Leanne wears Yawn Pyjama Set 'Cat Nap'
Dancing at the Brit Awards, modelling for Philip Treacy and now the face of Yawn, Leanne Michael’s day-to-day in London couldn’t be further from the tranquil life she left behind in her hometown of Aberystwyth.
“Being back home and being in London is like two different worlds,” says the actress, model and dancer. It’s an amazing contrast; the pace is so different. I’ve always loved London. There are so many opportunities here. Of course I miss home but I try and go back at least every six weeks. I’m going home this weekend to spend time with my friends and family. I love being by the sea, walking the prom, seeing familiar faces and enjoying the open space.
As a dancer, model and actress, you have a multifaceted career. How do you find time to relax?
“I run to relax. I know that sounds ridiculous but it can be therapeutic. After a run, I jump in the shower and put on my PJs no matter what time of day it is. If I run early in the morning and somebody visits at midday, they probably see me in my pyjamas and assume I’m really lazy. I also do SoulCycle to relax or take my dog for a walk.”
Being a model must be pretty glamorous though?
“No, not entirely, it’s 50/50. It’s nice having your hair and make-up done. I did a magazine shoot recently and I got to wear lots of beautiful things like an amazing Alexander Wang coat. But in general it’s early mornings, late nights and long days. It’s usually cold and everyone gets tired.”
I can imagine shoots in England get chilly, where has been the most interesting place you’ve visited?
“Prague really surprised me. Usually on shoots you have a lot of time to yourself beforehand. Prague is really beautiful and has a lot of history. It also has a really relaxed vibe. Second to that I love Barcelona. I take my running shoes whenever I travel for a job. In Barcelona hundreds of people run along the beach. It’s really nice to see because you just don’t get that in England.”
You must be pretty active as a dancer…
“Dancing is really active. It’s enjoyable but not relaxing! You just rehearse until you get it right. When you’re a model you get treated nicely, you’re mollycoddled. But as a dancer you’re just expected to get on with it and keep going. It’s usually dancing in heels; it’s amazing how much your body can physically take.”
What career highlights come to mind?
“I've done a lot of music videos and live shows. Filming the tour visuals with One Direction for their Take Me Home Tour, and another was acting alongside Mcfly in the film Nowhere Left To Run. Both bands were a pleasure to work with, very hard working and focused. Its always inspiring being in an environment like that. I was, however, dancing on the Britain's Got Talent Final when the violinist threw eggs at Simon Cowell - that wasn't quite so inspiring!”
You are obviously hardworking, do you have any pointers for career-focused women trying to balance work and play?
“Enjoy your career. It’s easier to work hard when you are doing something you enjoy, especially if you are working for yourself. Be sure to grab opportunities. Maintain a positive mindset. It’s contagious and rubs off on people. On a weekend I chill out and catch up on my sleep but during the week I think it’s important to keep going so you can invest in yourself.”
As the face of Yawn you’ve tried almost everything from the collection, what would you recommend?
“It’s all so comfortable. The Dreamcoat is so good. It’s not like any dressing gown I’ve ever tried on. I’ll definitely be investing in one. I’ll have to keep an eye on my boyfriend; no doubt he’ll attempt to share it.”