On Tuesday, I met with Vanessa Williams to talk about her recent Emmy nomination for Ugly Betty, fish pedicures, and Botox. Vanessa, who has always been very open about her use of the wrinkle-fighting drug, is currently making a few stops throughout the country for the Botox Cosmetic: Express Success Campaign, an educational tour that benefits the Dress For Success organization.

Have you ever wondered why Vanessa took the leap and admitted she uses Botox, or how it affects her ability to act? Find the answers and learn about some of her unexpected hobbies after the jump.

Tell me how you got involved with Botox in the first place, and the Dress For Success campaign.
Allergan [maker of Botox] approached me with the idea. They told me how they had teamed up with Dress For Success, and I jumped on board. I think I’ve been candid about my use with Botox Cosmetic since I started the show three years ago. In the pilot, I get Botox from my assistant in Ugly Betty; journalists had asked if I had ever used it, and I’ve been very candid about my use . . . It was the perfect combination of being able to be vocal, educating women about the product, but also giving back, and Allergan gave $250,000 to Dress For Success so they can help a nonprofit. It’s kind of a win-win situation.


Does it hurt?
It depends on the practitioner. My doctor is very quick and is masterful with his hands. And you want to go to somebody who knows what they’re doing as well, and make sure you’re getting Botox Cosmetic, too, because there have been lots of bad [off-label] experiences.

What made you decide to be so honest about using Botox? There are so many actresses that you can tell use it, but they don’t admit to it.
I don’t know why you would lie about something if someone asks you a question. I don’t know why they would not tell the truth . . . But also, I use it sparingly, too, so I have expression. I’ve been lucky enough to be nominated for three Emmys . . . So, obviously I can continue to move and have expression and do my job well.

What’s something that people don’t know about you?
People are surprised when they find out about my love of cars. I have a bunch of cars, I love driving and I love driving fast — always under the speed limit! I listen to Irish music on Saturday mornings on WFUV. My kids find that torturous, but I subject them to it because I love it. I ride horses and I collect horses, statues, paintings, and pictures. I bake carrot cakes for my friends for their birthdays.

With cream cheese frosting?
Of course, I get a few requests and do that with love.

But wait, there's more! Come back tomorrow for more of my interview with Vanessa.