Body Talk with Solenn Heussaff

By Ricardo F. Lo

She used to be just a name as far as showbiz-watchers were concerned, casually dropped whenever the love life of Derek Ramsay was written about. She was Derek’s “ex,” until she joined as one of the celebrity-castaways (from the original 18 down to 17 after Princess Snell quit too soon) of Survivor Philippines Celebrity Showdown, the new GMA top-rater aired weeknights after 24 Oras.

Solenn Heussaff has put a face to the name and what a very beautiful face it is, matched by a beautiful mind and a beautiful body with which (I’m sure you have noticed) the cameras love to flirt. Eat your heart out, Derek! Look now what you’ve lost – to Survivor host Richard Gutierrez?

“We’re just friends,” added Richard who earlier revealed that he has broken up with Jewel Mische although, like most showbiz sweethearts, they had never admitted that they were ever an item.

On an island in Bangkok where the castaways spent 36 days hurdling all sorts of challenges, Richard recounted that he observed what a trooper Solenn was, not at all complaining about the harsh jungle-like conditions.

“For a girl with her background,” added Richard, “she’s impressive, she’s amazing.”

Solenn is free and so is Richard. She’s closer to Richard’s twin brother Raymond and sister Ruffa. In fact, according to Richard, Solenn is almost like a member of the Gutierrez family. “She’s often at our house.”

Solenn is half-French and half-Filipino.

I will let Solenn introduce herself.

“My dad is Louis Paul Heussaff and my mom is Cynthia Adea (A one-time Bayanihan dancer. — RFL). I have two siblings, an older sister, Vanessa, who lives in France, and my baby brother Erwan who’s here with us. I studied fashion design in Paris for three years after graduating from the European International School of Manila in Better Living, Bicutan, Metro Manila. I then interned with Dior and Fanny Liautard. I also worked as a dresser for Paris Fashion Week. I then came back here to intern with Lulu Tan Gan who hired me after about a month, then after a year I flew back to Paris to study make-up and prosthetics/body painting and worked for a bit for sitcoms like the Jamel Comedie Club, 3 Diesel projects, and a few theater plays. Then I came back to work again with Lulu and she gave me the role as in-house designer and product developer.”

A Cancerian (July 20), Solenn stands 5’6”, weighs 110 lbs., measures 33.5-26-35, and wears medium-sized shirts and 8.5-inch shoes,

“Oh, by the way,” she added, “I’m French-Filipino, not Swiss or Lebanese.”

How did you get a body like that (must be in your genes)?

“Believe it or not, I was a fat kid till about the age of 13. That’s when I started losing weight as kids in school used to tease me and call me ‘Free Willy.’ I really only started getting into regular sports at the age of 20. I did yoga four times a week. Nowadays, I stay fit by going to the gym four times a week, plyometrics once a week and I make sure to eat right, like steamed chicken or fish with veggies. No carbs except for a slice of bread in the morning and no artificial juices or soft drinks. I only drink water, buko juice or freshly-squeezed juice with no added sugar. My favorite is a glass of carrot/papaya/pineapple/cucumber every morning.”

How did you get into Survivor and how did you prepare for it? Did you follow a special diet for it? Did you put in extra workout hours?

“I actually auditioned for Survivor when I heard they were casting for the celebrity edition since I’m a fan of the actual show. I went to the gym every day for about two hours and trained in a lot of balancing exercises. I did a lot of swimming as well. I first started dieting knowing that I would be half naked on TV, hahahaha! Pero after about two weeks I decided to eat A LOT because I would need the energy and knowing that I would lose the weight anyway.”

How was the whole experience?
“I can’t give out any specific incidents, you will have to watch. But the toughest challenge for me was really the weather condition since this season was shot right during monsoon season, as well as the mosquitoes, flies and cockroaches that would bite us nonstop.”

What’s your regular diet? Do you manage to take three square meals a day?
“Yes, I always eat three meals a day. I usually start my mornings by taking four tablespoonfuls of pure calamansi, a glass of carrot/papaya/pineapple/cucumber juice with two teaspoons of Brazilian Acai powder, one soft-boiled egg and a bowl of muesli with dried fruits. For lunch, anything grilled or steamed and no carbs. For dinner, soup or steamed fish with veggies. Sunday is my cheat day, though. That’s when I take pancakes, bacon, and carbs for lunch. I love Sundays, hahahaha!”

Any snacks between meals?
“I’m not much of  ‘snacker’ but if ever I do feel hungry I just grab a fruit or some crackers.”

What kind of food do you avoid, and what kind do you always crave for?
“I really avoid carbs, junk food, deep-fried food and artificial sweets. The food I always crave for and could eat everyday would be sinigang na baboy. Yuuuuummmmm! Just thinking of it makes my mouth water with excitement, hahahaha!”

How much water do you take per day? Juices, soft drink, coffee or tea?
“I take two glasses of water before every meal. During the day though I must admit I ‘forget’ to drink. I’m weird. My mum always tells me that I was a special child, hahahaha! I sometimes drink Earl Grey tea or have an Expresso shot every other morning. Only fresh juices for me!”

What vitamins do you take?
“I take vitamin C, Biotin and Acai tablets.”

What regular workout do you do? Do you dance like your mom? Do you dabble in sports?
“My mum is an ex-Bayanihan dancer who traveled the world to teach other countries about our cultural dances. My father was a Navy Seal and was traveling with his ship when he met my mum in Egypt at one of her shows. They fell in love and looked what popped out — me, hahahaha! Well, my sister first then me and bunso Erwan. I dance well when I’m in clubs. I actually dance like a guy from the hood, hahahaha! Super not ‘social’ dancing. I’m the crazy girl you see on the side waving her hands in the air like I just don’t care. I’m not  a good dancer though when it comes to anything that’s choreographed. I’m like a stiff board, hahahaha!”

Any part of your body that needs improvement?
“My stomach. I want the ‘ab line’ and I would also like to have Madonna’s arms. We’ll see how long I need to achieve that. Hmmmmm.”

Most vulnerable part of your body?
“Love handles.”

And favorite part of your body?
“My legs.”

What part of a man’s body do you look at first?
“The neck. I think it’s sexy. Hahahaha!”

What else turns you on in a man? And what turns you off?
“I like guys who are confident and smart, and can make me laugh. Someone who can be crazy yet serious at the same time and someone who’s not jealous. All my friends are men, so my guy definitely needs to be okay with that. If not, you can walk out the door! I hate guys who are vain and look at themselves in the mirror too much and guys who are cocky. Major major turn off!”

How much sleep do you get per night?
“I’m usually in bed by 10:30 and get up at 7 or 8 depending on the job that’s got to be done!”

Favorite sleep wear.
“Granny panties, hahahaha, and loose jogging pants and oversized T-shirt. Basically, something that you can’t tick in the sexy box, hahahaha!”

How many pillows do you sleep with?
“Four. One for my head, one under my feet and one on each side. I’m scared to wake up next to Sadako, hahahaha!”

Do you snore? Do you talk in your sleep? Do you sleepwalk?
“I snore when I’m really, really, really sleepy but it’s like a mouse snore, so I’ve been told. I do talk in my sleep sometimes, that’s why no reporters are allowed near me when I sleep. I might answer questions I don’t want to, hahahaha! And I don’t sleepwalk. That’s scary, hahahaha!”

Last thing that you do before you go to sleep.
“Go on the computer for a bit and drink a lot of water ‘cause at this point I’m dying of thirst and start remembering that my body needs agua, hahahaha!”

First thing that you do when you wake up.
“Go to the toilet and wash my face, then check my phone and go to my kitchen with my laptop for breakfast.”

How’s your love life? What’s between you and Richard Gutierrez (describe how you were during the Survivor shoot in Thailand; mention what you found likeable about each other, etc.)?
“My love life is somewhere between Leo and the Titanic, hahahaha! It’s on ‘pause mode’ right now. I’ve been going from one relationship to another and I just want to focus on myself and my career at the moment. I need to chill, hahahaha! Chard and I are close friends lang. I’ve known him for a while since I’m really close to Mond. And after the whole Survivor experience we kinda got closer because obviously no one else experienced the same adventure. Plus, he’s single, too, and wants the same thing, too, so we agreed to take time for ourselves. And it’s fun to hang out with single people when you’re single! All my girlfriends have a man already, so now it’s just Mond, Bubbles (Paraiso), Chard and me, hahahaha!”

Any nightlife?
“I like to hang out at night sometimes like watch a movie then have a glass of wine. I go out every once in a while though to let loose and dance.”

How do you cope with stress? Do you meditate, listen to music (what kind?), watch movies (what kind; last movie that you saw)?
 “I listen to music and go running. I love going to the movie theater as well; I could do it every night! Just came back from one actually. I don’t even know the title, huh; it’s the new one of Drew bery Moore. (Drew Barrymore, with Justin Long, in Going The Distance. — RFL).”

How do you take care of your skin?
“I recently discovered Body Shop’s Tea Tree facial scrub. I use it every day, then every night I use the Tea Tree night cream.”

Favorite hideaway/favorite city?
“I love going to Paris, just because I studied there and still have a lot of friends there that I miss everyday. I also love the long walks I take on my own in the streets of Paris and sitting on my own in the cafes and watching people go by with all their different styles and attitudes. It’s like watching a movie.”

Are you an optimist or a worrier (outlook in life)?
“Optimist. I think you will always learn something whether what’s coming your way is good or bad. And if you keep thinking something good will happen to you, then it will eventually happen. Of course, there are times where you panic for a second and wonder where you’re going to be in 10 years but it never lasts too long.”

Name three men that you think have nice bodies.
“Paul Walker, Piolo Pascual, Colin Farrell.”

And three women that you think have nice bodies.
“Ines Lobregat, Jessica Alba, Aubrey Miles.”

Using only body language, how would you make a man know that you admire him (do you wink at him, make sign language)?
“I just stare at him in the eyes till he gets scared, hahahaha!”