, ever. But my arms come back quickly. I try to maintain my moneymakers.”

“I’m not a morning person, but I have to work out early because of my schedule. The great thing about Pilates is that I can take out my annoyance from waking up early on the machines instead of human beings. It’s for the greater good. My body responds to it, and I’m also more clear.”

Being Mary Jane airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on BET.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Photo Credit: Jeff Lipsky for Women’s Health

Women’s Health: December 2016 – Kaley Cuoco

The Big Bang Theory‘s Kaley Cuoco is featured in the December 2016 issue of Women’s Health.

In the issue:

Kaley Cuoco is about as transparent as Hollywood gets. The Big Bang Theory actress has no problem being candid when it comes to how much she hates running, her experiences with plastic surgery, or her romantic relationships. Plus, she’ll be the first to tell you that her body (those abs!!!) did NOT come easy.

Though the 31-year-old loves her CorePower Yoga classes, she admits that she doesn’t necessarily jump out of bed to do it every day. “Sometimes do I want to get up in the morning and do it?” she says. “No. But when I get out, I feel like a million bucks.” As for her other fave workouts? Kaley is super-passionate about horses. (That’s how she and pro equestrian boyfriend, Karl Cook, first bonded!). Horseback riding is way more physical than most people realize, she adds.

“When I wake up, I have the same little bit of peanut butter on toast every morning,” she says. For lunch, she’ll grab half of a sandwich, and when it comes to dinner, Kaley says she’ll eat fish, such as salmon, and vegetables. As for the rest of the animal kingdom? “No more meat, I’m like, done,” she says. And like the rest of us, she also gets late-night cravings. When those hunger pangs hit, she curbs them with a healthy snack, like an apple and peanut butter.

“I tried spinning, I tried running, I tried yoga, I tried Pilates,” she tells WomensHealthMag.com in an exclusive behind-the-scenes interview at her cover shoot for our December issue. “I realized I don’t like running…I refuse to do it. I like spinning, so I try to mix that in. When I found hot yoga, I fell in love with it and was like, this is my thing.”

Another way she stays healthy and happy: Indulging her cravings from time to time. “Tonight I’ll be going to In-N-Out and doing one of their grilled cheeses, massive fries, and a shake,” she says. “That’d be a cheat for me.”

All splurges aside, Kaley isn’t afraid to admit that she has to work hard to stay fit. “Bottom line is, you know, I’m not 21 anymore,” she says. “It used to be so easy, I didn’t have to do as much. Now, it’s part of my day—working out is part of my day, eating right is part of my day.”

The Big Bang Theory airs Thursdays at 8/7c on CBS.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Photo Credit: Eric Ray Davidson for Women’s Health

Women’s Health: November 2016 – Priyanka Chopra

Quantico‘s Priyanka Chopra is featured in the November 2016 issue of Women’s Health.

In the issue:

What do you get when you mix a Miss World title with more than 50 Bollywood starring roles and a hit major-network drama? That would be Priyanka Chopra, the breakout star of ABC’s Quantico. With all that and then some on her plate, you’d think the 34-year-old would be a slave to her schedule, but not by a long shot. For Priyanka, managing her ambition—and maintaining her fit bod—is all about striking a balance.

“Life is just really fast-paced and you don’t have to kill yourself in the gym,” she tells WomensHealthMag.com in an exclusive behind-the-scenes interview at her cover shoot for the November issue of Women’s Health. “You don’t have to starve yourself. I love having my pizzas and burgers and buffalo wings, on the side, for sure. But I like staying fit as well.”

Priyanka’s discipline isn’t merely for the sake of vanity—she’s got more practical reasons for staying strong. “I have to stay super active and agile because I do my own stunts,” she says. “I do all my fights myself. I trust my body and my instincts.”

Plus, she knows that staying healthy lets her manage everything on her plate. “People always say you should listen to your body,” she says in our November issue. “But I don’t listen to my body. My body listens to me. I can’t afford to be sick or low on energy. It’s mind over matter: I’m going to have a good day, and not in that fake ‘Happy girls are the best girls!’ way.”

If her major successes so far are any indication, Priyanka’s instincts are pretty killer.

Read more from Priyanka on her philanthropic efforts, beauty routine, and Pokémon Go skills in the November issue of Women’s Health, on newsstands October 18.

Quantico airs Sundays at 10/9c on ABC.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Photo Credit: James White for Women’s Health