Has Neve Campbell taken a dip in the fountain of youth? At 37, she looks exactly the same as she did in the '90s when she played the ultrasensitive teenager Julia Salinger on Party of Five, the hit show that launched her career. Sipping green tea in a Manhattan hotel restaurant, the eco-conscious Toronto native talks to Health about the pressures of looking slim and beautiful in Hollywood, what she finds inspiring now, and her new movie, Scream 4which also happens to be one of the most anticipated films of the year.
Q: Neve, you look beautiful, and youre not even wearing any makeup!
A: Thank you. But I am wearing some!
Q: You used to be a ballet dancer. Do you still dance?
A: I dont really. With ballet, unless youre doing it all the time, its too challenging on your body. I do Cardio Barre, which uses some dance techniques.
Q: What else do you do to stay in such great shape?
A: Yoga, Pilates, and running. I mix it up so I dont get bored. I exercise at least five days a week. I love exercising. Its what my body and mind are used to.
Q: Are there any diets youve done and later regretted?
A: I did the Atkins thing about seven years ago, and it didnt make me feel good at all. And if you look at it, that much fat and meat is just wrong.
Q: How did you feel when those photos of you in a bikini came out last year?
A: What a nightmare.
Q: You looked good!
A: Thank you, thats very nice. I was on holiday with friends, on an empty beach, and I had just gotten off the plane. I was bloated and PMS-ing, and I hadnt exercised in months because my foot was injured. Some of the press was shockingly mean. There were comments like, "Shes no longer a Wild Thing." It was horrible! The annoying thing to me is that Im in great shape, and Im strong, and I take care of myself. I might have been five pounds heavier in that photo than what people expect. But Im a human being, Im on holiday, leave me alone! [Laughs.]
Q: Ever felt pressure to get thin for a role?
A: When I did Party of Five, there was a stage I went through where I gained weight. I had stopped dancing eight hours a day, and suddenly I was working 15 hours a day and sitting in a trailer. And there were mean comments in the press about my weight. Being on camera, theres definitely a standard that is expected. But Ive never been one to
starve myself. I watched too many of my dancer friends throwing up. Theyd end up really sick, or in the hospital, or not being able to have children. And I wont do that to myself. Maybe Im not a stick, but Im really healthy and happy, and I think I look good.
Q: Why do you think people are so obsessed with celebs' weights?
A: Unfortunately, we women put the pressure on ourselves. Lets look toward the environment and charity, [and] have less of a focus on our appearance. When those pictures of me in Hawaii were all over the news, I was like, Whats going on in Afghanistan, and why are we not talking about those things? Are we really going to waste time talking about my black bikini? Its ridiculous. I remember watching CNN once, and on the bottom ticker it said something like, "Beyonce no longer wants to be called Bootylicious."
Q: It was kind of awesome when Jennifer Love Hewitt, who was eviscerated for some bikini photos, came out and said, "Im not fat!"
A: Yeah. That [treatment of her] was absolutely ridiculous. She is a stunning, beautiful, voluptuous, confident, talented young woman.
Q: Do you still talk to Love, or any of your Party of Five co-stars?
A: Jennifer and I didnt stay in contact. But I talk to Lacey [Chabert] and Scott [Wolf]. Matthew [Fox] and I had been out of touch, but I ran into him at the Golden Globes, and we got back in touch.
Q: Did you watch Lost?
A: I watched a few episodes, and I kept thinking, Why is Charlie on an island?
Q: What about Jeremy London? Did you watch him on Celebrity Rehab?
A: Was he on that? Oh no! Hes such a sweetheart. I love Jeremy. Hes such a good guy. He obviously had a few issues. Im sorry to hear that.
Q: Unlike so many other young stars, how did you manage to stay on the straight and narrow?
A: To be a ballet dancer takes such discipline. I took it very seriously. You cant do drugs. Its just not an option.
Q: Your co-star Courteney Cox has said she fell in love with you filming Scream 4.
A: We fell in love with each other! [Laughs.] Shes one of the coolest women Ive ever met.
Q: What makes you happy?
A: Trying to do good in the world. Ive been working with this orphanage in South Africa called Botshabelo [botshabelo.org], which is so inspiring.
Q: Have you ever considered adopting from there or somewhere else?
A: I have, and I will at some point. Ive always wanted to do that.
Q: At 37, you seem so comfortable in your skin.
A: Im less worried [now] about what other people think. What a relief! I saw a therapist once, and one thing she said to me was, "Neve, put yourself in a state where you lose all your money, and nobody cares what youre doing. Are you OK?" And I said, "Im absolutely OK. Because I still have me."