The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 18, 1997 · Page 62
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 62

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Salina, Kansas
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Sunday, May 18, 1997
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Page 62
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Straight Talk By Jeffrey Zaslow Rene Russo Other people can't make you happy, says the beautiful actress. So "nurture yourself. Like yourself." S OMETIMES, WHEN SHE looks at her 3-year-old daughter, Rose, actress Rene Russo's eyes well up and her heart aches. "I know where Rose is, emotionally, at 3. She's so vulnerable, so in love with her daddy." Russo, who is married to screenwriter Dan Gilroy, can't help but see herself in her only child. When she was Rose's age, her father left home forever. "I was madly in love with him, and he deserted us." Russo, 43, is the former supermodel who now stars in blockbusters like Ransom, Tin dtp and Get Shorty. Later this month she has her first solo starring role, in Buddy, a family movie. But behind all that glamour and success is a woman still recovering from a painful childhood. She saw her dad, who died last year, "maybe twice" after he left home. A few times he'd call, promise to take her to Disneyland, and not show up. Diagnosed with sco- liosis at age 10, she wore a body cast 48 weeks a year until she was 14. "Every six months, I got a two-week break." Feeling alone and alienated, Russo dropped out of high school and floundered through her teen years. In therapy, Russo learned that our view of ourselves can be a reflection of how our parents defined us or related to us. Partly as a result of being abandoned, she says, until a year or so ago "I didn't have low self-esteem — I had no self-esteem." In Hollywood she's admired for her lack of vanity, given her beauty. Well, there's a reason, Russo says. "I'm fighting to like myself, not fighting to keep my ego in check." In a photo of herself at 17, "I have this tough look on my face, like I thought I was the coolest chick. You know what? It was a cover." Now when she sees that picture, "I want to give myself a big hug." If you have pain from your past, find ways to embrace the child you were, Russo says. "Nurture yourself. Like yourself." The message of her life: "It's about hope. I want readers to say, 'You can have a hard time as a kid and still make it.' 1 am an example. I came through." ea : Mel Gibson (Hansom, Lethal Weapon 3), Kevin Costner (Tin Cup), Dustin Hoffman (Outbreak), Clint Eastwood (In the Line of Fire). MMt btyM Ot-ttm John Travolta (Get Shorty). "He's a total little boy. There's an innocence, a playfulness, a hopefulness." Ngh MhMl Plfc Director Ron Howard. While other kids teased her for wearing a body cast, "he was always lovely to me." RUSSO'S RULES • Kissing on cue: When Russo and her leading men kiss, "we're all nervous. We revert to shuffling around like teenagers. As the kiss continues, you grow up, but you enter into it like an adolescent." Her secret? "Just go for it. Dive in!" • On marriage: "People think, 'If I just had a mate, my life would be so wonderful.' Well, being single has hardships and blessings, and so does marriage. I wouldn't say one is better than the other. A lot of my girlfriends who are dying to get married, I tell them, Take this time. Learn to love yourself first. 1 " • Good news every day. "In my family, we have a good news report every night before bed. I ask my daughter what the best part of her day was, then I tell her my good news. It might be that I was in the garden and a hummingbird flew in front of me. It's a way to focus on our blessings." • Don't be a chatterbox: While filming In the Line of Fire, "I was incredibly intimidated by Clint Eastwood. He doesn't feel the need to talk. He's exactly like he is in his movies. So I felt I needed to fill up the space and babble." Lesson: "Sometimes it's better not to talk." ASK HUSbO (UK ADVICI Russo will write or call one reader who seeks advice. By May 25, write to "Straight Talk," Box 3455, Chicago, III. 60654 (fax: 312-661-0375; e-mail: talk@usaweekend.com). Zaslow is an advice columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times Features Syndicate. EDITOR, PRESIDENT * CEO: Marcia Bullard • PUBUSHEd: Chattel OabridMMi * VICE PRESIDENTS: Dave Barber, BUI Coakley, Carol Keraer-Odtfi, Beth Lawrence, Thomii Meltel Ewculive Editor: Amy Elsman Senior Editor: Dan Olmsted Senior Atsoclate Editor: Bienda Turner AMociate Editor*: Gayle Jo Carter, Carol Clurman, Patricia Edmonds, Constance Kurz, Lome Lynch, Kathleen McCleary Copy Chief: Tom Lent Copy Editor: Terry Davidson Byrne Make A Difference Day Editor: Pamela Brotvn Reporter/Heiearcher: Myron B. Pitts Reteardwr: M. Franco Salvow Editorial Autetanl: Cesar Soriano M.i.'u.ii.mii.i.fMi*.i.ff Fied Barnes, Ken Burns, Jean Carper, Roger Cossack, George Foreman, Monika Guttman, Florence Griffith Joyner, Stephanie Mansfield, Tom McNichol, Jill Nelson, Cokie Roberts, Steve Roberts, Tabitha Soren. Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, Greta Van Susteren, Jeffrey Zaslow EBB Art Director: Pamela Smith Anlrtant Art Directors Clay Auch, Abigail McConnell technology Manager: Treva Stose Office Staff: Kate Bond, Brenda Nelson ECDEI1 Director: Dierck Casselman Editorial: Vin Narayanan B3IH13BBHiHQB 535 Madison Ave,, New York, N,Y. 10022 ~~ t USA WEEKEND Amelia Stephenson Advertising: Casey Shaw Itw magailna AiMrlea ravponda to 1000 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, Va. 22229-0012 RWWbltoUM 1-WO-487-24&6 ti» 1MJ, n* F 29 USA WEEKEND • May 16-18,1997

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