Women in Entertainment: Selma Blair on Why She Lied About Her Age

"There was a lot of pressure for me to lie about my age and say I had just turned 18 when I was actually 26," Blair tells THR. "I did a couple times, and now I’m so embarrassed."

Selma Blair emerged on the scene in the late ‘90s and made her mark in Hollywood starring in teen-focused films like 1999’s Cruel Intentions and 2001’s Legally Blonde, consistently playing roles that were significantly younger than her real-life age. Blair, now 43, says the persistent pressure to play younger onscreen also led her to adapt a more youthful persona offscreen as well.

“When I first got into this business, I had already graduated college, and I was playing a child,” said Blair during THR’s annual Women in Music breakfast, held last week (Dec. 9) in Los Angeles. “It was the teen craze, so there was a lot of pressure for me to lie about my age and say I had just turned 18 when I was actually 26. I did a couple times, and now I’m so embarrassed.

“Finally it was a grown woman, Judy Davis, who said, ‘What are you doing? You have your own stories to tell.’ I stopped immediately and became my own age, and embraced just being who I am.”

Now that she’s all grown up, both onscreen and off, Blair is keen to tackle the new, very adult challenge in her life — balancing the pressures of her career with that of raising a family.

“I’m a single mom, a regular working actress, and it’s a huge luxury and fear to take this much time off,” said Blair, who put her career on hold for four years in order to raise her son. “I wasn’t capable of doing it all.”

Watch the video above to see Blair tell her story and reveal the Hollywood A-listers who helped coax her back onto the screen.

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