As the current star in the new USA dramedy Fairly Legal, Virginia Williams shines as Lauren Reed, a tough as nails attorney, who takes over her husband’s firm when he passes, while dealing with her step-daughter of her same age. But this isn’t likely the first time you’ve seen Virginia Williams shine. Rather, the Memphis-raised southern belle began acting while still in high school, starring for 2 years on both One Life to Live and As the World Turns. Since then, she has had a recurring role on the CBS hit series How I Met Your Mother, starred in the Lifetime Original Series Monarch Cove, co-starred in a few films (including Revenge of the Bridesmaids and Honeymoon with Mom) and has appeared in over 28 television series! But not at the expense of her education. Nope. Virginia Williams not only has had a prolific acting career, but also earned a B.A. in Theatre Performance from Fordham University at Lincoln Center and studied Shakespeare at both Oxford University and the British American Drama Academy in London. Smart, talented and a Real Beauty – if that’s not a “triple threat” I don’t know what is!
We sat down with Virginia Williams and asked her to weigh in on Real Beauty…
What do you think makes someone beautiful?
Kindness. When someone is truly kind, it shines through them. My mom is, coincidentally, the kindest, most beautiful woman I’ve ever known.
How do you deal with the pressure for body perfection in our culture?
I used to obsess about my weight. I kept food journals. I counted calories. UGH! One day I just stopped caring. I thought, “I can’t do this anymore!” So, I stopped thinking about it and just started listening to my body. When I’m hungry, I eat. When I’m not hungry, I don’t. I know for a lot of people it’s not that easy, so I don’t mean to be simplistic. I just know that when I stopped telling my body how and when it should feel- I got happy.
When do you feel the most beautiful?
Honestly, after I’ve washed my face at night. I think I look a lot younger without makeup. And I guess it helps that my hubby thinks that’s when I look the prettiest. :)
Now that you are on a national TV show as a star, has that changed how you feel about your body and your self confidence level?
Hair, makeup, wardrobe, lighting- it’s all smoke and mirrors. I give them credit when I look good, and it’s their fault when I look bad. Ha! In all seriousness, I’m in a really healthy place with my body right now, so I feel good. All in moderation. I eat well- not perfectly. I exercise – not obsessively. I feel healthy and strong and I hope that translates on camera. My job is to be the best actor I can be and let everyone else do their jobs in trying to make me look good.
If you could give your younger self advice about beauty, what would it be?
Wear SPF! When I first moved to Los Angeles, my facialist told me that SPF would clog my pores and that I should just let makeup be my sun protection. What the WHAT?! Well, most days I don’t wear any makeup if I’m not working on set. I’m generally a pretty au naturale kinda gal. I’ve had 3 pre-cancerous moles removed in the last few years. I don’t walk to the mailbox without SPF on my face now.
Worried about sun damage? Read this!
What is your one, can’t-live-without-it beauty product?
Well, when I’m getting dolled up, I absolutely layer on the mascara. My lashes are long, but white blonde. I’m southern, so we’re taught to love big hair and big lashes :)
Who is your beauty role model?
Well, I said earlier how beautiful and kind my mother is. She really is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside (and trust me, she’s stunning!) She taught me how to carry myself- shoulders back, head high. She always reminded me of Grace Kelly- lovely and gracious…and don’t forget, kind!