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2009 Interview: Actress Robin Tunney on How to Speak Your Mind

I just came across an old interview to Robin- a really nice one. To read it, click on Read More.

Source: Womenshealthmag





Actress Robin Tunney on How to Speak Your Mind


Robin Tunney, the candid star of TV's The Mentalist, doesn't mince words. She talks to WH about her "cougar meat" costar and the importance of staying true to yourself.


Suzanne Zuckerman


She was raised on the South Side of Chicago by a bartender mom and a car salesman dad, so it's not all that surprising that Robin Tunney is the scrappy type. It's a quality that has kept her working in Hollywood since she was 18—breaking out in cult-status teen movies like 1996's The Craft (playing the nice girl in a coven of catty high school witches) and later in gritty action flicks like 1999's End of Days (taking down the devil with Arnold Schwarzenegger). But Robin's feistiness can also create friction. Case in point: At the 1998 Sundance Film Festival, she won raves for her performance as a woman with Tourette's syndrome in Niagara, Niagara. When producer Harvey Weinstein approached and told her he thought she was one of the most special actresses of her generation, Robin shot back, "Harvey, why don't you ever give me a job?"


Not to worry, though. Robin's bluntness hasn't hurt her career. In fact, the 36-year-old currently has a big hit on her hands, battling bad guys with Simon Baker on The Mentalist, the CBS show about a fake psychic turned police investigator and a tough and tender female cop. It's a match made in flatscreen heaven. "Simon is Australian, and so is my fiance [Andrew Dominik, director of 2007's The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford]. The way they show fondness is to tease you," she says.


"But I do the same thing to him. I'll tease Simon about being cougar meat, because older women just can't get enough of him. We'll be doing a scene and I'll tell him, 'We're counting on you to bring the heat. Are you gonna smolder?'" Robin opened up to WH—and reminded us she's pretty hot stuff herself.


You and Simon Baker have amazing chemistry. It's like [the 1980s show] Moonlighting—two people who are wired differently but there's a camaraderie. Sometimes [my character] admires him and thinks, "God, he's attractive." Other times he's like a naughty brother. I really love television relationships that keep people guessing. Our executive producer, Bruno [Heller], once said something like, "You saw what happened on Moonlighting" As soon as [the Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis characters] hooked up, they had all the sexual tension of the Clintons."


Is he as appealing off-screen? Simon's a special guy. His wife, Rebecca, did [a guest appearance] and the way he took care of her was something. They've been together since he was, like, 22, and that's what makes him a great man to work with. He's spent so much of his adult life with a woman he respects. It's like he's been housebroken by the best.


Your shooting schedule must be demanding. How do you relax? I love punishing massages. And I get facials. I alternate between old-fashioned facials from [skin expert] Linda Ross and treatments from Terri Lawton—they call her the Skin Whisperer. She'll put on rubber gloves and massage the back of my gums, where I hold tension in my jaw. It feels fantastic! With this economy, a lot of women feel guilty about doing things for themselves, but I think it's really important, even if it's every other month or every three months.


How do you take care of your body? I do group classes at Pilates Plus [in L. A.]. I like the group environment because it makes me feel competitive, like "I don't want to be the person who stops." I also run on a track or a treadmill, but I don't run more than three miles. I'm not sure my body is built for it.


Did your former costar Arnold Schwarzenegger teach you anything about fitness? Yeah, he said I was blessed to have good triceps, because they're the hardest things to build up as an adult if you don't already have them. But he also loved to feed me. He'd always have fattening, delicious food in his trailer, like this chocolate torte they make in Austria called. Sachertorte He'd be like, "Robin, come he-yah. Da Sakatawt fwahm Austweeya—da baaast!"


What are your eating habits like on the set? It's not about losing or maintaining weight; it's about keeping my energy up. I bring my own food. They joke that I'm the Chicken Lady. I literally will have a baked chicken in my trailer. We have a really healthy cast, and everybody keeps each other in check. In an emergency I'll reach for a diet soda, but hide it from Simon.


Do you think L.A. has a more homogenized sense of beauty? I do. There's a lot of pressure on women to look like everybody else—to have the same nose, chin, or lips. There are things that I've always liked about my face because they're different, like the fact that I have freckles. I admire women who have been able to keep their faces real and haven't succumbed to too much stuff. [There's also] this need to exercise yourself to a pulp and have rock-hard abs. Look, if that's what makes you feel good, fine. But if it's this idea that you have to do it to get work, I just don't think that's the case.


Last question: Did you know there are sexy photo montages of you on YouTube? No, [that's] funny! But I think that actors who say they've never Googled themselves are lying. When The Mentalist started, I wanted to read what people thought of the show, [so I went onto] a message board, and there was a thread that started, "I can't believe Robin has so much Botox in her face. She's ruined herself!" The next person wrote, "I can't believe she let herself go like that—it's so brave that she's so natural." I thought, you know what? I'm never going to please everybody, so I've just got to be true to myself.

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