Bettina Paris: ‘Endings come just as fast as beginnings’

Actor, director and theatremaker Betinna Paris tells all in our Q&A

Bettina Paris
Bettina Paris

Beginning her career at an early age in the local and European industry, the actor, director and theatremaker eventually moved to London to further her studies. She most recently took on the role of Virginia Dimech in Teatru Malta’s Il-Qfil u l-Ħelsien ta’ Manwel Dimech. Bettina graduated from Arts Educational Schools, London in 2018.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

My morning ritual is sacred to me – I wake up, check my phone, make coffee, drink it while making my porridge (I eat porridge almost every day, every time I try to break away from the habit, I get miserably upset). It takes me around 30 minutes to put it together as I take my toppings very seriously. I find the whole thing therapeutic. Then I sit down to eat, and alternate between responding to emails and watching an episode of something light and funny to start my day off right.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

The words of advice that I remind myself of daily came from my father and his love for the Lion King ‘[Always] Remember who you are’. I also love the phrase, ‘What is meant for you, will never pass you by’.

What do you never leave the house without?

Nowadays, a mask (ha), keys and my mobile.

Pick three words that describe yourself.

Empathetic. Adaptable. Resilient.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Accepting myself. Flaws and all.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

I’d say I’ve got quite a few… But probably ice-cream in bed.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

That it helps to have a plan. But life ever rarely goes to plan. So, you have to learn to let go, to adapt and to be consistent, yet compassionate with yourself (and others).

Property and cars aside what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

I’m not one for expensive things but probably my laptop. Oh, and my post-graduate education.

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

That endings come just as fast as beginnings. Not so much something I wish I knew but more so something I wish I’d realised sooner…

Who’s your inspiration?

I get inspired by lots of people, places and things. I think I’m most driven by my boyfriend though. He’s a really hard worker, multi-skilled, and overall a great guy.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Getting through these last three very difficult years.

If you weren’t an actor, what would you be doing?     

I was talking to my sister about this the other day. She’s a chef, and I firmly believe if I wasn’t an actor, I’d be doing something with food. I’d love to be a food writer, or a female Anthony Bourdain, God rest his soul.

Do you believe in God?

I believe there is something bigger than us, sure. I consider myself to be a spiritual person.

If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be?

Recently, I’ve become obsessed with Mayim Bialik. I adore her. But I’ve always said I’d love to have dinner with Louis Theroux, particularly his younger ‘Weird Weekends’ self.

What’s your worst habit?

Biting my nails.

What are you like when you’re drunk?

I’m not much of a drinker nowadays but ask around and I’m pretty sure my friends would have a great time sharing a few stories involving my drunk self. Let’s just say I’m fun? Unpredictable? Something like that…

Who would you have play you in a film?

Isn’t it obvious? Myself. Because right now I need all the work I can get – #lifeofanactorduringthepandemicandbeyond

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Passive aggressiveness.

What music would you have played at your funeral?

I try not to think about these things too often…

What is your most treasured material possession?

I don’t know if these count as material possessions but probably anything that has some sort of memory attached to it.

What is your earliest memory?

Probably when my mother returned home from hospital with my sister after she was born. I remember holding her.

When did you last cry, and why?

I haven’t had a proper cry in the while but I’ve had many a moment of panicky tears. Probably last week after a bit of an argument.

Who would you most like to meet?

I’m stuck in quarantine at the moment and heading back to the UK soon, so at the minute I’m aching to spend some time with my mum and sister.

What’s your favourite food?

Hardest and easiest question at the same time. Anything and everything. Lately my sweet tooth has been a bit on the rise… but I think I’d have to say pizza. Not just any pizza though, like a proper Neapolitan or Roman pizza.

Who’s your favourite person on social media right now?

I mean I mainly follow social media for food and fitness inspiration. And memes. I love a good meme. Check out mytherapistsays for some good, relatable laughs.

If you could travel in time, where would you go?

I’d love to revisit moments with my late father.

What book are you reading right now?

I go through phases where I can’t put a book down or where I can’t be bothered to pick one up. I’m in the latter phase at the moment. I’m still trying to finish reading Mindset by Dr Caroline Dweck.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

Probably time travel or mind reading.

What’s one thing you want to do before you die?

Travel more.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

Again, I go through phases. I love all kinds of music. At the moment I’m not really listening to anything though.

In the shower or when you’re working out, what do you sing/listen to?

Shower – usually Spotify’s Songs to Sing in The Shower playlist. Workouts – my PT sent me a few playlists of his on my request. They’re full of major throwbacks and nostalgic hits (anything to avoid dealing with the fact that I’m turning 30 next year).