All of my friends are animal people. To me, cats are people, too. Animals are people, too. I travel a lot and when I go overseas, it's really hard on me because the animals are treated much differently, especially in developing countries.
Before I was going to be an actress, I was going to be a veterinarian! I thought I was one as a child. I was the kid who was like, 'Daddy! I want a kitty! It needs a mommy!' And my dad was such a sucker. Every time I would beg, with tears flying down my face, about how this animal needs love, needs a home. He would cave.
A good two years after Hurricane Katrina I remember feeling so devastated and so ignorant that there was so much damage still left. I felt like here I was an American and this is an American city and the government hasn't done enough and people haven't given back enough. Everyone forgot and the city was lying in waste.
When I first moved to L.A., I didn't have a lot of money to join a gym or take classes, so I improvised. My sister and I went to the library and looked over their DVD collection and discovered Neena and Veena, these Egyptian twins who have a whole series of belly dancing routines. We did them all.
I grew up with not a lot of money and I definitely shopped at Goodwill. But even in my most unfortunate state, I was really blessed compared to a lot of the rest of the world. I had a really great chance to follow my dreams and have them actually come true.
But if an actress asks me my opinion, I would tell her there are a million different designers who make faux fur. If you like that look, wear faux fur. If you're doing it on the red carpet, you're doing it for how it looks. Faux fur and real fur look the same on camera.