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Anna Hardwick: The Through Line
Mondi, what did you think of Anna?
I love her. Anna was so darling. She’s energetic, fresh looking and you want to drink whatever green drink she’s having.
She is on something good and she is high on life in a way that makes you put on rose-colored glasses and feel like everything is good.
I want to do whatever she’s doing. She’s very inspiring.
She has always been so clear and focused on what she wants to do, the things that make her happy, and all of these different careers that she takes on because there are many. They all feed the source, feed the acting and calm and community and connectedness. If it doesn’t, she says, “No, thank you.”
I love that thesis, the three Cs. We should all live by those because it makes it easy for her to decide if she’s going to do something or not.
It’s not some agonizing decision.
That’s why she’s successful.
We hope you enjoy this episode with Anna Hardwick, actor, yogi, co-owner of The Ferg in Prince Edward County, sometimes landscape architect, writer and producer, the list goes on and on.
We’re in our studio with Anna Hardwick. We are so happy to have you.
Thank you so much for being here.
I’m so happy to be here.
You’re here on a whirlwind trip and I was telling Mandana that in all the years that I’ve known you, you never let any grass grow under your feet. You arrived to a roller coaster of a wedding weekend. There were wedding events. A beautiful wedding that I saw pictures of. You did a whole weeklong Upright Citizens Brigade, an improv workshop for a week because why not?
Why not do that on vacation, technically?
I met her at the culmination of this class and she was like, “Let’s go to a party, then we’ll go to your podcast. We’ll have some dinner, then I’m driving to big surf by myself.” Is that your itinerary?
Yeah, I’m doing a bucket list trip.
I would catch pneumonia if I did all of that within a week’s worth.
I feel rested and inspired.
You look like it. You look great.
I’m in love with LA.
It makes me happy because Anna told me some good news that she is going to try to get her O-1, which is a visa that actors and people of exceptional talent can get. She’s Canadian and she might be spending a lot of the year here.
Maybe some of the year but I would love to.
That’s great news because I know how much Jenny adores you.
I adore Jenny and it feels good. It’s such a warm welcome already.
One of the things when I was telling Mondi about you giving the overview of the empress Anna. You are a true renaissance woman in every way. You do many things so well and you’re living my dream life because some people have a dream of just, “I have one thing, one passion that I want to follow and this is what I want to do.” You have many multiple ones and you’re doing them all. They’re all your real work, your real businesses. You’re an actor. You’re a yogi, as in you’ve been teaching yoga for many years and your practice is deep and important to you. You’re a surfer but you don’t teach surfing.
No, I don’t. I’m a perennial and forever mid-level beginner surfer.
You go on yoga retreats that also incorporate surfing. You are also a business owner with one of your best friends from childhood. Mondi and I are definitely into The Ferg. I learned from Instagram that you are also a beauty editor. Is that right?
Beauty editor is stretching it. I write a blog for my friend’s organic beauty company.
You’re all about green beauty, right?
That’s how many careers?
I’m helping to design a friend’s home in Brooklyn. I do produce and write stuff. I write and produce films.
Do we have six?
I can’t count. I’ve lost count. Sometimes I help people landscape and garden their properties.
Is it in Canada or anywhere?
In Canada but I’d love to here because the gardens here are out of this world.
I was going to say do you do it here because I think California has some of the most amazing native plants.
Are you from California originally?
I’m originally from Iran but I’ve been here since three.
It’s unreal. I know there’s a drought problem.
This is my question. If I had a big home that had grounds for a beautiful garden, I would love that. I would be scared about what about the drought years. What happens to these plants?
I like drought plants, the succulents and the flowers that come out of the succulents.
You just have to be smart about it. Our growing season is three months long and it’s a heartbreaker. You put all your blood, sweat and tears and you’re so invigorated in May and then by October you’re already cleaning up. Here, you can do it for so long.
The careers that I didn’t mention but you did are writer, producer and you’re consulting on a friend’s design build out. You’re a gardening landscape architect, is that what they call it?
I’m not a qualified landscape architect but I do have a deep obsession for gardening.
Artists need to talk about things. They’re on this planet to connect and to create change. Click To Tweet
Do you have jobs where people will pay you for that or do you just consult for friends?
I do have a few friends that I worked for in their gardens. I take a lot of nap.
How do you take naps when you do it? Is it ten-minute naps.
No, I have a Yoga Nidra playlist that I’ve put together.
What is Yoga Nidra?
Yoga Nidra is the future. It’s an ancient practice. This is what I give to my young mom clients or my new mom clients. I proselytize about Yoga Nidra everywhere I go because it’s so good. It’s a guided meditation that takes you deep into the subconscious to calm your nervous system and tap into your parasympathetic nervous system. It calms me down in a way. It’s such a deeply healing process. This is my little secret, which is no longer a secret. They say in Yoga Nidra, the guided meditation is not to fall asleep. They say do not fall asleep, but I think it’s a good counteractive cue because I do end up napping afterwards. I find that it puts me into this deep rest and I set my alarm for 20 to 40 minutes later and I’m back. I’ve got to teach a bunch of classes in the evening or get to an audition or whatever. If you’re on set and you’re in your trailer and you’ve got to get through a fourteen-hour day and you’re doing nights, I do a Yoga Nidra and I’m back.
There are various lengths of time.
They’re very popular online. You can find them but it’s beautiful to have this tool. What it does is it reduces my anxiety throughout the day. If I’m hitting that wall of fatigue, I can’t rely on coffee because I get too jittery. Knowing that if I can carve out that time, even if it’s twenty minutes, I’m going to be back at it and okay. That has helped reduce my day-to-day anxiety.
I need to try Yoga Nidra. That’s what it’s called.
I need to try that because I’m always tired.
I’m always anxious.
You answer many of my questions. How do you do it?
We all underslept and for years I had a really hard time sleeping. Over the last couple of years, I’ve found a breakthrough touch all the wood in my sleeping. I don’t think we know enough about female hormones and how that affects sleep. I’ve finally been able to find some keys and one of the keys is Yoga Nidra.
I also feel that embracing siestas. It’s something that many cultures do and we probably should be doing it. In Spain and Italy, 2:00 to 4:00 is rest time.
That’s what my family in Persia does. From 2:00 to 4:00, I avoid calling my grandparents.
I love that. It’s so healthy.
Mondi is very close to her family. You grew up in Toronto with your amazing parents.
I grew up outside Ottawa but not too far from Toronto.
You grew up outside of Ottawa but in that gorgeous home with the stunning gardens.
My parents were obsessive gardeners and they had this old house in the country that my dad learned how to do all the things to fix it. They garden their faces off. Every day, they would be out there and I would watch them. I was not into it. I didn’t understand why. Now, I’m obsessed and I call my parents about it. I ask like, “Is this a weed? Is this a plant?”
Do they know everything?
The photos of the garden of that home that I saw could have been in a magazine. It was like home and garden, like an enchanted fairyland. Where’s this place? Can I go there?
Is that where you grew up?
Yeah, I was really lucky.
I met you after high school. I’m a few years older than you. You had just finished high school.
I had hay in my teeth. I came from the small town to London, England.
I had just finished college. I’m four years older than you.
You were so much more sophisticated. You were from Sarah Lawrence. Jenny Lind was my hero at theater school. She was gorgeous. She’d come into class wearing long filmy dresses.
That was a bad choice in the rain. No wonder I was always sick. I was always soaked. It was not a good choice.
You taught me how to live. We toured a play across Europe. We were roommates and food mates because we take our food very seriously.
Everyone else was just greasy burgers and French fries.
We cooked and put our food in Tupperware as we toured.
Did you say Jenny cooked?
We would also stride through these towns together on a brisk walk. We were obsessed with these things.
Jenny jumped on a plane to come to Canada.
I told her about this trip, the Georgian Bay. It was one of the most incredible, fun and memorable trips of my life. I met you right after you graduated from high school and you went straight to theater school in London. You were nineteen years old. I was 22 or 23. Anna was the cutest most bright-eyed starry little face. We went through theater school together and she’s a phenomenal actor. Right after England, did you stay there or did you go back to Canada right away?
That’s when I moved to Toronto.
She moved to Toronto and you were pursuing and are still pursuing acting. You are a working actor. You work in all. You do theater, television, commercials. Did you do voiceovers too?
A lot of voice.
What do you do the voiceover for?
A lot of ads right now.
You have great years and lean years, all the in-betweens. You came off of a great year. Do we get to know about some of those projects?
I did three movies back-to-back. In between that, in Canada, I auditioned for these TV shows for years and years and I finally landed a great role on one of them.
You had auditioned many times.
Probably over ten years of auditioning for this show. I finally landed a lovely role in Murdoch Mysteries, which is a Canadian TV series. It’s a period piece.
You had your hair curl up.
It was fun. I was losing my mind with the costumes and they have been doing this show for twelve years. They’re like, “Whatever.” Everyone on set is like, “Uh–huh,” and I’m losing my mind with the costumes.
Did you have a great role?
It was a wonderful role. I was the other woman.
You’re a working actor in Toronto. You have good years and you have lean years. You have some years where you don’t book anything and other years where you book a lot, then you become a yoga teacher in the middle of that.
Acting is the main thing. Consistently, that’s my main job throughout the year. It’s always interesting when you sit down and you do your taxes and you’re like, “What did I do this year?” I thought that it was a young woman’s game and that I would be over it by now in the sense that there would be no more work. Every year, my years are getting touch all the wood. It keeps getting better. The energy is shifting in terms of people are now more interested in female roles. They’re interested in interesting roles. There’s less ageism. I’m at a stage where I did my first sex scene a few years ago. I was like, “Why do they want me now?” I thought that I would have gotten this in my twenties.
How was that?
Was it stressful? Was it like full-on sex?
No, I was wearing more clothes than I wear at the beach like nice underwear. The guy was lovely and much younger and way hotter than me. I was like, “This is embarrassing.”
I’ve never done a sex scene, but did you have to make sounds?
It was more of a make-out. We had sex-ish on camera, but we still had our underwear on. That was okay but I thought, “Why is this happening now at this stage of my life and my career?” Anyway, I am so grateful that it keeps happening.
It’s great and wonderful. I love this. Your years are getting better and better. When you were a few years out of theater school, you decided you liked yoga.
It was ten years out of theater school and I was behind a bar. I remember serving drinks. It was summer and I had gotten a divorce. I was a child bride and I was way too young for all of that. I was serving drinks at all these countless weddings. The irony of having gone through a divorce and then serving at weddings was not lost to me. I would be wiping away tears behind the bar, partly because of my life circumstances and partly because I can’t do something I’m not passionate about. I had to be aligned with the work. When managers would be like, “You don’t care enough,” I was like, “No, I don’t.” I didn’t have a thick enough skin for waitress thing. I’d come home in tears all the time because people were mad at me about certain things and I’d take it personally. You’d think I’d have a thick skin being an actress but unfortunately, I found serving was too challenging. The industry is strong in Canada and there are lots of opportunities, but I needed to feel the ground under my feet in a way.
I went to yoga teacher training in Costa Rica more as like an Eat, Pray, Love experience, like more post-divorce trying to find myself and heal. It ended up being a side career very organically. I never tried. I went to one studio and said, “I think we have the same teachers. You studied with my amazing teachers, Don and Amba Stapleton at the time they ran Nosara Yoga Institute.” The woman there who’s now a dear friend said, “Do you have a resume?” I had a background in personal training so she gave me a chance. I started teaching there and then from there, I got private clients. Those private clients have referred and then I have some corporate clients. I set out with the intention that the yoga will 100% support my creative life and that I will have clients that are 100% understanding of my creative life. It has been that way and it’s awesome. I didn’t have a website for the first seven years. I put a website up. I’ve taught a few retreats internationally, but other than that, I don’t hustle. I’m not the person that there are lineups for my classes because I don’t teach public classes that often.
She has mostly private clients.
It’s lovely and there are people that I’ve been seeing for a decade. I’m like, “How on Earth do I have anything more to teach you?” It’s more like this deep bond. I’ve seen them have kids. I’ve seen them have some great grandkids.
One thing we need to talk about with Anna is her love of older people. It’s one of her many gorgeous qualities. I was asking her about her yoga teaching. I was asking her, “What is your schedule now?” I’m trying to get the logistics of it. She said, “I mostly have private clients except I do teach seniors yoga.”
Do you do it at a center?
It’s even more beautiful when you hear. Are you allowed to say where you teach?
It’s the French Heritage Center. They’re francophones and I get to teach them in French. I get to practice French well. When you grow up in Ottawa, you have to learn French if you want a job because it’s the capital of Canada and it’s on the border with Quebec. I was lucky to have that background but now I get to practice it. There are grandmas from Rwanda and there are ladies from Mauritius. They’re from all over the French diaspora. There are French people from all over and they congregate. Toronto is one of the most multicultural cities in the world. This center is full of life, full of energy and spirit. I had the best two hours of my week. There’s this couple from Burundi who are the exact same age as my parents who are in way better health.
The man is 86, right?
Yeah, I see them and we have a little dance party after every class. They bring me so much joy and they’ve helped me through some tough times.
The work that she does with the French Heritage Center is not a money-making endeavor. She said, “I do it because I love it,” and it makes her feel good. She went through a hard time a few years ago. She was going through a heartbreak up. Her parents’ health, there was stuff going on there. Your sister was having a baby. She was out of the state and there was a fire. She lost all her belongings. She had a really hard time. She said that these people saved her.
One day I was driving in to teach and I had been crying so much that morning that I could barely drive. My eyes were puffy and I said, “Sorry, I have a cold.” I could barely talk. I was so sad. I got through the class somehow. At the end of the class, this woman from Burundi came up to me and was like, “Anna, you need to get better because we need you.” That got me through. Seeing them, I would start the class heartbroken or terrified. I have no home. I was like, “What does my future hold?” I’d look at these grandmas who somehow came out of Rwanda and are continuing to be smiley and lovely. I was like, “If they can do it, I can do this.”
She teaches chair yoga to them.
Is it because they can probably barely move?
There are two groups. The ones who are my parents’ age are super active and mobile and full dance party. There’s another group that’s all chair and mostly meditation.
We need to talk about The Ferg because it’s really cool. Will you tell the story?
My dear friend, Jaime Kowal, who is such a yes woman and so inspiring, she and I had been sending listings back and forth for this area called Prince Edward County, which is beautiful.
You guys were already sending each other properties?
There was one that caught our eye.
Had you talked beforehand?
Not really, because Jaime is the kind of person that says, “Let’s go to Mongolia.” You go, “Yeah, maybe if I can make it happen.” She’s such a yes person that her ideas are wonderful that you never know it fits. She’s always had a nose for real estate and she had been out in Prince Edward County speculating a few years prior. I had grown up going there because my mom’s a visual artist and there’s a big art scene there. When I moved to Toronto, it was the halfway point. It’s this beautiful area. There are 44 vineyards and counting. There are breweries. There’s this unique land where you can grow beautiful Pinot Noir and beautiful Riesling grapes. There’s also miles and miles of sand dunes on Lake Ontario. The area is beautiful. The architecture there is some of the oldest structures in Canada because all the loyalist soldiers came up from the war of 1812 were granted land and started building. We went out on a girl’s weekend and on a Monday, we bought this house.
Was it the one you had been texting back and forth about?
No, a friend of ours bought it, a beautiful and wonderful florist friend of ours. That one had an apple orchard and a church. It was too much and we thought, “Maybe we could run a yoga retreat there.” We found a place for much less cost but still had three units.
Was it already divided?
It was already divided up and that was the genius part because you can scale it. It had been running as a BNB and we thought, “We’ll pull up the carpets and paint it and we’ll be open in a month.” We were so naive. It was a gut job. The guy who had done our housing inspection perhaps, and this is the rumor, got his license off the internet. It was like a pizza delivery guy before us.
You went up on a Friday and by Monday you were property owners.
We put the business plan together on the beach over a bottle of bubbly. I don’t know what we’re getting. What you guys are interested in here and what is key is that there was always a thesis behind what we did. Everything I do in my life has to align with what I believe in. Community, creativity, culture, calm like creating peace and inner calm. When we created The Ferg, Jaime also has a background in yoga. We wanted to create a space that was calm and peaceful. We’ve had writers’ retreats there. I have hosted yoga retreats there. It’s amazing what has come out of that place. We closed October 1st and we had our first guests in March that year. We renovated two of the suites and then by July, we were fully open. In under a year, we had fully renovated that place.
Five months for two of the units and then the third unit was a couple of months after.
Since then, it’s been amazing. We’ve been so grateful. We’ve had a lot of press. We did a TV show.
Was it a renovation show?
It’s called Handmade Hotels and it has people who are running the vacation rental properties out of homes but with an emphasis on handmade aspects of it. For us, it was the emphasis on Jaime’s photography and my mom’s art. A lot of our design ideas were from our own creativity.It's deeply misogynist how women are told they have to mate and care. – 15 Click To Tweet
Have you ever done a renovation before?
No, not really. This was like, “I cut my teeth on this.”
Jaime lives in the States. Was it mainly you or did she fly up and down?
She flew up and down a lot. There was a day in which I drove into the city for an audition. This is two and a half hours outside of Toronto.
Was it like Napa to San Francisco?
It’s like the Hamptons to New York. It’s like a vacation destination that’s growing rapidly and popularly.
Since you’ve purchased The Ferg, it has exploded. I see the county everywhere.
It’s listed in Condé Nast Traveler. It’s listed in the Times. Everyone is talking about it for good reasons. There’s an incredible food culture and music culture. The town hall is called the Shire. I feel like it’s hobbit land. People are so friendly and there’s so much creativity. I call it the county hustle because you go there and you’re like, “I’m going to the country, I’ll quiet down.” No, there are many social activities. There’s a house concert, a barbecue, the legion where you go and there’s an open mic and everyone’s dancing and someone does a food pop up. It’s so fun and the county is my boyfriend. It’s my slogan.
How is it running a business with your friend?
It’s great. It’s a marriage. We are still deep friends and it’s a lot. There were times where we needed each other to complement each other because she’s a visionary, “Yes, go.” I’m detailed and grounded, a little bit more pensive or concerned personality. We needed each other to balance each other off. I tether her and she pushes me. That’s important. There were times where we realized what a money pit we had bought and we were terrified. We had to get creative with the financing.
Did you get a loan?
We got a business development loan from the town.
Was that after you realized that you needed so much more work?
After we blew through our budget in the first month or so and then we were like, “Gosh.” That was a good experience for me in trusting. When we presented our business model to the town council who was deciding, they rejected it at first. They said it’s too positive.
That was their feedback really?
The feedback was that it was too optimistic. We jiggled the numbers and resubmitted it and got our loan. In fact, the first submission was correct. We were building off of some expertise that Jaime had already in doing a project similar in Palm Springs called The Amado. She’s also a professional photographer. We had this amazing advantage of beautiful photographs. She’s got great design eye and I’m obsessed with gardens and obsessed with details. We were a good pair.
The two of you are a dream team.
It sounds like a nice balance.
We are lucky. In every endeavor that I have as a producer, as a writer, it’s about partnerships.
I thrive with others for sure.
Finding that person and finding that producing partner is gold. Finding that co-business owner is gold.
Were you guys profitable from the get-go?
Yeah, we still have a mortgage. We were booked solid as soon as we opened. Partly, we were filling in need and now there are tons more of vacation rentals in the county. Our first year that we bought, there were 750,000 visitors and 300 beds. The second year, there were 1.5 million visitors and 700 beds. The need is balancing out and catching up. What we’re happy about is the way that we’ve been a part of the community. I went and did a play there. They set it like an outdoor waterside wedding and it was a dream to be a part of the community and to be out there. There’s this amazing relationship you develop with the local business owners and you send your guests there and vice versa. Sometimes when I’m out there and I’m taking a friend to a different winery or dropping over to a winery to pick up some wine from my guests or something and I get to go do a tasting, I’m like, “This is my job. This is my life.”
It does seem like the absolute fantasy life when I see the county and your North Star of always bringing it back to acting, “Does this serve my purpose?” That goes for yoga, The Ferg and everything else.
It’s not all a dream. There are a lot of heavy bags and boxes that I carry. There were times where I wasn’t sleeping because I was going, “What am I doing?” You keep going and keep having this blind faith. My whole life is built on blind faith.
It’s very inspiring to me.
I love that you have the thesis though. I feel like that is your foundation. Your faith is in that thesis. It has all the requirements that you are looking for.
Does it build culture, community, inner peace, health, wellness? Does it promote calm? The art piece of it for me is conversation and community. I’m an artist because I need to talk about things. I feel like we’re on this planet to connect and to create change. I know it maybe an aphorism, but I love the idea of living your life. “We’ve got this one wild life and are you running towards your dreams like you’re running from a fire or something?”
Was it the Mary Oliver one? “What are you going to do with your one wild life?” Is it the poem that starts like that?
There’s that one but there’s another one that one of my Buddhist teachers taught me on a retreat where it was, “We have this one life and are you running towards your dreams like you’re running away from a burning home?” That sounds negative.
I know what you’re talking about.
It’s like, “Your hair is on fire. Run as hard as you can towards your dreams.”
Where do you think you learned that from?
I don’t know. I’ve always had this urgency to get stuff done. That’s why I went straight to theater school. I had scholarships for universities, I turned them all down because if I had gone into normal life like I could have done something more conventional and maybe safer, I knew that I might have, then if I needed to take the off-ramp right away into freelance life. I love that you’re celebrating this because years ago, I would’ve thought that I was a failed actor for having a side hustle.
I look to you as a total expander for me. That is why I like having all these different things.
It makes me feel like I have a full life and I feel very fulfilled.
All your different things are also all in alignment because of the thesis, the purpose, the North Star.
Did your parents encourage that growing up? Do you have that instilled in you?
I’m lucky that I had lovely, creative and supportive parents. I love them. They’re a great hang. They’re fun to hang out with. I do fight with my mom sometimes.
Who doesn’t fight with their mom?
I fight with my mom every day and I love her to death.
Moms, that’s what you do with them. Your parents instilled in you or maybe you had it. From the first job you had, you told me you always saved money.
That was my aunt who’s a single mom. She pulled me aside at 25 and she said, “Anna, you need to meet this financial planner and you need to save.” I’ve been saving for retirement since then. Even in super lean years and super lean months, automatically I was saving no matter what. That’s what allowed me to do The Ferg.
Was it like a 401(k) set up?
Like investment savings, stocks or whatever. The rug has been pulled out from under me many times in my life that I need to know that I’ve got other projects that make me feel grounded. When I walk into an audition, I’m not walking in and going like, “I need this job so much because I need to pay my bills.”
Did you ever read Big Magic? Elizabeth Gilbert talks about how not to let your creative baby get to the point of desperation and to always have these other projects.Women are getting more empowered. There's still so far to go, but they’re creating more of the life that they want to live. Click To Tweet
It’s a balance. There are times where sometimes I feel a little torn hustling around the city to teach different classes and then running to an audition. Sometimes I think I’m a superwoman because I jump into my condo, change, go out and do another thing and then come home, change, go out and do another thing. That’s where the Yoga Nidra comes in and the Yoga Nidra happens in my car. Sometimes I pull into a parking lot.
We have to talk about your aggressive driving. There’s Yoga Nidra on one side, parasympathetic nervous system, calm down and then there’s Anna in the car.
Is it like LA aggressive?
I think LA is very calm. The drivers are Sunday drivers compared to how I drive in Toronto. I’m driving to a yoga class. I’m like, “Would people just get out of that?” then I get there and I’m like, “Everyone, inhale.” It’s the transitions. I’m good at the transitions. I’m able to jump in and out of different situations fast. A lot of people might struggle with that, but I need that amount of stimulation. I’m not like some of the people I know who have extra batteries. I produce and I write but I create a project and I’ll get a film out into the world and tour it to film festivals and then I need some downtime. A more successful producer-writer is someone who has eight projects on the go at all times and the ones that catch. Maybe I need to streamline. Maybe that’s my next theme is to try to keep focusing more on the creative side. That’s going to come and that’s going to happen. I know myself, I produced a play a few years ago and I needed to rest after that. It had been a three-year buildup. I don’t know how people get things done in politics because it takes me forever to get a play or a movie off the ground. I don’t know how you pass the bill.
Most of the bad ones get passed anyway. You write a blog for a friend about green beauty products. What is it called?
We came up with this very silly term, Beauty Adventurista. I talk about simple, healthy and natural beauty. It’s fun.
She’s an amazing cook by the way because she needed to do more things well.
I’m single. I’m dating in the world.
Dating in the world is a great place to be. I think that’s fun. You’re such a goddess but what I love more is that as you’ve gotten older, you love being single. You love dating and you’re not worried about getting married. You’re not panicked about it. You don’t feel any sense of it. Things have gotten better.
Something clicked, actually. I feel like there is this pressure on women to pair up and mate. Their worth is hanging on it and their worth in society is hanging on it. There’s a lot of, “I’m so sorry. I don’t know if I know anyone. All the good guys are taken.” Those are all lies. That’s all BS because my happiness is not hinged on a man. For years, I thought it was weird like I needed it to feel safe and to feel landed. The rug has been pulled out many times that I’ve developed a resilience that does not involve or revolve around a partner. If someone comes to my life, it’s an added wonderful component. I would love a life partner but there is not that milestone arrival, “This has to happen.” Maybe being an actor, you’re on set and you get all dolled up a lot. There’s no need for that princess beauty thing of being a bride. That whole party bridal thing doesn’t equate with me anymore. For me, it’s more about community and gathering people. I do that a lot. I bring people together a lot for parties. I feel all of those elements are fed in my life. It’s deeply misogynist how we’re told we have to mate and care and how there’s so much pressure on our biology whereas it’s as much on men’s biology as well.
They like to pretend that it’s not, but it is. I agree with that. It’s so misogynistic. I feel just because we had our issues with getting pregnant and none of them was mine and people would always assume that it was me. It was so rude. That’s how I felt.
As women, we’re getting more and more empowered. There’s still so far to go, especially in the entertainment industry, but we’re getting more and more empowered. We’re creating more and more of the life that we want to live. I’ve got a beautiful dog. I adore her and she’s brought so much joy into my life. These are the things that I held off thinking I’ll do that with a partner. It’s like, “No. I’ll wait to buy a home with a partner. No, I’m buying it with a friend.” Many people would ask, “Which ex did you do that house with or whatever?” I’m like, “No, I did it with a friend.” You’ve got to get your own life sorted out. You asked about my parents. My mom had kids late because she wanted to make sure that she could take care of us if something were to happen in her marriage. She went and got her MSW, her Master’s of Social Work, so that she had career options if she was ever a single mom. That rubbed off on me. That’s why I’m later to this game.
Everything is happening beautifully for you as the years go by. You’re getting more parts. Your businesses are flourishing. You’re doing sex scenes. Can we talk a little bit about your family? They’re like wilderness experts. A family vacation with her parents that I took, there’s sailing, canoeing, kayaking. There are outdoor toilets and headlamps when she goes on a girl’s trip with her sister.
Do you know how to sail too?
I learned. My dad sails. I’m not very strong.
I saw you in the middle of the night and I don’t know what you were doing.
We had to navigate because we had a shitty boat and we got there too late. We had to navigate with a flashlight. It’s not necessarily advised, it’s just that we were foolhardy.
When I asked her about a trip with her sister, she was like, “First, we snow shoot and we climb.”
My sister is an actual wilderness guide for life. I did go back skiing with her in Wyoming.
I’m not talking about that one. I’m talking about the one where she cut cedar planks and took you to secret hot springs and fished for some salmon.
She’s a good cook in the wild but she did not fish for salmon that night. She made me a beautiful curry cooked in the hot spring. It was a beautiful hot spring in the wilderness.
The secret one which she found. These stories are pretty phenomenal and then having been on your family vacation which was the most beautiful, the most fun, the best food. Your dad with the ukulele. We played games. Anna and I did yoga in bikinis. It was really fun.
Maybe a book is in your future, Anna.
I love that you think I’m worthy of a book. I just think every day I have to pull up my own socks. I don’t know what each day is going to hold. Every day changes like your plan for the day changes every day because as an actor you don’t know what’s happening tomorrow. I think what the foundation, circling all the way back to deep rest, deep meditation, deep calm, deep breathe, that is the only way that I can manage all these.
Thank you for coming. I love you and baby Anna has become a super touchstone for me because I do look to your life and I think I can do all these different things.
Jenny, you’re an inspiration to me. You’re a mother of the most beautiful children. You’re a teacher, writer, creator and you’re also a healer.
Anna, I look to you because I do think that you have this Greatness Adjacent. This is what we’re all about here. You can find Anna and maybe read her beauty blog. She’s on Instagram, @LadyHardwick. Your beauty blog is Beauty Adventurista.
I’ve got a website, AnnaHardwick.com and I’m also at TheFergPEC.com. How many websites can one woman have? There’s my yoga website but let’s calm down with all of that and be very grateful that we have to be together.
Anna Hardwick, I am so grateful. Thank you. I love you.
- The Ferg
- Jaime Kowal
- Big Magic
- Beauty Adventurista – Anna Hardwick’s blog
- @LadyHardwick – Instagram
About Anna Hardwick
My name is Anna. I’m a nature freak, health nut, professional actress, yogini, hotelier and world traveler. I am on a constant quest for the cleanest, greenest products to soothe my dry, sensitive, skin. I love exploring Clementine Fields’ beautifully curated skincare lines — they fit my mandate for organic, sustainable and downright effective brands. As an actress, I spend long days on set with various kinds of makeup caked on my face, so in my downtime, I need to avoid irritation and toxins. Left to my own devices, I wear little to no makeup. It’s got to be a really special event for me to blow dry my hair. Low-mai doesn’t begin to describe my vibe.