More: There’s been a lot of talk lately about whether women can have it all. In a recent interview, you said that you forgive yourself “on a daily basis for not being able to do everything.” Why is that?
K.N.: Here’s my main philosophy: We only have one life, and you do as well as you can in that life, and you go towards what brings you joy. If having a high-powered career brings you joy, then do it. If gardening all day or just having 16 children and making their lunches brings you joy, do that. Nobody made a rule of what’s important and what’s not. It really is personal.
My passion is very different and probably very surprising to most people. Part of my passion is when my daughter brings her six or seven friends home from school and I put out chips and salsa and music for them and make a party. That makes me happy. I love speaking to a million people about choice when we march on Washington. That makes me happy. I feel like we are bombarded on a minute-by-minute basis about how we are supposed to be. And we’re obsessed with it.
More: Speaking of obsessed, everyone seems to be completely preoccupied with your recent 50 pound weight loss. What prompted it?
K.N.: I’ve been losing and gaining weight my whole life. And I got this script that said, “And she jumps in the car. She squats. She jumps out of the car and runs down the pier.” And I thought, “Oh Lord. I don’t think I can squat or run.” So I started trying to move around and went on a diet and lost some weight. That initial jolt of losing weight is always great. And since then I’m trying to eat low carb, low sugar. I’m also type 1 diabetic, so that helps [motivate me]. And I go to Zumba classes, and I dance.
But I make no promises. I could be back up tomorrow. Right now I’m happy. I could wear some cute clothes to some premieres and that’s nice. But I don’t want to be the poster child for weight loss because I’ve lost weight before. And P.S., I’m still, according to Hollywood standards, 40 pounds overweight.
More: You’re 55 and have a thriving career. What do you know now about life and happiness that you wish you knew in your 20s?
K.N.: It sounds cheesy, but I wish I had known to really examine my dreams and not judge them.
More: What’s next for you?
K.N.: I need to shower. I’m going to the dentist. Then I’m going to meet my friend Kristin Chenoweth for coffee [laughs]. Next, career-wise? I’m writing a one-woman show that I hope to do on the New York stage.