More: You are 44 and fab.
Courtney Thorne-Smith: I do feel fabulous.
More: You are also an advocate of Botox.
CTS: I am.
CTS: There was a time people didn’t talk about it. Then HealthyWomen.org did a study and discovered the one topic women kept inquiring about, which was Botox. I can tell you, I have had a great experience, and I am happy to share my story.
More: Most people deny using it. Why go public about Hollywood’s worst-kept secret to staying young?
CTS: People think I am coming out with my story for the first time, when the truth is, I never hid it to begin with. It never felt like a secret to me. I don’t use it in excess amounts. I only use a small amount, so people don’t think I look strange.
More: You’re not ashamed?
CTS: No. It’s the truth. I don’t get what the whole taboo is about. Look, I use great products, do facials and take great care of myself. I had a line or two that I wanted to get rid of, so I did it.
More: When did you begin using Botox?
CTS: I have been using Botox for 10 years; I started using it when it first came out. Obviously, I didn’t use it when I was pregnant or when I was breast-feeding. People think I do it because I want to compete with 20-year-olds when, in fact, I do it for me. I am proud of who I am and my age.
More: When you say you do Botox for you, does it give you more confidence?
CTS: No. I like where I am, and I feel confident with who I am. Look, if something bothers me, I like to take care of it. If I don't feel well, I call the doctor. Really, this isn’t a big deal.
More: How often do you use it?
CTS: Every four months.
More: You don’t feel the Hollywood pressure to look flawless?
CTS: No. I am a comedic actor so I have to have facial expressions. I would rather be an expressive 44-year-old than a person people don’t recognize. I have no desire to compete with 30-year-olds for their parts. I like where I am and who I am.
More: Do you believe in other forms of plastic surgery?
CTS: I haven’t done it yet, but if one day I decided I needed a face-lift, I would be totally fine with that. I feel like as women we have fought so hard to make the right choices. I think if you want to do it, it’s fine.
More: While we’re on the subject of appearances, you once went through extreme measures to be thin.
CTS: I did. Compulsive exercise was my thing.
More: Tell me about that.
CTS: It is something that is in you. I think it was my own inherent insecurity. I had been a working professional since I was 17, which I now say was too young. I don’t think I was quite formed back then. Anyway, a producer told me I put on weight, and when he said that I just panicked.
More: What did you do?
CTS: I did not respond well. I read every diet book there was. I went on crazy diets and exercised way too much. I was running, doing weights and yoga for, like, three hours. It was awful, and I am so grateful those times are behind me.
More: Were you a mad calorie counter?
CTS: For me, it was a series of diets. One diet said, only eat chicken, while another said, only eat vegetables. I had 17 diets in my head at once.
More: What was the solution?
CTS: I eat low carb and have been doing so for 10 years. That’s been the solution for me.
More: Was this during the time you were starring on Melrose Place?
CTS: I felt nervous on Melrose Place, but it didn’t really get hard until I was on Ally McBeal. I felt that show had so much pressure. That is what triggered me, and then it got really hard.