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Claire Danes
by Joshua Mooney (BPI Entertainment News Wire Feature - October, 1996)

Los Angeles - As Claire Danes sits down to meet the press, someone hands her a bag of Gummi Bear candies. "Oh how sweet!" smiles the actress, whose nickname, it turns out, is Gummi Bear. But the chewy candy is quickly put aside. Although she's just 17, Danes is all business these days, as well she should be: she's one of the busiest actresses in Hollywood. The fact that her mother sits nearby while Danes does an interview suggests the difficulties inherent in being a star and a kid at the same time. But Danes appears to be getting the hang of it.

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How could she possibly make a career choice at five? "It's really difficult to explain," Danes admits. "I'm not a fatalist and I don't really believe in destiny. It's kind for bizarre that I knew so early on." Then, of course, there was the Madonna factor. "I remember I was watching Madonna on the TV screen," says Danes, "and got really excited by the whole idea. I thought, Do I wanna be Madonna? Do I want to be a singer? And I came to the conclusion that no, I wanted to be an actress."

In all likelihood, lots of young girls have similar thoughts - but far fewer are able to intellectualize those impulses to the extent Danes did. ``When I was about seven I found out that actresses don't make any money, so I was going to be a therapist and live in L.A. and do acting workshops on the side," she says. "I thought about that pretty seriously for a year, and then I made an announcement: 'You know what? Money or no money, I'm gonna be true to myself and my art and I'm going to go for it.' "

© 1996 BPI Entertainment News