Patricia de Leon is as passionate about animal rights and their welfare as she is about acting, having recently fronted an anti-bull fighting campaign in Europe. After being crowned Miss Panama, Patricia showed there is much more to this Panamanian beauty by establishing herself as an actress.
Kim O'Meara caught up with Patricia to hear all about life with her dogs and her new films, 'Confessions of a Womanizer' and the timely 'Los Ocho'.
Tell us about your dogs - we'd like to know everything about them!
Chico and Bella are my life. They're two pomeranians. One is orange sable and the other one is black. Father and daughter. I've had Chico since he was one month old and Bella was given birth in my hands. She was born and was pretty much just dropped in my hands. They love to go for long walks, they're extremely energetic, they love people.
Chico loves to sleep right beside me and Bella loves to sleep behind the curtains. They're extremely attached to each other. They usually travel with me when I go away for long-term jobs. They love the water/Miami. They're very well behaved. Sometimes it feels like all they need to do is just talk. But we're so close that even if they don't talk, I still feel like I understand everything they say.
When did your interest in pets/animals begin and how long have you been a pet owner?
I was born around animals. My dad is a farmer, I used to run around with chickens, pigs, horses, cows and all the animals. As a kid I used to own bunnies and turtles. So it would be very hard to not be surrounded by animals since I grew up with them. I have been a pet owner ever since I was a little girl.
Your career began when you were crowned Miss Panama which led to you establishing yourself as an actress in the English and Latin markets. Tell us a little about your experiences and what you love most about your job.
I think that acting fell on my lap, I wasn't looking for it. My dream job was to be a news anchor and a reporter, which I did. I went to law school. Becoming an actress was never my dream but I definitely love what I do.
Tell us a little about your new films 'Confessions of a Womanizer' & 'Los Ocho'.
Confessions of a Womanizer is based on a true story and it talks about the mind of the man who's looking for love not knowing what love truly is. Los Ocho is a film about the present situation that we are confronting daily with the Immigration Reform.
Your job must take you travelling around the world on a regular basis. Apart from your dogs, what do you miss most about home when travelling, and where would you say is the most pet friendly place you've visited?
I miss my family when I travel. I miss them a lot. My culture, definitely food. And I would say Los Angeles is definitely the most pet friendly place I've known.
What three words best sum up your personality? And if you were to choose three words to describe each of your dogs, what would you choose?
I think the three words that sum up my personality would be loyal, caring and determined. If I were to sum up Chico's personality in three words it would be playful, hyper and loving, and Bella's would be diva, sensitive and caring.
Do you have a motto that you live your life by? What would you say your dogs mottos might be?
My motto is 'never give up'. My dog's mottos would probably be 'eat, sleep, play, repeat'.
If you were to swap roles with one of your dogs for a day, how do you think they'd cope being you and what would you love most about being them?
If I were to swap roles with Bella for a day, she would probably hate having her hair done because she does not like to be brushed and she would passionately dislike taking showers twice a day. What I would love the most about being her is everything, she has an amazing life!
Photography by Michael Calas
For this question, we ask our celebs to match up the following people’s personality to a breed of dog, for example, Winston Churchill = Bulldog or J.Lo = Afghan Hound, Frank Bruno = Boxer etc. If the following celebrities and dog lovers were breeds of dogs, based on their personalities alone, what type of breed do you think they'd be...
Which do you prefer and why?
Big dogs or little dogs – I prefer little dogs because they're easier to carry around since I travel a lot.
Pedigree dogs or cross-breeds – Whichever one, I love them all!
Days off or days at work – Both! Its good to have a balance with everything in life!
Describe the last time you laughed out loud because of something you saw one of your dogs, or another dog do.
Chico is extremely jealous. A lady came into my apartment all dressed up and, as usual, Chico decided to go around twice as he always does, lift up his leg and pee all over her Nylons. I was a bit embarrassed but I must say, it was funny. Not so much for her though...
If you were arranging a dinner party and could invite anyone from any era, past or present, who would you invite and why?
I would invite God. Because I wouldn't be here if it wasn't because of him.
What is your current favourite…?
TV show – Believe.
Book – The Secret.
Album – 'Love In The Future' by John Legend.
Film – Frozen.
Youtube video – TED talks.
Tell us something no one else knows about you.
Okay, well, I don't sleep with pillows.
If you could sum it up, what do you think is the best thing about being a dog owner?
For me, it's having unconditional love.
Finish the following sentence, my dogs are... my life.
And finally, this is always a tough question and often requires a fair degree of thinking time but….if your dogs had the ability to speak and answer one question and one question only, what would you ask them and what do you think that they would say?
I would ask them 'are you guys happy?' and I think they would say 'yes', hopefully.
Many Thanks Patricia!
Patricia Was Speaking With Kim O'Meara