How Healthy Living Keeps Kelly Preston Happy

Michael Williams
Something inside Kelly Preston's handbag is squeaking. "Oh my god! Listen to my purse!" the actress says with a laugh. Kelly—who's in the backseat of a car en route to her home in Brentwood, California, after our cover shoot—fishes around and pulls out the culprit: an eco-friendly teething toy belonging to her infant son, Benjamin. "It's Ben's toy!"

Sure, the 48-year-old has appeared in more than 40 movies (including the upcoming film about the Gottis, in which she'll play Victoria Gotti alongside her husband, John Travolta, and their 11-year-old daughter, Ella). And yes, she is married to an international icon. But as the contents of her bag suggest, Kelly is more eco-savvy mom next door than holier-than-thou movie star. "I love being a mom," she says. "I'd keep having babies."

Back at the Travolta residence, Kelly gets comfortable on the sofa in the living room. Everywhere you look, there are framed photos of Kelly and John's friends and family—including baby Ben, Ella, and their beloved son Jett, whom they lost to a seizure two and a half years ago at age 16. Kelly first became concerned about the danger of chemicals in children's lives after Jett was diagnosed with autism and developed seizures. ("I'd be on the computer at 3 a.m. researching things that can trigger seizures, like MSG, food dyes, additives, and preservatives.") But instead of just detoxing her own home, this Yes You Can! winner dedicated herself to speaking out about the danger of toxins and pesticides on behalf of children's health organizations. She also created, with her husband, the Jett Travolta Foundation ( to help children with a wide range of special needs as well as assist other charitable and educational causes.

While sipping her favorite organic drink and waiting for John and Ella to get back from a daddy-daughter outing to the Angels baseball game, Kelly talks about the joys of new motherhood and how healthy living helps her stay happy.

Q: Do you remember the moment you decided to have another child?
A: We had been trying for quite a few years, and then of course there was a time when we weren't, and then we started trying again. When I found out I was pregnant, I was floored. I'd snuck out of bed and then came back and woke Johnny up in bed. We both started crying. It was wonderful.

Q: Did you have any reservations about having another baby?
A: I didn't have any doubts. I love being pregnant. I love the closeness I feel when I'm carrying them. I love feeling them move inside me. My heart breaks for people who aren't able to have kids. But I feel like there's really hope for anyone.

Q: How would you describe yourself as a mom?
A: Very hands-on. I absolutely adore my kids. Johnny and I love them up constantly. Ella's like, "Mom, ugh! Thank god you had Ben because now he can take some of the kisses!" And Johnny sings to them—a lot of Tony Bennett and Barbra Streisand.

Q: Do you appreciate mother-hood now more than ever, considering everything you've been through?
A: Absolutely. I've always wanted to be a mother, ever since I was 11. I was an expert babysitter. I was doing commercials for thousands of dollars, but I'd still babysit for $3 an hour just because I loved it. I'm just in a good place, and am able to really be with my kids. It's pretty amazing having a child at this age.

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Alison Prato
Last Updated: July 28, 2011

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