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Sage Advice: Words to live by

Hollywood stars chat to MiNDFOOD about some advice they were given – some good, some bad and some downright bizarre.

Sage Advice: Words to live by


When I worked with Tom Cruise on Jack Reacher,  I was expecting my first baby.  Tom was just amazing.   I was a little nervous being my first and he told me I was about to experience the best ride of my life.  And he was right.


When I was trying to get the money to make my first film, I spoke to a director, who said to me, ‘When you meet with financiers, act confident, stare at everyone and tell them your movie is going to be like really good cocaine.  And not say anything else.’


The best advice I got was from another actress who said, ‘Don’t worry about the bitches!’ I realise now when you look back on your life how much time you spend trying to get people to like you, trying to dress cool and be cool is a huge waste of time.  So that advice was true.


I’m careful when it comes to giving advice.  A lot of times it can only come when you are ready for it.  I know now from my own experiences if someone is spouting off how I should behave, or what I should be feeling, I don’t like that. Nobody likes that.


Don’t give advice. Just listen.


The best advice I got was to stand up straight and be confident, but also be careful especially about boys.


If you ever find yourself having to wear a corset, pretend to faint.  You will always get the sympathy vote.


I’m wary of advice.  Unsolicited advice is called criticism, and believe me, I speak from experience when I say that, that is not pleasant.


I was told this once: When you hit the A-list don’t do drugs, quit smoking before you start, don’t text after nine PM no matter what, to anyone, or you will ruin all your relationships with boyfriends.  Be really grateful, be humble, don’t be a bitch.


The best advice I ever got, I practice myself and I give my employees at the Huffington Post the same advice: ‘When you’re off work, you’re off work.  Stay off your email.’


Someone said to me when I was starting out, ‘Listen to others and stop talking.’


Education is a privilege and to remember to be grateful.


Never stop learning and working on your craft, even if you become successful, never stop learning.


My mother said to me, ‘’Don’t ever take any shit from anybody.  Ever.’ And that’s what has stuck with me and I hope my kids in their lifetimes never, ever have to take shit off anybody either.


Rihanna told me that when I’m upset about something that I should drown myself in work but that if I’m alone and I want to cry, I should cry.


When it comes to advice I listen to everything Martha Stewart says.  Now I know how best to clean windows, and what to do with your washing up gloves when you finish with them and that’s to turn them inside out.


I wasn’t great on taking advice but if I was to give advice to anyone who wanted to be an actress, I’d say, ‘Don’t do it.  If you can imagine doing anything else with your life, do it instead because making a career of acting is so hard.’  But for me, there was nothing else I could imagine myself doing.


This is what I always say to someone who asks me advice about becoming a performer:  You just have to be prepared to be single-minded, not care what anyone tells you, not care what the odds are because they’re so against you, and if you want it, you just do it.


I give advice to people but I don’t want to give advice to my kids.  They are really good people, they came out like that and I just don’t want to mess them up along the way.  They are great, and I think the key is to get your kids to just believe in themselves and I guess it will depend on what they want to do and what they want to be, but I’ll always be there for them if they want my advice.


Before I got married somebody gave me the most remarkable advice, a woman who has been married for some 30 odd years said that she and her husband are still really in love.  She said, ‘My point of identity is not with my husband, my point of identity is with myself, my point of identity is with God. I love my husband but my point of identity is not with him.’ And that struck me as just some of the best relationship advice I’d ever heard.


I was given this great advice: ‘If you love acting then believe in yourself and work hard and go for it.  Go for your dream. ‘


My brothers Chris and Luke have been my biggest influences all of my life and would give me advice on everything, whether it be acting or just life. I look up to them for everything. I can’t tell you what the best advice they’ve given me is because I speak to them every day but I can tell you that they teach me through example.  That’s the best kind.

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