WATCH: CJ “Lana” Perry Walks Us Through A WWE-Worthy Workout

CJ PerryPhoto Credit:THEMANUC

Wrestling fans know her best as “Lana,” but CJ Perry is more than her WWE persona: she’s a model, dancer, singer, fashion influencer and  actress, with roles in films like Pitch Perfect and Soul. In addition to the upcoming Quibi series Bad Ideas with Adam Devine, in March, the Total Divas star landed a role in Bruce Willis’ latest project, Cosmic Sin, playing “Sol”, a role which was originally written for a male. The character is described as “the best sniper in the galaxy and lead assassin fighting for the human race against an alien invasion.” The film is centered around a group of warriors and scientists who must fight to protect and save their race when a hostile alien species with the power to infect and take over human hosts sets its sights on a futuristic human society.

At the moment, during the coronavirus quarantine, Perry is focusing on her passion for fashion—she has partnered with numerous lifestyle brands including PrettyLittleThing, Fashion Nova, Teami Blends and more—keeping her YouTube and TikTok channels fresh, and, of course, fitness. Here, Perry shares a WWE-worthy workout specially with Haute Living. Check it out—and see what else she’s been up to during the lockdown—below.

Where are you and how are you coping social distancing at this time?

I am in Los Angles and I’m coping with social distancing by doing a lot of TikTok dancing videos! Dancing makes me feel good so I started a TikTok account and have been dancing my life away ! You can follow me @thelanawwe3 and come and dance with me. I might not be able to go out and dance with my girls but we have been using TikTok to virtually dance with one another! With all the sadness and seriousness going on in the world, TikTok dancing is a way to bring a bit of happiness and human interaction with my girls into my day while still staying safe at home.

What are you reading, watching, doing for exercise?

I have been doing a lot of 30 minute body workouts and circuits in my living room. It keeps the body toned, it gets in the cardio, and makes you feel better because oxygen is flowing through your body. I’m about to release these workouts on my YouTube channel, as well as one on how to build your own gym.

Most people cite time as the one thing they wish they had more of. Now that you have more time on your hands, how are you using it?

I am using this quarantine to do things that I never had enough time to do. Right now I’m working on my comic book that is going to come out soon and my clothing line which is unisex clothing. It will be really cool hoodies and sweats that both guys and girls can wear. You will be able to lounge in it during this “stay at home” time, or dress it up with heels when we can finally go out! I love sweats and hoodies and wanted to create a line that everyone can wear! I have also been really focusing on creating content for my YouTube channel to continue to connect with my following during this social distancing time. I love all my followers so much and want to continue to build relationships with all of them through social media and connecting even though I can’t perform right now.

What inspired you to get into fashion?

Every since I was a little girl I was obsessed with beauty and fashion. I remember designing clothes and sewing my designs for my American Girl dolls and Barbie dolls. I take a lot of inspiration for my in ring gear from fashion shows and designers new collection. I want to bring high fashion to the ring and be the first WWE superstar to go from the ring to the Met Gala.

What are some of your favorite brands right now, and what kind of aesthetic do you go for?

My all time favorite designer is Versace. I also love Camila Coelho Collection on Revolve. I would describe my fashion as ‘street-style chic.’ I love to take outfits that I wear in the day and then change around the accessories and shoes and wear it at night. A perfect example of this is what I wore at Wrestlemania. It was a very chic red off the shoulder sundress. I paired it with lace up heels and it was sexy and glamorous. Then if I paired it with sneakers it was cute and causal day outfit that I could run around and do errands or go to meetings in. I love to mix highs and lows. Take high-end designers and mix it together with affordable clothing and throw in some signature vintage pieces as well. I love hunting for vintage designer pieces. They are timeless.

CJ PerryPhoto Credit: Jon Lorentz

Because you’re a WWE Superstar & professional athlete, is it important that the world see the softer side of you through your sartorial choices? Why or why not?

I try to show a very feminine side of myself as the Ravishing Russian Lana, on Monday Night Raw, either in my in ring attire or different clothing I wear to the ring or backstage. My character is Ravishing and is fashion forward. I am trying to change the worlds perspective that athletes & WWE Superstars can’t be fashion forward, feminine and influencing the world of fashion and beauty.

In general, would you consider yourself to be girly or more of a tomboy? Please explain.

I would say I am a blend of both. When I am home or traveling I love to wear sweats, big hoodies and huge oversized jackets and more of a tomboy vibe. But I love to dress up and be girly. The Ravishing Russian is very girly and I would say CJ has more tomboy to her. I try to blend both. Throw a Star Wars tee with a cute skirt and then can either dress it up with heels or make it causal with sneakers. Take a suite and put a Wonder Woman hoodie underneath the blazer and pair it with sneakers and a beanie. It has a tomboy vibe and girly vibes all in one.

Why did you decide on “Lana” for your ring name?

I decided to go with Lana because I wanted a Russian name that everyone could pronounce. Lana is short for Svetlana and Svetlana is a very traditional and popular name in Russian. Lana also means light. I want to bring light into the world and WWE.

What are people most surprised to discover about you that they might not immediately see from your public persona?

Usually people are really surprised to find out that I am a big comic book fan and Star Wars fan. I grew up watching Star Trek every Sunday with my mom. So it was really cool for me to get casted in Cosmic Sin a sci-fi movie with Bruce Willis. I am a huge sci-fi fan!

How did you get into acting, and is this your current focus?

Every since I was three years old I wanted to be a storyteller and entertainer that is putting smiles on peoples faces. When I was 22, I started taking my acting very seriously and dove into acting classes in Los Angles. I am currently enrolled in acting classes now. I never want to stop learning. I want to be the best actress I can be.

Let’s talk about your role in “Cosmic Sin”. Did you and Bruce Willis have much interaction?

I was in a bunch of scenes with Bruce Willis in Cosmic Sin. He is incredible. He is one take and it’s perfect. Second take is just for safety. That is how good he is. I learned so much working with him.

CJ PerryPhoto Credit: Jon Lorentz

Do you have plans to do anything in the music spectrum in the near future? What, if so?

I would love to learn how to DJ. Since we have been in quarantine and staying home I bought a DJ set! Going to start watching YoTtube tutorials on DJing… and who knows where it can take me.

As you expand your reach, what are his thoughts on your new career ventures?

Currently I am focusing on my recently launched youtube channel that focuses on beauty, fashion, my adventures and journey. Please subscribe. I am also writing a comic book. I am working on launching a wig line now as well.

Is it important, in your opinion, to be with someone who understands the ins and outs of what you do, given that the world of sports entertainment is a very specific industry?

I think it’s important to be with someone that loves you and respects you. That listens and meets you in the middle. Relationship is all about compromise and meeting in the middle. Pushing yourself to grow and evolve.

What is the motto you live by?

You have to live life forward but you will understand it backwards and the sky is the limit.

What to you is the greatest luxury in life and why?

Great health. Without our health we have nothing. Every day I give thanks for my great health and my families great health that allows us to do what we love for a living and live the lives we always dreamed of having.

Follow CJ on Instagram here