She’s a mom, a sports enthusiast, a former Miss Texas, a philanthropist, a TV personality, an actress, an emcee, a model and…whew, it’s exhausting just writing this list. How does she do it all?! And always with perfect hair. Hmmm.
If you’ve had the pleasure of meeting Holly Mills-Gardner, you know she’s one smart, talented, hard-working and beautiful gal. Her most recent endeavor has her wearing two very stylish hats as a producer and as the host of The Austin Beat, a new TV show that airs on Sundays at 11:30am on The CW-Austin. Lake Travis residents, get to know your neighbor, Holly Mills-Gardner:
Q: You’ve had some amazing accomplishments during your career from winning the title of Miss Texas in 1998 (beating fellow pageant contestant Eva Longoria) to acting alongside Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality. What’s your favorite one?
A: Gosh, it’s really hard to pick a favorite! Winning Miss Texas truly catapulted my career, so I owe so much to that. It was a priceless experience that changed my life forever! But, I have to admit, getting to work with some of the biggest names in showbiz has definitely been a highlight. Although, my most “amazing accomplishment” by far, was becoming a mom. It encompasses the most rewarding and fulfilling moments in my life — the greatest blessing I have ever been given!
Q: Tell LTL readers about your exciting new TV adventure on The Austin Beat!
A: I have to say, after working in TV and film for over 15 years, this is definitely one of my favorite ventures to date. As host and an executive producer, I get to bring viewers the inside scoop on Austin’s entertainment scene, including film, music, fashion, food and more. Austin is the coolest city in the world, so getting to cover everything that makes this city great is pretty amazing!
Q: We’ve worked together at live events, so I know you get script changes last-minute and you have to expect the unexpected and improvise all of the time. How do you make it look so effortless?
A: Well first, I’m honored by your question! No matter if I’m hosting live or pre-taped, I want my audience to feel like they’re my best friend. I want them to relate to me and most importantly, to have fun! I definitely prepare by doing my homework and treating every show like it’s the biggest and best. However, when you’re doing a live show there are always hiccups, so it’s my goal to be authentic and sincere and let my personality do the improvising for me.
Q: One of the things people admire about you is the fact that you’re always giving back to your community. Tell me about some of the non-profit organizations you’ve worked with.
A: God has blessed me immensely, so I feel it has always been my purpose to give back and make a difference. There is no charity that’s more important than another in my eyes. I have given my time, efforts and support to hundreds of charities and organizations throughout the years; on a global, national and local level, and will continue to do so. I will always make room in my life for philanthropy!
Q: What do you like about living in Lake Travis?
A: I always joke about living in “The Bubble” because there’s one way in and one way out. Everything you need sits within a 5-mile radius! But honestly, Lake Travis is the most amazing community in every aspect, mostly because of the people. It’s a community with a purpose and I’m so proud to be part of that! Seriously, there’s a reason the whole world wants to move here!
Q: When you aren’t working, what’s your favorite thing to do?
A: Being a full-time mom with a career doesn’t allow for a lot of extra time these days, so I’m extremely lucky that my job is a ton of fun and I’m always getting to enjoy my favorite things, like fashion, film and music. But when I find a free moment, it’s usually spent with friends and family, and typically it will be centered around some sporting event! It’s no secret that I’m a sports fanatic! Those who know me well, know that I wake up to SportsCenter every single morning and listen to The Horn/ESPN all day in my car.
Q: And speaking of being a huge sports fan…here’s a tough question. Would you rather be front row at a Spurs game or a Cowboys game?
A: I’ve been so fortunate to actually get to do both and although it’s tough to choose, I’d definitely have to go with: front row at a Spurs game! I was born and raised in San Antonio, so I’ve been a Spurs fan my whole life! #GoSpursGo
Q: If I walk into ____ (place) on a __(day) there’s a good chance I’ll see you there.
A: Starbucks on any given day of the week…