#SharedSecrets: Episode 12

The Secret to Finding and Keeping Your Badass Self with Meredith Salenger


By the time she was 17, Meredith Salenger had starred in multiple movies and had gotten into Harvard. Life had largely worked out in her favor, and she found more of the same in college, where she excelled in her classes. In short, she felt like a badass, and the outside world perceived her as one, too. Once she graduated, though, she found life to be more of a challenge than she’d previously experienced.

Meredith joins me in this week’s episode of Shared Secrets to talk about how to maintain our inner badass as life changes around us. That means something different for everyone, but in all cases, it involves embracing ourselves for who we are at every stage in our lives. For Meredith, that meant making peace with playing the infamous “best friend” roles, aging with grace, and for defining “badassery” as something that comes from a quiet inner confidence, not from the latest bullet on her acting résumé.

In this episode, Meredith and I will talk about how overcoming life’s hurdles makes us who we are—no matter how painful they are to overcome in the moment. And I’ll share the surprising new hobby my mom picked up in her 50s to channel her own inner badass.

More about Meredith: Meredith Salenger got her start in acting at age 8 as a "singing and dancing orphan" in the feature film “Annie” (1982). Her first starring role was in the Disney film “The Journey of Natty Gann” (1985). Meredith won "Best Actress in a Drama" at the Youth in Film Awards for this role. She starred in four more films by the time she was eighteen years old. She left Hollywood for Harvard, graduating cum laude in 1992 with a degree in psychology. Her recent credits include: “Lake Placid” (1999), “The Third Wheel” (2002), and an independent film called “My Best Friend's Wife” (2001). Salenger has appeared in several other independent films, including “My Apocalypse” (2008) and “Sparkle and Charm” (1997).