At first glance audiences are immediately drawn to actress Melissa Bolona’s beautiful looks, but there’s so much more to this up and coming talent whose star is on the rise.
Originally from the east coast, Bolona spent a portion of her tween years living in Lima, Peru as well as studying abroad. While she considered a few different career options, the model-turned-actress decided to follow her childhood dream of performing. Having modeled for countless magazines, she’s no stranger to the spotlight. In 2013, Bolona beat out over 20,000 hopefuls for the Beach Bunny model search, shooting the brand’s campaign alongside supermodel Irina Shayk. Opportunities like these have allowed the blond beauty the chance to work with some of the biggest names in the industry.
Now with her sights set on acting, the actress is hard at work with numerous film roles in the works. This month she’ll appear with John Travolta in “I am Wrath” and last year appeared in the romantic comedy “In Stereo.”
In 2015 she was also named one of New York’s “Top 20 Under 40 Philanthropists.” Her philanthropic work began in her youth and has continuously grown as she works with various organizations to raise money and awareness.
BELLA Los Angeles sat down with the actress. See what she had to say….
What initially drew you to acting?
As a little girl I liked to entertain family and friends, and by age 12 I knew I wanted to be an actress. What I realize now is that I love to act and that my childhood dream enables me to bring out happiness in other people.
Who is your biggest inspiration in the industry and why?
I really admire Jessica Alba; to me she is superwoman! Not only is she a very talented actress but she is also a successful business woman and a mother- the trifecta! I aspire to have a career like hers and be able to accomplish all of those things in my life, not to mention at such a young age.
What is one piece of advice you’ve received that has changed your perspective on acting?
Something my acting coach taught me is that each and every character has ‘good intentions.’ For instance, even an evil villain believes in their own mind that they are doing good. This has changed my perspective because it makes me think a lot deeper about each and every character I take on — and really understand why do they do what they do.
What has been your most challenging role? What role have you most identified with?
My most challenging role was in the movie The Neighbor where I play Sara, a kidnapped victim. It was challenging because I really had to dig deep into my deepest and darkest emotions and stay there. It definitely created a challenge for me, but it was very rewarding to pull it off and achieve these deep emotions that the character has. The role I most identify with is my character Amythyst Stone in “The Year of Spectacular Men.” Amethyst is care free and has a big heart; when she makes a mistake the repercussions wear on her and break her heart because she is very confused. I can identify with her in the way that she is young and loves the people in her life and will do anything to make them happy and she makes mistakes and learns greatly from them.
What advice would you give to young girls trying to break into acting or modeling?
Stay focused on what you want. Don’t let people, places, or things side track you. Have a one-track mind everyday on your path to achieving your goals!
Tell us about your work with animals and why this cause is so close to your heart?
My work with animals starts at home with my four dogs! My goal is to make each and every day a wonderful day for them, because they are my best friends! I also do some work with the ASPCA and want to work at being even more actively involved with them because I have a genuine love for animals; I feel that I connect more with animals than humans!
Describe your personal style.
My style is constantly evolving; right now I like to dress with a slight edge. Simple shirts and skirts with cool, edgy boots.
Favorite beauty and fashion splurge this season?
My favorite beauty splurge hands down is the “La Mer Renewal Oil” because it keeps my face super hydrated and soft when I use it overnight (my secret weapon!). My favorite fashion splurge is my Louis Vuitton Malle clutch (or as I like to call it, trunk bag). It’s super chic and goes with all of my outfits whether it’s day or night.
Best kept LA secret?
Wally’s in Beverly Hills. The best sandwiches ever!
Your one “must-have” item for spring?
A long sweater! It looks super chic with shorts and a tank top. Also a pair of low heels to wear day to night!
How do you define beauty?
To me beauty is a proactive effort to look and feel your best. I feel the most beautiful if I workout and treat my skin beautifully with tender love and care. My actions are a direct reflection on my self image. You can only look as good as you feel!