Shanti Lowry was once a professional dancer, performing with Shaggy and touring with the likes of Chaka Khan and Earth Wind and Fire, but while dancing has always been a great way for this beauty to leave everything on the floor, a love of CrossFit gave the actor the raw and primal emotion needed for projects like her forthcoming movie, Persona. M&F found out why.
Persona, is a movie that was produced by, and stars, Lowry, (her credits include NYPD Blue, Murder in the First, and she also received an Emmy nomination for her role as Yolanda in Bronx SIU), and its premise is captivating right off the bat. “It’s about a woman who wakes up in a ton of pain, and she has no memory,” explains the star. “And she’s sort of assessing, like where is this pain coming from? She sees that she has a gash on her head and her ankle is terribly bruised, there’s just so much going on, and she’s stuck in this house trying to figure out why she is there, and why does she feel this way?”
Shanti Lowry went ‘Method’ by Channeling CrossFit in Persona
To nail her gritty performance, Lowry went ‘method’, and found a way to emulate the pain that her character would be feeling by drawing on her love of CrossFit; replicating the feeling of being at her mental and physical limits. “So, I chose to workout at a crazy rate before we started to film and got really sore,” she tells M&F. “I did what we call open workouts in CrossFit (often including as many reps as possible in a given timeframe), to the point where I got T-Rex arms. You know, you can’t reach anything, and that to me was the same idea as someone waking up and not understanding why everything hurts. Why does it hurt to breathe? Why does it hurt to reach for something?”
Lowry found that burning herself out with CrossFit workouts gave an extra edge to her performance, but this also meant that she had to keep the tempo up during the shoot. “I had to keep that up through the movie while trying to breastfeed, while producing, and while tying to sleep,” laughs the talented artist. “The thing I took from CrossFit was to really lift heavyweights, and to lift a lot of volume. I think you’ll see that. I can see that on screen; in that soreness of moving, and that slowness. The whole movie was a struggle and a great workout!”
With Persona set to be released at upcoming film festivals, it shouldn’t be too long before it hits our screens. “It was a dream come true,” says Shanti of wrapping the project. “It’s truly the favorite thing that I’ve ever done.”
Her next goal? To master the muscle-up, of course!