ANIMAL INSTINCT. It would seem that Michelle Hayden’s journey so far has been nothing short of enchanting. Marcia Daly gets a glimpse of this tale directly from the actress herself
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Michelle Hayden has modelled and appeared in advertisements for everything from fast-food restaurants to top-of-the-line skincare brands; and now, she’s building up her mainstream presence on TV and the big screen. Long gone are her days of appearing as some minor role; today she’s blossomed into a full-fledged actress with quite a few tales to tell.
Marcia Daly: How did you get your start in modeling and acting?
Michelle Hayden: My first ever experience with modeling came at the age of 11 when I got the chance to model for GAP Kids. I felt really alive, confident and beautiful in front of the camera even though I had a mouth full of braces. Once I moved to Los Angeles four years ago, I signed with NTA Models who expanded me into commercials where I found a lot of success. This led me to signing with NTA theatrically, which has helped me blossom into a full-time actress.
MD: Are there any projects that you’re currently working on?
MH: I am just finishing up a horror film called “Followers,” which should be out this summer. “Followers” takes scenarios of potential dangers with social media. It has really made me aware of over-sharing. My agency, NTA Talent, is working on a few more things for me. They keep me busy year round, so there is a lot more to look forward to.
MD: Which movies are you most excited to see this year?
MH: “Mad Max: Fury Road.” I really enjoy highintensity action films because these are the exact roles I want to play. I love being a badass chick fighting and saving the world, leading the pack. Also the technology we have such as 3D makes you feel as if you are actually in the movie driving this weird concoction of a car and wearing clothes covered in dirt.
MD: Do you have a secret movie star crush? Maybe somebody from another era?
MH: I would have to say Robert De Niro. It would be more of a crush on his career, though. It goes back to the ‘70s with the “Godfather,” and he has remained current and is highly admired through multiple generations. If I can look back at my career and see that I have impacted people from all age ranges, I will feel totally accomplished.
MD: Moving on to modeling and fashion, do you have any style heroes?
MH: Blake Lively is my style hero. Everything that she wears just looks perfect on her body. It doesn’t seem like she is trying to be trendy or to get on the best-dressed list; she just is.
MD: What would be your ideal location for a photo shoot? And what has been your favorite shoot location so far?
MH: My ideal location for a shoot would be the Amazon forest. It’s just so lush and green. Not to mention the incredible wildlife in the forest. I feel like the excitement of it being in unknown territory would create beautiful images. Thus, my favorite location to shoot has been, surprisingly, a junkyard. It sounds terrible, I know, but in pictures it looks like so much more than just junk. There is a story behind it that ties in with the wardrobe and makeup. It’s amazing how you can take something perceived as ugly and make it beautiful.
“We are always evolving and it will keep leading us to new discoveries”
MD: Can you imagine yourself doing something other than acting?
MH: There isn’t anything else I could see myself doing besides acting, but there is always more I could be doing with acting. I want my work to have me travel more, visit remote villages, and learn about new cultures. I want to inspire others through my roles in different films. The best aspect of acting is that I can live different lives and feel a deep-rooted connection with others.
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MD: What would you say is the best piece of advice that you’ve ever heard?
MH: The best advice I have ever received is to always do what makes you feel good on the inside. When we follow and complete our happiness, we discover new things about ourselves and our surroundings that lead to enlightenment. This happiness isn’t a final destination because we are always evolving and it will keep leading us to new discoveries. I know I am my happiest when I just follow my heart’s desires. My heart magically makes everything better.
MD: What are you most passionate about outside of showbiz?
MH: Animals. I love animals and wish I could have a zoo in my backyard. That would be the coolest thing ever. I wish I could save all the stray cats and dogs in the world and bring them home with me.
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MD: One final question: What are three things people would never guess about you?
MH: The first thing is I have a keen sense of smell. Anytime I walk into a room, the first thing I notice is smell. Whenever I am trying food for the first time, I smell it. It’s become instinctive for me now; I just do it without thinking. Second fact is that I love to bake. I have the biggest sweet tooth, so I am always looking for healthy ways to satisfy my cravings. I have oatmeal chocolate chip cookies down to ten minutes. Third fact is that my favorite animal is elephants. I find them to be so peaceful yet massive. Over my last two birthdays, the secret has gotten out so now my home is filled with little elephants everywhere because now everyone wants to get me one for my birthday. I almost don’t even know what to do with so many, but I love them!