Exclusive with Melissa Ordway

Georgia on the Mind

This gorgeous, long, lean, fair-haired starlet is not only a rising-star actress, but one heck of a model. Melissa Ordway looks fine and dandy strutting her stuff in the latest high-fashion attire.

Photographs: Mitchell Nguyen McCormack

Interview: Salli Paradisio

Melissa Ordway, a stunning, tall blonde actress and model hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, is one of Hollywood’s top up-and-coming talents.

She co-starred in mid-2010 with Miley Cyrus in the The Last Song. She has been seen in numerous ad campaigns (Sketchers, Old Navy, Fabrizio Gianni, Anchor Blue and Tillys) as a model; had a role in the film 17 Again and the TV show Privileged, to name a couple.

Ordway grew up an only child with parents John and Christine Ordway. She began doing theater work in Atlanta as well as at her school in suburban Atlanta. She has starred in stage performances of Beauty and the Beast, The Women, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and others. After high school, Ordway went on to Georgia State University becoming a member of Delta Zeta sorority. While in college, Ordway won an audition to appear in the reality TV show The Assistant. She ended up winning and decided to pursue her acting career full time, necessitating a move to Los Angeles, where she has fit in just fine and joined the A-listers at Lakers NBA games.

Melissa Ordway’s big break was the acclaim she earned playing the role of Jordanna in Privileged, which led to her role as Lauren in 17 Again. The future is all hers now and during her exclusive photo shoot with DA MAN, she sat down to give us some insights into her life and career.

DA MAN: Before winning The Assistant, had you ever thought seriously about a career in showbiz?
Melissa Ordway:
I have wanted to be an actress my whole life. My parents tell a story about how at two years old I told them I was going to live in Hollywood when I grew up. Growing up in Georgia, it seemed like an impossible goal to achieve. When I won The Assistant, it gave me the opportunity to follow my dreams.

DA MAN: What did you major in at Georgia State University?
Melissa Ordway: I had a hard time making up my mind on a major because what I really wanted to do was act. I started off as a business major, then went into Early Childhood Education and finally ended up in Journalism with an emphasis on Public Relations.

DA MAN: What can you tell us about The Last Song?
Melissa Ordway:
It’s the story of a girl coming into her own and falling in love for the first time.  It deals with so many things… family, love, loss and hope. The Last Song is based on a novel written by Nicholas Sparks so you can expect a heartwarming story and lots of tears. I had the honor of working with Greg Kinnear and Miley Cyrus and it was a wonderful experience!

DA: Do you prefer acting or modeling?
Melissa Ordway:
I love both acting and modeling. They have both awarded me with some amazing experiences. At this point in my life, I really enjoy acting because it is extremely challenging. Don’t get me wrong, modeling isn’t easy; but I love transforming into other characters and the creativity that comes along with acting.

DA MAN: What sports/hobbies did you do as a youngster?
Melissa Ordway:
I danced (ballet and jazz) and I ran on the cross-country team.

DA MAN: You grew up in a suburb of Atlanta and seem to be a fixture in L.A., how was that transition?
Melissa Ordway:
When I moved to L.A., it was difficult because I really miss my family. It’s hard to be so far away from them. And the parking was very difficult to get used to! You have to parallel park and find meters. In Atlanta, you can park anywhere. But I love L.A., the weather is amazing and there is so much to do. It’s a great place.

DA MAN: You recently attended your first Lakers game. Are you a fan or do you support your hometown Atlanta Hawks?
Melissa Ordway:
Lakers games are so much fun! I’m a Lakers fan all the way!

DA MAN: You have been busy with some five projects coming to fruition in 2010, where do you find the time to do all those, in addition to your TV gigs?
Melissa Ordway:
I’ve been lucky that my schedule has been able to accommodate TV gigs. Somehow the timing has been perfect!

DA MAN: When do you find time to sleep?
Melissa Ordway:
I am so blessed for all of the opportunities that I’ve been given so I don’t mind not sleeping! I can sleep later!

DA MAN: How do you like to let your hair down?
Melissa Ordway:
I love spending as much time as possible with my family, friends and my dogs! I also love to shop. Shopping is my stress-reliever.

DA MAN: What does the future hold for Melissa Ordway?
Melissa Ordway:
I hope a long, happy, healthy life with a successful career surrounded by my incredible family.

DA MAN: If you could be any video game character, who would you be and why?
Melissa Ordway:
Lara Croft. She kicks butt, which is awesome!

DA MAN: What would you like to change from your past?
Melissa Ordway:
Nothing. Everything has led me to where I am today and taught me some valuable lessons and helped me grow.

DA MAN: What do your friends like/not like about you?
Melissa Ordway:
They like that I’m goofy and love to laugh. I love to have fun and I’m a really good listener. They probably get annoyed at how anal I am about cleanliness. I’m a neat freak.

DA MAN: Which actor have you had the most fun working with?
Melissa Ordway:
I’ve had the privilege of working with some amazing people. I’ve been very lucky because I’ve always worked with fun people. If I had to pick, I’d have to say the cast of 17 Again was awesome!

DA MAN: Which actor would you most like to work with in the future?
Melissa Ordway:
I love Rachel McAdams. I would love to work with her. Meryl Streep and Robert Downey, Jr. would also be on the top of my list.

DA MAN: This magazine is based in Asia, do you have any plans to visit, say Bali, in the near future?
Melissa Ordway:
I would love to take a trip to Asia soon!!!

You can follow Melissa Ordway on Twitter at twitter.com/melissaordway.

To see the full feature with more full-size images, click here for the DA MAN February/March 2010 back issue.