If we look beyond the Hollywood glitz & glamour of “Celebritydom”, beneath the artificial veneer of the picture perfect cover girl world manufactured by the glossy pages of the fashion magazines, and well over the slew of shocking headlines and juicy scandalous gossip news, we then discover “The Real Girl Next Door” that is at heart Denise Richards.
An actress, a reality TV star, a James Bond Girl, a former model, a business entrepreneur, an author, and newly proud mother of three beautiful daughters, Denise Richards is now making her mark in entertainment well beyond the fame of her (defunct) E! reality television show “Denise Richards: It’s Complicated”, and her sultry bombshell roles on the big screen in such blockbuster hits as “Starship Troopers”, “Wild Thing” and “The World is Not Enough”, to reveal her most endearing real movie star quality: her realness.
A small town girl who successfully found her way into the uptown world of Tinsel-Town, behind the scene, beyond the ongoing media spotlight, Richards, in spite of it all, has gracefully managed to maintain her wholesome, girl-next-door persona. And if you still doubt that, indeed, she’s the real deal, just grab a copy of her new book called “The Real Girl Next Door”.
In somewhat of a stream of consciousness style of writing, Denise intimately opens up about her tempestuous marriage and subsequent highly-profiled divorce to ex-husband Charlie Sheen (sans the sordid juicy details of what caused what was famously hailed one of Hollywood’s nastiest marital split), the devastating death of her beloved mother who tragically lost her battle to cancer, the harsh reality of not being able to secure acting jobs for a while, and the ups and downs of raising three daughters on her own. Delivering a narrative that is at once honest, insightful and emotional, she takes the reader on an intimate and no less fascinating journey through her life, finally embracing the beauty of change, self-discovery, and the joy of living in the moment.
“I wanted to write a heartfelt, honest book that would be a source of hope for others going through difficult times,” says Denise Richards.
She lays out the memoir like a mosaic of her life. Interweaving heartfelt chapters about her childhood in the Midwest, her dream of making it big in Hollywood, her life-changing move to California, her auspicious modeling debut, her many scrutinized romantic relationships, her feelings of inadequacy in a viciously competitive industry overly obsessed with being a size zero, and going under the knife more than once in quest for breast perfection.
Not the typical tell-all memoir, “The Real Girl Next Door” is more of an inspirational and empowering life-story that will definitely resonate with readers of all ages, genders and cultural backgrounds. While Richards’ life certainly hasn’t always been a bed of roses, to say the least, she now sets an example for people everywhere going through similar life challenges by always keeping her chin up, her smile on and maintaining a sense of humor while navigating through the roller coaster ride of life!
Always one to bounce back and live in the moment, Richards is keeping busy now with a handful of new projects. She’s currently filming some episodes for the second season of the TV show called “Blue Mountain State” (on Spike TV); she’s also launching a perfume and a hair care line, and of course promoting her book.
New baby, new book, new projects, an inspirational Denise Richards exclusively talks about overcoming challenging times and always seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
What motivated you to write a memoir at this stage of you life?
My twitter followers and many fans coming up to me in public asking how I got through difficult times inspired me to write my book.
You titled your book “The Real Girl Next Door” and through out the majority of its content you make it a point to illustrate the meaning of the title. Why was it important for you to show that you’re essentially a down-to-earth normal woman that anybody can relate to?
The title actually means “real” as in being my real, honest, raw authentic self. It was important for me to be honest about my feelings no matter how they would be perceived.
You went through some pretty tough personal life crisis. Would you say that experiencing these roller-coaster rides made you the stronger woman that you are today?
There is something to be said for what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I went through some tough times and am a stronger woman because of it.
Certainly one of the most difficult phases of your life was watching your mother battle with cancer and tragically succumb to the disease. How has that affected you as a daughter, as a mother and as woman? What advice would you give people going through the same ordeal of having a loved one battling (any types of) cancer?
Losing my mom was the worst thing I’ve ever been through. Anyone that has been touched by cancer knows the journey. My biggest advice is to never lose hope…enjoy every moment
Do you now regularly schedule a check up with your doctor? What are your prevention recommendation(s)?
I go to the doctor and live a very healthy lifestyle. I mix eastern and a western philosophy. I do a lot of homeopathic.
Another major life crisis was your highly publicized divorce to your ex-husband Charlie Sheen, which was dubbed one of the nastiest Hollywood divorces. While during that time you were on many occasions rather outspoken about your then feelings toward Sheen, in your book you barely touched upon the details of the divorce. What was the motive behind such an obviously deliberate choice?
I felt the details weren’t important, but the feelings. During my divorce I wasn’t vocal I tried to keep it private. Unfortunately I couldn’t control court documents that became public. For my book I wanted to be respectful of our marriage and keep it about the feelings I felt that many do during divorce. Guilt, sadness, anger…that’s what I focused on.
Speaking about Charlie Sheen, you consistently remain neutral when expressing your opinion about him and if anything take a very respectful and loving stand in your writing. Is it because he is the father of your two beautiful daughters; or because you empathize with his struggle with addiction; or both?
I feel that there are certain things that aren’t my place to talk about. At the end of the day he is my daughters dad and I want what’s best for them.
There is a very poignant part in the book where you educate your little girls about the disease of addiction using a child-friendly book on the topic. Why did you feel the need to explain to your daughters what their father is going through?
The behavior he displayed in the media I didn’t discuss with the girls. I shelter them as much as I can. I had a conversation about addiction earlier than I thought because it was time to do that. I felt I kept it age appropriate.
Do you feel that no “adult” topics are off-limit for kids considering we live in a world where pretty much everything is publicized, and even more so when dealing with celebrities?
I think many adult topics should be for adults. I want the kids to be kids
Staying on the subject of education, you have a very unique relationship with your daughters showing throughout your book that you skillfully know how to juggle between friendship, motherly love and authority. What ‘s the key to successful parenting in your opinion? Is your approach to education a mother instinct or is it something you learned?
I think it’s instinct and my mom was an amazing role model. Kids needs are simple, I feel they need love and feeling secure. I am a very hands on mom, I’m raising my kids. I love them more than anything.
Congratulation on the recent adoption of your little girl. Why did you decide to add a third member to your family by ways of adoption and why another girl?
I wanted more children and decided to do it on my own. I didn’t specify girl while going through the adoption process. I was so happy that the girls got a baby sister!
In the book you illustrate several times how your parents (particularly your mother) taught you early on to be tolerant and accepting of others’ differences. Do you think it is important as a celebrity to give back and get involved in charity and humanitarian endeavors?
I think its important for everyone to give back on some level. Even if its time, you can lend. As a celebrity its great to use being in the public eye to raise awareness.
Focusing on your personal life, one rather disturbing anecdote you provide in the book is about the controversial issue of weight gain – when you went from a size 0 to a size 4 and had to face negative comments/criticisms from both the media and your Hollywood entourage. What do you make of it? Do you think we’re still far from overcoming this obsession (for women) with weight and being skinny?
All we have to do is look on covers of magazines. Women are very skinny on them many photoshopped that way too.
What advice would you give your own daughters and other girls/women to embrace who they are and not poison their lives with unhealthy obsession about their weight considering that the majority of magazines, films and TV shows feed us all with images of skinny models/actresses, hence propagating the notion that skinny is perfection?
I feel like hypocrite sometimes teaching my daughters to embrace their body and it what’s on the inside that counts. Often they see me getting my hair and make up done, someone dressing me. I feel it sends a mixed message. I really try to get them to understand that its work.
You keep referring to the fact that you feel physically and mentally better now at forty than you felt in your twenties. What makes it better at forty? What’s your “beauty” secret?
My beauty secret is confidence! I think it’s a very attractive quality.
What would you say was the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in your life so far?
Life is short. Live in the moment.
For more information visit: www.DeniseRichards.com
Denise Richards’ book is available for purchase on www.Amazon.com
Follow Denise on Twitter: @Denise_Richards