My feeling about growing up in New Jersey was, 'How come I'm not in New York?' That being said, I'm older and I have a better worldview now, and so I think I grew up in an incredibly privileged position. The town I grew up in is beautiful. I got a great education, and I'm very grateful for it.
When I got my start, I kind of got my big break with The Princess Diaries and during the press rounds for that everyone asked me: "Did you always want to be a princess growing up?" And the truth was, no I wanted to be Catwoman. And I think a lot of women feel that way. And the fact that I am actually her is such a dream come true. It's such a pinch me moment. And the fact that I am Catwoman in Chris Nolan's Gotham to Christian Bale's Batman is unbelievably cool.
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Because I take very seriously the idea that I can make an impact in the world, I hold back my voice so I can make more of an impact when I do use it. A cause like One Billion Rising is something I want to scream about, and I want you to take that scream seriously because I don't fall out of nightclubs. I don't have photographers capture me spending untold amounts on a handbag.
After Princess Diaries, I was labeled a good girl, and for the first eight years of my career I had to fight to get any other kind of role. But I like fighting for a job, actually. Once you get it, you feel like you've emerged victorious from the scrap and you're like, "OK, this one's mine. Did it. Done."
When I first thought about becoming Jane Austen I had to forget about the fear, or at least choose something else to focus on because it was becoming paralysing, I couldn't focus. I felt frightened, not so much by her fans' reaction to my performance but that I would be playing someone who I think is a legend, who I respect and admire so much. I didn't want to fail, so I was putting a lot of pressure on myself.
We assume that we've come so far as compassionate citizens of the world if we do choose to read the news, yet the attitude towards life can be one where we put blinders on and forget that there are civil wars going on. It's easy to forget that there are so many people starving to death every single day.
It's hard to wrap my head around the fact that a billion women have been raped or beaten, just the enormity of that. When I was in college, I'd heard that one in four women would be raped, and I thought, God, that means I must know someone who was raped. Sure enough, I found out a week later that a friend had been. A billion is too big because one is too big.
I think fashion is a lot of fun. I love clothes. More than fashion or brand labels, I love design. I love the thought that people put into clothes. I love when clothes make cultural statements and I think personal style is really cool. I also freely recognize that fashion should be a hobby.
I don't take anything for granted. I've been given extraordinary opportunities, I've also fought for extraordinary opportunities. So I don't believe you're ever just there in this golden moment. You probably always have to remind people that you're there, that you have something to offer, maybe something beyond what they could imagine for you.
I'd love to be an artist that's multifaceted. At the moment, I am not. But wouldn't that be cool if I was like, 'Yeah, let me pull out my guitar and play you a song.' I would adore that. I am so far not gifted in that way. But I am a very hard worker and a very determined person, so who knows?
It's definitely a thing to be sitting there, getting a pedicure, and you look over and someone is reading an article about an aspect of your life that you know is not true. It's weird, it's uncomfortable, but I don't see it changing anytime soon, so I should figure a way to laugh through it.
I don't love exercise. Some of it is more fun than others, so what I do is, if I'm on the treadmill and I don't want to finish, I look at it and say, "Okay, this is 20 minutes, versus the rest of my life. I'm going to spend the rest of my life doing so many other things, so I can do this for 20 minutes."
I think the thing that I have learned is that a bad love experience is no reason to fear a new love experience, but you have to be very honest at every single stage with the person about how you've been hurt, and hopefully they will be supportive about whatever it is that you have to go through. Everybody has bad relationships and, at the end of the day, they are just a great way to set yourself up for a good relationship.
Whether or not you agree with Ayn Rand - and I have certain issues with some of her beliefs - the woman can tell a story. I mean, the novel as an art form is just in full florid bloom in 'Atlas Shrugged.' It's an unbelievable story. The characters are so compelling, and what she's saying is mind-expanding.