Movie star Amanda Peet: “We’re all insecure”

Amanda Peet sat with LSY! teen reporter Bryanna Gwitt to talk about life as a Hollywood star and the opportunity to give back.(Photo by Tim O'Shei)

Amanda Peet sat with LSY! teen reporter Bryanna Gwitt to talk about life as a Hollywood star and the opportunity to give back.
(Photo by Tim O’Shei)

What’s our favorite kind of celebrity? Anyone who uses the spotlight to make a difference.

Actress Amanda Peet is one of those celebs. We met the star of movies including Gulliver’s Travels and 2012 in New York City, where she was visiting kids in an elementary school to help the American Red Cross promote its Measles Initiative, a program designed to help children in faraway countries get vaccinated against the deadly disease.

“Measles still exists,” she told us. “In places like Asia and Africa, children are dying every day.”

We hardly ever hear or read about it, Amanda said, pointing out that diseases like AIDS and malaria get a lot more attention.

“But we need to pay attention to this one too,” she said, “especially because it’s a really cheap intervention and it could save a lot of lives.”

Live! Starring … You! teen reporter Bryanna Gwitt talked to Amanda about her charity work and life as a Hollywood actress. Here’s an edited version of their conversation:

Do you believe celebrity status makes it easier to impact a cause?

Amanda: Sometimes, yes, when people recognize your name or know who you are, you can probably more easily call attention to an issue or a concern that you have.

What advice do you have for young people who want to make a difference?

Amanda: Get involved. It doesn’t take that much time to look into an issue or log onto the Internet and become aware of something that makes you feel passionately.

In previous interviews, you’ve talked about having a lack of confidence, even as a professional actress. How do you overcome that?

Amanda: I think you get more confident after you’ve done a little bit of work and you’re not just kind of looking at it from the outside. But it took me a long time. It’s a very intimidating business. It’s a little like high school, where there’s the popular kids and then the other kids. There’s always a feeling that you’re not at some fancy table. But it’s important to remember that there’s no ‘there’ there, if you know what I mean. Everybody is longing for what they don’t have, and it’s important to try to just enjoy it.

As you’ve become more successful, what have you had to change in your life?

Amanda: The expectation that I could have a predictable schedule, or work life, or predictable income. That’s a big deal. Trying to raise a family when you’re invited to travel all the time and work strange hours is tough. But it’s been a joy as well.

Have you changed throughout your career as an actress?

Amanda: Yes, I really hope I have. Hopefully I’m more confident now than I was in my early to mid-20s. (Note: Amanda is now 40.) I’m married to a writer, so that’s a really great asset so he can read scripts for me and tell me not to do them. I have children now. So hopefully I have a fairly good perspective on what’s important, and what’s really not important.

How do you balance work and family life?

Amanda: I don’t. I don’t know. It’s an improvisation and I fail at it all the time. I think maybe the most important thing is to allow for the fact that it’s an improvisation, and you’re sort of learning on the job. You can make a mistake and then make an adjustment.

What is something people wouldn’t know about entertainment business until they’re in it?

Amanda: When we work, we wake up really early. Does anybody know that? Like, really early. Five in the morning, 4:30 in the morning, some people even earlier.

What else? We’re all insecure …

Sometimes it looks glamorous and fun – not hard. Is it as easy as it looks?

Amanda: It might be that there are things that are harder, that you wouldn’t think are so hard. Some of it is very easy. It’s a job with a lot of perks and a lot of inflated salaries. You sometimes can get a table at a restaurant when nobody else can, and that’s great.

What did you think the first time you saw yourself onscreen?

Amanda: I thought, “Oh dear.”

How did your parents react?

Amanda: “Oh dear,” was their response. Really. “Please don’t. Please don’t do that, Amanda.”

Are their times when you wanted to try something new?

Amanda: Yes.

How did you overcome that?

Amanda: I just didn’t have any choice because I wasn’t good at anything else.

Has this whole acting experience been worth it to you?

Amanda: Yes. I’m having a great time — most of the time!


  1. What a great post and a special celeb!! Loved your article. I think Amanda shares a lot of simple wisdom regarding reaching goals and I love comment on confidence. I read a quote that woke me up one day (on that note) which said ‘The definition you’ve placed on yourself – or have allowed others to place on you – is precisely why you have what you have, do what you do, are what you are and act how you act.’ ( Our word is our reality. I think we evolve only as our definition of our self does!! Go Amanda! You’re a doll 🙂

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