Inspiring Encounter: A Chat With Meghan Markle

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As some of you may know, I write for a couple of publications aside from my blog – one of them being Clin d’oeil magazine. Last September, the fashion editor asked me if I’d be interested in interviewing actress Meghan Markle for a short piece in the November issue. “Nah, not really”, I told her. Kidding! I said yes right away.

Meghan’s curriculum vitae is quite impressive. Unless you’ve been living under a rock since 2011, you know that she’s been playing Rachel Zane on the hit TV show Suits for the past five seasons. However, you may not know that she also runs her own epicurean lifestyle website, The Tig, in addition to being a Women’s Leadership & Political Participation advocate for the United Nations. Oh and she’s also the new face of freshly-revamped Reitmans, for which I primarily did this interview.

Because her life is a bit much to be resumed in about a hundred words (that was the length of my text for Clin d’oeil), a big part of the interview had to be cut out. BUT, because I felt the serious need to share with you her inspiring authenticity and curiosity for her surroundings, here is the rest of the interview I did with her.

(I was so excited about this encounter that I totally forgot to take pictures. So that’s that.)

Do you think clothes have the ability to empower women?

Of course. I have come to understand that fashion has the power of changing how people perceive you but also how you feel about yourself.  On days where you’re in a bad mood, if you throw on sweats and a sweatshirt, you’re probably not going to feel much better.

Even on Suits, I have taken that sensibility to reflect what Rachel is feeling. When she was falling in love with Mike, she was wearing softer colors, like blush and pink.  When she is all about business, everything’s black or charcoal grey. When she moves in with Mike, his style influences hers. She starts wearing things like a white tank top and a jeans – a lot more chill.

We don’t realize that the choices we make when we are pulling something out of our closet say so much about us. Not just who we are in the world, but how we are feeling about ourselves. It’s powerful !

What’s the most vivid memory you have about fashion?

Gosh there have been a couple! My girl scout uniform ! My mom was my troop leader. It was not like Troop Beverly Hills though. There was also a Miu Miu event as part of New York Fashion Week. I went to my fitting and, suddenly, I was putting on this gorgeous bejewelled top, this perfect skirt, this coat and these Cinderella shoes. I remember looking in the mirror and gasping – because I got it. It was not just about feeling pretty, it was literally wearing clothes as art.

What is the most prized possession in your closet?

The one thing that I really cherish the most is this charm bracelet. I wear it on the show sometimes too – it was my grandmother’s. She was from a really small town and one of her first jobs was at J.J. Newberry where, they would give her a different charm ever year. I have hung on to it because this experience is really connecting to where I come from and how hard my family has worked on both sides.

Yes, I have a Max Mara coat that I love and I have other things that I bought that I earned, but they’re still just things. When there’s a personal connection, I think it really does shift its importance to you.

You are also the founder and editor of The Tig. What do you love most about running your own website?

Oh my gosh ! It is just so gratifying. When I started it, I had no idea that it would take on, just like when I started doing Suits.

As an actor, my job is to say someone else’s line believably for a living. So The Tig became my outlet to say my own words and to share all these things that I find inspiring and exciting, but also attainable. It could be fashion, food… I have such a curious personality. If I’m going to that great restaurant, I want to talk to that chef and share what he says with people. Why did he composed a dish like that ? When I am talking about fashion, I try to understand why that designer chose this piece or this color for that collection. What is the story behind that ? For me, it’s getting into someone’s head and finding the inspiration there – I love that !

More than that, I like finding the joys in life in a way that everybody can get it. It’s not like “god I wish I could go there”, it’s like “I can go there”. It’s not about the dollar amount. The moment you become famous or recognizable, there is an assumption that everything is so glamorous all the time. The trips that I put on the website are like me campervanning in New Zealand. (Laughs.)

You’re a self proclaimed foodie. How did that passion come about?

I grew up on the set of a TV show called Married with Children. My dad (who was on the production team) would always say “Meg, go help with craft services”. So I spent so much time, every day after school for years, helping with the food trays, making the sandwiches and taking them to the producers. I loved the craft of making food and seeing how much people feel connected to you when you feed them. I think that must have planted the seed.

A huge part of it had to do also with the amount of travel I did growing up. My mom was a travel agent, so we would go everywhere and experience different flavors. So associating food and culture together became really exciting for me. Now, I’m able to say that I am just as happy with a 5$ plate of Pad Thai in Bangkok or at Eleven Madison Park with a beautiful three-star Michelin five course meal.

You’re acting, you’re at the head of your own website, you’re a United Nations advocate and you also did calligraphy in the past. So… What’s next?

When you say all that, it sounds like I don’t have a lot of time! (Laughs.)

The next steps with Reitmans are something that is really exciting to me, but I can’t tell you about it. It’s coming soon though, stay tuned!

I also want to push the envelope a little bit. Like right now, I have been doing things that are so purpose driven. They’re comforting  and exciting, but I think it is also time for me to do something that is outside of the box, which feels cool !

(Then her assistant mentions that Meghan also speaks Spanish, which visibly inspires her.)

Relearn French, that’s what I want to do! I took it only for three years and every time I hear it, I’m like “I want that back”! So I just bought my Rosetta Stone again. Next time we do an interview, we’ll do the whole thing en français. I would also love to run a marathon, but I think we’ll tackle the French first.

 

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