Writer and journalist Doly Mallet previously lived in Mexico City, where she contributed to numerous media outlets including the Reforma newspaper as well as magazines including GQ, Empire, Cine Premiere, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, and Seventeen.
She worked towards a Master’s Degree in Media Studies at The New School in Nueva York. She also did graduate studies, focusing on Film Criticism, at the University of Melbourne, in Australia. She wrote a Spanish-language YA novel, “Silvana, la verdad de,” and two highly successful non-fiction books: the bestselling “Mordiendo Manzanas y Besando Sapos,” published by Grijalbo, followed by “Tu Galán de Película,” from the same publisher.
Doly has lived in New York for nearly nine years, but has the soul of a nomad and has worked, on an independent basis, on numerous entertainment and cultural projects.
Why did you choose to follow your career path, what was the appeal?
I couldn’t help it. Ever since I was a little girl, I loved sitting down to write stories. I needed to express myself that way. Later, I moved towards journalism, because of my curiosity— I always wanted to ask questions and learn about people. That can be annoying or "socially unacceptable," and possibly even more so in a woman (as we know, the Bible and the Greeks blamed us for being curious), but journalism gave me the perfect excuse to ask questions without being judged.
On the other hand, films have always fascinated me. My parents say that the first time they took me to the movie theater, I was only three, yet I spent the whole time standing, watching intently without blinking. The movie was "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." My dad is a film buff, so I grew up around that. His entire library is centered around that topic, and we always used to watch movies. It could be classic ones on TV or new releases at the theater, but a weekend without movies would have been inconceivable. Post-dinner conversations always revolved around movies. And for me, they were not only entertainment, but also a form of catharsis. So my career is my dream come true as it combines what I love: writing, research and movies.
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Please describe a typical day of work for you.
There’s really no such thing as a typical day. I am used to working from home, and I need to become more disciplined and write every day so that I can move forward new projects I come up with. I don’t always excel at this, but I make constant attempts. There's no other way. When I have a deadline, things are easier for me. As soon as I receive a project, I start doing research, I prepare interview questions and review them several times, I prepare diagrams, and so on. How long this takes depends on how complex the interview or the article is going to be, especially if it’s on a topic outside of my comfort zone. And there are times when I do have to go to a specific place. Every day is different.
Please mention one career difficulty or obstacle you have encountered, and how you dealt with it.
There’s no denying that those of us who are freelance writers and contributors don't have much financial freedom. However, we have a lot of flexibility as to time management, and a job we are passionate about. The money issue has been something I have sometimes had to deal with in different ways. I work as a pet sitter on occasion. Since I love animals, it’s not a problem, but you might have to find side jobs to support yourself financially. I have caved in and accepted a few jobs that are not my thing, but I always return to my essence. I can't fool myself or do anything that I don't love.
What are two or three moments in your career that you have been especially proud of?
Getting my book, "Silvana la verdad de," published by Plaza y Valdés. At the time, I was still studying. I was not well-known professionally, yet I decided to knock on the publisher’s door and go through the whole process. When they called me and said they would publish my book, I was excited beyond words. I saw that dreams could come true, and I realized that writing as a way to make a living was an actual possibility.
Another proud moment was when "Mordiendo Manzanas y Besando Sapos” was published. It was a project that started out as my Bachelor's thesis, then took on a life of its own. When I was told that it had become a bestseller, I saw that writing was my true calling. When I received messages from readers, I could cry tears of joy at having established a connection with someone I never even met, simply bt tapping into the power of words. It seems totally magical to me.
As a journalist, I’ll confess that I cherish the times I interviewed Brad Pitt and Jude Law, because they were obviously my lifelong crushes. As a movie buff, I loved interviewing Steven Spielberg, Alfonso Cuarón, Anthony Hopkins, Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio. Wow. I really love my job.
In your line of work, have you noticed any specific advantages or disadvantages of being a woman?
Yes. My female colleagues and I have talked about how some people believe that we get these wonderful opportunities to interview Hollywood celebrities because of reasons that are less than professional. It's sad, but you kind of get used to having these things said about you, and eventually you just don't care. You sometimes get asked, with a hint of sarcasm, how you got the job... and when you answer, they don't believe you.
What advice would you give to other women who would like to work in your field?
If this is something you are passionate about, it will not be difficult. But it is indeed a field for people who are passionate enough that they don’t mind skimpy paychecks, the occasional sleepless night, running around from one place to the next, and the need for self-discipline. I think you need to have a calling. It makes me very angry to see people who fell into this line of work through a stroke of luck and do not enjoy it the way they should. These type of people rarely last long in this field.
Please name someone who has been a strong influence on your life or career.
Journalist Gloria Steinem, the founder of Ms. Magazine. She always used journalism as a means of starting a conversation about gender and changing existing theories about feminism. I try to do the same. In my interviews, I always bring up the subject and try to write about it. I try to find social commentary within films. I’m passionate about socio-cultural messages in the media.
I had the opportunity to meet Gloria in New York—I follow her everywhere, almost like a groupie. I told her that she had inspired me to write a book on gender and that I too was a journalist. She said, “Don't follow my path, follow your own, and that way you’ll become much better than me." I was shocked. I almost started crying.
Are there any websites or social media links you would like to share with our Heart Of Hollywood readers?
FB: Mordiendo Manzanas y Besando Sapos
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