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An Inside Peek at Hollywood Fashion with Celebrity Stylist Giulia Baggini

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If fashion is a story, then Giulia Baggini has always been eager to write the latest chapter. The Italian-born stylist and PR aficionado first caught the attention of the fashion world as a teen with her blog, simply titled “Giulia’s Fashion Blog.” She went on to launch another blog, “Les Milanesi,” which won acclaim from countless top tier publications. Eventually, she realized her dream of moving to Los Angeles and now lends her styling talent to dressing celebrity clientele.

Cliché: What is it about fashion that’s so appealing to you?

Giulia Baggini: I love fashion and I love clothes: I love how there’s a story about every piece, how there are so many different styles that can be put together in so many different ways. I love that fashion is creative and it gives you the chance to be a different character every day. One day I can dress up as a tomboy and the next one I can be inspired by the 70s! 

You gained initial recognition for your first blog, “Giulia’s Fashion Blog.” Did you expect it to garner so much attention?

I honestly did not! As I said I’ve always loved fashion, so for me it was fun and easy to share my looks, some of my styling tips, and review my favorite collections from fashion weeks… It was almost like a hobby! I was so happy to see that so many people appreciated my hard work! 

Tell us about your other blogging project, “Les Milanesi.”

‘Les Milanesi’ was a joint project that I started with one of my friends back then. It was very much fun because we were two creatives working on a project together and we always had so many ideas! One day it was ‘let’s film a video for this brand’, the other was like ‘let’s shoot some content for this beauty brand’ and we would have full on photoshoot to get the best content for all brands that partnered with us! Every day was different and we got to work with so many cool brands and bring lots of amazing ideas and concepts to life!


What was it like being featured in so many well-known magazines like Elle, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Vogue?

That has to be my favorite thing! Growing up I was obsessed with magazines, especially fashion magazines. Every month I would go to the stands and buy all the major magazines: Elle, Marie Claire, all editions of Vogue, Grazia… I used to collect them (and I still have them!!). I was truly a fan of printed magazines! So, to see myself in those same exact magazines a few years later was a dream come true!

Why did you decide to move to Los Angeles?

I’ve always felt more international than all my friends and I’ve always had this desire to explore the world, and when I got offered a job at CLD PR in LA I knew I had to move there. I’ve always loved this city so I’m so happy I get to live here now!

You’re lucky enough to have the opportunity to work with many celebrities and influencers. What’s your favorite project or event that you’ve worked on so far?

Every project is special to me. I worked on lots of events, and those have to be my favorite. Planning an event is hard work, and for the people attending, who just come and enjoy their time there, it might not seem like it, but it takes a lot of time and dedication to plan every single detail. It’s so nice and rewarding to see all your hard work come to life after so many months of planning! So, I would say that out of all the projects I’ve ever worked on, events are definitely my favorite!

When you dress celebrities for high profile events, what factors do you consider when styling them?

It’s all about the mood board, and what you envision for that look, but also what the client likes and would like to wear. It’s a collaboration with the client and the stylist, who mix their style and taste to create a unique look. It’s also important to understand what kind of event the client is attending. Some events are more casual than others. For example: The MTV VMAs are definitely more casual and chill than the Oscars, so I wouldn’t go for a big gown or something too pretentious!

It’s Fashion Week season! What are you looking forward to most?

I’m super excited to see what’s new this season! After a whole year of no fashion weeks and no in-person shows it’s nice to finally see brands putting up shows again. I’m definitely excited to see what Italian brands will bring on the catwalk: as I’m from Italy, I feel very attached to Italian fashion and Italian brands, so I’m looking forward to seeing big brands like Prada or Fendi and what their vision for Spring-Summer 22 is!

Read more Celebrity Interviews on ClicheMag.com
An Inside Peek at Hollywood Fashion with Celebrity Stylist Giulia Baggini. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Giulia Baggini.

Celebrity Interview: Madison Thompson Shines on Netflix’s hit Series Ozark

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  1. Tell us a little bit about your character ‘Erin’ and the hit series “Ozark”

Netflix’s Emmy Award-winning show Ozark is about Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman), a financial advisor who relocates to the Ozarks with his family to pay off a substantial debt to a Mexican drug lord. After 2 seasons of family drama, laundering money and murder, the Byrd family is back at it again in season 3. Six months after season 2 ended, they now have their casino up and running, but Marty and Wendy (Laura Linney) are fighting for control of the family’s destiny.

The writers have introduced some new faces this season, including my character Erin Pierce, who is the daughter of the lawyer for the drug cartel. Erin is dragged from Chicago to the Ozarks for the summer by her mother Helen Pierce (played by the magnificent Janet McTeer). The intention is for some mother-daughter bonding, but it ends where no one expects. Erin also becomes friends with Marty and Wendy’s kids Charlotte and Jonah. The three of them manage to get into some pretty messy situations on the Lake of the Ozarks.

This season is all about complicated family dynamics, as the lines between family and business have never been more blurred for the Byrdes, Helen, and Ruth (Julia Garner). New characters mean new threats. And my character Erin is no exception. She is her mother’s daughter. Very headstrong and not afraid to take charge, she goes for what she wants, even if it is completely disastrous and the wrong choice. At the same time she is also a teenage girl, with insecurities, fears, and ambitions, all while she is trying to define herself in a new town that she knows nothing about.

  1. What was it like working with Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, and Janet McTeer?

Jason, Laura, and Janet are the absolutely the dream acting team. They seem like the darkest and sometimes most evil people on screen, but in real life they are incredibly kind human beings. Each one of them taught me so much while shooting this season. They were lessons I will use for the rest of my career.

It was amazing to witness someone like Jason be so involved in so many different facets of a show (directing, acting, producing). As someone who is interested in pursuing behind the camera opportunities in the future, I was inspired watching Jason do all of his jobs on such a high level. It showed me how much preparation, research, and experience it takes to get to his level. You have to understand aspect ratios, different angles, finances, tone, editing, and the coordination of all the departments that make up the show from props to sound mixing. Jason, our incredible showrunner Chris Mundy, and many others put a tremendous effort into creating the content and visual story for this show.

Laura is a powerhouse. I have looked up to her for so many years in both her tv/film and theater career. I loved getting to work with her this season and witness, first hand, the evolution of Wendy Byrde. There is a magic in the way she builds Wendy’s arc and persona –  a strong, intelligent woman with so many nuances and flaws all at the same time. Laura is so committed to her work. One of my favorite conversations with her on set was when we were talking about her approach to acting. She explained that she tackles a scene the same way an athlete approaches a game. Once she is shooting a scene, she so focused and stays in the mental headspace of the character even when we have downtime between shots. She is so empowering and hardworking.

Janet is my amazing TV mom! Wow, what an incredible woman, actress, and human being. Janet immediately took me under her wing when we began shooting this season and taught me so much. One of the biggest lessons I learned from Janet was the importance of being a giving scene partner. This goes above and beyond coming prepared with your lines memorized and character choices. Being a giving scene partner means taking off all the external pressures for the other actor in a scene when the camera is on them. Be the eyeline, give them the emotional conviction they need, don’t overpower or distract. I think that Janet plays the most terrifying character on Ozark by far, but in real life she could not be a sweeter person. Clearly, she really is good at her job.

  1. Madison ThompsonWhat was the audition process like for the role of ‘Erin’?

The audition process for Erin was fairly quick. I had taped for a couple of other roles on the show before reading for Erin and had worked with the amazing casting group (Feldstein-Paris Casting) on other projects. I knew the second I read the character that this role was meant for me. I just had this weird feeling. So, I put myself on tape for the role and sent in the submission. There was no callback, no director’s session, no testing – just a straight book off tape. About a week after I auditioned, I got a call from my agent when I was in my AP Physics class. I remember running out of the classroom without saying a word to my teacher to answer the call and sign the deal. Luckily, my teacher was a big fan of the show and was very understanding when I explained after class!

  1. How is it juggling both being a college student and your acting career?

It is a full-time job! When I am not working professionally, I am a Presidential Scholar at the University of Southern California in the BCA program, which means I am pursing a Business Degree in Cinematic Arts. This joint degree program allows me to explore the financial and producing side of the entertainment industry, which has always been a strong interest of mine. I also recently declared a Musical Theater Minor in the Thornton School of Music.

Attending school in Los Angeles makes it a lot easier to balance my academic and work career due to the sheer proximity of my campus to several major studios. It becomes a bit trickier when I have to travel to shoot a show like Ozark, which  films in Atlanta. Luckily, my family lives in Atlanta, so I can stay with them when I work in town.

Overall, juggling college and professional work is by no means easy. It often comes at the sacrifice of social or personal time, but I am happy to make the sacrifice because of my passion for acting and education. I learned how to manage the balance because of my experience with it in high school. My school strongly supported the Arts and I learned to work closely with my teachers and the administration on many occasions during absences to shoot various shows.

In the end, education has always been a very important part of my life and I have always thrived in the classroom setting. Being a student keeps me thinking, on my toes, and genuinely makes me a better actor. 

  1. What is your typical day like during quarantine?

If the past few weeks have taught me anything, it is that I enjoy staying busy. I weirdly love checking off my daily to-do list. Quarantine has just meant that I have had to be a little more creative and self-motivated about creating my own list of projects to pass the time.

On an (ideally productive) typical quarantine day 🙂 my to-do list would include:

  1. Chasing my dogs around the backyard to try and get some fresh air
  2. Using Zoom to attend my microeconomics and business communication classes
  3. Chipping away at my room re-decorating project! I thought that since I’m probably going to be living at home for the next few months, I might as well make it a dream room. Today I will work on organizing my childhood books that I just pulled off my bookshelf, pulling out a few to give to my younger cousins and donating the rest!
  4. Tuning into my friend Makenna’s Zoom Sculpt Yoga Class! I am missing the hot, sweaty rooms of the CorePower Yoga Studio so I am going to try putting a space heater in front of my yoga mat today to see if I can replicate the experience. Wish me luck!
  5. Finishing some black line final touch ups on paitnings for The Foundation for Hospital Art
  6. Baking a new chocolate dessert and featuring it on my little chocolate Instagram account (@choco.lot)

My typical day looks like the above or involves me sitting in bed on my computer all day as I eat girl scout cookies and pet my dog.

  1. Tell us about your involvement with the Foundation for Hospital Art and what the organization stands for:

Working in the entertainment industry can be hard at times because of the self-centered nature of the business. That is why I love to spend my free time volunteering for and sharing the message of The Foundation for Hospital Art (FFHA).

For over 30 years, FFHA has been a preeminent force in warming hospital and shelter environments with colorful paintings, murals and ceiling tiles. Right now, I am finishing final paint touch ups on 24 canvases for 4 murals that will then be shipped to healthcare facilities around the world. I have also used my voice on social media to connect with families in my community so that they can volunteer their time. Especially during this quarantine, people feel so grateful for all that the hospitals and medical personnel are doing for our citizens.

What is great about FFHA is that it gives people the ability to volunteer and make a difference from the safety of their homes. You can social distance and make a social difference! I love supporting this organization because of the wonderful message they spread about the positive effect art has on healing lives. It is something that I have experienced first-hand.

Learn more about their mission and how you can get involved: http://www.hospitalart.org

  1. What is one actor/actress that you would love to work with one day?

For many reasons, I would love to work with Reese Witherspoon. Not only have I enjoyed following her very long-lasting career, but I also have a lot in common with her style of acting and approach to the industry in general.

Just as it is to me, education is very important to Reese. I’m in college now, and I decided to follow that track in tandem with a professional acting career. I’ve read that she attended Stanford for a few years and even after leaving to pursue her professional acting career, she has continued to support the education system. She is an avid reader and huge supporter of books!

I also love the fact that Reese started her own production company and she’s passionate about telling stories about women. That’s something that inspires me and that I would love to do with my own production company, hopefully in the future.

  1. Any projects coming up that you can tell us about?

In addition to the release of Ozark season 3, I have some really exciting upcoming projects (some I can share and some I can’t yet share). What’s interesting is that they are all very different styles! I’ve often said that I love being able to push myself as an actress and create characters and content that lies at opposite sides of the spectrum. One project that will be airing soon is a guest star role on ABC’s American Housewife (a very different type of Housewife than Wendy Byrde!) In addition to American Housewife, I also have some other projects in development that I hope to be able to share more about soon. The best way to find out about them is to follow my

Social Media accounts:

Instagram: @madisonthompson
Twitter: @madisonthompson
Facebook: @madisonithompson

Read more celebrity interviews at ClichéMag.com
Images provided by Nathan Johnson

Celebrity Stylist Ashley North Talks Fashion and Family

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She’s just your average mom. Her days start early, she gets the kids ready, and she heads to work. Except when Ashley North heads into work, she transforms from super mom to super stylist by shopping, prepping, and styling major celebrity clients. From Justin Bieber to Kevin Hart, North is the woman behind the scenes making sure these men look their best.

 

Back at home, she soaks up time with the kiddos while she can, always working to find a balance between career and family. Here, the celebrity stylist talks family, her career, trends, and celebrities—oh my!

Cliché: The world of celebrity styling seems pretty lucrative. How did you get to where you are now?
Ashley North: I honestly just worked my way up. I started off as an assistant to some amazing stylists working with people like Usher, Ludacris, and Eddie Murphy, and then went on to work with a partner on some really fun projects like Justin Bieber and J. Cole. Now, I’m on my own working with my long-term client Kevin Hart, Ricky Whittle, as well as other clients.

Was there a client you booked where you finally had an “I made it” moment?
I think for me I still haven’t had that moment! I’ve had a lot of amazing moments while styling. I’ve worked with a lot of really amazing celebrities and I’ve been backstage at some of the biggest award shows and television shows. Working with Justin Bieber and Usher was awesome, getting Kevin on the best dressed list for the Golden Globes was another amazing moment, but I don’t really think of myself as having “made it.” I think for me, I will always be striving and pushing myself to do more.

Who is the funniest or most interesting client you’ve worked with?
Well, I would probably have to go with Kevin as the funniest client. That’s probably a given. But I think every client I’ve worked with is fun and interesting in their own way, and that’s one of the things I love most about this job.

What first piqued your interest in fashion?
I’ve been into fashion ever since I was a young girl, but I would say the moment I realized that I wanted to make fashion my career was after I graduated from college. I started working for a local magazine in Seattle, working on their fashion shoots. I realized then how much I loved it and immediately planned a move to LA to pursue it.

Describe your personal style. Does it influence how you style your clients?
I would say Tomboy Chic. Because most of my clients are men, I’ve really come to love men’s fashion so I definitely feel like that influences my own personal style as well. It definitely evolves and changes though depending on my mood and where I’m going. I like to mix it up!

What does a typical day in your life look like?
One of the things I love most about my job is that every day is different. It’s not monotonous at all, which is great. But a typical day starts out with my two daughters, getting my oldest ready for school, and dropping her off. Then I usually head to work out before starting my work day. Work can consist of shopping for a client, prepping a job, being on set, and meetings.

Working with Justin Bieber and Usher was awesome [and] getting Kevin on the best dressed list for the Golden Globes was another amazing moment.

Who is your biggest style icon? What store/brand could you shop ‘til the end of time?
If I had to choose only one store to shop in until the end of time, it would be Zara! I love the way they have a more affordable take on designer fashion. It’s definitely my go-to and I love their kids clothing as well. I’m a big online shopper so a few of my other favs online are Forward by Elyse Walker, Revolve clothing, and I also love ASOS.

What are the must-have pieces or trends for the fall?
For fall, I’m loving a kimono style duster or blazer and a really great flat slipper style shoe.

How do you balance work and family?
The balance can be difficult at times. I think the biggest thing that helps me keep balanced is that I always prioritize my family. Whatever that looks like, I always try to keep that at the forefront. I also have a really great support system around me that help me pick up the slack.

Do you think your girls will want to follow in your trendy footsteps?
My oldest daughter loves fashion, which I think is awesome. She definitely has a different style than me already but I love it, and I let her express herself through that. My youngest is still pretty young but I’m sure that she will be the same way.

What advice would you give to anyone hoping to break into the styling industry?
The first piece of advice that I like to give aspiring stylists is to definitely pursue assistant work with a stylist that they admire. I think it’s important to learn the game before just jumping in. There’s really no class that can teach you styling. The best way to learn is from someone who has been successful at it. You have to be bold and persistent in this line of work because there are a lot of people who want to be stylists right now. Take the initiative to track down a stylist that you like and ask to intern with them. The worst thing they can say is no and then move on to the next.

Read more Fashion Interviews on ClicheMag.com

Celebrity Stylist Ashley North Talks Fashion and Family: Photographed By Shannon Laurine

Mother’s Day: Our Favorite Celebrity Moms

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Let’s be honest: every day should be Mother’s Day. Mothers should be celebrated for all that they do. However, with no disrespect to my mom at all (sorry in advance, Ma!), there are just some families I wish I could be adopted into. I can’t be the only one; I see all the fans out there who comment “MOM” on a photo or tweet to their favorite celeb. I think it’s safe to assume that there are just some lives we want to be part of even if it’s 100% not possible.
While we obviously can’t plop ourselves into a family of our choice, at least we could look from afar (or at least from our couches) to see how everyday celebrity moms are spending time with their kids. In celebration of Mother’s Day, we rounded up a few of our favorite celebrity moms!

Beyoncé

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There doesn’t even need to be an explanation for this. If only we could see what Blue Ivy sees every single day. What we would do to be in her shoes…

Celebrity Books You Must Read

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I love TV and I love reading, so memoirs or books written by some of my favorite celebrities make for the best of both worlds. I’ve devoured Tina Fey’s Bossypants, Amy Poehler’s Yes Please, and both of Mindy Kaling’s books—among others—but I have plenty that are still on my to-read list. Here are four that I want to get through this year. 

Love Life by Rob Lowe
Lowe released his second memoir in 2014, and I’ve been meaning to read it ever since. He’s literally (get it?) one of my favorite actors. Here, he reveals more about his life and family, and I’m just already smitten.
Sick in the Head by Judd Apatow
This is less of a memoir and more of a collection of interviews, but I love it. Funny man and director Judd Apatow compiled interviews with some of the biggest and best names in comedy, so I know this book will make me laugh out loud.
Life by Keith Richards
This book was published six years ago, and I still haven’t gotten around to reading it. However, as a fan of the Rolling Stones, I know Keith Richards has amazing stories to tell. This autobiography is still dominating the bestseller list.
Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
Aziz Ansari is a comedic genius and this novel mixes his humor with an investigation into how people find love in a modern world. As someone who has been single her whole life and refuses to resort to Internet dating services, I’m interested in what Aziz has to say.
Read more Book Reviews on ClicheMag.com
Celebrity Books You Must Read: Featured image courtesy of Penguin Press

The L4 Project: One Man’s Journey to Honor His Wife Through Uplifting the Cancer Community

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It’s a rare joy when we encounter someone who not only chooses to walk with us in life, but lights up the world with every step. When Michael Allio met Laura, it didn’t take him long to realize he’d been lucky enough to encounter a true gem of a human, and he speaks of her with fitting reverence. “She was beautiful inside and out and I remember the first time I met her, I was just completely drawn to her smile, her outlook on life, her energy. She was the smartest person I’ve ever met. She wasn’t that type of person that knew she was smart and made you feel small because of it. She did everything in a very humble and very confident way, but always took time to make fun of herself. She loved getting a rise out of people. She was extremely philanthropic, loving, caring, and organized,” Michael recalls of his college sweetheart, smiling softly. The couple tied the knot in 2012 and began planning their life together.

Laura and Michael’s wedding

What really set Laura’s soul on fire was giving back to the community, particularly those impacted by diseases like Alzheimer’s and cancer. Following a relocation to Michael’s hometown of Akron, it didn’t take long for one local organization to capture Laura’s heart: Stewart’s Caring Place, which supports cancer patients as they face down the daunting myriad of questions that inevitably follow a cancer diagnosis. As Michael explains: “It’s this beautiful resource in Akron and, honestly, there should be one in every single city. What Stewart’s does is it provides free necessary services to help ease the pain that goes along with the cancer diagnosis and that just doesn’t affect the patient, that affects the caregivers, that affects the children, it affects this whole ecosystem. If you do get a cancer diagnosis, the first thing is that you’re overwhelmed, you’re worried about what’s the actual diagnosis? What does it mean? How do I build my healthcare team? But then it’s also what do I do for scheduling? How do I get time off work? Who’s going to take me to these appointments? Are there alternative and additive therapies like holistic approaches that I can do, diet? All of these different things and guess what? They all cost money. And guess what? Not everybody has access to that same amount of resources but everybody deserves healthcare. It is a human right. The last thing people should have to go through when they get a diagnosis is, ‘Oh my God. How am I going to pay for this?’ They’re fighting for their lives, they should not be impacted whatsoever. Stewart’s Caring Place is one of many different places across the country that does provide that hub and spoke model, that resource center where people can go in, get fitted for wigs, made to feel beautiful even when their bodies are changing and find a way to hold onto who they are as a person during this time when everything around them seems to be changing.”

Michael and Laura with newborn son James

Laura’s dedication to cancer organizations became tragically ironic when she herself was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017, a discovery that may not have occurred without the help of their infant son, James. “We credit James for finding Laura’s cancer because he actually stopped taking breast milk from one side of the breast,” Michael reveals. “That’s actually what drew the alarms for us to go get it checked out. We went to an OBGYN and she kind of dismissed it as plugged milk duct, which is a typical thing. We didn’t like that answer per se and wanted something more definitive, so we started actually pursuing additional treatment and an additional opinion, which eventually turned into a breast cancer diagnosis.” In a twist of fate, Laura soon found herself relying on the services of the same organizations she had selflessly devoted her time to. “When we moved back to Akron, Laura and I started volunteering at Stewart’s Caring Place and when we first started, we didn’t even really know what they did. We were just working some events, helping with some fundraising and then, literally, two and a half years later, we became very dependent on the services that they provide. It’s just this full circle of how we give back even when we don’t need it because we never know when we will and even if we never do, people do rely on these types of things. ”

Laura was determined not to suffer in silence, instead utilizing social media to show the trials and tribulations of grappling with a cancer diagnosis as a woman in the midst of starting a family. “Laura, from an advocacy perspective, was very vocal about kind of removing that veil of secrecy and privacy on what it’s like to be a newly married wife, a new mother, and a young mother going through a cancer diagnosis so she really didn’t make it look glamorous, which oftentimes [with] social media you go on there and you can’t help but be like, ‘Oh my God, why is everybody living these amazing lives on the beach and in thousand dollar suits here? She kind of made it very human and took people to videos [and] gave a lot of information and educational talks and broadcasted them on Facebook Live and other social media outlets so that if people did not have their support in the community around them that we were so lucky to have, that they could at least tune into her and she would help guide them through their own cancer journey based on just her own experience.” Watching Laura’s fight also prompted Michael to reevaluate his own approach to adversity. “I think in my own experience, when I put myself at the center of my work, every single problem I have is magnified because all I’m focusing on is myself. When I put others at the center of my world, whether or not it’s my son or wife, Laura, or it’s a cause that I deeply care about, I gain perspective, and my little problems that we all struggle with, they calibrate and they go down to actually what they are, which is small little details in the scheme of life.”


What followed was nothing short of a medical odyssey as the Allios travelled cross country, city to city, doctor to doctor, desperately searching for a cure. Despite their Herculean efforts, Laura passed away in January 2019 at the age of 33. The vacuum of her loss was immeasurable and persists into the present. “It’s the adjustment that I’m making now in my life, not having companionship and not having that person, like Laura, around the house that you really start to recognize real quickly all the things that they did, not just around the house and the admin, but just the whole aura and vibe of your house. It all changes and everything’s a little quieter after you lose somebody and it’s a little eerie and creepy and then you start to get used to the new normal and you start to make sense of it and you just try to build and progress at a speed that makes sense for your own self.“ Over the ensuing years, Michael has found that devastation has given way to appreciation for the time he had with Laura, no matter how brief or bittersweet. “The transition is, at first, painful and you look at the relationship that you had, or that I had with Laura, and it just feels painful because it’s no longer there, it’s no longer present, but now it’s starting to feel more like happiness and gratefulness that I had someone in my life that I just miss so much and there’s always this quote that grief is love that has no place to go. ” 

But even in the depths of despair, hope springs eternal. Michael vowed that while cancer may have taken Laura’s life, it would never extinguish her light. Through his grief, he remained committed to picking up Laura’s advocacy where she left off, focusing on the cancer community that had given them such strength and love in their greatest hour of need. Michael soon founded The L4 Project, which operates under a simple, concise mantra: live life like Laura. “What L4 does is we raise money for cancer, 501(c)(3) cancer services that provide these vital resources to patients, to caregivers, to family members that don’t necessarily know where to go. The idea with this project is really to keep Laura’s legacy of philanthropy alive. She was such an advocate for the cancer community and by selling clothing online, we can help create awareness while also raising money and trying to find a way to do our small part in something very big,” Michael explains. L4 endeavors to address the emotional and financial impacts of cancer from every angle. “A cancer diagnosis, it’s multifaceted. There’s the emotional elements of it, physical components, it’s this overwhelming sense that the clock is ticking and you’re scrambling for resources, you’re scrambling to build your support team outside of a hospital, your medical team inside, you’re working. You could be a single parent and you’re the sole bread provider for the family, how do you work around your job schedule to facilitate all these treatments and surgeries and how do you concentrate on everything at the same time while raising a child? And then, on the other side of that, you have the caregivers. They’re often people that are left in the shadows, they’re the silent heroes of this whole thing and they don’t ask for anything but it doesn’t mean they don’t need anything. Hopefully, the cancer is cured and you don’t have to worry about that but all too often, it’s not and then you have grief support and then you have follow up and how does this impact children or spouses or parents after losing a husband or wife or a child? There are all of these different components and it could be, like I said before, the transportation, the resources, holistic therapy, all of these different things that just cost money and not everybody has access to, to try to give them access.”  

Supporting L4 is easy and more vital than ever in the wake of the pandemic. “You can go online and go to L4Project.com. There you can buy merchandise and all of the profits for the sale of those pieces do go to charities. Actually the money that’s created on L4 Project, because L4 Project is actually an LLC, that money goes up to the Akron Community Foundation, which is a 501(c)(3). It’s managed there and dispersed through that vehicle,” Michael says. Most recently, they’ve teamed up with Akron Children’s Hospital to benefit pediatric patients. “We actually just launched an awesome collaboration with Akron Children’s Hospital Showers Family Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders. During COVID, you imagine how COVID has impacted so many people, but think about kids with cancer. People can’t go and see them while they’re getting treatment. Everything is shut down. About a year and a half ago, our team at L4 went into Akron Children’s and we asked the kids, ‘Help us understand. What’s it like to be in your shoes?’ Not just creating the idea of something that is obvious and sad and something that they shouldn’t have to go through, but they created a bunch of artwork that we drew inspiration from. We actually created a style online called the sunrise T-shirt, and 100 percent of the proceeds of the sale of that T-shirt do go to Akron Children’s Hospital for pediatric cancer. It’s just kind of our way of acknowledging that there’s a lot of suffering in the world, but there’s a lot of hope in the world. When you actually look at the heart on these T-shirts, you can’t tell if it’s a sunrise or if it’s a sunset. You’re not sure if it’s a new day. You’re not sure if it’s possibly getting ready for grief, but that’s what we’re trying to understand. We’re trying to give these kids a voice, and we’re trying to raise money for a noble organization in the process.”

He hopes to honor Laura’s path even as he sometimes struggles to navigate the once unfathomable reality of life without her. “When somebody has actually made such an impact on your life and you’ve learned from them and you’ve adopted some of their beliefs and they go away, you feel a sense of obligation to carry them with you and continue their mission for them. Laura was just very much larger than life and taught me so much that it became difficult to differentiate her and he,” Michael admits. “You end up becoming somewhat of the same person when you have such a good relationship. What I’m trying to do is keep her spirit alive through this project, help cancer patients and the whole cancer community, as she would’ve if she was still here, give something that my son can hold onto and keep his mother close as time kind of creates that distance. Hopefully it turns out to be something great but I don’t put that pressure on myself either. I’m just trying and that’s good enough.“

James is, without question, Laura’s most cherished and lasting legacy. Michael finds himself continuously amazed by the echoes between his late wife and young son. “James looks just like her. He has so many of her mannerisms and everything, which honestly in hindsight, is such a gift because it’s almost as though he’s living through her and I can still see glimmers of her through him. It’s really this kind of beautiful life cycle, even though it’s very tragic that we lost someone so wonderful and beautiful too early.” His greatest wish for James is for him to carve out his own identity. “I think it’s really important that as a parent, you try to guide your children and infuse certain characteristics and morals and pillars into their life and give them exposure to as much as possible knowing that they are their own person and they need to come to their own truth. My goal always is not to turn James into a version of me or Laura, but rather share with him our life experiences and give him exposure to as much of the world as possible so that he can see the larger picture and come to his own conclusion, which I shouldn’t say conclusion because life never really has a conclusion and I don’t want it to. I’m always trying to pursue my truth, but I hope the things that I feel today aren’t necessarily how I feel if I’m blessed to live to an old age. I want to continually grow, maintain that curiosity, and some things with James, it’s really a lot of curiosity, compassion, work ethic, call to action, humility, and loyalty. Those types of things, I think, will, if I can teach him those, he’ll be able to choose a path that will be very, very fruitful and rewarding for himself.” Though single fatherhood can certainly be challenging and the future remains uncertain, Michael is propelled forward by his belief that all roads will eventually lead back to Laura. “I always feel as though I don’t doubt that I’m going to see her again. My big thing is to live life boldly and when I do see her again, we’ll just have a lot of great stories to talk about.” Until then, father and son will walk hand in hand, tackling life together one day at a time, doing their best to live life like Laura.

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The L4 Project: One Man’s Journey to Honor His Wife Through Uplifting the Cancer Community. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Michael Allio.

Model Robbi Jan Launches New Interview Series “Miracle Mindset”

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Fitness and fun are paramount in Robbi Jan’s life. The Australian model and social media star is bringing these topics – and many more! – to the table in her new interview series, Miracle Mindset, featuring a number of highly prominent guests. She and boyfriend Alex Costa also intend to continue travel vlogging. Next stop? New York Fashion Week! Follow Robbi on InstagramTikTok, and YouTube.

Cliché: Give us some of your favorite healthy summer recipes!
Robbi Jan: A few of my go-to recipes for breakfast in the summer have been overnight oats with granola and berries (if you haven’t tried overnight oats, you can thank me later), as well as protein smoothies. For the protein smoothies, I love just using a bunch of frozen berries, some oat milk, and my protein powder. Simple, healthy and yummy. For lunch, one of my favorite healthy/easy recipes is Vietnamese spring rolls. You can add any protein you like to them, such as shrimp, chicken, or tofu. Here is the link to the recipe I use. These are SO yummy, and when you pair them with a little sweet chili or peanut sauce, ooof. So yummy!  With dinner I typically will do some kind of lean meat and vegetable, like salmon or tilapia and arugula salad or kale. I also usually do some type of grain on the side like brown rice or quinoa. I love cooking, but as I often run out of time, I prefer recipes that I can create in 15-20 minutes!

With people staying at home more, what is your go-to at home workout routine?
I recently created a 3-week Ultimate At Home Booty Guide and it has been my go-to! But I also love doing different HIIT workouts with online videos from YouTubers like Whitney Simmons and Chloe Ting, they’re so quick and following along with a video is motivating so it’s a great way to workout if you’re in a rush or don’t have time to get to the gym or a class.

Tell us about your Ultimate At Home Booty Guide!
I created these guides, in conjunction with a personal trainer and we had the lifestyle of a busy woman in mind. The goal is to build your lower body – while still incorporating cardio! The great thing about this workout is that you can do it from anywhere, with no equipment. It’s 3 workouts per week, which is a realistic goal for most people. It’s not overwhelming. Everybody is different, so results will always be different. But if you work hard, then you will LOVE the results. I have had an overwhelmingly positive response from women all around the world, saying that they love their bodies, and that these workouts are fun. I would love to make more sometime in the future!

Why do you think maintaining a healthy mind, body, and spirit is so crucial to our overall quality of life?
My message is simple.  Health starts with taking care of your mind. There is SO much power in our thoughts and often we get so consumed with taking care of our physical bodies, that we neglect taking care of our mental health. The two are so intertwined, the body is a system, and that system can’t work to its highest ability if we are neglecting one area. Part of taking care of your mental health is learning to control your mind, and your thoughts. Having a healthy mindset (that leads to me being the happiest, most productive version of myself) starts in the morning. When you wake up, and you’re not in a good mood, our brains often choose to see that negative in the day, because that’s what we are focusing on. The good things are still happening all around us – but our minds are so focused on all the negatives, that that’s all we notice.

You have a new talk show, Miracle Mindset. We want to hear all about that!
The concept for Miracle Mindset was originally a podcast, but I have recently decided to instead create a YouTube series focusing on the same topics. It will be the same quality content – just on a different platform. The purpose of the Miracle Mindset series is to explore health, wellness and have conversations about real life things. The nitty gritty. I already have a presence on YouTube, a supportive and incredible community,  so for me it’s a natural progression and I am going to focus all my efforts into that. The saying “you can’t pour from an empty cup”  reminds me that it’s better to do one thing very well, than spread yourself too thin. As well as the series, I will continue posting health, wellness and personal development and fun vlogs along the way! 

In your mind, what makes a strong interview?
A strong interview is made with honesty in asking the right questions, boldness in those answers, and openness in the discussion of those answers. My goal is to have guests on the show who will talk about their opinions, experiences and thoughts in an open, safe environment. I want my guests to be honest, and have fun in their interviews, really speaking their full truth. It’s refreshing to see an interview where someone is being real, and I hope for my subscribers to feel encouraged after watching my videos.

Who would be your dream guest to interview?
Someone who I’ve admired for a long time is Desi Perkins.  I would really love to interview her on Miracle Mindset. Desi is such an inspiration to me -she’s an incredible creator, entrepreneur and refreshingly real on her social media. 

You and your boyfriend, Alex Costa, create a lot of travel vlogs together. Where are you headed next after the pandemic subsides?
Yes! We will be attending New York for Fashion Week in September, (which we will definitely be vlogging) and I’m so excited! I truly miss traveling, but really I would just love to visit my family in Australia as soon as possible. It’s been nearly two years since I have been back to Australia and I miss my family and friends terribly. I’m hoping and praying for the border to open soon. I’m one of 6 kids, so my family is so important to me, especially my siblings. 

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Model Robbi Jan Launches New Interview Series “Miracle Mindset.” Photo Credit: Ben Cope.

Saje Nicole Makes Her Debut in the 2021 “Sports Illustrated” Swim Issue

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Determined to be a role model for her daughter, Saje Nicole boldly entered the modeling industry. She’s made a splash in more ways than one, most recently being featured in the coveted 2021 Sports Illustrated Swim Issue. The historic issue showcases three Black women on the cover for the first time – Megan Thee Stallion, Naomi Osaka, and Leyna Bloom! Saje is honored to be part of such a trailblazing issue. She wants to continue to inspire conversations around diversity in the industry and pave the way for other curve models. You can also see Saje in the new Amazon Prime series, Making The Cut

Cliché: What was behind your decision to leave nursing school to pursue modeling?
Saje Nicole: I thought that because I loved seeing people happy and healthy, that a nursing career would be great for me. But once I started the classes, I started to realize that nursing just wasn’t my passion, and there are many different ways to help people be happy and healthy. I wanted to go after my dreams. Especially, because I tell my daughter that she can do anything, so I want to be the best example for her. I made the decision to pursue modeling and I haven’t looked back.

How do you deal with the lack of diversity in the industry? How can we work to ensure that the modeling industry has equal opportunities for women of color?
The lack of diversity in the industry has been a topic for many, many years. It’s not until recently that brands are starting to really listen. I think as consumers, we just need to hold brands accountable. Not canceling – because that doesn’t help anyone, but being open and honest about what makes us feel represented. We are in a time where brands want to do better and help shift the culture. I’m happy to see that they are so open to this new change. There isn’t one type of beauty or one body type. The more we continue to push the narrative forward, the quicker we will be able to get real and lasting change.

Tell us about your new show, Making The Cut.
Being a part of Making The Cut has truly been such an honor and dream come true. Not only did I get to work with amazing designers, but I’m on a show that I’m actually a fan of! We also filmed this during the pandemic, so the fact they were able to pull this off under extremely strict health guidelines is so impressive! I cannot wait to see the rest of the episodes, the designs are EPIC!

How would you describe your relationship to body positivity? How has that relationship changed and developed over time?
My relationship with body positivity is one that is always changing and evolving. I allow my body room to grow and change. Whatever that may look like. But of course, it wasn’t always that way. Paying attention to images in the media or certain influencers can really take a toll on your perception of beauty. So my method is to eat well, exercise daily, remain in a great mental space, and focus mainly on my health. Everything else will follow after that.

Any tips on improving body confidence?
Oh yes!!!! My advice would be to love your skin, your curves, your frame, and your flaws too. I think it’s all the imperfections that actually make you beautiful. It makes you unique. It allows you to stand it. I have stretch marks on my hips and buttocks, I have a small fupa, I have hip dips, and last but not least I have size 10 feet! If we spend all day criticizing ourselves, we would be miserable. Let’s celebrate every single part instead.

What was it like being featured in the 2021 Sports Illustrated Swim Issue?
It has truly been a dream come true!!! I have looked up to the women of Sports Illustrated Swim since I was a child. The exotic locations they traveled to, the women and their stories, the bikinis, the level of sophistication. All of what we know to be Sports Illustrated Swim today. So, to see myself in the magazine is absolutely surreal! I’m still in shock and it hasn’t fully sunk in yet. I’m sure it will in the coming weeks. 

What does it mean to you to have the opportunity to be involved in an issue that showcases so many powerful Black women?
It means the world to me. Before this issue, the only Black women that were on the cover were Tyra Banks and Danielle Herrington, who are both great and beautiful women, but the magazine has been in circulation since 1964. To be a part of this legendary triple cover issue makes me feel so happy, represented, and seen. Thank you, Sports Illustrated Swim!

In what ways do you want to inspire others?
I want to represent an idea. An idea that no matter where you were born, your past, or even your current circumstances, you can do whatever you desire. I’m an immigrant that came here at the age of three, had to learn English in ESOL class, and whose dad passed away at age eight. If I can do it, I want those who follow my story to know they can do it as well. We all have different dreams, and we all need to unapologetically go after them.

Do you have any advice for aspiring curve models out there?
My advice to all models is to stay focused on what you want, your message, and don’t take no for an answer. In the age of social media, you can create your own audience, spread your own message, and launch your own products. There are so many avenues you can take. Just make sure you’re doing what’s best for you.

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Saje Nicole Makes Her Debut in the 2021 “Sports Illustrated” Swim Issue. Photo Credit (in order): Alanna Gilbert, Lalo Torres, Megan Claire (third and fourth photo), and Ronald Wayne.

Kennie JD Blends Makeup with Bad Movies in Hit YouTube Series “Bad Movies and A Beat”

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Makeup enthusiast Kennie JD originally conceived of her YouTube channel as a way to help herself learn Korean. An avid fan of fellow YouTuber Bailey Sarian’s “Murder, Mystery, & Makeup” series, she decided to combine a similar concept with her ardent love of bad movies. In the resulting series, “Bad Movies and A Beat,” Kennie does her makeup while dissecting the most laughable and cringeworthy elements of terrible films. When she’s not devoting hours of her life to sifting through cinematic garbage, Kennie has started to further explore her interest in music and is excitedly awaiting the release of her upcoming EP this summer. Check out her music HERE
 
Cliché: Would you say makeup is an avenue for you to express your personality?
Kennie JD: Definitely, it’s a great way to be a little bit of a different person if you choose to, or even show off different parts of yourself.
 
Which looks do you gravitate towards the most?
It depends on the mood of the day honestly. If I’m feeling more dramatic and over the top, then I can reflect that in my looks. The same is true on calmer days. 
Describe the essentials of your summer beauty routine. 
Sunscreen! I’ve gotten a lot better at using it more religiously. Also, lightweight/glow makeup (tinted moisturizers/lightweight foundations, etc.), a lot of blush and bronzer, and just taking it easy because it’s hot and gonna fade throughout that. Lighter/glossy makeup tends to fade more gracefully than heavier makeup.
 
Why did you decide to start your YouTube channel?
Originally, to help learn Korean. But over the years it’s kind of followed all of my various interests and it’s been a fun ride watching what it becomes each year.
 
Your “Bad Movies and A Beat” series is particularly popular. Where did that idea originate from?
I was a big fan of Get Ready With Me content and while watching Bailey Sarian’s “Murder, Mystery & Makeup” series I realized that I had a niche in loving bad movies and makeup and thought it would be a great idea to try it.
 
What’s the most bizarre or most memorable movie you’ve reviewed? 
Cats. Never again.
 
What’s your favorite makeup look that you’ve created during a review?
My Showgirls look is pretty great, haha.
Are there certain elements that can elevate a movie into the coveted “good trash” category?
I think there’s an element of sincerity needed. When movies try to be bad, they tend to be forgettable and annoyingly try-hard. But ones that come from a genuine desire to make a serious/respectable film but fail are usually the most enjoyable. 
 
Do you have any projects or collaborations coming up that you are particularly excited about?
Been delving more into music making these last few years and have a new EP coming this summer. But I have two out already on all streaming sites!
 
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Kennie JD Blends Makeup with Bad Movies in Hit YouTube Series “Bad Movies and A Beat.” Photo Credit: Courtesy of  Kennie JD.

Talking Style with Adam Lupis

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Talk show host Adam Lupis shares his passion for the 80s and 90s eras on his YouTube show “The Up & Adam Show” where he interviews notable artists in the music, film and TV spaces. Some of Adam’s recent guests include singer AJA, actors Charles Baker (“Breaking Bad”) and Lillo Brancato Jr. (Sopranos), creator Butch Hartman (Cartoon Network’s “Fairly OddParents”), television host Carlos Bustamante (YTV, Canadian television), and horror host Dead Meat (4.4M subscribers) — and upcoming guests include Jesse Kove (Netflix’s “Cobra Kai”) and storied super villain Robert Davi (“Die Hard,” “James Bond: License to Kill,” and “The Goonies”).

Who were some fashion influences in your youth?

Ed Hardy was a big influence on my generation growing up. The bright, vibrant colours and the crazy designs always stood out to me. I still love the brand and I have a few pieces that I still wear today! I also admire Puma. Back in 2006, when Italy won the World Cup, I remember buying a whole Puma wardrobe. I think your sense of fashion plays a huge role in your character. I believe that when you look good, you feel good. 

When did you discover your personal style?

I think when I was exiting high school is when I discovered my personal style. Before that, I always followed the crowd and never thought for myself. Over time, I broke out of my shell and started to be more confident and expressive in how I dressed and acted around people. I have an old soul, so this plays a huge role in how I dress and act. I admire vintage clothing, bright colours and baggy clothes. However, I really do like looking sophisticated at times too, wearing a nice blazer with dress pants, or nice jeans and a clean pair of shined shoes! 

Who do you look to now for style inspiration?

I look to a lot of my favourite actors for style inspiration. I admire Johnny Depp’s style as it’s more edgy and “rocker”-esque. I play a lot of instruments and love rock music, so that’s why I love his style. I also look to Brad Pitt from the 90s, as he was very out there. I remember he did a fashion shoot in a pink dress — and even though I would never wear it, it inspired me to dress however I want. Style is like art — everyone has their own look and it means something different to them. 

Is there an item that you collect (like a sneaker collection)?

I collect watches. I have a vast collection of them ranging from Gucci to Burberry to Michael Kors to some local Toronto brands like “Maestro.” 

You’ve interviewed some great guests on your show, “The Up & Adam Show.” If you could have anyone on your show, who would it be (a few dream guests)?

I think one of my dream guests would have to be Sylvester Stallone. He is such an inspiration to me admin lupisbecause he is always true to who he is and never sold out. He took the biggest pay cut when he made “Rocky” just so he could star in it. It was one of the best decisions he made. That inspires me because it reminds me that sometimes you need to take one step back in order to go two steps forward. Another dream guest would have to be Brendan Fraser. He has starred in some of my all time favourite movies like “The Mummy,” “Airheads” and “Encino Man.” His presence on screen is amazing and makes me feel very comfortable. I know that sounds weird to say, but he comes off as such a friendly guy and I would love to just talk about life with him. I think he is a very interesting guy. 

James Corden has really changed the talk show game with his creative side. Do you ever study other talk show hosts?

Yes I do! I watch all the late night show hosts as they all bring something valuable to the table. I think the one thing I study is the overall format. I do love how the late night show hosts have a monologue and then it cuts to the interview. It’s very interactive and I’m a huge advocate for being personable with people. I want to be as relatable as possible to people because anyone can do what I do. Anything is possible. 

We noticed your show has a “Tonight Show” feel. Can you tell us about that?

Yes, I grew up watching “The Tonight Show” and I love how professional it looks. I want to have a similar vibe but make it my own. I’ve implemented monologues into my show and have also added different segments in each episode to bring some extra value to people. I also love how my show has the city landscape behind me, though I might update it and change it down the road. My main admiration for “The Tonight Show” is how big it is. It’s truly larger than life. I really want people to watch my show and take it seriously since my team and I have put so much hard work into it. 

Favorite quote? 

“Going in one more round when you don’t think you can — that’s what makes all the difference in your life”- Rocky Balboa. I love this quote because it’s a symbol of never giving up, no matter what obstacles you may come across. Life is going to throw you so many curveballs and do everything in its power to keep you from chasing your dreams, but it’s up to you if you want to go that “extra round.”

You’re based in Toronto. What would you recommend we do if we only had 1 day in the city?

I would recommend to visit some of the amazing restaurants. There are so many and I’m a huge food lover, even though I never gain any weight! [laughs] I also would recommend going to the Royal Ontario Museum and visiting the C.N Tower. 

For more information on “The Up & Adam Show,” please visit: https://linktr.ee/theupandadamshow.

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Images provided by Flickr, Unsplash, Pexels, Pixabay & Creative Commons

Actress Connie Giordano Shines in “Mare of Easttown”

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A Philly local, Connie Giordano delighted at the opportunity to play a character close to home – and opposite Kate Winslet, no less! Connie stars in Mare of Easttown as the titular character’s high school friend, Patty DelRasso, whose daughter quickly finds herself neck deep in the town’s murder mystery. Connie hopes Patty and Mare’s relationship can be further explored in later seasons. All the more reason we have our fingers crossed that Mare of Easttown will return for season two!

Cliché: Who or what encouraged you to pursue acting?  

Connie Giordano: I’ve been performing since I was a kid. My parents always encouraged me and my twin sister, we took piano lessons, dance, etc. My father has always been a tremendous support to me especially, and he’s not in the entertainment industry at all…he was in Insurance Sales and Real Estate. I have family members in the entertainment business. My second cousin, Patsy Grady Adams, was in Serial Mom with Kathleen Turner, and my cousin Denise Stout, is a performer in Chicago. So it’s in our genes! 

Tell us about your Mare of Easttown character, Patty DelRasso. 

Patty and her husband Tony own an Italian restaurant, DelRasso’s. She’s also a nurse. Our daughter Brianna attends the local high school. My character was a basketball teammate of Mare’s in high school. We’re part of a very close community in Delaware County. (Delco)

How would you describe Patty’s relationship to Mare? Do you think the fact that they grew up together gives her any kind of special insight?

Their relationship is something I’d love to explore in another season! I think there’s a mutual respect, but I’m not entirely sure how much respect.  I think their history provides insight for Mare, sure. She is pretty familiar with my daughter and how she’s been raised because of our high school relationship, and being in such a tight-knit community.  

 

The show delves into the dark side of the community and the secrets we all keep. How do you think Patti perceives her own role in Easttown?

 I think Patty assumes a matriarchal role to her daughter and her husband. I don’t necessarily agree with that personally in regards to her husband Tony, but I think she’s quite the “Mama Bear.”

What was your favorite scene to film?

Well, I filmed one that didn’t make it into the final cut, but that happens sometimes! Besides that, my scene with Tony and Mare outside her home when Tony approaches her to “talk.” 

What attracts you to murder mysteries? Did you ever think that Patty could have something to do with the multitude of crimes plaguing Easttown? 

Sure, why not? Everyone has a dark side! I love mysteries, and I loved the writing from Brad Inglesby because I never guessed correctly when I was reading each episode. I loved that!  Life has so few surprises; mysteries are a real treat! 

Kate Winslet has raved numerous times about the magic of Wawa. Did you get a chance to try it? 

Oh yes, I love Wawa. I grew up in the Philadelphia area, so I’m well-acquainted. Their food is always fresh since they have a dairy in Southern Chester County, and they have great coffee! 

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Actress Connie Giordano Shines in “Mare of Easttown.” Photo Credit: Ken Volpe: www.transposure.com Hair and Make Up: Brittany DeCheine at D Cheine Beauty.

Getting to Know Actor Jesse Kove

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Jesse Kove is an actor best known for his role alongside Joseph Fiennes in “On Wings of Eagles” (the unofficial sequel to “Chariots of Fire”). Son of pop-culture icon Martin Kove (Sensei Kreese in “Karate Kid” and “Cobra Kai”), the 6’2” superhero-in-the-making was born in Los Angeles and raised in the world of film, television, and theatre. At the age of 10, he spent his time creating movies using his father’s camera and performing skits for the family. Through his younger years and up into high school, he studied at a variety of performing arts and improv classes, continuing to cultivate his cinematic craft and even venturing off to New York to perform off Broadway. Jesse went on to appear in an array of TV and film projects, and even took on the task of producer for the teen crime thriller “As Night Comes.” In 2019, Jesse led the cast of the film “D-Day: Battle of Omaha Beach” alongside MMA fighters Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture, as well as Weston Cage Coppola (Nicolas Cage’s son). And in 2021 he came full circle when he officially joined The Karate Kid universe by bullying a young John Kreese in season 3 of Netflix’s breakout series “Cobra Kai.”

Your dad is a pop culture icon. What was it like arriving to set to play his character’s childhood bully on “Cobra Kai?”

There was something about it that felt just right. And there was also an aspect of nervousness in the right way because I really wanted to do the character justice.

I see you have a musical in your future called “Ask Me to Dance.” Can you tell us a little more about that? Do you sing?

I love to sing in the shower [laughs]. I could definitely use some training. But I think my voice is pretty good. I love to dance. It’s a thing in my family. The Koves are always the first ones on the dance floor.

And then how do you find making the transition (from a musical) to a thriller like “A Deadly Abduction”?

That’s a good question. It’s always nice to jump to different genres as an actor, to play different characters and to go from a comedy to a thriller, but hopefully the comedy is after the thriller so you have something nice to do after a thriller. I love the challenge of the different aspects of these different genres.

Jesse Kove

What would your dream project be?

It would be so exciting to play a superhero on some series similar to a Batman-type character or Captain America-type character where they use a lot of physical training and hand-to-hand combat and creative weaponry versus being able to fly or bend space and time. I feel that a superhero who’s a little more “Earthly” would be so much fun! I still have my fingers crossed.

How about directors? Someone you’re dying to work with?

I’d of course love to work with James Cameron, who is such a visionary. And Martin Scorsese would be such an honor. But there’s more than that — list is long for sure.

You’re in incredible shape. What’s your mantra when it comes to taking care of your body?

Get the hard stuff out of the way first. It’s always downhill after that. And that goes for life as well.

What does your ideal day off look like?

Being lazy with my girlfriend, Shelby, and our Pitbull, Brody — watching TV shows or going to the movies and eating whatever food we want.

Any travel plans this summer?

Yes, I will be in New York filming, and also Las Vegas filming another romantic comedy. Then I will be back in New York filming again during the summer. And I will also be doing some vacationing in Nashville, Tennessee too.

Any upcoming projects you’d like to mention?

“A Deadly Abduction,” a TV Thriller. I’m very much looking forward to that. Also, series called Gravesend, which I’ll be working on in New York. And of course, “Ask Me to Dance,” the musical, which is very exciting. And several others that I can’t really discuss at the moment.

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Images provided by Jesse Kove