Fame has altered English actress Elizabeth Hurley’s life in a big way. She says she prefers to stay at home a lot more to avoid “being stared at and bothered in public”.
Her personal life has seen her through many ups and downs.
She dated actor Hugh Grant, married Indian businessman Arun Nayar, and after her split from him, had a relationship with cricketer Shane Warne. She has raised her son from Steve Bing as a single mother while making a career in showbiz — and her broken relationships have grabbed headlines.
Now living life in the public eye seems to have taken a toll on her.
“You get accustomed to being in the public eye; I’ve learnt ways of coping. It’s certainly changed the way I live my life on an everyday basis. No human being enjoys being a prey, and I never get used to being followed and chased,” Hurley told IANS in an email interview.
“We all like to have private time, and I now stay at home a lot to avoid being stared at and bothered in public. However, when you’re well known, you can use fame for good causes and finding a cure for breast cancer is the cause closest to my heart,” she added.
Hurley walked into the world of glamour as a model, but caught everyone’s eye when she started dating Grant, especially her appearance with him at a film premiere in a Versace safety-pin dress.
Starting with her stint in “Aria” back in 1987, Hurley has featured in “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery”, “Bedazzled”, “Bad Boy” and “Gossip Girl”. Currently, she is enjoying all the appreciation coming her way for her portrayal as Queen Helena in “The Royals”, which airs in India on Colors Infinity.
The fourth season of the show premiered in the US on March 11, and will soon find its way on the Indian small screen as well.
She has built an impressive career. But she says finding a balance between the personal and the professional is not easy.
“I get very tired. Having a great circle of family and friends has been my salvation. My mother and sister helped me raise my son Damian and were always there for him if I had to travel for work.
“My biggest treat is leaving London and escaping to my country house, where I can spend time with my son and just do easy things, like walking the dogs, gardening and cooking,” she added.
Hurley’s son is following in her footsteps, and has already made his debut with a small role in “The Royals”, which is based on the lives of a fictional British royal family.
The 52-year-old loves the “ambitious” streak in her teenaged son.
“I’ve really enjoyed working with him on the last two seasons of ‘The Royals’. My advice to him was ‘learn your lines and don’t be annoying’, both of which he managed with aplomb.”
At the moment, Hurley is busy with the show.
“I love my character, Queen Helena, and I get a kick from acting out all the insane things she gets up to. I wish my life was half as salacious,” she said.
The show was in the news last year when its creator and showrunner Mark Schwahn was fired from the series after colleagues accused him of sexual harassment. So, the show’s future — a green light for a fifth season — remains uncertain.