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One of the qualities people admire in you is that you always tell it like it is. Where did that come from?

Growing up, I pretty much had a life that was about lies. I watched my father, who died when I was 13, be destroyed and a family be destroyed because everybody was lying. So, I think by the time I was 13, I was committed to trying something new--and that was telling the truth.


You've taken an unconventional path to mainstream success by avoiding just the pretty-girl roles

Right, and that's a big risk. As a result, I think it has taken a little longer for people to catch on to me. Celebrity and stardom wasn't what I was working toward. I wanted to create a journey in each character, and not a lot of movies give you an opportunity for that. But I made up my mind that I wasn't going to keep playing just the blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl everyone was comfortable watching. Now, I'm being completely rewarded for it.


People ask,'So when did you decide to become an actress?'

I always say, I never decided at all. There were always so many things - writing, dancing, singing, politics. Our family never had enough money, so all the kids started working to help out. I got a job at a dinner theater when I was twelve. I always liked playing different people,making a fool of myself. This is what I'm doing now, but I'm, constantly changing. I could be a farmer,raise lots of animals, and have a hell of a time doing it."


JANN CARL: With all the headlines and with all the rumors, how do you stay focused on the work?

Anne: I don't read them. I pay no attention to what's going on in the tabloids. Absolutely zero.People whisper stuff to me once in a while, or will say something, I have no idea. I don't pay attention, it doesn't matter to me. People are going to do it no matter what happens. I live my life, I live it truthfully, I do what I need to do for myself, I take care of myself. My work is my work, my play is my play. It's not anything that influences my life, whatsoever.


Women.com: Did you ever consider lying about falling in love with Ellen?

Heche: I'm always honest, whether I'm in the limelight or not. I made a very conscious decision not to change that. I like being honest. It's easier that way because I don't have to remember what lies I told.


Women.com: Do you consider yourself courageous?

Heche: Heche: I don't think of what I did and do as courageous. It's just who I am.


Women.com: What words would you use to describe yourself?

Heche: Honest. Fearless. Ambitious. Part of my ambition is doing as many things as I can. I don't want to get stuck any rut. Even on the soap opera [Another World] I played twins. It doesn't work as well for becoming a movie star. But for creating a body of work and wanting to explore all sides of myself, it's worked really well.


Women.com: Is it hard living a normal life as a public figure?

Heche: The whole thing about fame is kind of hilarious. For famous people, Notting Hill was so great. Julia Roberts's character talks about if you're seen together -- like when I was seen with Ellen -- that picture will last for a lifetime. Hugh Grant says, "The newspaper gets discarded," and Julia says, "No, no, no, you don't understand. Everything I do will be pulled up for the rest of my life." I know that to be true. She also says, "Fame is not reality," and it's not. But you have to deal with it. I'm surprised every time someone knows who I am.

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