Thandie Newton was ‘painfully shy’

Thandie Newton says becoming a mother helped her overcome her crippling self-esteem issues.

The Run Fat Boy Run actress – who has two children, seven-year-old Ripley and three-year-old Nico, with husband Oliver Parker – suffered from the eating disorder bulimia nervosa until she experienced an “epiphany” after having Ripley in 2000.

She is quoted as saying: “I spent my life feeling that what’s impressive is being good, being smart – I didn’t believe that just being me was interesting to anyone.

“My epiphany really didn’t come until I had a child. So many people thought I was a really cold person, but I was just painfully shy. But having a kid made me explore how I was going to guide another beautiful being in this world. I was released – it doesn’t happen for everyone, but it happened for me.”

Thandie also revealed she took the role in comedy Run Fat Boy Run because she wanted a break from the serious characters she portrayed in Crash and The Pursuit of Happyness.

She added: “I wasn’t as challenged as I normally am with movie roles. I found myself getting very twitchy, because I just wanted to research and delve deeper, but there was nowhere to go, so I had to sit back and watch the comedy. It was a real fat vacation!”