Q&A WITH GINNIFER GOODWIN: 

MEMPHIS native, HOLLYWOOD ACTRESS

At 30, Ginnifer Goodwin has managed to make a name for herself in Hollywood — appearing in movies alongside Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst, and Joaquin Phoenix — but this star calls Memphis home.

She graduated from Lausanne Collegiate School in 1996, and the school honored her this week with its 2008-2009 Chair of Ideas Award.

Not lucky enough to be invited to the awards ceremony? You can see Goodwin as the youngest of three wives on HBO's Big Love, a contemporary Mormon polygamist drama that begins its third season in January. — by Shara Clark

FLYER: HOW OFTEN ARE YOU ABLE TO GET BACK HOME TO MEMPHIS?

Goodwin: I only get back about once a year, but my mom occasionally makes it out to Los Angeles to visit.

WHAT DO YOU MISS MOST ABOUT MEMPHIS?

I miss the people in Memphis. There's a comfort and hominess and genuineness that I get from the people here. It's nothing like L.A. Those people are a little bit more jaded.

WHAT SURPRISED YOU THE MOST ABOUT HOLLYWOOD?

Really, it has been the endlessness of the work and struggle. For me, it's been harder to keep my foot in the door than it was to get my foot in the door in the first place. It's a series of baby steps rather than a sudden "Here, now you can have anything you want."

WHAT HAS BEEN ONE OF YOUR MOST HUMBLING HOLLYWOOD MOMENTS?

Well, Tom Hanks is my boss. He's the director for Big Love. I was at a party once, and Steven Spielberg tapped me on my shoulder. I turned around, and he said, "Hey, Ginny, where's your boss?"

I had never met him before, and I was like, Steven Spielberg just tapped me on my shoulder, and he knows my name!

ARE THERE ANY DOWNSIDES TO BEING A HOLLYWOOD STAR?

I can't trust people with any of my secrets. I have to talk in code when I'm with my friends in public because people are always eavesdropping. I can't leave the house without looking my best. I sometimes get in dangerous car chases with paparazzi. But honestly, I love my life, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. Anytime I complain, I have a friend who tells me, "Hey, you could NOT be famous."

WHAT ARE THE BEST THINGS ABOUT LIFE AS A MOVIE STAR?

I get paid to go to parties and fashion shows, and I get to bring a friend. I get to break lines at Disneyworld. I get to date my Hollywood crushes. And I spent Halloween with Drew Barrymore. But other than that, I'm exactly like you, I swear.

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