The fact is that I like thrillers and action movies. But what really fulfills me is getting out of my comfort zone, taking chances.
When a young woman tells me that she wants to become and actor, I say, 'No, be a writer. Or go to business school and learn how to run a studio.' The only real change will come from behind the scenes.
When you grow up in that (multi-ethnic) environment, you see the world differently. Being a mixed-race child, I didn't always see colour in people, I really didn't. It was other people that made me see the colour all the time.
I want to do roles that are fun and challenging and I want to try different things. I don't want to keep doing Monster's Ball over and over and over again. I want to keep doing my career the way that I was doing it before I won the Oscar.
It's an amazing feeling to know that life is actually growing inside your body. The first time you see the ultrasound and you see the little bones and you realise that it's part of you and it's in your care is life changing and this sort of protective instinct has taken over.
Actors always have to fight for the good parts. There are so few good roles written for women each year, and when one is written like this every actress in town covets the role.
When I held that statuette, I felt as if I had won a triumph not just for myself, but for every other woman who'd struggled to overcome the same sort of background.
Sexiness is a state of mind -- a comfortable state of being. It's about loving yourself in your most unlovable moments.
My mother always said to me, 'You're going to have to work harder and have to be better, and you can't take no for an answer'.
For me, the walk of the character is always the first part that I must define for myself.
I've always liked to go down a different path. Being a woman of color, I never followed a cookie cutter way.
I'm not obsessive, like I have to have the best butt or the best abs, but I like the idea of feeling strong and healthy. It's important to feel good about myself physically.
I never even think about the physicality of roles, until honestly I get the gig and I think, 'OK, now what do I have to do in this one?' Like, I approach it thinking more about the character -- do I respond to it? Is it something I think I can play? Does it seem like it'll be fun?
I've never been afraid to be who I really am on screen.
I've also grown as an actor as I've got older in life. I've learnt how to go to work, immerse myself 100 per cent in the character and, at the end of the day, take it all off and go back, get a nice bubble bath, have a nice massage and realise that is not my life. And that feels good.