The North American Animal Liberation Press Office and Press Officer Gregston Van Pukeston, had the Pleasure to interview Actor, Animal Rights and Social Justice Activist MENA SUVARI. MENA SUVARI Made her film debut working with director Gregg Araki in the cult-classic NOWHERE (1997). That was soon followed by the back to back blockbuster successes of AMERICAN PIE (1999) and the five-time Oscar-awarded AMERICAN BEAUTY (1999). Directed by Sam Mendes, her genuine and moving performance as the character Angeles Hayes in the iconic film earned her a Best Supporting Actress nod by The British Academy Awards and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Ensemble Cast.
Suvari also won a Movieline Award for Breakthrough Performance. She reunited with Jason Biggs in Amy Heckerling’s romantic comedy LOSER (2000) and continued to showcase her range in projects as diverse as Jonas Åkerlund’s cult-classic SPUN (2002), Rob Reiner’s RUMOR HAS IT (2005), Tony Scott’s DOMINO (2005), BEAUTY SHOP (2005) and FACTORY GIRL (2006), amongst others, while also contributing sequels to the AMERICAN PIE franchise in between (AMERICAN PIE 2 in 2001 and AMERICAN REUNION in 2012, respectively).
On the small screen, Mena reteamed with Alan Ball with an arc on the award-winning HBO series SIX FEET UNDER (2004), played the iconic Black Dahlia in Ryan Murphy’s television series AMERICAN HORROR STORY (2011 and 2018), appeared on the hit series CHICAGO FIRE (2013) and continued to work in the medium with the lead in the Amazon pilot HYSTERIA (2014) and WeTv’s mini-series SOUTH OF HELL (2015), executive produced by both Eli Roth and Jason Blum for Blumhouse Productions. She also tried her hand at sketch comedy, taking successful turns on the series INSIDE AMY SCHUMER (2016) and HOT DATE (2017).
On the heels of a critically acclaimed role in the independent film “Becks,” she has the following upcoming films: DON’T TELL A SOUL (2019) starring opposite Rainn Wison, GRACE AND GRIT (2019) starring opposite Francis Fisher and Stuart Townsend, based on the best-selling book and THE MURDER OF NICOLE BROWN SIMPSON starring opposite Taryn Manning and Nick Stahl. Additionally, Mena co-stared in the highly anticipated tv series AMERICAN WOMAN alongside Alicia Silverstone and produced by John Wells for the Paramount Network.
(Press Officer) Gregston Van Pukeston: GVP: When did you first become involved with animal rights activism? What influenced you to become an Activist?
Mena Suvari – I was asked to partake in a PSA for Last Chance for Animals. I wasn’t aware of the organization, nor all of the incredible work that they do, but I’ve always believed it’s important for me to give back in any way that I can. That is why I’ve supported so many different causes over the years. After the video I shot was edited together with the undercover footage from the laboratories, showing beagles being tortured and tested on, I was stunned. I had never seen anything like it before and I knew then that I needed to make great changes in my own life and fight for what needed to stop.
GVP: What Groups or campaigns are you currently working on/ With ? What are you most passionate about?
MS: I’ve done a lot of work with LCA, but also PETA, Mercy For Animals, to name a few. I’m most passionate about raising awareness. I feel that this is where change can begin. I know it can be difficult for some to bear witness, but I believe we have to. It’s our duty, as beings capable of such consciousness, to understand our choices, our decisions. We have to stand up for ourselves and fight to educate one another from all that is kept hidden from us. Our planet and all its inhabitants deserve the right the be appreciated and cared for.
GVP: What is your opinion on use of Direct Actions taken to liberate animals, thoughts on the Animal Liberation Front Movement?
MS: My heart will always be on the side to protect and save any being from the needless neglect and torture that they endure. I only wish that it all didn’t have to be this way, but I can understand the passion behind such direct action. Sometimes, we can feel so helpless and unheard that we feel it’s the only way to make change. And I admire the fearlessness and love that emanates from such activists; it’s their driving force.
GVP: During this current political climate, what is your thoughts on the Current Animal Rights and Liberation movement?
MS: I feel grateful to have been able to align with so many wonderful organizations and likeminded individuals over the last couple years. And I greatly admire and hold them in such high regard for all the action that they have been able to create great change with. Such individuals like Chris de Rose. I know that this has been a movement of love for a long time and I am only ever honored to stand side by side with them to bring about even more change. We’ve come a long way, but there is still so much further to go.
GVP: Do you believe that Animal Liberation and Human Liberation go hand in hand for over all Liberation for all Species?
MS: Definitely. No sentient being should ever have to experience direct pain, torture, humiliation, and abuse from its counterpart.
GVP: Where can others find more information on campaigns you are working on?
MS: I’m so honored you wanted to speak with me!! I post about all that I’m working on, passionate about on my Instagram account: @MenaSuvari and have even created another page for myself called @LittleFlowerTree, where I work to highlight and showcase all that I love with the fashion space that’s cruelty free. For me, when I went vegan, it became a challenge to find items that made me look and feel just as fabulous, as I’ve always loved fashion. I feel so grateful to have been able to meet and align with so many brands doing awesome things all over the world, that are completely animal free.
GVP: Thank you so much for doing this interview with us!