Model/Actress Donna Feldman has been in the business since her teens. With a great head on her shoulders and a strong supportive family, Fledman has become a successful model, ranked in Maxim and FHM magazines as one of the hottest women on the planet. Also her acting career has taken off appearing in You Don't Mess With the Zohan, and her syndicated TV show, Fashion House. In this day of instant celebrity and burn out talent vying to be on the next big reality show, Donna Feldman is a testament to hard work, high morals and being a wonderful role model to millions of women aspiring to walk the runway or star in TV and film.
How do you balance the "model/actress" life with a normal and personal life?
Having an extremely close family which helps to maintain a healthy balance. We share everything that goes on in our lives. We usually sit down every Friday night at my parents house or other family members’ house and have a delicious dinner, sit and laugh and talk. Having that closeness and openness is so important. They are the most loving, positive ,and “real” part of my life. I have many acquaintances in the business that I network with like directors, agents, photographers, stylists, graphic designers, etc.. but they are all part of my professional world. The model/actress life is almost like it’s own bubble that’s so opposite from my normal/personal life.The key to maintaining a true balance is to surround yourself with friends and family who are are supportive, loving, and will always tell you how it really is!!
In your modeling work, are you cautious of not demeaning women? Is their a line you won't cross?
Have I missed out on big opportunities because I wasn’t willing to take my clothes off, starve myself, or sleep with someone to get a role? Absolutely!! The good news though is that in the future I can show my grandchildren my magazine covers, and TV/movie projects I’ve done and feel proud of what I’ve accomplished without having to take the sleazy route! Hard work and dedication does pay off if you truly believe in yourself! Although it has cost me some jobs and opportunities, I always let disrespectful men in this business know that I ill never tolerate being treated in that manner. It’s extremely important for me to be a positive role model and example for young women/aspiring models. Hopefully they learn quickly that not only is education a priority, but you can still be sexy woman while still leaving something to the imagination.
How was the transition going from modeling, to speaking roles in Sandler's Zohan and Fashion House?
The transition was interesting because I always thought of modeling as a form of acting for me since in my “real life” I’m a bit shy. For example if I had to go to the beach tomorrow you would not find me frolicking around in a bikini like it’s just another day. Working, I get to pretend like I’m the confident, sexy, and outgoing person I wish I could be in my real life.. You always get to play a different role each time the photographer, stylist, makeup artist sets up different looks and scenarios. The most challenging transition though was going from doing smart parts to booking a TV show (Fashion house) where I had to film 65 episodes in 13 weeks! That’s 3 years worth of television shot in 3 months.
In your VISA Black Card commercial, you zip down to a bikini and jump out of a flying helicopter. Did you do all those stunts?
I never thought the day would come but yes.. I jumped out of a moving helicopter at least 15-20 feet into the freezing cold ocean and in a bikini of all things! It was a total rush! I would love to do more projects like this that involve action and getting to play a strong powerful “badass” type of woman!
What advice to other women in the business, would you like to share?
I would like them to know that it’s not going to be easy. Just being a pretty face is not going to cut it. Being business minded is the most useful tool. Learning how to network with industry people, not taking things to personally when you don’t book a job or when an agent doesn’t like you. There is a market out there for all different body types and ethnicities. Learn what your market is and focus on it rather than trying to become someone you will never be. You must focus on your own path!. So many models/actors spend too much energy and time on what others have accomplished rather than carving their own path at their own time…