A proud mum to 20-year-old Damian, Elizabeth Hurley exclusively tells HELLO! how she's raising him to be mindful of women's rights and issues. "I believe in leading by example. My son has seen me be entirely independent and forge my own way his entire life," she tells us as we celebrate International Women's Day.
The star and her son have a very special bond and recently she kept a promise she made to him when he was much younger. "I just produced a movie called Strictly Confidential, which was written and directed by Damian," she says. "He started making mini-movies when he was very young – most of them starring me and other kind family friends – and I always promised him that I would be in his first real project, so I have a supporting role in this, too.
"The rest of the cast are all young, gorgeous and extremely talented, so, fingers crossed, people like the movie. We're still in post-production and I'm loving the process. I intend to develop and produce more movies and TV shows."
Credit: JJ Reddington/BuzzFeed News/Redux/eyevine
Elizabeth Hurley's motherhood journey
Elizabeth says that motherhood transformed her life. After welcoming Damian, she took an extended time out of her successful acting career and discovered a lost love of hers.
"I was in my mid-30s when I had my son, so had been out in the big, bad world for some time already and therefore felt fine with taking nearly eight years off from filming so I could stay home with him. During that time, I started my swimwear business, Elizabeth Hurley Beach, moved to the country and fell in love with gardening again."
In fact, she credits gardening with helping her cope with the pressures of life. "Being in the spotlight has its ups and downs," she says. "I'm grateful for the ups and try to get through the downs as gracefully as possible. Luckily, I spend as much time as possible in my garden at home in the country, which always helps me put things in perspective. My son prefers the country, too".
Elizabeth Hurley's greatest successes
"My greatest success is having remained relatively sane, and keeping a sense of humour, while wading through decades of highly stressful, and often somewhat ridiculous, adventures. Showbusiness, and all the good and bad things that come with it, is not for the faint-hearted."
She's also used her platform for good, helping to change attitudes through her work as a global ambassador for Estée Lauder's breast cancer campaign for more than 27 years. The enormous sadness she feels about her grandmother's death from the disease still spurs her on to campaign and save women's lives.
"When I started, breast cancer was only whispered about," she tells us. "Now, it is a whole different story and this disease, which will affect one in eight women and is the most diagnosed cancer worldwide, is shouted about from the rooftops."
Elizabeth Hurley's secret to confidence
It's that feeling of achievement that gives Elizabeth the most confidence as a woman. She says: “Having a sense of achievement make us all feel better – and that achievement could be writing a brilliant novel, swimming the Channel or making a perfect birthday cake. I got stuck up a mountain recently and managed to put on snow chains while watching a YouTube video on my phone. I felt like a billion dollars when we all got home safely, albeit with very cold hands.”
Surely her wonderful bikini photos, posted regularly on Instagram, give her confidence too? Elizabeth quips: “I have a business to run and bikinis to sell. There's not that much more to it than that. If I sold cans of soup, you’d see an awful lot of pictures of me stirring pots at my stove."
Elizabeth Hurley's inner circle
Elizabeth is incredibly close to both her mum Angela, who is a retired music teacher, and her sister Kate, who moved in with her and Damian temporarily during the Covid lockdown.
She adds, "My female friends are extremely important to me and are becoming more so as time goes on. I'd be so lonely without them. My sister is one of my very best friends and we text each other all day long." She lives by her mum Angela's advice: "To try to do better than our best. I hear her voice saying it every time I think about trying to get away with a sloppy job."
Elizabeth Hurley's top life lesson
She parts with the lesson she'd most like to share with other women. "Be kind to yourself and take care of your health. Women are the caretakers of the world, but if you don't take care of yourself, you may not be there to take care of others."
MORE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY COVERAGE
Main photograph on article credit: JJ Reddington/BuzzFeed News/Redux/eyevine
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