Beauty comes from a life well lived. If you’ve lived well, your smile lines are in the right places, and your frown lines aren’t too bad, what more do you need?

Two of my mom`s most oft-repeated mom-isms are: ‘Happiness is your own responsibility’ and ‘Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes in the morning.’ Both are true.

I’m still really close with everyone at home and their parents – and their brothers and sisters. I was so, so, so lucky to grow up as part of a community and I don’t take that for granted. I try very hard to stay part of it.

We hardly saw movies. It was a much bigger deal for us if “Annie” came through. We saw “Flowers for Algernon” when I was probably six, and Mom said that at the end, I stood up on my chair and was screaming and clapping.

I never got recognized! I’d be with my husband [actor Scott Foley from “Felicity” 1998] and people would think I’m his manager, and they’d start giving me their business cards.

(On her first husband Scott Foley) I wanted to see him as a white knight and was crushed whenever anything normal happened. I wanted to be the princess… Now, I’m much more willing to see myself as human and flawed, and accept someone.

Sometimes I look at [skinny actresses] and think, Oh God, I should look like that. I’m jealous because the clothes hang on them so well. But I would have to torture myself to look like they do.

I do think about aging. I have those moments of panic and vanity, but life keeps getting better, so you can’t worry about it too much.

I want a graduate degree, I want to be a business woman, an investment banker, a writer, a pianist. I really wish I could cook. I’ve never had specific goals in life. I don’t say, ‘I’d like my next step to be this’, and then write it down and go after it. Actually, I don’t write anything down. I just think things to myself and they actually start to happen. So watch out.

(About Britney Spears) After watching her performance on the 2007 VMA’s, I wanted to just go and… I don’t know, mother her.


(On getting her ears pierced before the 2006 Academy Awards) A couple of months before the ceremony, I went to pick out the jewelry I`d be wearing on the night. I picked out the diamond cuff and the hair clip, and then they showed me the most gorgeous pair of earrings I`d ever seen. It wasn`t until I came to try them on that I realized they`d forgotten I didn`t have pierced ears. They could see how much I loved them, and how disappointed I was that I couldn`t wear them, so they said that, if I really wanted to, they could pierce my ears for me there and then. That would give them enough time to heal before the ceremony, and I could then wear the earrings. And I really did want to wear those earrings, so I said `OK`, and they pierced my ears for me before I left the boutique. It felt a bit odd to have them done, although I did have them pierced for a couple of weeks a few years back for a movie I was in, but it was worth it because I knew it meant I`d be wearing those fabulous earrings to the ceremony.

I do like having my ears pierced, because there’s a lot more choice in pierced earrings than there is with clip-ons, and they’re a lot more comfortable to wear – Sometimes I completely forget I’ve got them in and end up going to sleep wearing them. But I’ll never be one of those women who feel that they always have to wear earrings and aren’t properly dressed without them. For me, they’ll always be something I wear occasionally to complete a special outfit, or for a part in a movie.

Fashion taste is so much a thing of the moment that it’s almost impossible to always be on the cutting edge anyway, so I try to keep things simple and classic. I got some pretty good press for my Oscar dress, so I can’t complain.

I only feel [pressure] when I go to film premieres and there’s so much fuss about wearing the perfect dress. That can be intimidating. I don’t have the greatest fashion sense myself, but I think I know what kind of dresses look good on me or not.


I love being physical and acting at the same time.

I think that it’s not as crazily different, my job, from anyone else’s, as people let themselves believe. I think people get wrapped up in their own idea of what it is, but it’s really not that.

I’m well-known for action but it was never even a hint of a consideration when I was starting to work as an actress. To be honest, comedy wasn’t up there either. I was always kind of the vulnerable girl next door.

Jenna in “13 Going on 30” is probably closer to my actual personality than Sydney [on “Alias”] in a lot of ways.

(On her favorite musical roles) Gosh, I love everything. I love being in the chorus. I was in the chorus of Little Abner in “Summerstock” once and it was so fun, the dancing and finding the harmony, being part of a big group. I loved–I played “Gypsy” when I was younger and I loved, loved, lu-hu-hoved “Gypsy”. I think that’s such a beautiful musical. I loved–I was Dream Laurey once in “Oklahoma” and that is such a beautiful ballet. I love “Cabaret”. I did that in college and I love them all.


(Jen about her daughter) Ben and I try very hard not to talk about Violet to the press. We don’t want to give the paparazzi any power. They really invade your kid’s space. I tell them, “Please don’t put your cameras in her face,” and they don’t care. My kid doesn’t belong in magazines. She’s two! People recognize her in a different state when she’s with someone who’s not me. They say, “Oh, that’s Violet Affleck.” That’s not okay with me.

(About daughter Violet) It’s very important to us that she remains a kid. If she wants to do theater someday, okay, but as for doing it for a living, that’s not a kid’s job.

(About losing her pregnancy weight) It took me a long, long time. I just wasn’t that motivated. I wanted to play with my baby. Then I got on the treadmill, stopped stuffing my face, and lost the weight. I cut out croissants, bagels and muffins–all the good stuff–and I went back to having a salad once a day, and protein.

I call my mom now and say, “You know all the dinners you made that I said “no” to and then went off and ate peanut butter? I’m sorry. I get it now. I slaved over roasting this, and Violet goes, “No, no, no!”

(Joking about Violet’s relationship with her stunt body double) I have a problem with my child actually right now. She’s obsessed these days with my stunt double, Shauna Duggins. She’s a really good friend of mine. She’s like my partner in crime. She’s amazing; she’s like me except cooler, hotter and with a better body. My daughter recognizes this and makes me call her ‘Shauna Girl’ and she draws Green Shauna, Pink Shauna, Blue Shauna.

You see pictures and you see this harried woman in jeans and sneakers, running around and just lucky if I get a shower, but it’s pretty much the same as every other mom out there. You know, I can’t dress up every day, it’s just not in my nature. Even if I own the clothes, which by the way I do, I look at them and think ‘I can’t be a mom in those clothes,’ they just don’t suit me.


(On her character Sydney losing two years of her life in “Alias”) We were all shocked. I’m almost embarrassed to tell you this but when we were shooting Sydney waking up in Hong Kong, I could not stop crying and it wasn’t supposed to be an emotional scene, JJ asked me why and I said, “Because I can’t stand it for her. It isn’t fair that she lost two years and the love of her life.”

(On “Alias”) In the first season when I was nominated for the first time, and I was over the moon, it didn’t occur to me that it could happen. This makes me feel like its not about the buzz, its not about the new kid in town. This makes me feel like we have done 57 solid episodes and i’ve been there for every single day of every single one and it MATTERS.

(On all her lingerie scenes in “Alias”) I was in about half the lingerie that they wanted me to be in! Every now and then I’d get a script that would be like, ‘Sydney’s in a bikini,’ and I’d be like, ‘I can’t! You have to give me notice. I have to have months to get ready. Don’t make me do it.’

(On hiding the baby for “Alias”) We talked about trying to hide it and I just said that’s ridiculous. First of all, I think it’s a really honest, mature, real storyline for her and for me to get to play with her. Also, it would just be ridiculous right now, if not in a couple of months.


(On kissing a girl for “Elektra”) You know, I’d have to say it’s the first time I’ve ever kissed a girl. I didn’t object it, I didn’t really think about it much either way. When the time came it was just a kiss. It was totally, completely fine. We’d just talk about our sisters or talk about, you know, “Oh wait you’ve got a hair stuck here” and I think it’s the only person on screen I’ve kissed where I’m making sure her lipstick is straight and then we’d actually kiss, they’d say “cut” and we would laugh and get on with it. It was nothing to speak of.

(On her experience with comic book fans) I’m lucky that the color of my costume is the toughest I’ve ever got. People don’t come up and go “You sucked as Elektra! You should have been Greek! I hate you!” They might say that behind my back, but my experiences have been really, really positive, which has only made me enjoy the world more.