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Lauren Massarella

24, La Grange 

Real-life roles: Arlington Park on-air talent and special projects manager; NBC 5 Sunday morning traffic reporter 
Starring in: Basic Instinct

What’s it like working with all those studs? “I know the stereotypes about horseracing,” says Massarella, the face of Arlington Park’s simulcast show, Arlington Today. “But all sorts of people are into it.” What the La Grange native didn’t know before applying for her job was anything about thoroughbreds: “And sometimes I still don’t.” But she’s a fast learner. Upon hearing about the opening, the DePaul grad “made a tape with a camcorder circa 1980 that weighed more than a VW Bug.” Soon after, she nabbed both the Arlington Park and NBC gigs. And she’s off!

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Favorite movie hero? Jack Black in Nacho Libre.

Name one thing that’s overrated: Starbucks—as I’m sitting here [in a Starbucks shop]. But I drink it every day.

What song will be played at your wedding? Lionel Richie’s All Night Long, perfect for a beach wedding.

Last time you Googled yourself? Never, but I’m going to do it now

Fill in the blanks: I’d rather have a significant other who eats like a real man than like a girl on a diet.

In a dream world, who would you look like? Everyone’s favorite, Angelina. Cook like? My mom. And sing like? Christina, for sure.

What do you do every day? Lotion twice a day and drink way too much green tea.

Most quotable movie line? Well, it’s not from a movie, but: “A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him or her.”

Last movie that made you cry? Elizabeth I, the miniseries with Helen Mirren. When Jeremy Irons died, that was a tearjerker.

Favorite blog? Perezhilton.com; I’m secretly obsessed.

Most recommended book? Not a book but a movie: Amélie.

Who are you a secret groupie for? My obsession with Johnny Depp is no secret, but the one I have for Curtis Stone from TLC’s Take Home Chef definitely is.  

When you’re alone, who do you play air guitar to? Freebird, by Lynyrd Skynyrd, or anything by Heart.

What’s your go-to homemade meal? I haven’t taken the time to learn how to cook—yet.

Fill in the blanks: Vacations are for sitting on the beach, not partying.

You pull a Ferris Bueller and call in sick on a beautiful July day. What do you do? Just walking around is my favorite thing to do, maybe downtown or the Gold Coast for some minimal shopping and the MCA. And an afternoon bloody mary wherever my friends are.

What Chicago neighborhoods and suburbs have you lived in? La Grange, and Lincoln Park for about four and a half years.

How long is too long to spend looking for a parking spot? Twice around the block; then valet it.

Teacher’s pet or class clown? Teacher’s pet.

Childhood nickname? Beth, since my full name is Lauren Beth.

What did you think you’d be when you grew up? For a minute, I wanted to be an ophthalmologist; I thought the diagram of the eye in my ophthalmologist’s office was cool.

Name one thing you have in your house from your childhood: One of those blankets that you drag around, but I didn’t have a nickname for it.

And one embarrassing thing you hide when guests are coming over: The secret’s out if I answer that!

Describe the state of your closet: Color-coordinated.

What’s your power outfit? Definitely a good-fitting pair of jeans and anything the occasion calls for on top. I always try to put my own individual twist on things. And heels, no matter what, since I’m a shorty.

How much is too much to pay for jeans? I wouldn’t put a price on it. No limit. Well, I wouldn’t spend $200.

What’s in your pockets right now? My Arlington Park ID.

Have you ever collected anything? When I was little, my mom would make me collect those Precious Moments statues and Shirley Temple dolls; I got one for every occasion. But that was all from my mom and my grandmother.

Last time you told a lie? A white lie not too long ago.

Worst advice you’ve been given: Any movie advice from my older sister, Michelle.

If you could give someone a talking-to, who would it be? My high-school speech teacher, who called me a “mental midget” in class for not knowing how many cherries go into a McDonald’s cherry pie.

Gutsiest thing you’ve ever done? Sending in my tape for Arlington Park.

Do you have any tattoos? No.

But if you did? I wouldn’t get one, but if I was forced to, I’m a Scorpio, so I’d get a Scorpio symbol on my wrist or the back of my neck.

What time is your alarm clock set for? Six-thirty a.m., except for 4:30 a.m. on Sundays.

And how many times do you hit the snooze button? Usually once, but never on Sundays.

Dive bar or nightclub? It depends.

Drinks before 5 p.m.: always, sometimes, never? Never, unless it’s Sunday. My family eats Sunday dinner at 3 p.m., and we drink wine with dinner.

What’s your remedy for a tough day? Cigarettes and a beer? No, really: a nice glass of red wine.

How do you show someone you’re not interested? I’d just be honest and tell him.

What did you do on your best date? One of the best was watching Navy Pier fireworks from the rooftop a nearby building. We were right there.

Where would you like to get engaged? [Somewhere] with just that person. My ideal would be at home; maybe he would surprise me with dinner. I wouldn’t want to make a spectacle of it.

What makes someone a Chicagoan? Knowing all of the el stops.

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