Throughout her life, Eugenie Bondurant has been on the runways of New York and Paris and soon you’ll see her on her featured role as “Tigris” in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2.
At 6’-1”, with knife-blade cheekbones, Bondurant was “discovered” after a bout with cancer left her looking especially exotic and androgynous. A modeling trip to Los Angeles led to an acting career. When The Hunger Games’ director, Francis Lawrence, went looking for an actor to play Tigris, a nationwide search led them to Bondurant.
We caught up with The Hunger Games Actress, read our BELLA online exclusive:
BELLA: The Hunger Games is one of our favorite movie series, we’re really excited to have this opportunity. How are you?
Bondurant: I’m great. You know, I just came off of a two week high of being out of town in Upstate NY in the Berkshires hiking every day, eating great food, being in the culture and, ahh, it’s been great!
BELLA: That’s awesome! How does it feel to be back on the big screen?
Bondurant: Oh, what a great question. It feels amazing I’ve got to tell you and I hope you hear my heart saying that.
BELLA: What is your favorite part of playing the role of Tigris in this movie?
Bondurant: Ok, this is going to sound cliché but every part was my favorite part. First of all, getting back to seeing myself back on the big screen. I took quite a bit of time off, as you know, and the experience of being back on the set, on this extraordinary set, it was unbelievable! So, my favorite part was the food! I’m kidding, my favorite part was the people and the experience and quality of the cast, the crew, the sets, wardrobe, makeup…I could go on for an hour to tell you the joy. I hope that you hear that in my voice. I don’t have a top 10 because it’s a top 100.
BELLA: What is the best part of your job as an actress?
Bondurant: Relationships. Creating relationships. That would be what I enjoy the most. You’re given a character to play and you are the co-collaborator of this character along with everyone on the team making the movie. That is my joy. I love doing that and I had an incredible time doing that on this set. Francis Lawrence, the director, is incredible. He has a vision and he knows what he wants and he’s fantastic to work with.
BELLA: What are your favorite parts from visiting NYC?
Bondurant: I just came back from the most glorious place. Well, I’ve been to many beautiful places in NY, but every year we are gracefully invited back to the Adirondacks and we stay outside of Big Wolf Lake. I feel like I’m in nature’s museum. Everywhere you look, every step you take, it is absolutely beautiful and breathtaking.
BELLA: When you’re in the city, what do you prefer, Subways or Cabs?
Bondurant: Subways! Are you kidding? For sure! I used to live in New York and that is the only way I traveled. You can go anywhere! When there’s not a traffic jam, which, when is there not a traffic jam in the city? But when there is, you can just jump on the subway and you’re there and then you just use your legs for walking to where you need to go. When I lived there, I was modeling and I would carry my knitting with me because I was a knitter, and I would be knitting these Christmas stockings and sit there with my book, listening to music, taking it all in and it’s just fascinating. You see all these different people around you and they’re all speaking different languages and it’s really a cross section of life.
BELLA: It is really fascinating and makes the commute a lot more entertaining, for sure!
Bondurant: Yes! That’s so true. I’ve even taken the subway from the airport to my destination. I don’t know if I’d go to the airport that way, though.
BELLA: What is your must have beauty item?
Bondurant: An eyebrow pencil! If you have a good eyebrow pencil, then you can fill in your eyebrows and then you can use it as a very light lip filler. What I do is use my eyebrow pencil very lightly fill in my lips. That’s my favorite, favorite, favorite!
BELLA: How do you define beauty?
Bondurant: Beauty is the joy from within. If you have a joyful heart, the beauty will radiate from the outside. It’s the joy in the person in which you’re speaking and the joy in the moment.
BELLA: What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Bondurant: Keep going, don’t stop and don’t give up. I’m 6’1, thin as a rail and you can imagine when I started my career as an actor how many male leads were my height! Don’t give up was the best advice I was given at that time. And for a few years, I did. And, now I’m in The Hunger Games. I gave it a shot. I was graciously asked by Francis Lawrence to play this role. It is a role of a lifetime.
BELLA: If you had to pick between acting and modeling, which one would it be?
Bondurant: Acting. I loved modeling and it’s a tough call but it would be acting. With acting you use your body and your mind. Being on the runway is a lot of fun but being a character and the relationships you make is taking it to a whole other level. It’s really powerful, exciting and dynamic. You can do so much when you’re acting. As a model, not to be Debbie Downer on the modeling side because I still love it, but I would occasionally get “your waist is too long”, “you’re too tall”, “you’re too short”; but with acting it’s just you and what you bring to life.
Bondurant is a well-known on-camera acting coach, a staff member at the prestigious Patel Conservatory in Tampa, Fl. Along with acting, she has a BA in Finance. Be sure to catchBondurant in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 in theaters November 20th!