Ten Things You Don’t Know About Me

Drawing of a woman with an orangutan puppet
Image Description: Drawing of a blonde woman in a light green shirt with an orangutan peering over her shoulder. Charlotte Hollands
  1. I was an actor before I became an anthropologist and I got my Screen Actors Guild SAG card in 1997 playing a dancing Chicken McNugget in a McDonald’s commercial (I was vegetarian). I ended up falling for the stunt nugget—parting was such sweet and sour sorrow.
  1. As a kid I had terrifying recurring King Kong nightmares until I learned how to lucid dream and shrink Kong down to the size of an orangutan. Instead of eating me, he gave me a hug and I’ve wanted to work with primates ever since.
  1. Though my first love was gorillas, I studied the critically endangered Azuero spider monkey in Panama for my thesis fieldwork. And I have also worked as a teaching assistant at primate field schools in Costa Rica and Nicaragua!
  1. I studied martial arts as a kid and have a brown belt in Chosen-Ryu Karate. My special event was board breaking and my nickname was “Screamer” because I had the loudest “Kiai!”
  1. When I was 25 I got hit by a ‘94 Ford Ranger as a pedestrian on the shoulder of the 101 freeway. I survived, the truck did not.
  1. I co-hosted 10 Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty on SpikeTV and then produced the bio anthropology spinoff Talking Shit with Dr. Todd and Natalia—a web series about the cool science we did on the show!
  1. I moved to New York City from my hometown Los Angeles almost three years ago to be a correspondent and comedy writer on Neil deGrasse Tyson’s StarTalk. I love NYC, but I miss my family and get terribly homesick.
  1. The first science communication video I produced was called The Story of Boobs: The Breast Tale Ever Told. A few months later, a TODAY producer Googled “anthropologist” and “boobs” and had me on to talk about America’s obsession with tatas—come for the boobs, stay for the science!
  1. My heroes are David Bowie, Jane Goodall, and Mel Brooks. I’ve met two out of the three.
  1. When I was six I was acutely aware of the Cold War so I dug a giant hole in my backyard that was intended to be a bomb shelter for impending nuclear winter. As it turns out, the Russians were coming, but not until November 2016.

Natalia Reagan is an anthropologist, primatologist, podcast and on-camera host, comedian, producer, and writer.

Cite as: Reagan, Natalia. 2020. “Ten Things You Don’t Know About Me.” Anthropology News website, March 2, 2020. DOI: 10.1111/AN.1363

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