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“You can make your own luck, even when life throws roadblocks in your way”

Actress Blake Lively talks about being a shy teenager, how she built her confidence through acting, and her new film, The Rhythm Section, in which she plays an ex-heroin addict

On the surface, Blake Lively has it all. Happily married to Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds and mother of James, four, and Inez, two, she enjoys the kind of life that comes with being a talented and successful actress. But, growing up in California in a family of entertainers, Lively was a tall, gangly and awkward teenager whose insecurities were a constant source of anguish for her.

‘I was pretty shy growing up,’ Lively admits. ‘I had problems with some of the other girls in high school and, because I was tall, I felt insecure about standing out in a crowd when I really just wanted to disappear and be alone. I was kind of withdrawn and I spent a lot of time by myself, lost in my own thoughts.’

But it was acting that built her confidence. ‘It wasn’t until I began taking acting classes that I was able to overcome my shyness in social situations. When I was 15 or 16, I started becoming much more outgoing and enthusiastic with people; I had spent so much time being this strange introvert but, deep down, I was longing to have fun and be expressive.’

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