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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Vanessa Williams: "Dress For Success"

Oct. 7 2009, Published 4:41 a.m. ET

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Vanessa Williams is one actress who isn’t ashamed to admit she’s tried Botox.

“Yeah, I’ve tried it,” She told in an exclusive interview. “Three years ago when I did the first season of Ugly Betty, my character in the first episode got Botox by her assistant in her office! I’ve been asked if I’ve ever tried it before and I was very candid and honest, and I said, ‘sure.’”

Williams, 46, has teamed up with the makers of Botox Cosmetic, who are donating $250,000 to the campaign Dress For Success.

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As part of the $250,000 donation to Dress for Success, Allergan, the maker of BOTOX® Cosmetic is donating $2 to the organization on behalf of each of the first 25,000 people who visit and register on the campaign Web site, When pledging support on the Web site, people also can enter to win a trip for two to New York City to have lunch with Vanessa Williams, read Vanessa’s personal blog as well as get interview and workplace tips.

“They came to me with this great opportunity to combine awareness with non-profit,” Williams told “We’ve got a licensed dermatologist and we address women’s issues and any questions they have about Botox.”

Looking good is important to any woman. Playing the uber style-conscious Wilhemia on Ugly Betty demands that Vanessa keep herself in tip top shape.

“I want to maintain the way I look as opposed to looking different,” she explains. “I need to look natural because I’m in front of a camera all the time so it’s important for me to express myself and act in a natural way. That’s the utmost importance.”

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Ugly Betty just shot an episode in the Bahamas, which allowed the cast to take a ‘pseudo-vacation’ while working. The new season, which premieres with a special 2-hour episode next week, promises more twists and turns than ever before.

“A lot of people from my past return to stir things up,” the actress reveals. “And then you never know if Wilhemina will keep her job—and of course there’s some more fabulous fashion!”

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Williams says when it comes to fashion, her style is very different from Wilhemina’s.

“I’m way more concerned about comfort. Do the shoes feel comfortable? Can I move in the dress? Can I breathe?” She says. “When I wear little Wilhemina stuff I’m putting on the Spanx and sucking in my stomach and hoping it lasts through the day. Her silhouette is a lot more severe and structured. I’m a lot more relaxed.”

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The actress stays fit by working out and eating healthy.

“I train when I’m off, but with the shooting schedule and a call time of 5:30, I’m wiped out by the time we’re done,” she says. “I have food delivery—Freshology in New York City, which is great because it’s a no-brainer, I can bring it to the set and just pop it into the refrigerator. But do I get nervous about getting into a bikini? Of course! I break into a cold sweat! And the older you get, the more terrifying it becomes!”

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Williams, whose new album The Real Thing, was released in June, says she tries to balance everything in her life by realizing she just can’t do it all.

“Learn how to delegate,” she says. “Don’t try to do everything every day -- that’s how you end up getting stressed out. If you don’t get everything done, just relax and know you’ll get it done tomorrow. And don’t be afraid to ask for help.”

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Vanessa Williams On Her 'Ugly' StyleEXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Vanessa Williams On Her 'Ugly' Style



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