Travis Van Winkle for The Neon Hamburger

First time I saw him on Hart Of Dixie earlier this year, I realized I HAD to know more. After some professional stalking, I found out that Travis Van Winkle is much more than just an actor. Read on to know more.


You had a recurring role in the latest "Hart Of Dixie" season as Jonah Breeland. Tell us more about this experience.
Playing Jonah on HOD was a great experience for me because I fit right in with the cast. That is a testament to how amazing the cast is on HOD.  As for my character, I loved playing a guy who was a fast talker and a women lover while still having a kind heart.   

As a fan I have to ask: How was working with Rachel Bilson? Did you also work together in your "The O.C" cameo in 2005?

Working with Rachel was smooth and easy.  She is a very lovely, low key gal and it was fun shooting the shit with her on screen.  Learned a lot from her too. She is so subtle and expressive without using any effort at all.  She is a natural.  I did work on Tho OC in 2005, but had all my scenes with other cast members.  


What else are you passionate about, besides acting?

Besides acting I am passionate about self improvement, helping others, creating strong relationships, having fun, sports, traveling, music, movies, muay thai, being a great son to my parents, being a great brother to my siblings, being a great friend to my community, and doing everything I can to contribute to the greater good of mankind, and lots of laughing... You know all the basic passions.


Lately you have traveled to India and Africa. Can you tell us more about these trips and what you do with the "Build On" movement?

I took a solo trip to India for a month because my soul was seeking silence and what better place to do that then in Rishikesh, one of India's spiritual meccas.  I am a student of Vedic Meditation and India discovered the authorless texts of the Vedas known as the 'Timeless Finality' and I was drawn to go to the source! So I stayed at this beautiful Ashram, turned my cell phone off, meditated and did yoga for 12 hours a day, and experienced what true silence. I spent 10 days in silence.   


I just recently got back from Malawi, Africa where I helped build a school with the amazing people of Jimbe Village.  Build On is the non-profit that organized everything and made sure my stay in Jimbe was extraordinary.  Build On builds 100 schools a year around the world and 25 a year in Malawi alone.  They, as well as I, believe that education is the true cause of sustainable change in our world.  

I lived side by side with the villagers and I got to stay in the house of a Sanjele family with no electricity, no running water, no plumbing, and no internet.  So fun to check back in with my natural rhythm without all the distractions of my normal life.  My heart exploded in Malawi, because not only did the fathers and the mothers contribute to building the school, but the 5, 6, 7, and 8 year old kids that will be getting their education at this school, helped too.  

We had translators and had many cross cultural experiences.  It was a beautiful exchange of energy.  We sat around in circles  with the chiefs of the village and asked each other questions about love and marriage, family and finances, war and crime, and even 'taboo' topics such as homosexuality and aids.  We really connected with the people of Jimbe and I am forever grateful.  

If you are interested in having an experience building a school in a community in need, check out buildon.org, get a group of friends, raise $30,000, and go build a school! It is the experience of a lifetime.  As for me, I promise you I will build many more schools with Build On... Maybe we can build one together.

What are your next plans? 
I start filming a Michael Bay TNT Series called "The Last Ship" in mid october in Los Angeles and San Diego.  The premise-- The world has been overtaken by a plague.  We are on a Navy Ship and we may have the cure.  Our mission is to ONE survive, TWO save those that are still alive, and THREE restart a civilization.  Gonna be pretty epic.  It will air in June 2014.
And next travel plans... South America for new years.

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