Victoria Smurfit: 'When times get tough, I rely on my girlfriends, a shot of Jameson and pilates'
Victoria Smurfit has revealed how she has a secret trio of joys to get her through tough times.
The Irish actress, who confirmed in February that she and husband of 15 years Doug Baxter are divorcing, said the quirky mix of girlfriends, a shot of Jameson whiskey and Pilates got her through her difficult days.
The former Ballykissangel star has been enjoying television success in the US after landing a role on ABC's Once Upon A Time as Cruella de Vil and met her new love on the set of Bait, a film which she produced. This weekend, she told the Sunday Independent that her forties have made her realise her voice and said she will no longer turn herself into a "pretzel" to accommodate anything she doesn't agree with: "My forties are a fascinating decade. I care less about what people I don't know think, it's freeing," she said.
"You see that life isn't infinite in time so I am less likely to dawdle or turn myself in to a pretzel to accommodate someone or something I don't agree with.
"I have a voice and am happy to use it. Not something I felt I could do in my 20's. I believe fully in where ever you are in your life that 'it too shall pass' whether you're at the top of your game on set, that will end, or [in] the pit of despair. You'll always climb out. The swings and roundabouts of being alive means just hanging on until the next push."
Speaking from her home in the United States, ahead of next month's Irish Film and Television Awards [IFTAs] for which she is nominated, she said: "Right now, at the top of a mountain in California, life is good. My kids are full of fun and cheekiness, they love their parents, work life is kind to me and I'm in a happy relationship. So right now my smile is wide."
And she added, "When the tough times come, as they do for everyone, I won't lie, I rely on my girlfriends, a shot of Jameson [whiskey] and Pilates."
The 41-year-old is nominated in the category of Best Actress in a Supporting Role [Drama] and says: "Being nominated for an IFTA means probably more to me as I've handed them out to deserving winners since IFTA began.
"I've always held them in my paw and wondered what it means to have one. To be recognised as good at your job. McDonald's gives out employee of the week, and corporate firms get bonuses based on their performance so to me it's the same. Recognition of hard work well done.
"I won't lie, I'd love one, particularly from my home town as growing up in a successful family I've always been asked if I got to where I am because 'you're Dad funded the project.' Ha! As if. So in those terms, yes it means more to have a doff of the hat from the country I am from [but] what I truly want is to be good.