Take it from Kate Beckinsale: You'll get braver in time

PHOTO: TIFM Kate BeckinsalePlayGMA Photo Illustration, Getty
WATCH Take it from Kate Beckinsale: You'll get braver in time

Kate Beckinsale doesn't shy away from the spotlight.

The British actress has been charming audiences worldwide since she made her television debut at age 4 on a talk show with her father, actor Richard Beckinsale.

"My mum had trimmed my hair, which is why it's all so [messy]," she said, laughing.

Raised by actors, Beckinsale said she's always felt at home on film and television sets, but growing up in the spotlight wasn't always easy for the "Underworld" star.

The actress had to come to terms with big issues like loss and self-esteem under the public eye.

"I feel a bit sorry for myself then," she said of herself as a teenager.

We felt it was time for a trip down memory lane with the actress, to learn more about her journey to stardom and the lessons she's learned along the way.

Here's what Beckinsale had to say:

1. You'll grow into your teeth

"I think that's when I went Disneyland for the first time -- to America for the very first time!" Beckinsale exclaimed of a photo of her as a girl in dressed in "an old-timey way."

"Mainly, we were just shaken by how big the sandwiches are ... it was shocking," the actress remembered telling friends back in England.

It's obvious that Beckinsale's sense of humor began forming at a young age. She’s not afraid to poke fun of herself -- even back then.

"I would say [to my younger self that] you will eventually, just about, grow into your teeth," she said.

2. Cherish being with your dad

Acting is in Beckinsale's blood. Her parents, Richard Beckinsale and Judy Lowe, were both actors and their daughter was raised on film sets.

The actress made her TV debut when she was 4 on a British show called "This Is Your Life," where actors are surprised with people from their past.

Beckinsale was the surprise guest when her father was on the show.

She recalled her mother being so nervous about the appearance.

"My father said to my mother, 'Please don't let them do this to me,'" she remembered, laughing.

Richard Beckinsale passed away from a congenital heart defect in 1979 when Kate was just 5 years old.

"I love to see what a great relationship that we had and how pleased we were to see each other," Beckinsale said of the photo. "I would have liked to have had a little more time."

3. You'll get braver in time

When Beckinsale was a late teenager, she recalled being up for a role in a film but didn't have any headshots to give the casting director.

"I didn't particularly like having my photo taken — actually, I still don't," she joked.

As a solution, Beckinsale said her stepfather took this photo by their garden shed.

"It's such a strange period being a late teenager. I feel just a bit sorry for myself then. It's much better now," she joked. "Just know you’ll get less scared by being in the world longer."

4. Hug your kids while you can

In 1999, when Beckinsale was 26, she gave birth to her daughter, Lily, with actor Michael Sheen.

"I don't remember being an adult at all without having a baby because I had her fairly early into it," Beckinsale said.

Even as her career was taking off, Beckinsale remained a devoted mother to Lily, now 19.

"I took her everywhere," she said.

Beckinsale said this this sweet moment between her and Lily was snapped during a photo shoot she was doing.

"They said she could pop in at the end with her little hat," she added.

Although Beckinsale is obviously proud of the young woman her daughter has become, there is one thing she misses.

"I would say, really enjoy that phase where they let you squeeze them all the time, because they don't really love squeezing past the age of 15," she added.

5. It's OK to be a cat person

Another constant in Beckinsale's life is her love of animals.

"I'm very easily distracted if there's a sheep or a leopard or a cow or a cat," she told "GMA."

Suffice to say, Beckinsale got very distracted during a recent trip she took to South Africa for her upcoming series, "The Widow."

"There were some sheep there," she recalled, laughing, "and I was very clearly trying to have some sort of a conversation. I'm not sure how successful I was."

The actress was blown away by her experience there.

"I've never been to South Africa, and the whole country, it was just an extraordinary experience," she added. "I did get to meet some amazing animals."

Her highlight of the experience?

"The baby cheetahs were just so unbearably cute," the self-proclaimed "cat person" admitted. "I very closely just wanted to put one in my pocket."

PHOTO: Actress Kate Beckinsale appears at an event for Russell Hobbs on Sept. 12, 2018, in New York. Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Russell Hobbs
Actress Kate Beckinsale appears at an event for Russell Hobbs on Sept. 12, 2018, in New York.

6. All great things happen in the kitchen

Despite all her globetrotting adventures a successful acting career, one of Beckinsale's favorite places to be is in her own kitchen.

Some of her fondest memories come from conversations had around the tea kettle, said the actress, an ambassador for domestic appliance brand Russell Hobbs.

"That's where everything takes place in England -- in the kitchen, with somebody making a cup of tea with an electric kettle," she said.

The absence of that British tradition of bonding over tea was one of the biggest culture shocks she had coming to the states.

"One of the things about being an English person coming to America is that most homes didn't have an electric kettle," Beckinsale said.

Beckinsale hopes that with the launch of Russell Hobbs’ new U.S. presence, she can help share that tradition.