Rita Wilson: ‘I was in a play, and on opening night my agent told me she was no longer going to represent me’
Born in California, Rita Wilson, 66, starred in The Brady Bunch TV show at 15. She went on to have roles in Frasier, The Good Wife, Sleepless in Seattle and Runaway Bride. She produced the films My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Mamma Mia! and, most recently, A Man Called Otto, which stars her husband, Tom Hanks, and son Truman. Til You’re Home, which she co-wrote and performed for the soundtrack, was shortlisted for the Academy Award for best original song. The film is available to buy on digital and, from 3 April, to rent on digital and DVD. Wilson lives in California.
What is your greatest fear?
Losing my memory. My mom had Alzheimer’s disease, and I never ever want to have that decline.
Which living person do you most admire and why?
I really admire Bonnie Raitt. She is a singer songwriter who has been doing what she has been doing for so many years and she recently won the song of the year Grammy for Just Like That. I loved the validation that creativity never stops, you can keep doing the things that you love.
What was your most embarrassing moment?
I was doing a photoshoot right after an awards show and I was talking about someone whose makeup I really didn’t like. I said: “She’s gorgeous, I don’t understand how a makeup artist could encourage that?” And the makeup artist on the photoshoot said: “I did her makeup.”
What is your most treasured possession?
My photo albums.
Who would play you in the film of your life?
Describe yourself in three words
Joyful, compassionate, private.
What makes you unhappy?
When people I love are not happy.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
What is the worst thing anyone’s said to you?
I was opening in a play in my 20s, and my agent came on opening night, brought flowers, took me out to dinner and then told me she was no longer going to be representing me.
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
What does love feel like?
Like waves of warm water rippling on to the shores of your heart.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
That’s amazing. No way.
What is the worst job you’ve done?
I was a ticket taker at the Universal Amphitheatre, an outdoor music venue. I saw everybody – Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt, Neil Young, the Eagles, Elton. But, after that, we had to clean the women’s restrooms and that was horrible. There was a lot of drinking, a lot of vomiting, a lot of very messy bathrooms.
What is the closest you’ve come to death?
Having breast cancer.
What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
What keeps you awake at night?
Anything and everything.
How would you like to be remembered?
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
That you’re stronger than you think you are.
What happens when we die?
There’s a beautiful place called heaven – I’m heading there. I’d like to have a nine in front of my age before I go, though!