See, I really love that stuff. I love reading about it and researching and watching the shows. And then I just get obsessed with it and it makes me upset.
Do you like to write fiction at all?
Kind of. I’ve been writing. I’ve wrote a lot when I was younger—like two years ago—but I haven’t been writing at all lately because of school and technology. I wrote an article last summer about how my addicton to Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook has affected how much I write.
Yeah, I remember that.
It’s awful. I feel like the second I finish my homework, I go on my phone for like an hour and then I go to sleep. And I don’t have…I don’t make any time to write or do any of the things that I want to.
See, I feel the exact opposite in that I was tweeting for a while, and then I kind of took a break, and I’ve been trying to get back into it. And I can’t quite do it. I have this album coming out, and my books coming out in paperback, so [tweeting] would be a good thing to do. I don’t feel comfortable having [other] people tweet on my behalf, because I feel like I have a specific voice. But people can be really vicious on Twitter. I think they’re less so with me than with a lot of other people, but it’s hard not to take it personally. I mean, I can read one nice thing after another, and then one person will say something—
And you only remember the one bad one!
Yeah. It reminds me of being younger and being attracted to the one guy in the room who wasn’t looking at me. Eventually you grow out of those behaviors, but Twitter brings me right back to that. Why should I care about what this loser—who probably has, whatever, 12 followers anyway—thinks, you know? You do that too?
I read them all. I’m on Twitter all day long. I’ve gotten a little bit better just because I feel like it’s messing up my brain for real and I can’t focus much on anything else. It’s so bad. Like when Harry Styles tweeted me, a certain breed of One Direction fans attacked me. I got around 2,000 tweets and I’d say 60% of them were awful.
Yeah, like cyberbullying. I can’t even believe that people do stuff like that.
What advice do your parents give you about that? Just get off [the internet], and don’t look at comments?
Sometimes people say bad things about their work too, so they do a good job of talking to me about it. They [say] you just have to choose not to focus on that.
It’s so hard, though. We won’t let our daughter post her face on YouTube, but she kind of got around that by making these little claymation things and posting those. So I said to [my husband], “We have to disable the comments.” I just don’t want people to say mean things [to her]. So far nobody’s said anything [mean], but as a parent you just don’t want that to happen. And that’s why I don’t want my kids to be involved in show business until they graduate college.
Do you feel like [show business] messed you up as a kid? You seem to have gotten through it really well.
I was incredibly lucky and fortunate and had a tremendous amount of success at a young age, so during those years, it was fine, you know, because I was successful. But then going into my 20s, when I sort of had to grow up, it was really hard. When you’re in your 20s you’re actually not that much more grown up than you are when you’re in your teen years, but everyone kind of expects you to be in this different place. And once you’ve become really famous or successful, there’s always a backlash. It’s part of human nature: we want to build people up and then tear them down. If I were considering an acting career now, with the way technology is, I don’t know if I would have made [the same] decision. I don’t know if I could have dealt with it.
Because of things like Twitter and people being mean?
And TMZ and all that. The kids who are really famous now have to deal with so much more invasion of privacy, and if you don’t have a strong family background—if you don’t have parents that are intelligent and good and not into exploiting their kids—you don’t have a chance. But even though I have truly great parents, I don’t think I could deal with that. I think I was really lucky that I got through it all. You know, statistically, if you look at most of the kids that are acting, most of them don’t grow into healthy, well-formed human beings. I have very mixed feelings about it all. Whenever Mathilda says to me, “Why can’t I do it?” and I give her all my reasons, she says, “Well, you did it. Do you think you’re more special than me? Do you think that you’re smarter than me?” You know, no, no, I don’t—it’s just that I was lucky. And I think it’s more unsafe now. You’re required to give so much more of yourself than you were back then. When I started, you were able to have a private life and a public life. Now you’re expected to be on display all of the time, and if you’re not they get angry. Like that whole thing with the Twilight girl—Kristen Stewart. Granted, she made a mistake. I’m sure if she had it to do over again, she probably would have made a different choice. But who hasn’t made mistakes? And she was, like, crucified for it.
And she’s so young.
She’s a baby. She has her whole life ahead of her. When I think of the mistakes I made when I was that age, if they were on display for everyone to see, it would have been mortifying.