Industry Insiders: Andrea Lawent, Hollywood Drill Sergeant
The hard-rocking owner and CEO of Made In LA Fitness dishes about dancing, cookie diets, and fellow badass Christina Applegate.
Where do you show off your Made In LA bod? 101 Coffee Shop is like my second home. It’s an old-school diner in Hollywood, with really good food and a great jukebox. I like the sushi and sitting on the roof at The Kress. There, my partner, Mike Viscuso, took the old Frederick’s of Hollywood and redid the whole thing into an entertainment mecca. I walked through the place with him as he was ripping it up, and now it’s beautiful. Finally, M Cafe De Chaya. I love the food there. They manage to create the most fantastic dishes, and all with no sugar or dairy.
How do you fill your days? At Made in LA Fitness, I own, operate, design our clothing line, hire, fire, schedule — everything. I am an ex-dancer and choreographer who has always taught. I started teaching spinning about 14 years ago and have developed a very large, loyal following, which eventually led to the opening of this establishment.
Who has inspired you? Jillian Michaels is someone I admire and respect. She has been my student for over a decade. I have watched her put her head down with no ego and work her ass off. She left The Biggest Loser, as they wouldn’t give her what she asked for and is worth. Obviously, they brought her back, as the show without her wasn’t a success. We hold bootcamps at Made In LA for members of Jillian’s website quarterly. They come from Australia, England, Canada, and all over the US. I also met Christina Applegate when I was what felt like 15 months pregnant with my first child. I was choreographing Don’t Tell Mom, the Babysitter’s Dead. And I actually thought I was gonna meet Kelly Bundy. I was wrong — she is the most down-to-earth person. She then was one of my first students and has been with me for 14 years.
Have there been any recent changes in your industry? Even though of course fitness is to look good, there also seems to be a movement towards how good you are on the inside — our mental and spiritual health. I always say, “I never heard the words ‘change’ and ‘comfortable’ in the same sentence.”
What’s something in your industry that you don’t support? The gimmicky “magic bullet” diet aids: “I lost 40 pounds in two weeks,” “Five-minute abs,” “The Cookie Diet.” There is no magic bullet — it’s commitment and tenacity and showing up consistently.
What is something that people might not know about you? Being all tatted up and loving my rock music, most people think I’m tough. I’m not. I cried when my kids were little and said the pledge of allegiance. My friends call me the Martha Stewart of Hollywood as I have very conservative tastes. I must own every Polo sweater in every color. I’m prone to changing the duvets and linens seasonally, and I like Ralph Lauren and Laura Ashley bedding.