The Untold Truth Of Mena Suvari

1999 was the year when Mena Suvari really took the film world by storm. In 1999, she warmed everyone’s heart as the pretty choir girl, Heather, with a heart of gold in the raunchy teen comedy, “American Pie.” Later that year, Suvari achieved the type of critical acclaim most actors only dream about when she starred alongside Kevin Spacey in Sam Mendes’ Oscar-winning drama, “American Beauty.” She was even nominated for a BAFTA award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for her acting. 

However, the Rhode Island native quickly grew tired of the typecasting that came along with playing the teenage temptress covered in rose petals, Angela Hayes, in “American Beauty.” Suvari spoke to Vanity Fair about how she wanted to break out from those types of projects in which she was pinned down to a specific kind of character, but was often faced with assumptions like, “you need to just be young and sexy,” in various roles offered to her following the film’s success. 

Mena Suvari has continued acting over the years and in the latter part of 2018, she confirmed to Us Weekly that the “third time’s a charm” when it comes to marriage, as Suvari had tied the knot with boyfriend of two years, Michael Hope. And in April of 2021, Suvari and Hope welcomed a son together, so Suvari has added mommy to her list of accomplishments. To learn more of the many untold truths of Mena Suvari, keep reading! 

She's an avid animal rights activist

Mena Suvari doesn’t blindly put her face to a cause — she fully commits to it. As a proud vegan who was also expecting her first child in 2021, Suvari partnered up with PETA to encourage those with a little one on the way to “Go Vegan, Baby!” with a nude photo poster featuring an avocado over her sweet baby belly (via People). In a statement to People, Suvari declared, “With everything I know about the cruelty of the meat industry and the health benefits of going vegan, I knew I wanted to raise my son to be a kind, loving and empathetic person, and I think that can start with how we eat as a family.” 

She also partnered up with PETA for a campaign released in 2018 in which she discusses the “horrifying” and “devastating” truth behind what can happen when down feathers are used to make pillows and home apparel. As a part of the campaign, she urged people to “start thinking” about what their goods are made of because, as she learned along the way throughout her cruelty-free journey, “there’s so many other options” on the market. 

In 2018, Last Chance For Animals named Mena Suvari as their “Celebrity Activist of the Year” after taking part in a fur-free protest in Beverly Hills, California.  

She is good friends with fellow actor and vegan, Alicia Silverstone

Speaking of loud and proud vegans, Mena Suvari and Alicia Silverstone actually go way back and have been friends for several years. 

Even though the two women may relate in a strange way as they both got their big break in uber-popular ’90s cult movies like “Clueless” and “American Pie,” they actually starred alongside one another in 2005’s “Beauty Shop.” In fact, Suvari even posted a clip of the two in a scene together on her Instagram page in 2020, dubbing her character as the “OG Karen.” The two actors also starred in the lone season of Paramount Network’s “American Woman,” based on the childhood and mother of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Kyle Richards (via V Magazine).

Besides doing series and films together, the pair also went on “Lip Sync Battle.” They both had some fun in the pre-show interviews when they each tried to do a little smack talk to phase each other out. Suvari told Silverstone that she should feel “intimidated” because her performance piece is “pretty amazing” and she was going to give her “a run for [her] money,” while Silverstone warned Suvari to be “very scared.” These two gal pals certainly know how to have fun!

She got her start in the business as a child model

We all know that Mena Suvari can act, but she actually got her start in show business fully emoting for the camera as a child model. She spoke to Javanan about her modeling roots, revealing that when she was seven years old, she “started modeling for an agency in Boston” and did a “regional political commercial and some child modeling.” Then when her family moved to South Carolina when she was twelve, she picked it back up again and also spent a summer in New York modeling as well as Los Angeles when she was signed with an agency. 

Suvari spoke with the Daily Mail about joining Wilhelmina modeling agency as she was “was 5 ft 2 at 15 and there was no way [she] was even going to make Kate Moss height,” but the agency had a commercial division in Los Angeles, so “the whole family moved there.” She found work in commercials and eventually some small television roles, like on “ER.” Then, at 19-years-old, Suvari was controversially cast as cheerleader Angela Hayes in a little movie called “American Beauty.” 

The star has posted modeling photos from back in the day on her Instagram, as well. In one particular shot, she captions a captivating black and white photo with, “#WBW to this little nugget, almost #20years ago!” My, how time flies. 

Mena Suvari can add published author to her list of life achievements

As it happens, Mena Suvari isn’t simply a model-turned-actor and activist, but she’s also a published author. Suvari’s July 2021 book, “The Great Peace: A Memoir,” is said to be a “‘harrowing’ and ‘heartbreaking’ memoir about coming of age in Hollywood” (via People). If you’ve ever found yourself wondering what it must have been like for a young actor finding their way in Hollywood in the 1990s, Suvari’s very personal memoir covers “how she lost herself to sex, drugs and bad, often abusive relationships even as blockbuster movies made her famous.” Sounds pretty interesting, right? 

Suvari took to her Instagram page as well to make an announcement about her memoir, writing, “I never thought I would have the courage to truthfully tell my story, nor did I believe there would be opportunity in me being so supported in writing it. I’m so proud of this moment as it marks the transition into my new and transparent life.” 

She also wasn’t shy about posting her writing journey on her Instagram page, either, as she shared a cute photo of herself working on her laptop with her curious cat beside her and captioned it as her “favorite writing partner.”

Mena Suvari has a keen eye for fashion

For a lot of actors out there, the world of fashion and acting collide quite harmoniously due to all the red carpets and star-studded functions — and such seems to be the case for Mena Suvari. Of course, for Suvari, there’s the modeling side to things that brings her back to her roots. In 2012, she modeled for famed designer Christian Siriano’s spring campaign (via InStyle), but her love of fashion also developed into other creative outlets that were more hands-on, too. 

For instance, in 2019, Mena Suvari released her ECHO scarf line at Bloomingdales in New York, telling People that she’d “always been into fashion and [she] wanted to design something to give to charity,” as the proceeds went towards the National Resources Defense Council. As a lover of the environment, she wanted to take inspiration from nature in her designs as well, telling the outlet, “When I was working in Vancouver the cherry trees bloomed, and I sent my photos and designs in from there.”

In the summer of 2018, Suvari took to her Instagram to show her “spark of creativity” with some handmade bracelets she was fashioning on her wrists. In this post, she even talked about how “many moons ago, [she] made jewelry under a label called Papillon,” which sold in some boutiques in Los Angeles. So, let’s add designer to the list of Suvari’s talents too! 

She met her husband on the set of a Hallmark movie

For those who are fans of a good Hallmark movie romance, it sounds as though actor Mena Suvari is living out that fantasy in real life. 

According to Us Weekly, Mena Suvari began dating her beau after starring in Hallmark’s 2016 flick, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” as her husband, Michael Hope, worked on set in the art department. She spoke to the outlet about their small wedding, which Suvari described as “very intimate,” adding, “It was very beautiful. I had my closest friends with me. It was very meaningful. After all these years, sort of having ups and downs, it’s very nice just being settled, especially at this point in my life.” This is Suvari’s third marriage as she was previously married from 2000 to 2005 to Robert Brinkmann, and from 2010 to 2012 to her second husband, Simone Sestito.

Suvari does not shy away from posting on her Instagram about her hubby either. In this post from early 2019 featuring a cuddled-up Suvari and Hope, she talks about reuniting with her husband after two months apart due to work and how “long-distance relationships are never easy.” She later tells her husband, “[Mike], you’re my #Hope and my life. I live for you.” 

You might recognize her voice from some of your favorite audiobooks

For a lot of actors out there, branching out into other artistic ventures that allow them to work different creative muscles can be a really unique gift and opportunity. For Mena Suvari, she has fully taken advantage of a whole other form of acting by narrating different audiobooks. 

According to Audible, which is a popular app that hosts thousands of audiobooks online, Suvari has narrated two works of fiction, including a special 40th Anniversary Edition of V.C. Andrews’ “Flowers in the Attic.” She’s also been the narrator of the popular novel, “Three Women,” by Lisa Thaddeo, which actually made it on the “Best audiobooks 2020: great reads you need to listen to today” list by Shortlist. 

Suvari has even posted a little behind-the-scenes look on her Instagram page of her in-studio doing the narration for Lisa Thaddeo’s book, “Three Women.” Sounds like a very cool little side project! 

Mena Suvari guest-starred on a classic feel-good show

It’s always fun to look back at some of your favorite classic childhood television shows and find some of the most unexpected actors pop up in minor roles along the way. 

For Mena Suvari, she actually appeared on two episodes of “Boy Meets World” — and, get this: she played two completely different characters. Suvari spoke to Bullz-eye.com about her guest-starring stint on the family-themed show and remembered that she was around 14-years-old when she made her appearance. Also, she couldn’t help but laugh about the “flashback,” adding, “My mom always talks about that and how I did two episodes … they wanted to bring me back, but then they brought me back as a different character, which was the weirdest thing.”

Suvari fondly reminisced how that time in her life was really “the good days” because “[she] was just so unaware of the business, and [she] could just have fun” with acting. It’s a pretty cute thing to look back at a clip of Suvari alongside “Boy Meets World” stars, as Suvari’s character, Hilary, mistakes Ben Savage’s Cory Matthews for Rider Strong’s character, Shawn Hunter, at a school dance and really turns her flirt game on. Oh, Mena, if you only knew how many tweens were oh-so-jealous of you as that character!

Mena Suvari has an impressive net worth

When you enter the modeling world before the age of 10, it can really lend itself to setting things up for a nice long career that’s extremely fruitful. Such seems to be the case for Mena Suvari. 

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Mena Suvari is worth $7 million as of April 2021. The site accounts that Suvari’s modeling and acting started in her early years, as she “starred in a Rice-A-Roni commercial,” and in her teens, she found small guest-starring roles in shows such as “Boy Meets World” and “ER.” Then came the pivotal year of 1999 for the young actor, as it was then that she landed roles in two huge films that each found success in their own right: “American Pie” and “American Beauty.” 

Suvari spoke to The Washington Times about how those two movies impacted the trajectory of her whole career, explaining, “those films really changed my life, especially professionally.” She then added, “it also kind of thrust me into learning about the business aspect very quickly. It gave me the opportunity to focus more on the kind of career that I wanted for myself and the content that I wanted to pursue.”

She's had more than one 'near-death' experience

The thing about life is that you never really know what hand you’re going to get dealt with because things can change in an instant. Or at least that’s what Mena Suvari found as she spoke about her “near-death” experiences on Brittany Furlan’s podcast, “Worst Firsts.”

Suvari discussed how she and her husband, Michael Hope, were spending time in Toronto and “had a great day at the beach” together. Afterward, they were driving home in the evening along a stretch of highway which can get quite busy, only to look out the front of the car to see headlights coming towards them from a vehicle that was coming down the wrong side of the road. She explained that they were both in such shock and her husband remembers her “[gasping] very loudly and [she] cut the wheel to the right” to avoid being in a head-on collision. Suvari actually spoke about the same incident on her Instagram and said how “#thankful” she was feeling afterward, as the incident “could have been it” for her and her husband. 

During her visit on the “Worsts Firsts” podcast, she also went on to say that she was almost in a life-altering head-on collision with a pick-up truck years ago while she was on her way to an audition. Talk about some very scary times in the car! 

Mena Suvari has a special connection to a young actor

Making a movie can be such a rewarding experience for any actor, but when you form true friendships and long-lasting bonds along the way, that’s a really special thing. 

For Mena Suvari, she found that extra-special bond with her young co-star, Jack Dylan Grazer, in the film “Don’t Tell A Soul.” In the movie, Suvari plays the mother of Grazer’s character, and she spoke to Pop Culture about how she “felt so blessed to play his mom and it was so special. And he would give me hugs in the morning and say, “Hi mom.” He’s such an angel, that boy.” 

Jack Dylan Grazer’s most notable roles to date include 2017’s “It” and subsequently “It Chapter Two.” Suvari spoke about how she received an invite from Grazer to the sequel’s premiere and how it’s cool for her to be able to see “someone at that age, obviously, being such a professional that he is and working so hard, but also being given all of these incredible opportunities.”

Suvari even took to her Instagram page to post a sweet photo of the two co-stars at the Hollywood premiere of their film in January of 2021. This duo is actually pretty darn cute! 

She's actually the voice behind a character in a really popular video game

It turns out, narrating notable audiobooks in her spare time is not the only form of voice work Mena Suvari has taken on throughout her career, as she’s actually the voice behind a character in a really popular video game series. 

Suvari voices Aerith Gainsborough in “Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children” as well as “Kingdom Hearts II,” which were released in 2005 and 2007 (per IMDb). At the English premiere of “Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children,” Suvari spoke about how she actually hadn’t had the opportunity to play the video game series yet, but she could predict that she would “suck” at it. And even though this was her first foray into the field, she found it to be “a lot of fun,” adding, “they’re such a great group of people and I’d would love to keep doing more of this work.”  

And the voice work did continue on for Mena Suvari as she was also the voice of Enid in the 2016 video game “OK K.O! Lakewood Plaza Turbo.” Color us impressed!  

She is totally game for another American Pie movie

Who can remember the first time they saw the trailer for “American Pie”? The movie hit theatres in the summer of 1999, but now over 20 years down the line, it’s a movie franchise that still has people discussing its impact — the good, bad, and quite possibly very “sexist” and problematic aspects (via The Sun). Harsh feelings aside, the film ended up grossing over $234 million at the box office worldwide, which is not insignificant.

With that in mind, actor Mena Suvari, who played the sweet choir girl Heather in the movie, spoke to HuffPost about the possibility of a fifth movie, and she told them that “[she hopes they] get to tell the next chapter” and she wishes that it’ll be “something positive and not too negative, like they’re all divorced… [or] ‘American Pie: The Midlife Crisis Years.'” 

When Suvari spoke to BlackTree TV about getting the cast together to do “American Reunion” in 2012, she said that “it was wonderful. I mean, I felt like the first time we got together for our table read, it was like no time had passed at all, and it really [was] just the same vibe right away.” So, who knows? If the rest of the cast is on board, there could certainly be more “American Pie” films happening down the line! 

In her acting, Mena Suvari has portrayed many real-life people

For any working actor, the opportunity to play a real-life person is likely to come their way at some point or another, but Mena Suvari has had the opportunity to portray real people a number of times over the course of her long career. 

In 2019, Suvari played the titular role in “The Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson,” which was torn to shreds by most critics as it was dubbed one of the “worst films of the year” by the Hollywood Reporter due to its depiction of the “widely discredited theory that the 1994 murder” of Simpson and Ron Goldman was at the hands of “Glen Rogers, a prolific serial killer.” On the opposite side of things, Mena Suvari stars in “Grace and Grit,” which, as of this writing, is set to be released in the summer of 2021, and is “based on the 1991 book by philosopher Ken Wilber that tells the true story of his wife Treya’s five-year battle with illness, treatment and death as the couple falls deeper in love,” with Suvari playing the role of Treya (per Variety). 

In late 2020, Suvari took to her Instagram to announce that she would be playing the role of Jane Wyman in the film “Reagan,” who was an Oscar-winning actor and singer who was also married to President Ronald Reagan for a short time during the 1940s.

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