Oscar-nominated actress Rosie Perez stopped by TIME headquarters to talk about her new memoir, Handbook for an Unpredictable Life and her struggles from growing up in Brooklyn through to making it in Hollywood. Growing up in Brooklyn, she says, her mother forced her father out of the house at gunpoint; Perez’s mother later put her in an orphanage.
And though Perez flourished in adulthood, she continued to grapple with childhood trauma in the form of PTSD. In her 10 Questions interview, she said being diagnosed with PTSD was not a relief because she “wanted to believe that I was above all that had happened.” But eventually, she explained, “It was like a weight was lifted.”
Perez also admitted to insecurities about her looks; as she explained, it took her father telling her that she had naturally beautiful hair for her to come to terms with her appearance, but that there were insecurities with which she’d always struggle.
She may be a spectator when it comes to boxing, but in life, Perez is still a fighter. Watch her interview up top.