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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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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.

If you were recovering in a hospital and could have anyone, from any era, recovering next to you, who would it be and why?

I would probably pick the great actor Peter Sellers. I think he'd be the best of both worlds. I think he would be intelligent and funny.

Is the best part of your life in front of you or behind you?

Oh my God, I hope in front of me. It's been a great life, but I hope it's going to get even better, personally, professionally. I'm very happy right now and I hope it continues.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I don't think my life will be dramatically different 10 years from now. And I hope it's not. I hope I'm still personally and professionally happy, but [that] I've learned a little something. Hopefully I'm a better person 10 years from now.

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