Our exclusive interview with actress, producer, and model Diora Baird.
Diora is perhaps best known for her big screen roles in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, where her character Bailey endures torture at the hands of the chainsaw-wielding killer. The film also stars Jordana Brewster and Matt Bomer. Baird also starred as Vivian in the smash hit comedy Wedding Crashers with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson.
Her striking looks have graced the covers of popular men’s magazines worldwide including Esquire, FHM, Playboy and Men’s Style Australia to name just a few. She has also been featured in large spreads for Maxim and Nylon Guys.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Very tired mom….in need of coffee. That’s more than 3 but they go hand in hand.
Why and how did you get started in acting and producing?
My mom was a model and then became a makeup artist, so I pretty much grew up on set. I modeled for most of my childhood, but I was incredibly shy. Like, couldn’t speak in public kind of shy. So, of course I ended up an actor. That’s how it goes, right?
When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
I changed what I wanted to be all the time. One day I wanted to be a pianist and the next I wanted to be a zoologist. I actually still think about changing my profession, but luckily I get to live other lives while pretending to be other people. Otherwise, I would have gotten bored by now.
What was the first role you ever played?
I believe it was in Neil Simon’s play Barefoot in the Park and I played Corie. I was so nervous, I got sick right before walking on stage and I have been nervous ever since. Go ahead and call me a masochist. It’s true.
Do you take or have you taken acting classes?
I’ve taken ALL the classes. I probably spent an entire college tuition on classes. I started as a kid and then did theatre throughout high school. I was the quintessential drama nerd and was proud to be Vice President of the Thespians Society. I even won first place in pantomime. It doesn’t get cooler than that, but did I have many friends? That’s a negative. Once I moved to L.A. I signed up for every class I could get in.
Tell us about your character in the film “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning”?
I played the girl who runs from the bad guy and screams a lot. Oh, and I die a terrible death. Fun fact: I did not have to scream at any of my auditions. Isn’t that crazy?! What if when I screamed, I sounded like Hulk Hogan, ya know?
How do you prepare for a role?
It depends on the role, but music is my number one muse. Journaling in character can help too.
What have you learned from other actors?
Mariska Hargitay has been my favorite actress to work with. I struggled with some really “dramatic” moments when I filmed an episode of Law & Order: SVU and she coached me through it. Basically, she helped me commit to the emotions, no matter how big they were. I’d definitely take her class. Sign me up, Mariska!
Who is your favorite actress?
My all-time favorite actress will always be Gena Rowlands. Need I say more?
How and when did you start into modeling?
I was forced by my mom. Not really. Whenever I got bratty, we would take a break from the industry. There were plenty of times I was over being told what to do and I was a total brat on set, but most of the time, I was a perfect angel. Clearly.
What is fun and rewarding about modeling? And what is not?
I think there is an opportunity to be creative and evoke emotion in an artistic way, which can be rewarding. The other side of modeling is very, very dark. Having the focus on only your looks is never healthy and it promotes a complete false representation of people. Young audiences have no idea how fake everything is, but it is.
What magazines have you been in over the course of your career?
FHM, Esquire, Playboy, Maxim. There are more and I should be keeping track, but I’d rather just take a nap instead.
And which magazine or project is still on your bucket list?
I would love to do a musical, but be the character who can’t sing. Because I can’t…at all.
What are your makeup bag staples when traveling?
Lip stain is my life source. Usually, I wear one that I get from the drugstore because I’m not interested in spending money on stuff like that. Good food is a better use for my money.
What’s your advice for the newer models?
Coffee and cigarettes are not a food group.
Beautiful women like yourself are very intimidating to most men. How should a guy approach you?
Well, I’m gay. Need I say more?
I bet you get millions of them, but what are the best and worst Instagram DM pickup lines you receive so far?
I have never gotten a pick-up line, just pervy comments that get deleted as soon as possible.
The most important thing when you are shooting is?
A good craft service is what dreams are made of. I am known to “borrow” many a snacks from set. It’s free food people!
What is your favorite healthy food?
I am a total vegan junkie, which is all healthy. I am also powered by avocado.
And your favorite cheat food?
Vegan cheese pizza dipped in vegan ranch and maybe a few sips of coke, aka the devil reincarnated.
What would be a deal breaker on a first date?
Bad breath. Nope.
What would be the dream holiday, and who would you go with?
At home with my future wife and surrounded by kids. I’ve done my share of holiday traveling and I’m tapped out. Home is where the heart is, right?
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
I want to meet Michelle Obama. End. Of. Story.
What is your own definition of happiness?
Happiness is to live stress free, which I’m still working on.
Where do you see yourself in a few years?
Hopefully I’ll be on an animal friendly ranch somewhere in the middle of nature surround by kids, good music, and good food.
If you were not an actress what else you will be doing?
I would probably be a midwife.
What do you think of Social Media in the Entertainment business?
Best advice ever given?
Be who you are, don’t be anybody else. Said by my 4 year-old son.
What’s your favorite music?
Anything with soul. I am currently obsessed with Leon Bridges.
What’s a normal day in your life?
I wake up whenever my son demands me to, which is usually at an obscene hour and I’m in search of good coffee for the rest of the day.
Do you have a role model?
Chelsea Handler is pretty awesome. She’s her own boss and uses her fame to shine light on what’s happening in world. She’s also willing to get high on camera and make a total fool of herself, which is about as top dog as it gets.
Any future plans/projects you want to share with us?
I am in pre-production for a thriller that I’ll be producing and acting in called They Watch. Mostly, right now I’m knee deep in writing a show that I am creating with my partner Mav Viola who’s an actual writer and a comedian. So, score for me.
Where we can follow you?
Quote: Oh perfect! I have had a quote saved on my phone for all these years and now I have a reason for it being there!
“Maturity is giving up the hope that the past could have been different” – Oprah
Yes. I did just quote Oprah. Mic drop.
Book: The Giving Tree.
Favorite movie: A Christmas Story.
Food: Vegan everything and chocolate.
Holiday: Christmas. Duh.
TV Show: Seinfeld will never be over for me.
Photographer: Birdie Thompson
Hair/Make-up: April Garcia Represented by Michelle Q Beauty