With roles in Practical Magic, and Steven Spielberg's The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Brazilian beauty Camilla Belle made a name for herself as a promising child actress before landing the role of a lifetime, playing Oscar-winner Daniel Day-Lewis's daughter in the critically acclaimed independent movie The Ballad of Jack and Rose. Now, Camilla is headed back to the big screen in 10,000 B.C, the latest film by blockbuster-maker Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow). The rising star talks to Latina.com about eating visuada, loving Penelope, and how she plans to stay out of the tabloids now that she's about to blow up.
We're so excited to see your new movie 10,000 B.C. Tell us about what drew you to the project?
I had never seen a film like this done in modern day. And I knew I could trust [director] Ronald Emmerich to make a film that is good, and different. Also, the business has changed so much that you have to make bigger films in order to make smaller films or "passion projects." I also knew it was going to be shot in countries I've always wanted to travel to like New Zealand and Africa, that I may not have been able to travel to ever had I not done this movie. So there were many reasons why I wanted to make this movie. It's a big popcorn movie that's entertaining. It's also a simple love story caught in the midst of a chaotic, prehistoric world.
Your mother is Brazilian, but your father is American. What was it like growing up with parents from different backgrounds?
Because my mom is from Brazil and my grandmother lives there now, my household was definitely a Brazilian household with my mother as the strong Latina matriarch. We didn't do things the male way. In my house, my mom cooked all of the time. We played music. Friends were always over, and we always had fun. It made for a lively upbringing.
You played Oscar-winning actor Daniel Day Lewis's daughter in The Ballad of Jack and Rose. what did he teach you about acting, or about life?
It was a really, really special experience, because my mom has been playing me his movies since I was really young. I looked up to him as an actor. And he's not who everyone makes him out to be when you meet him. He's a laid back, really talented guy who happens to be the most talented actor of our generation! But I didn't ask him for guidance. I observe more than I ask anything. One thing he always reiterated is to value a private life, and a real life. He said to continue that. He'd tell me that when this (acting) is over, you have to go back to reality, and this is not reality. This is make believe. I feel like I have that. I understand that you can't mix the two and people tend to do that.
How did you get those fierce eyebrows? Who does them?
They're all natural! No one does them. It's kind of the way they are. My mom has similar eyebrows and so does my grandmother. I guess my advice to girls would be to grow them out! I don't know. I clean them up a little bit. I've never shaved them either, honestly it's natural!
What is your favorite Brazilian food?
That's difficult. I love even the simplest plate, like beans and rice. And I like visuada on a Saturday morning. That's amazing.
What Latina actress do you look up to or admire?
I think definitely Penelope Cruz, especially in her early work in Jamón, Jamón. I also love watching her work in Almodovar's films which are all soooo good. She's so charming and amazing in them. There's also a lot of talent in Brazilian soap-operas that I watch everyday. It's a true shame that it's so difficult for Latin actresses to crossover because they'll always have an accent. It's really too bad, because there is so much talent, and it's so hard for them to learn English.
Now that you're about to blow up, what's your plan for staying out of the tabloids?
If I did anything bad, my mom would be the first one to put me back in shape. Once in a while I like to go out, but it's rare that I go out other than to dance. I'd rather stay home and cook really good food or go to a good restaurant, then go out. But mostly, I keep my life private.
Why can't most young women just stay out of trouble in Hollywood?
You know, growing up without all of this attention, a lot of people get into trouble, but it's private, and you deal with it on your own. The sad thing is they're in the limelight, and everyone knows their business. It shouldn't be that way. I do think sometimes "where are their parents?" But it's important to have your privacy.
Tell us, are you currently dating anyone?
(Laughs) I don't answer that one. That's another way you keep everything private.