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Celebrities | Pop Culture | 90s

Andie MacDowell Has Stepped Out Of The Spotlight, But What Has She Really Been Up To?

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After stealing our hearts in Groundhog Day and Four Weddings and a Funeral, I think a lot of us assumed that we would be seeing Andie MacDowell everywhere. But instead of launching into super stardom, the actress seemed to take a step back.

Obviously, she isn't out of the spotlight completely, but she hasn't been in as many things as people expected from her. So what happened?

MacDowell started acting in 1984, but the 1989 movie Sex, Lies and Videotape was her breakout role. She was nominated for a bunch of awards and it helped her roles like Groundhog Day with Bill Murray, and Four Weddings and a Funeral with Hugh Grant.

Andie MacDowell
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But even though it seemed like she was on the fast track to becoming America's newest sweetheart, she seemed to do things a little bit differently.

She continued taking roles, and even signed on as a brand ambassador to L'Oreal, a title she still holds to this day, but her starring roles started to fade away.

The interesting thing about MacDowell is that she has never really stopped working. It's just that people tend to forget about her until she pops up in a new movie or TV show and then they go "oh yeah, her!"

Andie MacDowell Four Weddings and a Funeral
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But here's the thing, she's not actually all that mad about it. She's actually okay with being out of the spotlight.

"There's a deep piece of me that wants to be very personal and not share everything with everybody and not put it out there," MacDowell said. "There's a piece of me that wants to hold on and not to have to be out in front. But there's another part of me that's perfectly fine with it. It's almost a dual personality."

But what does she do when she's not in the public eye?

MacDowell is happier out of the spotlight because she isn't the 'outgoing actor type' you often picture of when you think "Hollywood actress"

“I’m not a party person. I’m a nerd. I’m not an extrovert in that way at all. The things I enjoy doing could be boring to somebody else.” MacDowell said.

She got her start in modeling, which allowed her to travel around the world, and it's what led her to land her first acting job. She learned early that she preferred to keep her life out of the spotlight, especially after going through a painful divorce.

The divorce from her first husband hit her hard. “It’s not really something I like to talk about. It’s interesting I say ‘my divorce’ because the second marriage was so fast it just wasn’t the same," MacDowell revealed. "And divorce is horrible. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy. I don’t think it’s anything that’s ever completely resolved."

Andie MacDowell

But she was able to use that experience in her acting when she was playing a divorced character. "I was able to use some of my own experiences with the loss of the love of your life, the loss of the father of your children. It’s a huge part in the life of many women I know. I can usually tell when a woman is going through a divorce because they look so gaunt and tired and sad. It’s just a huge sadness. It’s horrible. It’s like death. You mourn, but the person’s still there.”

When she's not making a movie or TV show, she's actually at her ranch in Montana. "There are a lot of things I want to do there with conservation," she said. "My kids are really interested in conservation, and they love animals, so I think the connection I really want to make is through the land and having to do with wildlife. I’ve already made a substantial commitment to wildlife by putting my land in the easement. It won’t be developed. It will remain there in perpetuity — will be there for the wild life.”

MacDowell also spends a good portion of her time hiking and keeping fit, and says "If I miss a day, I'm not as happy. I definitely feel it."

She has two daughters, both of which have actually come into their own in show business. Margaret and Rainey Qualley have each managed to find their niche. Margaret got a role on HBO's Leftovers, and Rainey released some country music and landed a part on Mad Men.

Andie MacDowell and her daughters
Everett Collection / Rex Features

MacDowell is currently filming two projects even though it often feels like she isn't around anymore. One is a TV movie called The Beach House, and the other is a movie called The Last Laugh.

She also recently wrapped up a TV series called Cedar Cove, so even though you may not have seen her around as much, she is still nearby!

So you remember seeing her everywhere when you were younger? I still see her in L'Oreal ads now, but it's the ones from my childhood that I really remember!

H/T - Washington Post / Nicki Swift