OUR FEMPIRE Alysia Reiner

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This month's cover is one of our faves - ac­tress, pro­ducer, ac­tivist and SAG Award win­ner - Alysia Reiner. She has been in a num­ber of TV shows and films and we have thor­oughly en­joyed see­ing her each sea­son of Net­flx's Orange is the New Black as the dy­namic force Natalie "Fig" Figueroa.

In ad­di­tion to our cover shoot in Tribeca, we sat down to find out more about what drew her to act­ing, up­com­ing roles that she will be in, the im­por­tance of stay­ing con­nected to your sig­nif­i­cant other and fam­ily no mat­ter your sched­ule and her role as an ac­tivist.

ATH­LEISURE MAG: We had such an amaz­ing time shoot­ing with you for our June cover as we've been fans of yours for years! Tell us about your back­ground and how you got into act­ing.

ALYSIA REINER: AWWW Shucks! I am a na­tive Man­hat­tan girl and had a hard time de­cid­ing if I wanted to be a sci­en­tist or an artist - I still love both, study­ing hu­man be­hav­ior and why we are who we are - I'm just cu­ri­ous, I guess. I love to dis­cover, to won­der, to re­search, it's the joy­ful part of act­ing, the dis­cov­ery.

AM: You've had a num­ber of roles in TV and in movies, but one of our fa­vorites is Orange is the New Black. We binged the lat­est sea­son, and as fans, tell us what the process was like in try­ing out for the part and what process you go through to take on the char­ac­ter of Natalie "Fig" Figueroa.

AR: I au­di­tioned for Alex, then Polly, then they of­fered me Fig and I was over the moon. It was 3 lines and I just said yes. To take on Fig, I vis­ited pris­ons, spoke to war­dens, spoke to other prison of­fi­cials and spoke to pre­vi­ously in­car­cer­ated women. I also watched a ton of doc­u­men­taries about pris­ons.

AM: What are sim­i­lar­i­ties and dif­fer­ences be­tween you and your OITNB char­ac­ter?


DIF­FER­ENCES: The list is end­less - I am hap­pily mar­ried, a momma, an artist, an ac­tivist...

AM: You play bad women re­ally well what role or per­son would you like to play that you have yet to do?

AR: The pos­si­bil­i­ties are end­less !!!!!! Do­ing our photo shoot for this cover I picked up that book about style and had the hit that I want to do a biopic about DIANE VREELAND! I so want to play her, she's my style hero. Also, I want Lena Dunham to di­rect.

AM: This past year you not only starred in, but pro­duced the film "EQ­UITY," which went to Sun­dance and got sold to Sony Pic­tures Clas­sics. How does this role as a pro­ducer chal­lenge you, and what are you look­ing to achieve?

AR: I was just read­ing Jill Soloway's es­say in LENNY LET­TER "Down­time Makes Me Anx­ious," and I'm the same way: I just love cre­at­ing. I love pro­duc­ing be­cause it chal­lenges me and works dif­fer­ent mus­cles than act­ing does. Just like parenting - or trapez­ing ( yes I have - check my in­sta­gram) - I love try­ing new things and chal­leng­ing my­self. That’s why I went on Celebrity CHOPPED re­cently. I love telling sto­ries, I love hir­ing more women and I love chang­ing the ap­palling statis­tics ev­ery time I do.

AM: Pos­i­tive fe­male role mod­els is some­thing that we are ex­tremely fo­cused on at Ath­leisure Mag - who were your role mod­els that as­sisted you in be­ing who you are to­day?

AR: I find new ones ev­ery day. I was about to give you a list of ac­tresses, pro­duc­ers, amaz­ing women I love and know, but re­ally it's the peo­ple you don't know. Like my friend Allison's mom who had the coolest arts and crafts cabi­net grow­ing up. The woman on the sub­way who de­fended an­other woman when

she was be­ing sex­u­ally ac­costed. The ev­ery day strangers who stand up for what they be­lieve in and are coura­geous and unique and amaz­ing and in­spire us. They de­serve so much love and ad­mi­ra­tion, they are my role mod­els.

AM: Ac­tivism seems like a ma­jor cor­ner­stone of your work (in the midst of ev­ery­thing else) - what or­ga­ni­za­tions/plat­forms are you as­so­ci­ated with and have any of them been be­cause of roles that you have taken as an ac­tor? AR: I lost my dad to can­cer and got very ac­tive with the Can­cer Sup­port Com­mu­nity - I love them so much. They pro­vide free emo­tional, so­cial, and psy­cho­log­i­cal sup­port for peo­ple with can­cer and their friends and fam­ily. And yes I said FREE. I was so hon­ored that they gave me and my hus­band this year's Founders Award For Sup­port.

The Women's Prison As­so­ci­a­tion be­came my "Fig's karma char­ity." I love work­ing with them, have been vol­un­teer­ing with them for 5 years now, made a piece of jew­elry with 100 of pro­ceeds to them, work­ing on a new idea with them now about em­ploy­ing formerly in­car­cer­ated women, and they gave me the Sarah Hunt­ing­ton Pow­ell award. What the Geena Davis in­sti­tute does for women in the me­dia is soooo cru­cial and I love sup­port­ing them ev­ery way I can. And there are so many oth­ers!!! This could be an en­tire new ar­ti­cle! ;)

AM: Dur­ing the shoot, we loved in­cor­po­rat­ing a med­i­ta­tion shot into the cover story, how im­por­tant is this prac­tice to you and how did you get into it?

AR: I LOVE MED­I­TA­TION. AD­MIS­SION: I did a lot more be­fore I had a kid. But now, I do it with my daugh­ter, I do it at home, on the sub­way, I have a med­i­ta­tion room at home. I lis­ten to a me­di­a­tion as I wind down from the day, floss my teeth etc. I al­ways feel like I don't have time, but some­how if you make the time, time bends and gives you more, mag­i­cally.

AM: What's your per­sonal style when you're go­ing to set, when you're go­ing to din­ner with your fam­ily and then hit­ting the red car­pet for an event?

AR: I have no idea - you are the stylist help!

AM: Who are your style icons?

AR: Diana Vreeland, DVF, Valentino, Vi­vianne West­wood, Jenna Lyons, Stacey

I love pro­duc­ing be­cause it chal­lenges me and works dif­fer­ent mus­cles than act­ing does. Just like parenting - or trapez­ing (yes I have - check my In­sta­gram) - I love try­ing new things and chal­leng­ing my­self. That's why I went on Celebrity Chopped re­cently. I love telling sto­ries, I love hir­ing more women and I love chang­ing the ap­palling statis­tics ev­ery­time I do.

from Alice & Olivia, Tilda Swin­ton, Cate Blanchett, Emma Wat­son, Livia Firth, Chloe Se­vi­gny, Natasha Ly­onne, I could go on .....

AM: What are 3 ex­er­cises or meth­ods that you do to stay so fit?

AR: 30-60-90 by Kristi Moli­naro, Soul­cy­cle and INTENSATI TABATA

AM: When you're hav­ing a busy day run­ning around in the city, what are 3 places in NYC that we may see you pop into for lunch?

AR: Ha! I never have time to go out to lunch!

AM: Af­ter hang­ing out with you, you have such a mind­ful na­ture about you that seems to per­me­ate the way you ap­proach life as well as liv­ing within it - how im­por­tant is this to you from a men­tal, well­ness, culi­nary and re­lated life­style as­pects?

AR: When we can in­cor­po­rate mind­ful­ness into ev­ery­thing, it just makes ev­ery mo­ment sweeter. Ev­ery­thing is more beau­ti­ful - you even see art in a garbage pile. Rats be­come cute. And then, of course, peo­ple think you're crazy. I don’t care.

AM: A num­ber of our read­ers ei­ther work with their sig­nif­i­cant oth­ers and/or are in the same field with them. What ad­vice would you give to those read­ers to as­sist them in hav­ing cou­ple time?


Ap­pre­ci­ate each other. Write love notes. Talk about the re­la­tion­ship. Seek out­side help be­fore you need it.

AM: How do you take time for your­self as a wife and mother, ac­tress, pro­ducer, ac­tivist etc?

AR: Ummm….I need to work on that. I

re­ally do. :)

AM: What projects can you share with us that are com­ing up that we may not know about?

AR: We just wrapped sea­son 2 of BET­TER THINGS - so ex­cited! And I did guest stars on BROAD CITY, YOUNGER and ODD MOM OUT! I am headed to Chicago in a few weeks to shoot The Pages - a po­lit­i­cal thriller, and then shoot­ing EGG in which I star with Christina Hen­dricks and Anna Camp, and I could not be more ex­cited! #LIFEISGOOD

Our shoot with Alysia Reiner of Orange is the New Black, took place in Tribeca in a his­toric build­ing. We chat­ted with Louise Phillips Forbes, Li­censed Se­nior As­so­ci­ate Real Es­tate Bro­ker at Hal­stead Real Es­tate to find out more about this prop­erty, 119 Chambers St #2.

ATH­LEISURE MAG: The lay­out of this apart­ment, as well as hav­ing an el­e­va­tor that opens into the home, was def­i­nitely a great fea­ture and made it fun to shoot our June celebrity cover - what can you tell us about this prop­erty?

LOUISE PHILLIPS FORBES: What’s not to love?! It’s the quin­tes­sen­tial down­town New York apart­ment as de­picted in TV and movies. A split-level loft boast­ing 2,240 square feet with 3 large bed­rooms, 3.5 bath­rooms, and soar­ing 14-foot wood beamed ceil­ings that take your breath away. Not to men­tion the awe­some floor-to-ceil­ing win­dows fac­ing south and the old-world ex­posed brick walls in the ex­pan­sive great room that also has a wood-burn­ing fire­place. The open, con­tem­po­rary kitchen is per­fect for en­ter­tain­ing given the large mar­ble-top break­fast bar, but it also fea­tures cus­tom cab­i­netry and high-end, stain­less steel ap­pli­ances. A peace­ful re­treat, the mas­ter bed­room suite boasts a very large walk-in cus­tom closet and serene spa-like bath­room with a dou­ble-sink van­ity, deep soak­ing tub, and glass-en­closed shower. Stun­ning hard-

wood floors, re­cently pur­chased LG washer & dryer, ADT alarm sys­tem, and sep­a­rate ther­mostats in each room for AC & heat com­plete the home.

AM: What makes the build­ing spe­cial and does it of­fer ameni­ties for res­i­dents?

LPF: Built in 1858, the cast-iron build­ing at 119 Chambers Street was fully ren­o­vated us­ing high-end ma­te­ri­als and fin­ishes and con­verted to a con­do­minium in 2008. It’s a bou­tique build­ing with just 5 units to­tal so pri­vacy is as­sured. Each apart­ment has a sub­stan­tial room-size stor­age unit and there is a fit­ness room down­stairs.

AM: Tell us about the neigh­bor­hood that is di­rectly around this build­ing.

LPF: Tribeca is a very di­verse and friendly neigh­bor­hood where the big city feels more like a small town, and Chambers Street is in the heart of it all. Very walk­a­ble and also bike-friendly, this area is filled with charm­ing cafes and fine din­ing op­tions, bou­tique shops and lux­ury re­tail­ers, gal­leries, fit­ness clubs, and sev­eral lo­cal parks. There’s even a Whole Foods just a few blocks away, and Star­bucks is on the cor­ner of the block. Plus pub­lic trans­porta­tion is very con­ve­nient with many lo­cal and ex­press sub­ways nearby, and you have easy ac­cess to the West Side High­way en­abling you to get just about any­where in the city ef­fi­ciently. It’s an ideal lo­ca­tion for New York­ers.

AM: Tell us about who rep­re­sents this prop­erty.

LPF: I am very hon­ored to be the bro­ker rep­re­sent­ing this ex­clu­sive list­ing. I have been work­ing in res­i­den­tial real es­tate for more than 28 years and cur­rently hang my hat at Hal­stead Real Es­tate’s Park Av­enue of­fice, where I’m proud to lead the firm’s #1 team. My port­fo­lio of clients in­cludes buy­ers, sellers, and lux­ury de­vel­op­ers all over NYC, and my ca­reer sales are in ex­cess of $3 Bil­lion. I con­sider my­self more of an ed­u­ca­tor, than a sales per­son, and it’s a priv­i­lege to be a part of this process with peo­ple, af­ter all, your home is the base upon which the rest of your life is built.

AM: For those that are in­ter­ested in pur­chas­ing this unit, how can they find out more in­for­ma­tion?

LPF: It would be very easy to call this lovely apart­ment home given that it’s move-in ready. Sim­ply bring your tooth­brush! To sched­ule an ap­point­ment, peo­ple can con­tact me di­rectly and I will be happy to give them a pri­vate tour and dis­cuss the pur­chas­ing de­tails. I can be reached via email at lphillips@hal­stead.com or at 212-3813329.

AM: Where can read­ers find out about ad­di­tional prop­er­ties that you rep­re­sent?

LPF: Visit my web­site and click on the tab for “My List­ings”. You can view pic­tures, 3D floor plans, and videos along with de­tailed de­scrip­tions of each prop­erty I’m work­ing with from down­town to up­town.

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