Andrea Blaugrund Nevins is an Academy-Award nominated, Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker whose work has appeared on HBO, Hulu, Showtime, ABC, NBC, A&E and Lifetime. She started her career in print, radio, and television news, covering national and international issues, winning awards on subjects ranging from rural medical care to gun control. Her feature documentary work today explores transition points in the human experience. They include Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie, which uses Barbie as a lens to look at the last 60 years of feminism; The Other F Word, about punk rockers and fatherhood; State of Play: Happiness about finding second chapters; and Play It Forward, a story of two brothers and their shared love, but different successes, in football and in life. She was selected both in 2018 and 2016 as a cultural ambassador for the US State Department’s American Film Showcase, which brings US filmmakers to embassies worldwide. Nevins has been a devoted philanthropist and activist since carrying her first orange box for UNICEF as a child in New York City. In addition to being on the regional board of UNICEF, Nevins serves on the leadership council for the National Resources Defense Council, and was a delegate with them at COP21 in Paris. She is also a co-founder of the XX Fund, a 150-member donor advised fund servicing women and girls in need in Los Angeles. She and her husband, David Nevins, have three children.
What do you love most about Your City?
Los Angeles is my adopted city, and what I love most is the Wild West sense of possibility. People are not defined by where they went to school, who their parents are, or even what they “do” at that moment. It’s quite freeing. My other city is New York, where I was born and raised. I thrive on New York’s energy and the sheer amount of ground I can cover in one day.
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
My favorite breakfast is avocado toast. I know. So precious. But perfect avocados are one of the perks of living in Southern California. My favorite restaurant is a small, Italian place in my neighborhood. It’s cozy. I can walk there. And they make a pasta with preserved grilled meyer lemon, celery leaves, calabrian chili, and parsley that I love.
What are you doing at:
(This is all when I’m researching or editing. When I’m shooting, the schedule is just plain “whatever it takes.”)
6:00 AM – Meditating before taking the kids to school. It took me a long time of promising myself I’d start meditating before really committing. I do a 20-minute guided mindfulness recording. Seems to be helping me sleep better and, well, be more mindful.
10:00 AM - Most often, I’ve just finished a half hour of indoor cycling and a shower and am ready to dive into my day, whether it’s researching, writing or editing.
12:00 PM - Favorite Power Lunch spot/meal?
Stopping for lunch is so rare for me. As a working mom, I find the time spent getting somewhere, waiting to be served, and getting back to be more than I can spare. To the best of my ability, I don’t want to miss sitting down to a proper dinner with my family every night, so lunch is my sacrifice.
My desk meal is generally some clean protein like tofu, eggs or chicken. Keeps my brain from slowing down in the afternoon.
(But if I do go out, I love the lunch at Republique)
7:00 PM - Just finished work and sitting down to eat dinner with my three kids (though one just left for college) and husband. We laugh a lot. Clear our heads. Sometimes I have to go to industry events and screenings, but I try hard not accept too many each week so we can honor this time.
11:00 PM - Trying really, really hard to tell my very chatty inner task master to quiet down so I can fall asleep. My best trick is a great book. Two favorites recently were Allie Rowbottom’s memoir, Jell-O Girls, and Andrew Sean Greer’s novel, Less.
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
I drink a lot of tea. PG Tips and Kusmi because they are strong, and then green tea, or an Arnold Palmer later in the afternoon. Of course I end my evening with another predictable California classic, a nice oaky, buttery Chardonnay. I know! So predictable! But as a New Yorker, I’m still floored by California’s bounty. My absolute favorite is Babcock’s Top Cream, but you can only get that a few months out of the year. Otherwise, Spellbound is a great, without being too hard on the wallet.
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?
Most used app is probably Waze, because it gets me around this maze of a city faster. On instagram, I love @linguafrancanyc. Rachelle Hruska has taken her anxiety and turned it into a business that sews political statements onto sweaters, so you’re literally wearing your feelings on your “sleeve”. I’ve just loved watching her business grow and her voice get heard.
What should everyone try at least once?
Since these questions have been so much about what we consume, I might say being vegan. I did it for three years, and it taught me much about how dependent we are on animals for every meal.
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
In a book store.