7 Actresses Who Don’t Drink Alcohol

December 18, 2017

With all the parties, after-parties, and overall drinking culture of Hollywood, it looks like just about all the talent around town routinely–and even glamorously–sips cocktails. But as we all know, appearances can be deceiving. Here are seven actresses who choose to pass on booze, and they share some insights as to why they refrain from imbibing.

Natalie Portman

Academy Award-winning actress Natalie Portman decided early in her adult life to avoid drugs and alcohol. “Yeah, well I mean obviously most of what we know about child actors is, you know, the rehab ‘E! True Hollywood Story’ later on,” the Black Swan actress said. However, Portman did her share of experimenting during her college years. As she once told Marie Claire U.K., “I was in that lucky window: there was no Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. I went out and got drunk with my friends, and no one knew.”

Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson has never experimented with drugs or alcohol. Indeed, she’s never even felt tempted to start due to the fact that she saw too many lives destroyed by drugs and alcohol while growing up in Chicago. She went on to be a finalist in the third season of American Idol and received worldwide acclaim with her film debut in Dreamgirls for which she won an Oscar and a Golden Globe.

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez is regarded as the most influential Hispanic performer in the United States as well as a global icon. Known for her ageless beauty, the 48-year-old megastar refrains from imbibing saying, “I think it ruins your skin.” But she says the only time she decides to take “just a sip” is when she’s pressured to partake in celebratory toasts with alcohol. But J.Lo omits more than just booze from her life; she also refrains from smoking and drinking caffeine.

Gillian Jacobs

Although she’s portrayed characters who do plenty of drinking and who are burdened with hangovers, Gillian Jacobs insists she’s never had a drink in all her life. The Community and Girls actress says, “I have to sort of poll people around me as to what it’s like to have a hangover. And I draw everyone in: crew, cast members. I’m like, ‘Okay, sensitivity to light–got it, okay. Slight nausea–okay, got it.’ And then when all else fails, I spin around in a circle right before a take.”

Blake Lively

Gossip Girl’s Blake Lively has also starred in films like The Town and The Shallows. The actress decided not to drink in her personal life even though she has portrayed characters who go wild with alcohol. In real life, Lively is a mom of two kids, and she chooses to be a foodie instead. She shared with Allure magazine, “I don’t drink. I’ve never tried a drug. It’s just something that I genuinely don’t have a desire for.”


Although she turned 21 this past September and so is only recently old enough to consume alcohol, Zendaya is added to this list because she has stated she has no intention of starting to drink. She posted on her milestone birthday, “Today I turn 21! Holla!!! But just because I’m now the legal drinking age, doesn’t mean I’m going to start throwing ‘em back. I don’t plan to start drinking. My life is too stressful to need help with relaxing by having a cocktail. This industry is way too nuts for me to not be in control of myself and my decisions, so I just don’t want to introduce drinking! Plus, I don’t want drinking to become a vice. Why try something if you don’t need it?!” Zendaya stars in the Disney Channel sitcoms Shake It Up and on K.C. Undercover. Her film breakthrough was just this year in Spider Man: Homecoming, and she portrays Anne Wheeler in The Greatest Showman in theaters now.

Kristin Davis

The Sex and the City star’s on-screen alter-ego Charlotte doesn’t hesitate to enjoy drinks with her gal pals, but in her personal life Davis is very cautious when it comes to alcohol. She once told The Week, “Every once in a while, I’ll be with friends, and they’ll be drinking red wine, and I’ll think in a really innocent way, ‘Oh wow, that’s such a wonderful glass of red wine. Wouldn’t it be fun to drink it?’ Maybe it would be fine, but it’s really not worth the risk.” After all, Davis describes herself as a “recovering alcoholic.” She started drinking as a teenager hoping to drown out her insecurities. However, while pursuing a career as an actress, she found alcohol to be detrimental to her goals. Auditioning while being hungover became a problem especially when she failed to land roles. Rehab turned out to be just what she–and her career–needed to thrive.

‘Knight of Cards’ Seeks Discoveries through ‘Torpedoing’

March 5, 2015

Terrence Malick’s impressionistic drama Knight of Cups made its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in February starring Christian Bale. The elusive Malick, who refuses to be interviewed, is a highly regarded American film director known for his unconventional approach to filmmaking over the course of four decades. And Knight of Cups is no exception to his unorthodox approach.

“He didn’t tell us what [the film] was about,” Bale shared at a Belinale 2015 press conference. “He just gave me the character description. We worked on the character a great deal, worked on his backstory.” Indeed Christian asserted that there was no script to refer to during the production. “I never had any lines to learn, but I’d see other people , and they’d have pages.” Every day on set was a new experience for Bale because he never knew what kind of situation his character would be placed in next.

Christian Bale plays the role of a Los Angeles scriptwriter named Rick with the personality traits of the Knight of Cups tarot card. That is, he is addicted to success, artistic, inventive, refined, and represents change; he likewise is constantly bored, reckless, and unreliable. Rick plunges into a life of decadence amidst a landscape of glitzy Hollywood hedonism.

The director would “torpedo” or send a variety of unannounced actors as well as real people at the performing cast member in hopes of capturing a fresh and genuine response.

Other top-billed actors include Antonio Banderas, Cate Blanchett, and Natalie Portman. Banderas told Collider he wasn’t sure if he played himself or his character. He described the shoot like this:

“I arrived to the set and basically what [Malick] said to me, ‘Antonio, we didn’t send you a script because we don’t have a script and so this monologue that I gave you,’ which literally didn’t make sense whatsoever, ‘I’m gonna shoot it in nine different locations and I’m gonna just improvise with you, and I’m gonna send you something that I call torpedoes.’ And these torpedoes, they were people that came in the middle of the monologue and started improvising with me. He sent me a beautiful woman, he sent me an ole lady, he sent me a bunch of three guys that are rappers. I ended up in a pool with three ladies with my tuxedo.”

Natalie Portman plays the part of one of Rick’s love interests. Working with Malick just before she was to start production on her directorial debut in A Tale of Love and Darkness, she expressed gratitude for the lessons she learned while performing her brief role. “[Malick] actually reminded me that the rules of filmmaking are not necessary; the way we do things, the rituals that we have aren’t necessary.” Portman said, for example, “If it starts raining, then you shoot in the rain, you don’t change the schedule to shoot something different, which you would normally do in film.” She learned to go with the flow on set, saying, “Allow the mistakes, and welcome the problems.”

Does this idea of torpedoing interest you? How do you do when there is no script to refer to, and all your scenes are improvised? While this technique in not new in comedy, it is a unique take on a dramatic film. And what are the most innovative, unconventional, or experimental projects you’ve worked on as an actor? Was it liberating or unnerving? Please share!

Life Lessons from a Morgue

October 21, 2011

Six months ago, Lindsay Lohan was given community service in a morgue with duties including mopping floors, stocking restrooms, and washing sheets. She was apparently spared cleaning actual crypts where the bodies are stored. If the reality of a fading career was not evident to Lohan at such a lowly point, will her returning for 16 more hours of service at the same morgue have a real impact on her psyche? Lindsay was once a child star with all the possibilities in the world ahead of her, when she’s now struggling to get work in a very tough business. Robert Downey Jr. and Winona Ryder have managed to come back after problems with the law, but in order to do so, they made a deliberate choice to regain focus, energy, and professionalism. And a tried and tested rehabilitation process includes comic appearances in lighthearted films, sitcoms, or satirical shows like Saturday Night Live. Getting back into the public’s favor is doable when you show you have a sense of humor and are in control of your life again.

Speaking of taking control of one’s life, let’s look at another child star, Natalie Portman. Portman burst on the scene at the ripe old age of 12 with a heartfelt and nuanced performance in The Professional. She’s since starred in over 30 films and recently won the Oscar for her blistering performance in Black Swan. Natalie attributes her success to “wanting to be a positive role model.”

Let’s face it, not just anyone has the talent of Natalie Portman, but there are clearly lessons to be learned from such a serious and focused professional; something Lindsay would be wise to open herself to. We’re given only so many opportunities in this life and in this business; here’s to making the most of every opportunity out there—starting with learning life lessons from a morgue. And here’s to Lindsay getting back to work!