‘I’d ask my mum: why do you drink?’ Andie MacDowell on childhood and Hollywood

She learned responsibility young, caring for her mother – then became a stunningly successful model and screen star. The actor talks about ageing on screen, why she eschews drugs, and her pride in her daughters’ acting careers

Andie MacDowell’s career as a successful model, who went on to become a successful actor, almost ended before it began. It was 1979, in the middle of the Studio 54 era, when she moved to New York. She was 21 years old, had just been signed by the Elite model agency and appeared to have the world at her feet. But she soon wanted to go back to her home town. “There was a lot of cocaine around,” she says. “I had a small experience at the very beginning and hated it. I hated it! It was only, like, a month. I really didn’t like the way it felt. It didn’t make me feel
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