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Why Actress Patricia Clarkson Loves Her Life

The Cairo Time star talks about shooting nude scenes, her best and worst health habits, and life as a single, 50-something woman.

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You've been in a few movies with nude scenes. As a woman in her 50s, how do you stay comfortable with your body in the midst of the perfect-body craze of Hollywood?

I am comfortable in my body. I think I look pretty good. If the scene is integral to the movie, I don't think of [it] as a nude scene, I think of it as an extension of the scene or the character.

How do you feel about aging? Is 50 the new 40?

I don't know if I think of 50 as the new 40 … But I think I'm comfortable with my age. I think women do struggle with age and maybe I have tried not to. I don't think I have a career that's based on my looks, even though I've had to play some very, very attractive women.

When do you feel the most beautiful?

When I'm laughing with people I love. Whether it's one person or a group. 

Are you a health nut, in a health rut, or do you fall somewhere in between?

I think most people probably think of me as a health nut. I really, truly believe in eating organic whenever you can. I don't really have any vices … I love healthy food. I really do. It's actually the food I crave. I don't eat dairy. I walk a lot every day … I work out occasionally [laughs] … and yeah, I don't eat bad things. I'm good about that.

Of the five senses, which do you value most and why?

Probably my sense of smell. There's nothing better than something that smells good. [Laughs] It's sexy, it's invigorating. It's pleasurable. When something smells good it's a great thing. I love lavender, I love vanilla. The scent of fresh soap on a man is just fabulous.

You're one of Hollywood's most sought-after actresses, which adds up to very busy schedule. What do you do for relaxation?

Being in New York is a vacation. I love being home and I love going out to dinner at night. That's my favorite thing to do. That's what I find relaxing.

Is sex overrated or worth all the hype?

Sex is a great thing. It's important to an individual, to a relationship. I think sex is an important part of life. A very important part of life.

What makes you happy?

Other people. I find happiness, I find joy in the people I love and care for in this world. I love commiserating or reveling or talking forever. It just makes me happy if we're having dinner or we're sharing an event or we're talking about a great article that we read or we're talking politics. I love to talk politics. I like to talk politics more than anything.

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