Actress Hannah Simone

Have you seen Hannah Simone on New Girl, Potatoheads? She’s easily one of our favorite funny women (not to mention that she is incredibly stunning and also down to earth). We love Simone’s honest approach to beauty, strong belief in cross cultural education, and positivity. Wondering how she stays in such great shape and where she finds some of her favorite vintage pieces? Read below; consider this your Monday pick-me-up…

From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?

My ideal food day would be comprised of a morning walk with my best friend to a smoothie shop around the corner for an acai blueberry smoothie with coconut oil. Then I would come home and make my mom’s Greek salad for lunch. And for dinner I would try to convince my dad to cook some Indian food because nobody makes it like my dad.

How do you practice beauty from the inside out?

For me the most important part of my life is making sure I give back. I did my education in human rights and I worked at the United Nations. Now with my current job I have this incredible platform to be able to share causes I’m really passionate about – so that’s really beautiful to me.

What are your morning and nightly beauty routines?

In the morning if I am going to work at New Girl, I get up, I take a shower, I wash my face and I drive to work. I work with an incredible team, Michelle and Jocelyn, at New Girl who use really clean products on my face. There are so many unnecessary chemicals in makeup that we aren’t aware of, so we work really hard to make sure that everything that I am putting on my skin (which can often go into your system) is a clean beauty product. At night I come home, I gently wash my face, and put on an all-natural moisturizer. I think one of the greatest beauty tips someone ever gave me is that we tug and pull at our skin so much and that is what can damage our skin, so I just try to be really gentle.

What are your favorite workouts? What are workouts you find overrated?

I am not a big gym person. So, for me, the most important thing I do to stay healthy is to go for walks – which in Los Angeles makes you look like you’re an alien dropped in from another planet because people will drive to their neighbor’s house across the street. But I will walk everywhere. I have been in West Hollywood and have walked to Venice – I like it. I don’t care if it’s a couple hours; it’s nice to be outside and it’s really wonderful to have a friend with you because you actually talk differently to people when you are moving and seeing things.

We’ve loved you on New Girl – any fun stories you can share from the set?

There are so many fun stories from New Girl. We have been doing the show for six years. It’s amazing to watch how our show has not only grown on camera but also how we as people have grown off camera. We met each other when we were all so new to this. It was this show that was all-encompassing. We were there 12-14 hours a day, five days a week. I think the most fun we have on set is just making each other laugh. When you work so many hours a week to make twenty-two minutes of TV, you have to make your job fun; and that’s what we do. We are constantly trying to make each other laugh off camera so that when we are on-camera we are still laughing.

What are five fashion items you’re coveting right now?

I love going to flea markets; I am addicted to flea markets and I feel like for me fashion is all about discovery. So I don’t know if there is anything specific I am coveting, but I love to go to flea markets and hunt around and be surprised by something I see and try it on. You have to be very honest with yourself if something works or not – just because it looks good on a rack does not mean it looks good on you. My mom used to go to the Bedouin souks all the time in Saudi Arabia so I think that’s just in my blood. I also try to shop people. If someone walks by on the street and I like it, I will make sure to make a mental note.

What’s always in your fridge?

Food! I love food. My fridge is always filled, always overflowing. For some people that would be an OCD nightmare but I love opening my fridge and seeing a thousand things. There’s always Halloumi in my fridge, watermelon, water, juices – I love juice. And there is a drawer full of candy because my younger brother comes over and that’s the drawer he hits…well, now the candy drawer also has beer, so it’s beer and candy.

How do you get into character?

I try to find roles where I really identify strongly with the character and I really see myself in them or someone that I really love in them. Even if they’re not super nice characters, I can see their struggle and see where their pain comes from and I try to identify – and then I try to play them as real as possible.

What can you tell us about your new show? What do you love most about hosting?

My new show is called Kicking and Screaming. We shot it in the Fijian jungle. And it is not the Fiji you see in Instagrams of people’s honeymoons – we were deep in the jungle covered in bugs and sweating in insane humidity. The experience was real and intense. I love watching reality TV programming – especially travel adventure competition shows – so the idea that I could be on set of one the entire time and see how it’s really made and see what the contestants really go through was fascinating to me. That was the best part of hosting – being a fan of the genre and getting to be on set the entire time.

How do you start your day? What’s your go-to breakfast?

When I am working, I am up at 4:45am in the morning – so I start in the dark and I drive to work in the dark! But on my days off I like to keep it easy and make time to enjoy life. I try to go for a walk, I try to get a smoothie with a friend – and enjoy sharing my breakfast with somebody. I think that’s really nice when you can share your morning meal to talk with somebody to start your day; it’s the combination of the best everything – you get exercise in, you get healthy food in, and you get really good company and maybe a really good gossip session. It’s the best way to start your day.

What’s your perfect smoothie comprised of? Perfect salad?

My perfect smoothie is comprised of blueberries, acai, coconut oil and a little bit of banana. My perfect salad is my mom’s Cypriot salad with lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, cilantro, spring onion, and a touch of olive oil and lemon and a little bit of salt. You can even put Feta in there if you would like.

Where do you love to travel? What won’t you travel without?

I love to travel everywhere! I mean I’ve traveled to so many countries, my parents actually just surpassed the 100 country mark so I still have a lot of traveling to do – I like to go places I’ve never gone before. That’s why Kicking and Screaming was so exciting to me because I had never been to Fiji and I got so excited to go experience a brand new culture and see a new place.

I always travel with a Polaroid camera. I love taking Polaroids – I take so many digital pictures when I travel, but a Polaroid camera is often a really cool way when you go into rural or remote communities. If you take a picture you can actually leave the picture with the community and people are often really excited – especially if it’s the first time they’ve gotten their picture taken and then they have it instantly in their hands.

What are your favorite on-set snacks?

Apples! I love apples. They are healthy, but sweet.

How important is a healthy body image? How do you practice that?

Growing up, I don’t think I ever heard my mom say a single thing that was negative about her own body. When she was pregnant with my brother she was just always like, “I look really good today.” So thankfully I grew up with a mom who was like that and if she ever caught me looking in the mirror and being a little critical, she was like “You look gorgeous” – it was just really nice. So, I never really worried about it because she kind of took that off my plate. She was never critical so I was never really critical. Healthy body image is great because you get to focus all that energy on the things you could be doing with your life.

What’s the issue you feel most passionately about right now and why?

I am really passionate about cross cultural education. I think the best way to understand how alike we all are on this planet is by going to different places. That’s why I was really excited to host this travel show. You can sit there and tell people how other cultures and communities are and I think it always sounds like a list of differences, but if you go and spend time in Uganda or in Sweden, you start to see the commonalities all of us human beings face – with being in good moods and bad moods and laughing and eating and I think that’s what will make the world a better place is by just spending time with each other.

Check out our interviews with models Devon Windsor and Martha Hunt

*Hannah Simone, photographed at Night + Market in Los Angeles, CA by Danielle Kosann