What an honor to be guest posting for Joan! I’ve often said that Joan’s performance in “The Last Emperor” was my inspiration for becoming a film actor; I’d like to think that my sites “The Actor’s Diet” and “Thick Dumpling Skin” influenced her starting Hungry Empress…
…it’s been almost a decade since Joan and I worked together on Saving Face. Even though we only had a few scenes together, we became a family on set – and that often meant sneaking away to the crafts services table together. Weight gain was inevitable; our director Alice has joked that she had the snacks moved further and further away from set so her cast wouldn’t mindlessly munch between takes and cause costume issues.
These days it’s important to me to be very conscious of the power food has over my mind, and my body. In the last 10 years, I’ve overcome eating disorder struggles, and make a daily effort to be kind when I talk about not only about how I look, but how others do, as well. It can be a challenge to acknowledge that what we eat can change how we feel – mentally and physically – but also learn how to enjoy/celebrate without indulging in guilt/obsessive control. To learn not to equate fat = bad, skinny = good. Health is a lot more than a number on a scale (which, by the way, I’ve thrown out since 2006). The most important thing I’ve learned – after 5 years straight of writing about food daily – is that nobody has it all figured out. Not chefs, not nutritionists, not food scientists, not even doctors. So the best diet for you, is literally trusting your own gut.