Woman of Interest: Toni Collette

The actress talks finding inner peace, shaving her head and adjusting her weight for roles

by David Hutchings
toni collette
Photograph: Photographed by Nick Haddow

The Oscar nominee (for The Sixth Sense) stars in A Long Way Down (opening July 11). It’s about four people who meet intending to commit suicide. Believe it or not, it’s very funny.

She also appears in Tammy (opening July 2), opposite Melissa McCarthy. I’m sure people are going to expect it to be hysterical because Melissa is in it, but it has real depth.

Acting out: I’ve never, ever wanted to be a star. I got into musicals early in high school [because] as a kid I was very gregarious. By the time I was 
16, I was hooked!

Weighty matters: When I got cast in Muriel’s Wedding, 
I had to gain 40 pounds in seven weeks. I also had to gain weight for In Her Shoes. I’ve learned gaining weight is pretty simple when you eat a lot of bad food—and losing weight is a lot easier when you’re younger.

Family planning: Getting married was never something I felt I needed to be a reality for me. But 13 years ago, I met this guy [musician Dave Galafassi], and I found out I was wrong. Now 
we have two young kids, and they are what I’m proudest of. What I’ve learned is there’s no secret to mothering. You just put one 
foot in front of the other and go!

Finding strength: Meditation is where I go for peace. When I’m focusing on being still, I’m at my best. The more you 
live with yourself, the more 
you know yourself.

Bald truth: I’ve shaved my head five times. The first time 
I was 25, in Mexico, and tequila was involved. I also did it three days after I met my husband. I must have been putting him through some weird test. What can I say? Being bald feels great! 

Next: Woman of Interest: Kate Mulgrew

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First published in the July/August 2014 issue

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