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Hannah Hart Turns the Page on Her Fully Loaded Life 

Hannah Hart Turns the Page on Her Fully Loaded Life

Hannah Hart Turns the Page on Her Fully Loaded Life

Everything you need to know about Hannah Hart before she was a New York Times bestselling author and Internet superstar. 


Life moves fast these days for Hannah Hart. Fresh off the tour for her new memoir and just before she set off to continue filming her forthcoming Food Network series, Hart talked with us for a moment about the considerably rocky road to her success.

PRIDE: Your memoir, Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded, was released by Dey Street Books just a couple weeks ago and is at number 4 on the New York Times hardcover nonfiction best-seller list. You were named as a winner at the 2016 Shorty Awards in April among figures like J.K. Rowling, Adele, and Emo Kylo Ren. Your very active philanthropy, Have a Heart Day, just painted the bedroom and bathroom of a lady with knee problems in Amsterdam. [One of very many great things done by the group. Take a look here.] You just celebrated your 30th birthday on the 2nd, and you're slated for your own show on the Food Network. How ya feelin’ right about now?

Hannah Hart: I feel pretty incredible. I mean, kind of in shock because everything you said is true. It all sounds like … it sounds like a daydream. But no, that’s my life. Wow.


A photo posted by Hannah Hart (@harto) on

I want to thank you for sharing your story in such an intimate way. Most know you as the bubbly, hilarious host of My Drunk Kitchen and While the Water Boils, and your memoir is a pretty major shift in tone. You write about your mother’s schizophrenia, a severely flawed mental health care system, your own self-harm, your stepsister’s suicide, and your tumultuous relationship with your father, a Jehovah’s Witness who imposed a strict view of life on you at a young age. Can you talk a little bit about the process of diversifying the art you’re known for?

I always wanted to make sure I wasn't known for being the girl from My Drunk Kitchen. I wanted to make sure I was known for being Hannah Hart, because as much as I love drinking and cooking, it's not something I can do every day for the rest of my life. I love My Drunk Kitchen and I'm really happy with the relationship that I have with it, but I just wanted to make sure, as we all do, that I get to be every aspect of myself. And there are so many more things to me than just getting drunk and cooking.

Who have been your biggest support mechanisms through the buffering/writing/editing processes?

You know, my manager, Linnea, was so wonderful to me because she allowed me the time and space I needed. Despite all of the demands of entertainment and people wanting things from you constantly, she was really good at guarding my time and being like, “No, Hannah is working on the book, so nobody can talk to her right now.” When you’re writing something that personal, you really have to stay focused.

Were there any particular authors or artists who influenced you to share your story the way you have?

Absolutely. I’ve always been a huge, huge fan of Jeannette Walls; she’s the author of The Glass Castle, which is a phenomenal, phenomenal memoir that touched me deeply when I read it in college. David Sedaris obviously has a hilarious and wonderful tone. I could never dream of being as funny as he is, but I did definitely enjoy reading his books growing up as well.

On the AMA for your last book, My Drunk Kitchen, you said that your favorite part of writing the book was finishing. Does that hold true the second time around?

You know, I think the second time around, my favorite part of writing Buffering has been hearing from people whose lives have been similarly touched by the stigma surrounding mental health or by any of the issues that are discussed in the book. It makes me hopeful that we could have a future where legislation provides more of a safety net for nonviolent people in the mental health system.

Have you been approached by former Jehovah’s Witnesses because of your story? 

Yeah! I met a person who said to me that they were a Jehovah’s Witness for 18 years, and they were really glad to read about it in my book.

Does this one have a nice smell to it as well? (I bought the Kindle copy.)

You know, the book does. Actually, I would say that the book has a good weight to it. It’s got a good heft, you know? People have complimented the pages on tour, and I'd say, “Oh, thank you. You know, they’re designed that way so tears can just slide right off.”

You mention in your book that you still go through dark periods where your "brain is in a downward spiral of negativity." What are some buffering mechanisms that help you cope?

If you cope with chronic depression, you know at times … your brain is lying to you, basically. Forgiving myself for feeling bad is a big one. Having the people in my life know when I’m having what I call a downswing, and allowing myself to function at less than 100 — I think that’s the hardest part. I love my life so much, and there are so many things I want to do and so many ways I want to spend my day. I think the hardest part is letting myself have a 20 percent day if I’m feeling 20 percent emotionally. With depression, it’s just like … it’s like living in a fog. It’s like all the sudden, everything turns black-and-white. And it’s like, uh-oh … it’s black-and-white. And it’s just trying to remember you live in color — just right now it looks black-and-white.


love over fear

A photo posted by Hannah Hart (@harto) on

In the chapter "Hello, Harto," you write, "When I used to think back on 2012, and picture my confused, sweaty self trying to figure things out in LA, I would view it as a failed year. But failure and success are not so simply defined. That year may have been a failure in terms of tangible career growth, but the self-knowledge and acceptance was the success. Every time I stood up for myself, that was a success. Every time I realized my limitations, that was a success. It wasn’t a year of external gain, but of internal growth." Tell me about a time you stood up for yourself during that period.

Everybody told me to sell My Drunk Kitchen as a concept, and I just didn’t want to. And I felt bad that I couldn’t agree. You know, My Drunk Kitchen is just so precious to me, and I like to say: Dance with the one that brought you. I didn’t want it to be a TV show. It wasn’t an idea for TV, it was an idea for me to shoot in my kitchen, at my home, and put up online for all my friends to see. You know? And now, I actually do have a TV show with Food Network!

Your new series includes six episodes of hopping around the states and getting a taste for each location's cuisine. Can you give us any more info? 

I’m really excited because Food Network has been a really great cocreator in this, and the production company that we’re working with, Warrior Poets, has been awesome. I’m really excited for people to see what it looks like when I make a TV show, and I’m really trying to do my best to make something that I think is going to be good.


filming real time tv REALNESS coming to you on @foodnetwork - stay tubed for details!

A video posted by Hannah Hart (@harto) on

A relatively recent study in Canada reported that schools can actually reduce the rate of LGBTQ youth suicide by implementing policies that prohibit homophobia and by creating groups like gay-straight alliances. What would you say to LGBTQ youth who are in spaces that don’t offer this kind of support?

It’s the external space around you, not an internal reflection of your worth. I admire the kids that live in this country that are growing up in these areas, still. I grew up in the Bay Area — that is not a particularly homophobic environment, but I still had a lot of self-negativity about my sexuality. So I could only imagine being in a place that wasn’t at all accepting. I would say be patient with yourself. No matter how slowly you go, don’t stop. If your dream is simply to move to a different city, where you can just live your life open and honest, then give yourself enough time to get there.

On the flip side, what would you say to teachers who work in districts or at specific schools that aren’t supportive of these kinds of policies?

Don’t allow bullying in your classroom. Call them out and stop it. Even if you can’t say anything inherently supportive of LGBT youth, you can certainly stop someone from saying something cruel.

Dirty 30 is an incredibly fun film that came out September 28, starring you and Holy Trinity counterparts Grace Helbig and Mamrie Hart. What were some of you favorite moments from production?

Oh, my God, working with Grace and Mamrie is just … just so much fun. I love working with them. I really respect them, and I feel like we make an excellent team. I couldn’t be happier with them as my partners in this endeavor and past endeavors. 


Crushing it. And also a pinata. #Dirty30Movie DVD is now at at TARGET!

A photo posted by Hannah Hart (@harto) on

I really liked every scene I shot regarding the contest. My character, Charlie, is super, super competitive, and there were scenes where I was, you know, challenging a 200-pound man to a pushup contest. And I felt very natural in those moments.

The film was picked up by Lionsgate late last year — I imagine that freed up some budgetary restraints. How was the filming process different from Camp Takota, the trinity’s 2014 production?

Lionsgate was such a phenomenally supportive production partner. I could not be happier. They were as proud of the movie as we were, so in terms of the marketing, in terms of the after-party, Lionsgate really stepped up to the plate and was just a full partner 100 percent of the way.

Do you have any advice for up-and-coming LGBTQ writers and artists who might need some encouragement — who find themselves where you were back in 2012 pre-book deal?

Oh, yeah. Do it because you must, not because you want to. I feel that way really strongly about writing in particular. I must write. It is a part of me. It’s something I have to do. And you do it because you want to get it out of you. You know, I think that now because we have such a quantifiable marker of attention — like view counts, etc. — people get really discouraged. But you’re doing it because it’s in you and you want to express it, not necessarily because you’re doing it for attention. Just stay true to that and give yourself credit for manifesting it at all. So many people don’t manifest their dreams. Even if it doesn’t become an outward source of income, you’re still making it.

For a copy of Hannah's book, check your local bookstore! (Or buy it online!)

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