Beckinsale at the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con International
|Born||Kathrin Romary Beckinsale
26 July 1973 
Chiswick, London, England
|Alma mater||New College, Oxford|
|Spouse(s)||Len Wiseman (m. 2004; div. 2016)|
|Partner(s)||Michael Sheen (1995â€“2003)|
|Relatives||Samantha Beckinsale (half-sister)|
Obviously I've had great experiences with people I've worked with on films – I've married half of them! I should come with a warning sign that says, 'Don't worry, I'm not going to try to marry you. I'm done.'
At Oxford University, I studied languages so I could read the great novels as they were originally written. I took what in the United States would be a double major in Russian and French, but I have to admit that the pressure of getting through so many books spoiled reading for me.
When I first started working, I was very aware of the fact that I'd been to university and studied Russian and French and not acting. So when I started working, I'd started working quite young, I felt like it was important to treat myself kind of like an apprentice and do as many different types of things as I could.
I'm attracted to playing things that I find difficult, just because it's a journey that is much more interesting.
There's such a pressure on women that we put on ourselves and everyone else puts on us to look unrealistic and everything, but you just can't compare yourself to people in magazines.
Someone once said that you can make the choice between getting old and getting creepy, and I think getting old is the way to go.
The secret to everything for me is doing yoga every day. It does do nice things for your body, but it also kind of calms you down and chills you out. Other than that, I don't really drink alcohol and I always take my makeup off at night!
Were I not married to the director, I'm not sure I'd know anything about the 'Underworld' sequel.
As a mother, you feel much more vulnerable. And when you're vulnerable, you're a much better actress.
Apparently, I get facials and manicures all the time. I read this and think, 'Oh, I wish I did that!' I don't think I've had a facial since I was 19.
I always felt that anorexia was the form of breakdown most readily available to adolescent girls.
I can't tell you how many times I've gone to present at the Golden Globes, come home, whipped the dress off and read to my daughter wearing gazillion-dollar earrings. That's how it goes in my house, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
I grew up as an only child and my mother was also an only child, so we were both very passionate about reading. I think I passed that on to my daughter, who went plowing through 'Harry Potter' and every other book possible!
When I was pregnant, I had the romantic idea that after the baby was born I would not only take up reading in earnest again, but also write a novel while my daughter slept in her Moses basket. Of course, I barely had time to keep up with my magazines until she started sleeping properly.
If someone had told me years ago that sharing a sense of humour was so vital to partnerships, I could have avoided a lot of sex!
I didn't go looking to marry an American, it just kinda happened like that.
I think what's dangerous about being an actor who does action movies is you think, 'Well, I can totally handle myself now.' But if my opponent didn't know the other half of the routine, I don't know how well I'd do.
I'm glad I've never been so successful that I couldn't stop doing one thing. I've kind of been able to just kick it along and switch around.
It's a very difficult thing losing a parent, but I think there's an added complication for me, because he was so well-loved and he had this very open charm that made people feel they had a personal relationship with him.
I feel like I've done a bunch of period stuff and then a bunch of romantic comedies.
What's considered ideal in Hollywood is completely different than anywhere else in the world. I don't think you can aspire to it, nor can I. Everybody is retouched, stretched, lengthened, slimmed and trimmed. I could look at a picture of myself from the past and think, 'Why don't I look like that now?' It's because I never have!
No one really knows who I am or where I came from in America, and there's something quite nice about that.
I would say probably my least favorite costume ever was in 'Van Helsing.' That was a huge pain because it had thigh-high boots with 30 buckles on them that had to be done up individually.
Job-wise, I did have a moment of panic that I should have been a doctor a few years ago, but I hate when people vomit.
I try and take lots of vitamins and I don't drink. I do smoke, though, I'd be insufferable if I didn't smoke, you'd have to push me off a balcony I'd be so boring.
I don't have a big career plan. I just like to see how things come out, and I just try to keep going in different directions.
I don't tend to do much with my lips. My lips are naturally very pink, so if I add any more colour, it looks like I've been smacked in the mouth!
Everybody likes the underdog, because everybody feels like the underdog. No matter how successful you are, you always think, 'No one's being nice enough to me!'
With every project you do, you bring out a part of yourself, and it seems to be quite a good way of expanding a person.
If I get a script that's set in the jungle it goes to the bottom of the pile because I don't think the playgrounds are going to be very good there! I'm really aware of how lucky I am but I have the kind of job where I can bring my child to work.
I find a lot of things kind of funny and I often say what's on my mind, and then get nine texts from all my friends going, 'What's the matter with you?' But I haven't ever made a big attempt to have any particular image. And I don't really worry about it. If it's funny, I don't care.
I feel like I flunked at adolescence really badly. I found it really difficult.
I think I like playing the bad girl. I like complicated. I like flawed, messed up complicated. It's more interesting.
Books have always helped me make sense of things. With any life experience, you can find someone who has documented it in a poetic way.
No one is more enslaved than a slave who doesn't think they're enslaved.
I would quite like to play a big concert as Freddie Mercury. I can't sing that great and I haven't yet found a use for the over large size of my teeth. I quite fancy a mustache like that and he was such a great showman.
Apparently, I'm very good at firing a gun without blinking, which is unusual. That's why so many action characters have to wear sunglasses during shoot-out scenes. That's my party trick.
I don't really watch all that much television, I have to say, because I'm so intimidated by how many channels there are. I really cannot find my way back to anything. But I'm compulsively addicted to '24.' I love that show.
This is what's sick about living in L.A. My eight-year-old daughter will point to a woman and say, 'Look! That woman's had too much Botox.' She spots them because they all look a bit like Lord Voldemort from 'Harry Potter.'
I think that dwelling on other people's perception of you is the road to complete madness, unfortunately. I try and resist that.
I have more pet peeves than anybody: people talking in the movie theater, people eating in the movie theater loudly, people being rude, people making noise when you're supposed to be asleep, like drilling noises outside. I could be here all day.
I love my fan base because they never high-five me; they always get really shifty and hide. Adam Sandler's fan base are like, 'Hey!' and high-five him and want to hang out, but mine go behind pillars and get really freaked out.
I was a very difficult child, and the time I spent reading was about the only peace I gave my mother.
I dropped out of Oxford, and now I only speak Russian with the woman who gives me a bikini-wax. See what Hollywood does to you?
If I ever have sex with someone I might be able to develop a sense of humor.
Given that I can't sing like Freddie Mercury, obviously I'm not going to pursue it as a career. What would be the point?