MAKEMEHEAL EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW!
Oscar-nominated actress Virginia Madsen is very open about her choices in life, including her use of Botox and Juvederm. While other Hollywood figures busy themselves with lying about getting plastic surgery, Virginia feels that there is no need to hide what she sees as just another choice she makes to express herself. Virginia is so serious about empowering women with honest information about beauty choices that she’s even teamed up with Allergan, the makers of Botox Cosmetic to educate consumers about it. In Make Me Heal‘s exclusive interview with Virginia, the 46-year old actress candidly discusses what work she’s gotten done and what she hasn’t had done — yet.
Make Me Heal: Can you please describe your daily beauty regimen?
Virginia Madsen: I don’t have such a daily routine so much as I just really take care of myself. I get enough sleep. I have a really good breakfast in the morning and take care of my skin and I guess it’s not really that complicated what I do. I do use La Mer which is the only product I use that’s really expensive. Everything else is Nivea and Neutrogena.
Make Me Heal: After giving birth, what did you do to get your body back into your pre-mommy shape?
Virginia Madsen: I never got back to pre-mommy shape. I got better. I had a really hard time of it. I didn’t really bounce back at all. My son was 5-years old and I still hadn’t lost the baby weight and I was really unhealthy. I knew that I had to make some serious changes in my life overall. So started working out. I started taking Pilates. I started going on hikes with my son. And around this time, as things began to change, a friend of mine suggested that I try Botox Cosmetic. And I was like, oh I don’t know about that. So I asked a lot of questions of my doctor and found the right dermatologist and I started doing that and as my body began to change, I started to look on the outside as I felt on the inside. And Hollywood took notice and I started working again. And with success came better jobs and a lot of attention and it was a couple years after Sideways that I said in an article that I use Botox and it was big news. And everyone wanted to know about it. And I figured, fine, no problem I’ll tell you all about it.
Make Me Heal: How did you decide to become a spokesperson for Botox?
Virginia Madsen: Allergan is the company that makes Botox Cosmetic and they had a really wonderful idea to set up a website. We did do a safety campaign where we went around the country urging people to only use Botox under the supervision of a doctor and to find the right doctor because as the word got out that I use this product, nobody had asked me who my doctor was and I felt really strongly in my personal life, before the campaign, that I had to tell people to do this safely. Don’t go to a Botox party. Don’t use a substitute. Get the facts and go to the right doctor. So when they came and had this campaign idea I said, yes, absolutely, I’m in, and that’s how that happened.
It was such an incredible experience over that year just being able to talk to so many women. And as we talked about why is everyone being so hush-hush about Botox Cosmetic. Why is it a taboo subject? Why can’t we talk about it in the open? And all kinds of women’s issues came up in these gatherings so we all wanted to continue it through the next year and the idea came up for the Freedom of Expression campaign. That we would team up with the League of Women Voters because what better way to express yourself this year than to vote? It’s been a really great, rewarding experience.
Make Me Heal: Which leads to our next question; who is your doctor?
Virginia Madsen: I see two different doctors. Dr. Rish in Beverly Hills and his partner, Sherry Feldman. I see both of them and I see them because I felt comfortable with them. I also appreciated the time they spent with me and answering every question that I had, no matter how silly it may have seemed. And they wanted to know what kind of results I wanted. It wasn’t really about what does this do if you inject it. It was, well, what do you want it to do? How do you want to look? Your treatment should be custom made, like mine.
Make Me Heal: How did you research Botox?
Virginia Madsen: I didn’t have the website then, so I first asked my regular doctor where I could find a dermatologist or certified plastic surgeon. And I tried to find whatever I could find online but it seemed to be just facts and figures and people’s experiences. But I thought it was best to go to the source. So I went to a doctor, I didn’t really feel great about him and found another one. And that’s really where I did my research, through him; through different things he had me read. So I got the real, medical facts.
Make Me Heal: So when you did have the Botox how much was injected? What areas?
Virginia: I don’t know. I just know I started very small, just where that 11 is between your eyebrows. And it was sort of stamped into my forehead and I didn’t like it, so I treated it there. And I just wanted to make sure everything still moved. And I do it twice a year and I really like my results.
Make Me Heal: So the results last about 6 months?
Virginia Madsen: Yes, although it didn’t in the beginning. It’s different for everybody; depending on your body chemistry and how you’re using it. Mine at first just lasted about 3 months, but now over the years it seems to last a lot longer.
Make Me Heal: Have you had any other dermal fillers?
Virginia Madsen: Yes, I use Juvederm.
Make Me Heal: How do you like it in comparison to Botox?
Virginia Madsen: I liked it a lot because I really didn’t like the idea of collagen. I liked that Juvederm was not an animal product and that it’s a natural sugar-based compound that we find in our bodies. And that [this compound] gets depleted as we get older, so I’m simply adding back what was already there. I’ve done it twice. The fiirst time it lasted 7 months.
Make Me Heal: On what areas do you use Juvederm?
Virginia Madsen: I use Juvederm right on what people sometimes call the “parenthesis,” around your mouth. I sort of had quotation marks. I had a little one and I just wanted to see what it [Juvederm] would do, because it’s not like I was worried about what other people thought or what a guy thought. I really did this for me. And I didn’t like the way it looked and I wanted to see if I could change that.
Make Me Heal: How long have you been using the Juvederm for?
Virginia: About a year and a half, two years ago, was the first time.
Make Me Heal: What has been the reaction of family and friends? Did anyone notice anything different about you?
Virginia Madsen: You know what? Nobody really notices it; but they know there’s something different. Most people would think I was really well rested; that I looked refreshed. And then other people thought I had gotten my hair colored — they thought I’d gone a little more blonde. And I’d laugh and say ‘oh no I just got some Botox.’ So they just notice something different because it does give you a refreshed look
Make Me Heal: Once they knew it was Botox did it inspire anyone to go and get some?
Virginia: Yes, a couple of my friends did. I was surprised to learn that there were friends of mine that had been doing it for a long time and I never even knew that they were using it [Botox]. And I was like why didn’t you tell me a long time ago? and they where like oh I don’t know. But back then, I guess they thought you had to be more secretive about it. Now we don’t really have to be [secretive] anymore.
Make Me Heal: Do you prepare for Botox in any special way?
Virginia: No. I mean there are really no side effects that I’ve been aware of. I am a little sensitive, so I on the right side of my face they use a little numbing cream there, but I haven’t really gotten any swelling or bruising.
Make Me Heal: How long does it take for the effects to start showing?
Virginia Madsen: In my case, it takes a few of days to kick in.
Make Me Heal: Do you experience any pain or discomfort?
Virginia: Well these are injectables. So you do have discomfort. I’m really wimpy when it comes to pain. I have a very low tolerance of pain of every kind and, for me, it’s not bad. And my other two girlfriends don’t use numbing cream at all, but I do because then I don’t feel it at all.
Make Me Heal: How many sessions have you had?
Virginia Madsen: I don’t know how many sessions, but I’ve been using it for about 6 years.
Make Me Heal: Have you had any other plastic surgery procedures or laser treatments?
Virginia Madsen: Yes. I had a series of photo-facials several years ago and I really liked that. I had some large freckling and brown spots from the hormonal changes that I went through after the baby and I liked that those were gone. But I haven’t done it since. I did one series of 5 and that was enough for me. And the thing about that is I’m not really there yet. I mean I can’t tell you that I won’t do a little some and some here and there. But ask me ten years from now. I’m really healthy and I do a lot of things to prevent and battle aging, and that has to do with my lifestyle more than anything else. But down the road I probably will. And I never like to criticize people who do get work done because that’s their personal choice. It’s not a choice I’m making right now — but I don’t rule it out.
Make Me Heal: After you had a baby did you consider plastic surgery more strongly?
Virginia Madsen: No. No I just knew I had to start exercising. I had to get a trainer. Because it’s not really about weight is it? It’s really about how you’re feeling inside and thinking. So me laying around watching T.V. and eating pizza was not really conducive for success. It really wasn’t doing anything to help my situation. And I had taken a fall and had a neck injury and so I was trying to recover from that and sitting around on a couch isn’t doing anything for that either. And so I had to kind of take baby steps and slowly start becoming more physically active and as I did, it kind of gets addictive. And then I would do a little bit more and then a little bit more. And the Pilates really helped to heal me and then I started spinning, I started yoga. Just doing a whole variety of things so I wouldn’t get bored and then I learned how to ski and so it’s really transformational. I became athletic and I had never really been that kind of athlete. I mean I had taken years of dance when I was much much younger, but I wasn’t a ballerina. And then all these years later in my life I was like, gosh what happened to all the strength I use to have? Because dance was all about my core and it was also about creativity. And it was also kind of a body, mind and spirit was all involve in dancing and I thought gosh what happened to that girl? So I went and found her. I found her when I was forty! But it just goes to show we can do it at any time in life. My mother is 75 and she works out and she swims and we do things together that maybe other 75-year olds don’t do. But either you use it or you lose it. And so ladies, after 30, you must deal with yourself. You have to start dealing with yourself. There’s just no way around it. And your not gonna get it from a diet. Your just not. It’s not the way to go. And everybody knows it, but we still think you know and people still try to do it, but it’s not a way to transform yourself overall.
I was 40 and I looked in the mirror and I said what kind of 60 year old do I want to be? And now I look and say what kind of 70 year old do I want to be? How do I want to be when I’m my mom’s age? Do I want to be old and sick or do I want to be strong and adventurous? That has nothing to do with being skinny. So I look at life as an adventure. And so what I’m talking about is basically choices. The choice that we make to keep ourselves active and healthy, to look out the outside the way we feel on the inside. And I think more and more women are discovering this and so I’m happy to talk about it.
Make Me Heal: Ok. And you have no immediate plans for any other procedures in the immediate future?
Virginia Madsen: Oh no. Not right now.
Make Me Heal: Is there anything you had done way back when or anything, a nose job or?
Virginia: No, although it’s funny you should mention that, because I was really encouraged to do that when I was a young actor in Chicago. The first two things I was told when I was trying to find an agent was get a nose job and lose weight. I was like, what weight do you want me to lose? And I like my nose, it makes me unique and it’s a Madsen nose. My family would be really upset if I changed it and I’m glad I didn’t. My God! I don’t want to look like every other girl.
Make Me Heal: Do you have any final words for people considering Botox?
Virginia Madsen: I think you have to find out if it’s the right choice for you. I would say if you have questions, if you’re curious, don’t ask your girlfriends necessarily; ask you doctor. Get educated, get informed, and find out if it’s the right choice for you.
For all the fans who loved seeing Virginia Madsen in Sideways, next up for her is the Sundance indie hit Diminished Capacity. Madsen stars alongside Matthew Broderick and Alan Alda in this offbeat comedy about a man (Broderick) who teams up with his high school sweetheart (Madsen) to save his uncle (Alda) from a nursing home and buy them all a second chance at freedom—and love—in the process. Madsen is also currently shooting a film about the life of legendary American pilot Amelia Earhart with Hilary Swank, Ewan McGregor, and Richard Gere.none