The drama of Mena Suvari, the American Beauty actress who managed to escape the dangerous fate imposed on her

Mena Suvari

Mena Suvari She is one of the actresses who began her artistic career at a very young age. She was lucky – a circumstance that over time became unfortunate – to know of her success almost immediately. Before the age of 20, she was already a world-renowned figure and one of the brightest stars in the Hollywood firmament. All this, as happened to many other precocious figures and child prodigies, ended up affecting her personal life and her health.

The actress, who was born on February 13, 1979 in Newport, United States, always had the goal of succeeding in the show. There was no artistic background among the Suvaris: it was a dream of her own, forged by her. In her house, her mother-candice– she was a nurse and her father –I walk-, psychiatrist. Mena’s three older brothers followed a career in the Army from adolescence: the family moved to Charleston, California, so they could attend a military school.

In the new destination, Mena began to develop her career as a model when she was just 12 years old. In one of her first jobs, she became the face of a rice brand. That made an agency notice her and offer her a contract to join her ranks. At the same time, she enrolled in performing arts classes with the intention of obtaining a role on television. She got it at the age of 16 when she was called up for the series boy meets world.

Mena Suvari in her model days
Mena Suvari in her model days

After that brief foray into the small screen, the opportunity to make movies came. And she didn’t waste it. It was 1997 when she carried out three projects almost simultaneously: kiss the girls, snide and prejudice Y Nowhere.

Already on the epilogue of the decade he achieved the great leap with a popular comedy for teenagers, american footand a drama that would win five Oscars -including best film-, American Beautyin which he performed an emblematic scene: his Angela Hayes She was the protagonist of the erotic dream of Lester Burnham (a consecrated kevin spacey which was light years away from the repudiation of this present).

Both films, released in 1999, earned Suvari sudden popularity: he was barely 20 years old when he achieved the media explosion -and the million-dollar contracts- that the vast majority of his colleagues require a good part of their lives, in case of let them get it, of course. But becoming a celebrity and having the world surrender at her feet would lead to her downfall.

Mena Suvari and her famous scene in American Beauty
Mena Suvari and her famous scene in American Beauty

His performance in American Beautythe scene in the bathtub, that slow-motion shot in which she was being covered by falling rose petals, became her cover letter. From that moment, along with a successful film at the box office and praised by critics, Mena went on to belong to the history of cinema, with its pros and cons. Because unfortunately for Mena, she would be pigeonholed. She sought in other projects to leave behind the role of femme fatale in which the producers placed her, but to no avail.

As the papers were passed, the brightness of his star was fading. Although she never stopped working, she was called for second-rate movies or series that did not reach greater significance. In 2014 she starred the opposite sexthen they would come badge of honor (2015), i will be home for christmas (2016), dark secret (2020) year paradise cove (2021), to cite the most relevant projects, although of little success.

Mena Suvari and the cast of American Pie
Mena Suvari and the cast of American Pie

But the real drama would not be there, in a race that would not end up fulfilling what it had promised. It was Suvari herself who revealed what she must have suffered from the first steps she took in the entertainment industry: in her adolescence she suffered abuse that lasted for many years.

“Between the ages of 12 and 20 I was a victim of sexual abuse continuously”the actress told in an interview with the magazine People. She added that at school age she was a friend of her older brother who abused her. “Part of me died that day. I was never able to contemplate sex as a healthy thing,” she added.

Everything got worse when they began to invite her to parties in the environment in which -endless- everything happened, but secrecy prevailed. Older men, many of whom were in her midst, corrupted her. She showed him a totally unknown world. Knowing what she Mena had to face, they quickly linked her with Angela Hayesthe character he played in the movie he starred in with Kevin Spacey.

When Suvari turned 15, his parents separated, and if until then he had little contention, from that moment on it would be zero. Her mother left the house overnight and her brothers were left in the care of her father, who had psychiatric problems. It was then that she met a person who took her to Hollywood, the aforementioned owner of the agency, who became her agent and promised to take her to the top.

Mena Suvari
Mena Suvari

Mena accepted, she considered this person she preferred not to name her friend, but the worst would come. A new abuse. The man warned her that they should have sex as a way to repay him for favors done. Seeking refuge once more, he thought he found it in nightclubs, alcohol and drugs. An explosive cocktail that almost cost her life, according to the actress herself.

“I began to medicate myself with anything, I thought of surviving. A process of destruction began in me until I found salvation in acting. I knew that I just had to focus on that and nothing else because otherwise it was going to end badly. Fortunately, at that moment I had the ability to decide, ”Suvari added about his darkest and most cruel stage.

Around the end of the year 2000, he became a couple with the German photographer Robert Brinkmanwho he married: they were together until 2005. It was a controversial relationship: he was 18 years older. In 2007 she met music producer simon sestito and by then his life began to get on track. They were married in 2010 in Rome; two years later they separated. In 2018 Suvari met miguel hopeyour current partner. In April 2021 she was the mother of Christopher Alexander.

In mid-2021 he published The Great Peace: A Memoirhis autobiographical book that works as a kind of catharsis: there he narrates the most traumatic events of his life. Her present finds her far from the media. But also of addictions, of abuses. Today, Mena smiles again.


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