is a seasoned actor currently in
. She also had roles in
which ended in 2010, as well as in "L.A. Law" and "Sisters."
Her acting career mixed with physical fitness in 2000's "Dancing at the Blue Iguana," a film in which she played a stripper. She had to learn to dance with a pole, and today continues what she calls "burlesque fitness."
This mother of two and founder of S Factor, a fitness program, will be at the Ritz-Carlton in Coconut Grove from Feb. 11 to 14 to lead "Soulfully Sexy," a retreat billed as a "spiritual and fitness journey for women."
Why do you keep fit?
It's a whole philosophy. I'm a movement lover, since I was a kid. Danced, ballerina, every kind of dance and fitness and running and sports. Keeps me inspired, very good mood. I love endorphins, being light on my feet. To me, sitting behind a desk or watching TV while sitting, it's depressing. It sucks all the energy of life out of you. Life is about living in this body so you got to move it. It's very emotional. I guess the physical is rolled into the emotional. Your body should be your work of art.
What's your workout routine?
S Factor is a feminine workout. It uses the rippling principle of movement, organic movement. Comes from the feminine body, from the curves, the
, the legs. Circular movements. When witnessed by the male eye, it's extremely provocative sexually. That's why we do it in private.
People try to describe it as a feminine version of
. The point of the movement is not getting anywhere, but to allow your body to move to the furthest expanse, stretch ... If you've ever watched an underwater creature move, it feels like that.
Any "traditional" workouts?
When you say traditional, I call that the masculine or yang workout to balance my ying/feminine. For so many years, we've encouraged women to work out like men, to be mini men. But when you unlock the feminine body, you feel so much more clear and happy in spirit.
I do masculine workouts, love to for equal balance. Elliptical, weight training, running. I've tried
. I've stuck with weight training, but my philosophy is not pushing for a result but pushing for the experience.
When I was doing aggressive running, I pushed beyond the limit of my body, my feminine body. But now that I've learned this rippling philosophy, never been injured in 11 years.
On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, I do my S, a two-hour workout. I do elliptical and weights every other day.
If I'm traveling, like in New York shooting "Gossip Girl," I'll do S in a studio three days a week. And I will do Bikram yoga maybe once a week, and then I'll do some street running or elliptical.
What's the toughest physical role you've ever had as an actor?
The last season of "Lost," a lot of running on the beach and mountains and carrying guns. It was crazy hard.
had to tackle me full speed. I've had a lot of falling and carrying, getting my throat slashed.
My role in the film, "The Blue Iguana,"
pole dancing to the world for fitness. I had to learn this movement. It's burlesque fitness.
Can you describe burlesque fitness?
Burlesque fitness, the stripper pole have infiltrated so many types of fitness. The pole helps you elongate your body. It's elegant, graceful, sexual, slow fluidity, femininity.
Ever take extended breaks from working out?
Never. I'm a playaholic, workaholic. My body aches to move.
How long did you dance as a kid? Did you play competitive sports?
I did everything. Started dancing when 4. Got serious in ballet when 11. Started dancing professionally at 16, went to
at 17, had to quit with an injury after two years as a dance major. While I was doing all that dancing, I was a competitive diver, soccer player, softball player, volleyball player at school.
Does your family keep fit?
My husband [actor
] is a yogi. Does yoga and weight training an hour and a half each day. Our daughter wants to be a professional basketball player. She did ballet. My son doesn't move much. The rule was he had to move up to 16. He's 17 now. He was on football, baseball, golf teams, but he's much more of an intellectual. Doesn't value movement.
Do you have a personal fitness motto or philosophy?
It's your body — own it.
Do you have any physical problems that hinder exercise?
I have many problems with traditional masculine exercises but not with any movement I do with S movements. Bad knees; my left hip had an injury; I have dysplasia in both hips, two herniated discs in my back from a fall. I was a competitive skier in high school and a couple of years ago hurt my leg, thought I snapped my femur. I ripped something in my left shoulder.
What's your typical daily diet?
I do a clean diet, nothing drastic, not rigid. Maybe a milkshake once day, a cleanse once a day, a lot of greens. I drink fresh green juice. I'll have fish, meat, have a burger.
This morning, I had arugula salad with avocado. Right now, I'll have a green shake made with avocado and all the different greens. Later today, probably a really yummy Thai raw shrimp roll with mint and basil, wrapped in rice paper. For dinner, maybe kamut salad with cranberries and Brazil nuts.
Funny thing I've learned about eating well is you can eat delicious meals, like at McDonald's, as long as you eat it well.
What else do you drink?
I love wine, maybe a glass every other day with a friend,. I don't have coffee. I love soda but not what it does to my body. I feel like crap afterward. I love green tea. I'm a big Irish beer drinker. I frickin' love Guinness stout with blackberry.
Do you take any vitamins or sports nutrition products?