“I really wanted to concentrate on investigative journalism and really right all the wrongs in the world, real idealistic approach. That was my concentration,” Monaghan tells PopcornBiz. The actress studied journalism at Chicago’s Columbia College but left to pursue modeling and acting with just a semester left to gain a degree. “I’m a really big believer in everything happens for a reason –you make certain decisions in your life, good or bad, so you are where you’re meant to be.”
“I think that was a real good decision for me to make,” Monaghan says of her shift, though she continues to employ her reporter training when she takes on a new project. “I still use the Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How all the time, for every role that I do. Those are the first things you learn in your first semester, essentially.”
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“I always write a lot when I’m preparing for a role,” she says. “I was doing a role in ‘North Country’ – it was a real woman, so I had her backstory, but I had to write it. I had to write her story. Now I write that for every role – and I was like ‘What is this? Why is this so familiar?’ And I was literally doing the Who, What, Where, When, Why, How – I was profiling her. I still use it to this day, so I got my money’s worth, thank God.”
Monaghan’s seen the journalism biz transform dramatically since she shifted career goals. “It’s definitely changed,” she says. “It’s not so unbiased anymore. It’s really disappointing on a lot of levels. I try to read the newspaper more than anything, because I think that’s the best form of journalism at this particular time. There’s a lot of talk, there’s a lot of chatter, and a lot of opinions and less news, and it’s not about reporting it anymore as it is about creating it, in a way – creating the drama.”
So what’s that one little life moment Monaghan would revisit? “I would like to go back and change the decision I made at my wedding in not having videotaped it,” she says. “I’d like to experience my wedding again, because it was such a blur and it was a great day. If I could time travel, that would be what I’d go back to.”