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Men's Health

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Q&A With Don Cheadle


Do you have a health philosophy?

Vanity helps, especially if I have to be naked on set. But I'm not sure that that's the best prescription [laughs]. To live a healthy life takes discipline. It's a matter of how you eat, of how you rest.

What’s your best health habit?

I don't drink soda. I stay away from that.

What's your worst health habit?

The worst thing I do is work 14-hour days and then not get enough rest afterward. That's the most insidious thing. It tears you down. You get sick and you can't get better. That's a bad habit – not getting enough rest – so I try to be really mindful of that.

Do you make a point to eat healthy meals?

I stay away from grazing the food on set, and I stay cognizant of what I eat.

What is one of your guilty pleasure foods?

Bacon definitely falls into that category.

What’s one thing that you know about health now that you wished you knew 20 years ago?

For three summers after college, I'd play basketball for 6 hours a day. I wish I had known that playing basketball every day would wear my knees out. My health has always been a priority, but I definitely appreciate it more now. I'm much more mindful of it now.

Where did you go on your last vacation?

New Zealand.

You and your partner, actor Bridgid Coulter, have been together for over 20 years now, and you have two teenage daughters. Has juggling family life with the demands of being a movie star been difficult?

It's a very challenging thing to manage. With actors, family life is often feast or famine. I'll be 3 months on set for a movie and never see anyone, and then I have 3 months off.

You’ve been acting for 3 decades and you’ve won awards throughout your career. How do you measure your success, personally and professionally?

Money. And gold watches [laughs]. Seriously, longevity will dictate to me how successful I have been. If I can keep acting, keep going with this, and in 20 or 30 years I can look back and say, 'Wow, people are still checking for me,' then I made it."

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