Dawn Olivieri Heats Up House of Lies

You might need sunglasses to watch Dawn Olivieri in Showtime’s House of Lies (Sundays, 10 Eastern). She combines sizzling hotness with not a lot of clothes to play a devious consultant who spars with ex-husband Don Cheadle… when they’re not reconciling in the bedroom or, um, against the bathroom wall. Next up for the athletic, outdoorsy vegan is Supremacy with Danny Glover. Read on to learn how this Made Babe keeps that smokin’ body in shape—and see a bit of it, too.

MADE MAN: You have a lot of sex scenes in House of Lies. What’s the craziest thing you have had to do so far? DAWN OLIVIERI: Scenes with clothes on are weird for me.

MM: How well did you know Don before shooting that first sex scene? DO: We met the first time that scene. I didn’t shave. Just kidding! We met before then. I like him so it wasn’t so bad.

MM: What’s your favorite outdoor activity? DO: Volleyball gets my mind off of everything. On Saturdays, I’m out there from 10 a.m. until the sun goes down in Santa Monica Beach. I love being outside. I like to be in nature, putzing around outside, digging in the dirt! I have a ton of animals so we’re always outside playing. I have birds up in the tree. I have dogs running around.

MM: Are you a tomboy? DO: I was always involved in a sport. I think it started off with karate and then it morphed into baseball. I was the first girl to go to a baseball camp in Florida, where I grew up. Then it changed to softball. I did some indoor volleyball. My parents were good like that.

MM: Did it help you appreciate being fit? DO: I never think of being fit that way; that’s the saving grace of it. If you can construct a lifestyle that just involves these elements, there’s not this intense focus on making time in the morning. You just make time for it because it’s something that you enjoy. It’s something that you love to do.

MM: Got a diet or fitness tip for us? DO: Mix it up. I’ll go jog on the beach or play volleyball. I’ll go do some Bikram yoga. I’ll go bike riding a lot or I’ll just walk everywhere. Do something you enjoy. Don’t do it because you have to. I’ve just become a vegan. It’s not a fad diet. My parents recently switched over, too. They are redneck, from the South, meat-eating! It’s overwhelming for them! But man, they’ve done a great job. My father has lost 40 pounds in four months. He had a huge belly and it literally looks like it’s been cut in half.

MM: How did that happen? DO: He watched this documentary called Forks Over Knives. But I think different things speak to different people. That spoke to my parents. It completely flipped their whole idea of nutrition.

MM: What motivates you to get up in the morning? DO: I have this idea that you are an explorer. It’s fun! It’s like, ‘What’s going to happen today?’ I’m so lucky because I have a job that’s constantly changing, which really feeds that ‘seeking mechanism’ all of us as animals have. I read all these books about animal behavior and how if you have dogs, you really must feed their seeking mechanism. If you have a job or relationship that’s monotonous, you crave that exotic, that change of something. That’s why you have to go on vacations, travel to different countries and explore. People get locked into this idea that they’re stuck, but they’re really not. If you keep that freedom, you wake up ready to go, ready to get after it!

MM: Do you have a favorite healthy snack? DO: I’ve heard the two things we don’t eat enough of as human beings are spinach and beans. As a vegan, I need the beans for the protein. And I’m really into sautéing spinach with lemon and olive oil and making this beautiful tasty dish. I have chopped up vegetables all the time. I just throw them together and make different things out of them. There’s also this vegan quiche I’ve been experimenting with that’s been good. You use chickpea flour and mix in a bunch of vegetables. You put it in the oven and cook it for 15 minutes. That’s it. Do I have a cooking show now?