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Nicki Gostin
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Rosanna Arquette On 'The Divide,' Family And Aging In Hollywood

Posted: 01/13/12 10:49 AM ET

Can you have a relationship and a Hollywood career at the same time?

That's the question Rosanna Arquette has pondered since Bette Davis sat her down and relayed the facts of life in the limelight over three decades ago. Arquette, who hails from a family full of actors, has managed to have both -- relationships and a notable career -- although she admits it has been challenging at times.

Next up for the actress is "The Divide," a dark flick centered on a group of nuclear attack survivors who hunker down in an apartment building. Her physically intense role demanded weight loss and hours spent in a small enclosed space, but it was fun, Arquette says, claustrophobia and all.

The vivacious actress spoke to The Huffington Post in a refreshingly honest way about Hollywood, her lovable family -- she still refers to her brother David's ex-wife, Courteney Cox, as her sister-in-law -- and growing older in an industry that idolizes youth.

How would you react if you were trapped in a small room in real life, like you are in the film?
Oy, I get claustrophobic just being in an elevator. It would be a little rough for me. This movie is super dark and super intense, and it was interesting to play a character like that and be put in a situation like that. Actually, in the strangest way, even though it was so dark, it was the most fun I've had making a movie in a long time.

Being in such close quarters, did you ever get irritated by the other actors?
We didn't really get to break for lunch because we were all put on a 1,500-calorie diet to lose weight -- because the reality is they'd be skinny.

How much weight did you lose?
Hello! I'm middle-aged, so for me to lose weight ... I lost about 10 pounds.

Were you snappy with people?
Yeah, you had that with the blood sugar, the crankiness. There were definitely some cranky people on the set.

One of your first Hollywood roles was with Bette Davis in 1978's "The Dark Secret of Harvest Home." Were you terrified of her?
I was a kid, and she was really tough with everybody. I remember they had a cocktail party, and they called me and said, "You need to come down." I jumped in the shower and ran down with wet hair, barefoot and in jeans, and everybody was horrified and she just loved that I did that. At that moment, we were pals. She sat me on her lap once and said, "Remember you can never have a career and a relationship at the same time." That was a real haunting experience for me because it's always been kind of the truth. Like, can you not have both?

As a general rule, do you think that's been true for you?
I think, for me, it's been quite a challenge to have both. I was in a relationship for a few years and didn't work for a few years, and now I'm starting to go back to work and I am in a relationship. It's always about accepting the other person -- who they are and what they do. I love to work and I love my partnership, but I really do need both. If I'm only focusing on one, then I'm not a whole person. Hopefully I know how to do that now.

You come from an amazing Hollywood family. When you get together, do you talk business?
Never. We don't ever really talk about stuff like that. It's too boring. I'm so proud of my family. [Sister] Patricia's been doing all this great work in Haiti. David is doing really well. I love everybody in my family, my sister-in-law Courteney -- she's still my sister-in-law. I love her. We're really blessed to have that kind of love.

You have an infectious laugh. You must have had a million guys when you were younger.
[Laughs] I never felt sexy. I remember Jane Fonda saying to me when I was about 21, "Rosanna, you're sexy. Use it." I was like, "No!" I never felt that way in my own life.

Now, of course, you realize she was right.
My guy had never seen "After Hours" and it was on, and I was like, "Man! I remember feeling so yucky and not good about myself then." And now I realize I looked pretty OK.

You'd kill for those looks now.
Exactly! And now everybody's doing plastic surgery, which I have not succumbed to yet. It scares me. I do acupuncture needles in my face, and I have an amazing facialist.

Don't all those actresses who have had tons of plastic surgery look scary?
It's frightening, but you know what? Never say never. I think you have to eat well and treat your body well. You know what? I've lived in my face. I'm 52. I don't lie about my age. I love when I see a lived-in face and the woman is still sexy. Do yoga, do Pilates. Keep that together, and then just be comfortable in your own skin.

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