Because the truth is, nobody knows what's best for you better than you do. You have to really sit still and ask yourself: What do I want? Does this feel right? What should I do? I realized I had to go back and do what I had always done. Listening to my gut was just as important as listening to the advice of others, and only I knew what was best for me.
When you're younger, you don't realize you have limitations and that you are the one who has to take care of yourself. Nobody else is going to do it for you. And so, with all of that time, maturity and realizations, I'm in a much better place to be the best that I've ever been and to continue growing as a person and as an artist.
My philosophy on life is that we're here to love and to learn. And I've learned a lot, so I can't say "I wish this didn't happen or I didn't make that movie." And I take responsibility for being open [about relationships] in the past. I have to, and now I'm doing what I can to make it different.
When something bad happens is when you really learn. It causes self-examination, it causes you to take a look at yourself. You naturally start analyzing. It's not that you're wrong; it's that sometimes you just need to make adjustments. Change your way of thinking, change your way of doing, change your way of choosing.
What you realize is it's not about financial success as an artist. A lot of actors and actresses, producers, writers, and the creative people in the business realize that. It's not about that. Yeah, we all want to be successful, but we all just want to create and we want to tell the stories. We want to continue creating the opportunities to be able to continue doing what we love. So, at the end of the day, I feel like it's a win-win for everybody to be able to make these independent films.
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In the past, love for me has always meant forever, and sure, you still nurse some of those fantasies, but I don't try to force it anymore. I hung on to my fairy-tale ideals for a long time. But where I am now, what I've been through, there are no rules. There are lots of ways it can turn out instead of just one. There are so many different kinds of happiness, not just the one you learned about when you were 5 years old.
I'm deeply grateful to live and work in this country and to the United States for opening its arms to me the way it has. I mean I think my attitude as an Aussie coming here - I've been coming here for a while now, I've been coming here for about 12 or 13 years - is that this country has afforded me and my family work and security. For that, I'm forever grateful.
We had our moment [with Marc Anthony] in the third or fourth year that we were married, when we did everything together: We did "El Cantante," we did the tour, we made all the music together, he produced my album [2007's Spanish-language "Como Ama una Mujer"]. That was a really beautiful time for us.
Beauty is only skin deep. I think what's really important is finding a balance of mind, body and spirit. Someone said to me not too long ago, "Until you're twenty, you have the face you are born with, and after that you have the face you deserve.", and I really loved that - the idea that you wear who you are on your face.
Honestly, I have s much respect for single moms or anybody who finds themselves a single mother, but to even choose to be single mother is just so courageous to me. It is such a hard job to raise a child and be everything to that child without a partner. It's just admirable and courageous and brave and every other valiant word I can think of. I don't know if I could do it on my own.
It's important for all types of women to know that you don't have to fit a prototype of what one person thinks is beautiful in order to be beautiful or feel beautiful.... People think, Sexy, big breasts, curvy body, no cellulite. It's not that. Take the girl at the beach with the cellulite legs, wearing her bathing suit the way she likes it, walking with a certain air, comfortable with herself. That woman is sexy. Then you see the perfect girl who's really thin, tugging at her bathing suit, wondering how her hair looks. That's not sexy.
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I can't help but be a different person now that I've had kids. That really does change your whole perspective on life for the better. I definitely feel like I've grown up. So, I guess in a way parts of me are going to be different, but in general I'm still the same girl from the Bronx who had big dreams.
Confidence: It's the difference between the girl with the perfect body in a one-piece bathing suit, pulling at it and thinking she's not thin enough or doesn't have big enough boobs - and the girl who people call a bit overweight, but meanwhile, she's wearing a bikini and guys are saying, "God, she's sexy." It all has to do with how you feel about yourself - it's about projecting the attitude, I'm OK with who I am.
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I just thought that a naked pregnant woman checking herself out would be so funny. I actually wish there was more of it. An actually, it was my idea to put it in, because I just remember being pregnant and just marveling at the hugeness of my body, like looking in the mirror from all angles. But that's something you do privately.
I've always had a huge fear of dying or becoming ill. The thing I'm most afraid of, though, is being alone, which I think a lot of performers fear. It's why we seek the limelight - so we're not alone, were adored. We're loved, so people want to be around us. The fear of being alone drives my life.
It's not that I didn't love myself before. Sometimes we don't realize that we are compromising ourselves. To understand that a person is not good for you, or that that person is not treating you in the right way, or that he is not doing the right thing for himself - if I stay, then I am not doing the right thing for me. I love myself enough to walk away from that now.
[Having perosonal trainer for the movie 'The back-up plan'] I felt like I had just given birth. He was like, "You can't eat anything but this. You've got to do what I say." So along with doing the film, I did this kind of disciplined workout regimen, because every cheese farmer is ripped and buff, and I wanted to be true to character, because I'm Method. But it took a lot of hard work to get there. You can rest assured in the fact that it's all gone now.
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Where you really have your eggs in one basket and that breach happens and you know you should go but you're still in love and you just don't know what to do. It hits you because it's not like -- you're a cheater, and a liar, and I hate you, and you're no good, and I'm leaving. It's not that. It's like, I'm tormented. Even though you've done this and I know it, I still don't know what to do. I know I should go, but I don't want to. And that's why it's such a f***ed-up thing.
It was easy to blame other people for treating me in ways I didn't like, but now I was seeing that I was the one at fault. The only way you can be mistreated is by allowing yourself to be mistreated, and that was something I did over and over again. Somehow, I needed to find that glimmer of self-respect, buried deep inside, that would allow me to say: I am never going to let that happen to me again. I needed to learn how to stand up for myself in a different way, but I didn't know how.
I really love doing nothing. I really love just being at home and taking a couple of days, you know, doing nothing. You know what I mean? Just getting up, being around the house, going outside the back yard, coming back in; I really like to do nothing because I travel a lot. There's a lot of travelling. There's a lot of on the phone all the time. There's a lot of looking at papers and reading things and so you don't want to read magazines and you don't want to do anything; you don't want to read books, you just want to just kind of shut down a little bit.
I love seeing the Oscar films and epic dramas. But I'd rather watch a romantic comedy than any other kind of movie. There's something about movies like these that make you feel so good and happy and that you want to live in that world -- to be that girl and be part of the fairy tale. I have always believed in fairy tales.