Jenna Dewan is an actress, author, dancer and producer, but above all else, she is a mother, who is also currently pregnant with her second child. And she says that motherhood has changed the way she has approached her career.
“My [daughter] Everly changed [everything] for me,” Dewan said at TheWrap’s Power Women Summit in Los Angeles on Friday. “Now I think, ‘What can I do to be there for her, and how long will I be away for a project?’ I say no to a lot now,” she said. “When you are a dancer, you are a hustler by nature… I was scared but the universe was like, ‘We got you.’ I’m doing what I love more but I don’t have to say yes all the time.”
Her second pregnancy is more “relaxed” for her although her life “is crazier,” and she credits her amazing support network of her mother, her girlfriends and her partner, Steve Kazee, for her easy pregnancy (that, of course, still comes with her cravings).
“When Everly was born, I had quite an awakening — my life has changed so much,” Dewan said. “I pride myself on being a healthy eater — I enjoy eating healthy — but it’s like some being came into my body and said, all I want is chips and bad food! I joke about being at 7Eleven and seeing someone drinking a Slurpee and I was like, ‘Oh my God, I NEED it!’ I’m curbing [these cravings] — I’m not eating junk food 24/7. I like the 80/20 rule. I allow myself to splurge.”
Dewan most recently released her book “Gracefully You: Finding Beauty and Balance in the Everyday.” During the panel, she explained that it originally started as a poetry book, but when she signed up for it, she was going through her divorce from Channing Tatum, and was going through other things that caused her grieve that she felt she had to turn around the book and stay more truthful to the emotions she was tackling.
“I started to feel phony, like I’m not addressing what I’m going through,” she said. “I wanted a book like this, something to help me connect… Connecting to something greater than myself like the universe or God, that was something as a kid that was very important to me.”
She added, “What will my daughter look back and say? ‘My mom said that, that’s what she’s been through.’ Grace to me is finding the bigger picture and how to approach something with love.”
She also recently started her production company, Everheart, and is in production on great projects, including a film with Ellen DeGeneres that stemmed from an appearance on her show.
“I started thinking about what’s available for me and then said, what can I create?” she said. “Everyone is doing this, why can’t I do this? I have opinions on what I want to watch and I can get people in a room to talk about this…. the women I admire are Reese Witherspoon, Eva Longoria… women that are performers but also creatives and we’re doing it. There’s one time, one life, I want be in there.”
WrapWomen’s Power Women Summit, held at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica Oct. 24-25, brings together 1,500 of the most influential women from the entertainment, media and technology industries, making it the largest gathering of its kind. With the theme of “Toward 50/50,” the event highlights women of achievement, encourages discussion on topics of impact and creates a lasting community of powerful women. The summit will provide two days of education, mentorship, workshops and networking.
Additional speakers for the summit include Eva Longoria, Nicole Richie, Gigi Gorgeous, Rachel Zoe, Sophia Bush, Erin Andrews, Gina Torres, Stephanie Beatriz, Diane Guerrero and Chrissy Metz.