From Baton Rouge to the Big Screen

BATON ROUGE - Born and raised in Baton Rouge, “Pitch Perfect” actress Shelley Regner said attending LSU is a family tradition.

“My father is the first in my family to graduate from LSU. My sister graduated from LSU. I knew it was my turn to uphold the tradition,” Regner said. “LSU felt more like another home to me than any other school.”

Regner attended LSU from 2007 to 2011, graduating in theater performance. 


Scenes in "Pitch Perfect" were filmed on LSU's campus, including the Reilly Theater.Photo Credit: Shelley Regner

“But I also loved my humanities classes like psychology and sociology, studying the mind and people's behaviors. I found it so interesting and it crossed over well into the acting world, because acting essentially is trying to understand and present someone else's perspective, behaviors and emotions,” Regner said.

While a student, Regner said some of her favorite experiences included joining a sorority, attending football games at Tiger Stadium and performing on the theater stage.

“I was lucky enough to be cast in both the Black Box Theater shows and the main stage theater shows, being directed by our fellow students, as well as our wonderful theater professors. The greatest memories, across the board, would be taking a bow for whichever show I was performing in at the time and then the entire cast and crew going to The Chimes for post-show dinner and drinks. Nothing can beat that.”

Regner said pursuing a Bachelor of Arts at LSU made an impact on her education. 


Shelley Regner at the premiere of "Pitch Perfect 3."Photo Credit: Shelley Regner

“The difference in the acting program at LSU versus most other schools’ acting programs across the country, is the difference in one letter: B.A. versus B.F.A. At LSU, I received a B.A., which means that my curriculum not only included my theater and acting core classes, but also my general education classes, which I feel gave me a more well-rounded higher education. I feel very proud of the fact that I got to study business classes, journalism, biology, psychology- not just for a more well-rounded education, which I feel has been utilized each year as I progress not only through my career, but through life.”

After graduating, she moved to Hollywood, to pursue her acting career.

“I live in Los Angeles now with my friends who are all LSU theatre graduates!”

In 2012, she was cast in the movie “Pitch Perfect” and played the role of Ashley in all three films. The movie was shot in Baton Rouge and on the campus of LSU.

“I got to have the best of all worlds: doing what I love, working with friends, seeing my family, and not having to leave my hometown,” Regner said. “I hosted Thanksgiving dinner for the cast at my mother's house, and we tailgated and attended LSU football games during the 2011 season. The Los Angeles natives had never experienced anything like LSU tailgating: Mike, the fans, the school spirit of the entire city and community. Those are memories both the cast and I will never forget.”

Regner shared advice to those just starting college and to students preparing to graduate. 

“SHOW UP - you'd be amazed how many people just don't show up to interviews, auditions, meetings, without even calling to let someone know. Showing up is 80% of the work (give or take). I made up that percentage,” Regner said. “Be nice to everyone! You never know when that intern or assistant is going to own his or her own company (no matter what field of work you pursue). People always remember those who treated them well.

“To freshman students: I would say the next four or so years is a new time of discovering who you are, who you want to be, where you want to go. It's multiple possibilities of making decisions for yourself, not from your parents, your teachers, your friends; it's a stepping stone into adulthood. Find your balance of school, work, fun, friends, family. This time in your life is about CHOICES. No choice is right or wrong, but some choices are better than others. Know that the next four+ years are the CHOICES made to influence your success after college. Do your best and don't compare yourself to others. 

“To seniors: I would say to be fearless! Go after what you want, there's a reason you have the passion and dreams in your heart. No one can stand in your way unless you allow them to, and don't let yourself stand in your own way! No matter what career path you choose, there will inevitably be "no's" and doors closed in your face (figuratively and, maybe, literally), be persistent, be patient, and be consistent! Success doesn't happen overnight, and you can't compare your success to someone else's success, because you don't know the timeline of someone else's journey.




Contact Rachel Spangenthal
LSU Media Relations



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