WHAT’S THE MAIN MESSAGE IN YOUR BOOK? We have to nurture our young women, and help them to understand the beauty and the strength of being a woman. It’s kind of a catch-22: Strength in women isn’t appreciated, and vulnerability in women isn’t appreciated. It’s like, “What the hell do you do?” What you do is you don’t allow anyone to dictate who you are.
IS MAINTAINING A POSITIVE ATTITUDE SOMETHING YOU’VE HAD TO WORK ON? I’m glad to be at the place I am in my life—but I haven’t always been here. There’s nothing loving about [an inner] voice that tells you, “Oh, you can’t do that, why are you even trying?” And I’ve been guilty of that. That type of thinking will suck you dry. In my own mind, I’ve had to really get in touch and change that thinking. I do a lot of reading, meditating, and praying to stay as grounded as I can be in this crazy world. Right now I’m studying Taoism. When I hear my own negative voice, I usually just give it a big old hug. I ask myself, “What are you afraid of?” I don’t have difficulty confronting my fear anymore.
HOW DIFFICULT WAS IT FOR YOU TO MAKE IT IN HOLLYWOOD? There are always obstacles, but I really don’t think they’re any different than anybody else’s. And with me, I just don’t give up. I came out here very determined to be successful, and there was no other option. You can have all the talent in the world, but you’ve got to have those fangs out – not to bring people down, but fangs to show that you’ll do what it takes. At three years old, I was telling people that I was going to be a star. I never had a plan B. And I’ve never compromised my integrity to get what I have.
DO YOU TRY TO TEACH THAT PHILOSOPHY TO YOUR DAUGHTER? Sometimes my daughter’s nice, sometimes she’s nasty. I don’t expect her to be civil and nice all the time, and I give her space. I try to teach her not to repress those other aspects of herself that might not be so pretty, because we need those parts of ourselves too. And then she’ll have the freedom to find all the things that she will become. Of course, there are certain things that do put my foot down about, like, “You’ve gotta eat some vegetables before you have some candy!”
WHEN YOU GET OVERWHELMED, WHAT CALMS YOU? Pretty much, my husband. He has a really unique perspective on things. Usually he can help me balance out everything with a conversation, which is great. And then my kids. They’re my little gurus when it comes to keeping things in perspective. Jaden could tell me a story or pat me on the hand and say it’s okay. Willow might tell me a joke. And I meditate and do yoga. I listen to my body and mind now. If my body’s tired, I rest; and when my mind’s tired, I sleep. It used to be hard for me to do that. “Rest” was just not in my vocabulary, and now it is. I understand that I need to rest and play as hard as I work.