Evangeline Lilly was in labor for 30 hours, with 8 hours devoted to pushing


These are some week-old photos of Evangeline Lilly at the LA premiere of Reel Steel, which was the number one movie this weekend. Evangeline (or “Evangelina” as my idiotic fingers keep typing) probably didn’t have much to do with the box office, although you never know. Just because I absolutely hated her on Lost, doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have a devoted base of horny fan-boys. But is Evangeline liked by ladies? Will ladies ever say “Hey, let’s go see that new Evangeline Lilly movie?” Probably not. But Evangeline is trying to win our support. Little does she know that I started crying and rocking as soon as I read her “natural childbirth” tale:

Evangeline Lilly knows how to hold her ground. The actress opted for a home birth for the delivery of her son last May, and was determined to see it through — despite the unexpected timeline.

“I actually skipped the hospital … We decided to have the baby at home because we wanted it to be a natural birth, and it turns out that it was 30 hours of natural,” the Real Steel star, 32, explained during a Monday appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

“Eight hours of pushing, that’s the part that men don’t understand. Women go, ‘Oh, dear, oh, dear God, eight hours of pushing?’ And the men are like, ‘Okay, eight hours of pushing.’”

Fortunately for the former Lost star, her midwife eventually stepped in to save the day, much to Lilly’s relief.

“After about five hours of pushing, my midwife and my birthing assistant said, ‘You know, we have a few suggestions,’” she says. “And I was like, ‘Really? After five hours of pushing you have a few suggestions? You couldn’t have told me five minutes in?’”

Following the baby boy’s birth, Lilly planned to “abandon ship for a little while,” but the first-time mom — who hopes to have a “brood” of babies — admits that even the best laid plans often go awry.

“I was sitting with my newborn baby and Peter Jackson called and said, ‘Would you like to be an elf in The Hobbit?’” she shares. “And I said, ‘Yes, I really do! I really do want to do that.’ So I’m sort of strapped in, as it turns out, to four movies now.”

Luckily for Lilly, her son is brought to set each day to spend time with his mama — unbeknownst to him, however!

“He came to the trailer and I put him to my breast [to nurse] and he screamed his head off, staring up at this strange, pointy-eared, mess of a person that was not his mother,” she laughs.

“And then that night I was feeding him at home and he was perfectly fine and my partner [Norman Kali] said to me, ‘You know his internal dialogue right now is, “Mom, you won’t believe what happened to me today!”‘”

[From People]

Eight hours of pushing, thirty hours of labor, all with no drugs? Just shoot me in the face. Seriously. If it ever happens for me, I’m going to ask to be unconscious for the birth. The doctor can handle it, I’ll be downing every pill I can find. Don’t judge.

Evangeline gave birth mid-May, and we STILL don’t know the little guy’s name. Evangeline did reveal this blind-item about her son’s name: “My baby did not have a name for a month. It took me a month to name my child… I had my baby outside in a thunderstorm. It was really romantic. His name means ‘the thunder.’” The baby blogs are having a field day trying to guess – go here to see some of the Hawaiian (and other) possibilities. My favorite is Kane.



Photos courtesy of WENN.

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71 Responses to “Evangeline Lilly was in labor for 30 hours, with 8 hours devoted to pushing”

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  1. Samigirl says:

    She’s stronger than me. I lasted 6 hours without the epidural. I’m a wuss.

  2. Kimble says:

    Absolute rubbish!!!! Whoever did her delivery would be struck off! And yes, I am a midwife!

  3. azurea says:

    And yet she’s still laughing! All I can say is Hemorrhoid City!

  4. Auds says:

    I don’t believe her story.

  5. Jen D says:

    She’s an elf in The Hobbit? Noooo!!!! I’m really looking forward to that movie. I have nothing against her personally, but I hated Kate. I hope her role is tiny. I mean, what character could she be playing? And what does she mean, four movies? Maybe some other movies on top of that?

  6. Anastasia says:

    No one would EVER let you PUSH for eight hours. I was given a very liberal two hours to push before they were going to do an emergency c-section. I got her out in one hour 56 minutes and just barely avoided that c-section. Pushing for that long is not right. Someone’s exaggerating or doesn’t remember correctly.

    I do believe 30 hours of labor: mine was 32. No drugs throughout, but that wasn’t my choice. The epidural didn’t take and by the time they figured it out, it was too late for drugs.

    • muncy says:


      You know I do believe she could have pushed for that long. It doesnt mean it was right to have allowed it for that long, but it it possible. I labored for about 22 hrs and yes I pushed for 6 hrs! Not as long as her, but longer than any of my close relatives. Contrary to her I had an epidural. Which can cause longer labors. Don’t think the 6 hours of pushing didnt come with complications cause they did. My daughter was turned the wrong way and stopped progressing down. They had to get her out with forceps and to this day I keep saying they should have just done c-section. Because of my long pushing I developed a large blood clot and high fevers that caused me to be hospitalized for 2 weeks! I may have not felt all the pain during delivery because of the epidural but I paid for it later. That bloodclot caused me extreme pain and many other complications where I wasnt completely healed till 6 months after delivery. So yes I believe its possible but I very surprised she didnt get complications from it especially going all natural. She’s a trooper but Im sure they may have not mentioned her complications as to not embarrass her.

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  7. embertine says:

    I love that the paper added [to nurse], as though she routinely shoves children onto her boobs for other reasons and they just wanted to clarify that.

  8. brinn444 says:

    Wiki says she named him Kahekili… Hawaiian Thunder… I think I prefer Kane as well.

  9. j says:

    She looks fantastic, and I like that she’s keeping some of her kid’s details private.

    And a 30-hour labor is totally possible. I had two incredibly long, unmedicated labors (also at home), and it sounds really similar. Most birth professionals wouldn’t be comfortable with a woman pushing for that long, but every birth is different. I don’t think she’s boasting about it, just saying, “Ohmygosh, I had this crazy experience, listen what happened…!” Women often process birth stuff this way. Having a baby can feel really crazy, so talking about it helps.

  10. The Original Mia says:

    I’m with you, Kaiser. Shoot me. Drug me up. Do something to get this kid out of me now!

  11. Linnie says:

    @Kimble. I don’t believe her story. I agree with you, if it’s true. And I had natural childbirth with both my babies because “in my day” they gave you the epidural just before delivery because in those days, they were just stupid and everything related to obstetrics was run by men. But, I digress. I didn’t push for 8 hours. More like 1/2 – 1 hour once I felt like pushing. And since the epidural never kicked in until the baby was out anyway, I think I know what I’m talking about. Sort of.

  12. Turtle Dove says:


    I co-sign with the sounds exaggerated camp.

  13. lucy2 says:

    She seems a little odd, but I like her. That whole experience sounds horrific! Do not want to do that!
    After Lost she said she was done with acting, but is now doing pretty big films. I guess the opportunities were too good to pass up! Can’t blame her for taking them.
    She really has managed to keep her life pretty private these days though.

  14. the original bellaluna says:

    Over 36 hours of labour, ER C-section with the youngest. Pushed for 8 minutes with the first; 4 with the second. (No drugs with either of them.)

    Yes, I would absolutely go see a movie with Evangeline Lily in it – I luv her!

  15. Turd Fergussen says:

    1. Didn’t know she and Dominic Monaghan weren’t still together.

    2. Didn’t know she was pregnant.

    3. Didn’t know she gave birth.

    4. Am so old and behind.

  16. Mitch Buchanan Rocks says:

    I still can’t get over Lillys resemblance to January Jones.

  17. Quack! says:

    I have no idea who she is,but I want to name my child Evangeline Lily.It’s such a pretty name, Don’t you think?

  18. atlantapug says:

    Uhhhhhhhhhhhh, no. You most definitely did not give birth outside in a thunderstorm.
    Is she confusing her tale with Claire’s on Lost?

    Dumb story, dumb name.

  19. lambchops says:

    no way would any midwife let you push for eight hours, too dangerous for mother and child. 2 hours AT MOST.

  20. Quest says:

    Labor can be long but the pushing part for 8 hours seems unreal. Any prolong pushing puts both mother and baby at risk.

  21. ceenitall says:

    Didn’t say she gave birth outside in a storm. “My baby did not have a name for a month. It took me a month to name my child… I had my baby outside in a thunderstorm. It was really romantic. His name means ‘the thunder.”

    So the baby was a month old when she was in a thunderstorm.

  22. Bodhi says:

    Pushing for 8 hours? Yikes! That would be awful. I only pushed for 1/2 an hour (in a birthing tub) & that was plenty thankyouverymuch. I don’t know what my midwives would have done, but I would hope that they wouldn’t have me push for that long

  23. deva says:

    First baby I pushed for 15 minutes, second 10 and the third 2 minutes.

    30 hour labor sounds like she is counting early (inactive) labor. Not that big a deal since early labor is a breeze.

    8 hours of pushing sounds ridiculous. Was she pushing at 4 cm dilated? If she was pushing for a full 8 hours I would think she would have collapsed from exhaustion.

  24. Anne says:

    everyone comparing their hospital birth to her story… its completely different when you do it naturally. Being on your back in a hospital is the most painful position (and not easy to birth, works against gravity), pitocin makes contractions more painful. Homebirths let labor runs its natural course, there is no time limit.
    Im having a home birth next month and am so excited because of all the lifelong benefits for the baby and myself. Drugs interfere with some very important hormones that are usually released in birth.
    Women have been birthing for thousands of years, it’s natural.

  25. gee says:

    My mom was in labor for about that long each time she did the baby thing. I just want to be knocked the hell out, you can wake me up when everything is back where it’s supposed to be. I’ll trust future husband with making sure everything is ok.

  26. DreamyK says:

    I’m with the others. Hemorrhoid city pushing that long. But hey, it was natural. Now her azz is a natural disaster. Hemorrhoid surgery was exceedingly more painful than childbirth.

  27. jenja says:

    I have never believed any of the stories she tells on those talk shows. I feel like she is always having a big joke at our expense (I once heard her say that she was cleaning old water bottles out of her car and decided to randomly drink one only to discover that it was her friend’s very healthy and clear pee…I didn’t buy that either). She’s an exaggerator.

    So…30 hours of labor? That sounds about right. As someone said, you can count the very early inactive labor if you want but that’s only an estimate because you usually can’t tell the exact moment it starts. But I’m not so sure about 8 hours of consistent pushing. Maybe she meant to say contractions? Or maybe she’s just exaggerating. She wouldn’t be the first mother to exaggerate her birth experience, that’s for sure.

  28. Danielle says:

    Anne-I’m assuming it’s your first child? I had all 3 with epidural and they’re all perfect. Never heard your “hormones released” story and sounds ridiculous to me. It’s pitting natural vs epidural, just like bottle vs breast. It’s a choice.
    Good luck with no drugs. Bwahahahaha.

  29. Lindy says:

    Yeah, I can buy a 30 Jr labor, but 8 hrs of pushing is likely an exaggeration or perhaps just a misremembering. I pushed for 2 hrs, barely avoiding a c-section. No way would even the crunchiest, home-birthiest midwife allow 8hrs to go by without facilitating it.

  30. cassie says:

    i call bs on 8 hours of pushing. after 2 or 3 she would have been taken to the hospital by any respectable, knowledgeable midwife. 8 hours of pushing=too tired to get the job done=emergency c section.

  31. Rubenesque says:

    8 hours of pushing? Huh. Did I take my birth control today?

    Kidding! I have kids. I had one with a midwife at a birthing center & one pitocin induced nightmare at the hospital from a Doc I’d never met before (long story). You know, every time I sneeze I think of that %$#@ doctor.

  32. Rachel says:

    Anne — why do you assume all women who have hospital births are doing so with pitocin, epidurals, and laboring on their backs? I did all of these with my first, but none with my second. My unmedicated hospital labor was 4 1/2 hours long, with 3 minutes of pushing. And yeah, it effing hurt, and I can’t possibly imagine 8 hours of pushing. That sounds really, really dangerous. I imagine she’s exaggerating; if not, her midwife sucked.

  33. Dorothy#1 says:

    I had both my kids in a hospital with no drugs and I don’t believe her 8 hours of pushing at all!!! It if is true that midwife should be arrested.

  34. ? says:

    8 Hours of pushing is completely possible and I had more than that. It did however result in a c-section. I was a full 10 dilated and pushed until I could push no more. Just because it did not happen to you ladies doesn’t mean it’s impossible. lol. Ridiculous.

  35. Kloops says:

    30 hours of labour part sounds legit. I had 27. The 8 hours of pushing sounds off. She may be defining it slightly differently. I was given 2 hours before they started interventions but I was in a hospital with a doctor (and midwife). I was unmedicated so I can commiserate with that. Some people choose to run marathons, I chose unmedicated childbirth. Neither are really necessary other than as a personal goal.

  36. SEF says:

    Why is it that only these Hollywood actresses seem to push for hours and hours? Oh, that’s right, they are full-of-it drama queens.

    30 hours/labor is normal, if you count from the first twinge of contractions you feel. But I have 3 kids, and was always told that the limit of pushing was about 3 hours, then they’d look to do a c-section. If her story is at all true, she may want to hire a real doctor next time.

  37. ? says:

    3 hours of labour and then a c is NOT accurate. My son was 10 lbs and I wanted a natural birth. We pushed for over 8 hours and I had a c when my heart rate went too high. Simple as that. I am not a celebrity or a drama queen – lots of judgmental ladies out there. Wow. Everyone has different experiences. If you opt for a hospital birth chances are they will c you as soon as they can.

  38. Bodhi says:

    @Danielle – The drugs used to induce labor can very well interfere with some hormones released during labor. It doesn’t happen all the time, to everyone, but it certainly can. That is one reason that so many women are pushing back against medically unnecessary inductions.

    Most hospital births (not all) are induced & most of those are medically unnecessary. Picton (the drug most commonly used to induce labor) causes contractions to be longer, harder & closer together than they would naturally be. Epidurals are given because the picton induced contractions are so bad. The picton induced contractions can also be very hard on the baby, which oftentimes results in a c-section. All of the drugs used in births like these can disrupt the hormones that regulate the production of breast milk. [Notice i said CAN].

    I had a non-medicated non-hospital water birth. It sucked, but it really wasn’t that bad and I’ll do it again if I’m able. Birth is a natural process & most times drugs aren’t needed. But families who chose medicated births shouldn’t be judged any more than those who don’t go that route. It is exactly like the breast v. bottle debate.

    Not everything works for everyone & no-one should be judged for the choices they make about the creation of their family. The creation of a family is a miracle & a blessing no matter how it happens.

  39. Jen34 says:

    I couldn’t stand her character on LOST, but I do like her. She seems down-to-earth and was well liked by the crew.

    I mostly believe her birth story. Early labor is nothing, although 8 hours of pushing would seem to require a trip to the hospital. Who knows?

  40. Bodhi says:

    I think that everyone considering getting pregnant should see the Business of Being Born. It has an agenda for sure, but it is very informative

  41. ZenB!tch says:

    She still has a boy body – not a compliment.

    I still want her hair – compliment

    She looks like an elf – not sure if that is a compliment or an insult.

  42. Tiffany says:

    @ SEF. don’t you know, she never wanted to be an actress and the Lost producer does not understand why she was turning down all these opportunities. She was told she can be the next Angelina Jolie. There are always from her and not others. Yeah, this girl is full of shit.

  43. Blue says:

    I was in labour for 15 hours, I pushed for 21 minutes so I cannot imagine being in labour for double the time and pushing for that long. Those 20 minutes felt like forever.

  44. SEF says:

    To ? at #37: I’m just saying what MY experience was for my 3 kids. Good for you for pushing for 8 hours. The thing is, sounds like it didn’t work for you after all, so maybe that’s why doctors like my had the 3-hour timetable.

    Good for ALL of us who’ve done it, no matter how. But don’t tell me that a LOT of these actresses don’t make it out like they’re the first ones to ever go through it.

  45. MorticiansDoItDeader says:

    The first time, I pushed for 3 1/2 hours (2x every 1 1/2 minutes) because my son was OP (or sunny side up). I had to beg the OB to let me to go more than 3 hours. With my second son I labored for 5 hours total and pushed 4 times. I asked for an epidural at 9 cm both times. Had I known I was only going to push 4 times, the second time, I would have gone natural. However, I’d like to add that I’ve read certain blogs that claim receiving an epidural interferes with the mother/child bonding process and makes it more difficult for the child to “take to nursing.” these studies are antiquated and I (and others I have spoken to about the subject) have found no current research supporting such claims. Please, let’s not shame other mothers who choose a birthing/child rearing plan different from the one to which you subscribe.

  46. Bodhi says:

    Antiquated or not, it is something to think about when making decisions on a birth plan.

    That being said, my MIL had 3 c-sections & had no trouble nursing while I had my happy hippy birth & ended up having tons of problems nursing my son so who knows

  47. Kimble says:

    @? Contact a lawyer – if you pushed for 8 hours your midwife needs to have her licence revoked. There is no circumstance under which this is acceptable – either at home or in a hospital setting.

    @ Anne – if your midwife gets you to push for more than two hours – call an ambulance and get to hospital – and I am a HUGE advocate for home birth!

  48. Isa says:

    8 hours of pushing seems scary. Why on Earth would it take that long? It sounds as if she was pushing before her body was ready.

    I pushed for 45 minutes. I felt pressure at 9 cm but my nurse made me wait. When I couldn’t anymore she helped massage me. Baby came out nice and easy.

    I thought she was still with that Dominic guy and had no idea she was pregnant. I have a dog named Kane.

  49. Anastasia says:

    Uh, seriously, no medical professional, midwife or otherwise, is going to let a woman PUSH for EIGHT HOURS.

    My God. Two hours is the usual limit for active pushing. I’ve heard of three hours being granted in special cases, rarely. More than that? No way. Even four hours is ridiculous and she’s claiming to have pushed for twice that long? Sheesh, you only rest for 10-30 seconds between long pushes, no one’s letting a woman or her baby go through that for EIGHT hours.

    I call BS.

  50. ManicPixieDreamGirl says:

    OMG, my lady parts are in pain from reading this post. Are you sure this isn’t a national enquirer exclusive? 8 straight hours of pushing is a really long time. 8 hours of pushing x 30 hours of labor x no epidural and a thunderstorm= insanity.

  51. NM9005 says:

    Reading about it is scary enough, I do not want to have children myself! I got a trauma from seeing a video about it when I was 12 and in my family long labour is a fact so no thank you!

  52. deva says:

    My first 2 were birth center babies. I was planning a home birth for the grand finale–happy accident #3. But…water broke and I didn’t go into labor and my midwife’s policy was that I get transferred to the hospital.

    First time I met the doc. He induced my labor with pitocin. I was a bit nervous because I was really anti-hospital. Pitocin contractions were no worse than previous births. Pushed out my babe on the birth stool (that I brought to the hospital with us) after 3 hours of labor.

    Just posting this because I want women to know that even if you end up in a hospital with pitocin, you can still have an amazing birth!

  53. Isa** Thanks. Whew!! This story was starting to scare me.

  54. Sara says:

    a mid-wife isnt going to do a c-section unless there is real danger, and if after 8 hours of pushing the baby was still fine….could be.

  55. Linnie says:

    Good luck Anne. Let us all know what you think AFTER the baby is born:-)

  56. carrie says:

    i live in France and i worked as nurse and i can say it’s impossible to push during 8 hours and above 24h of delivery(even 20h),the doctor will do a caesarean otherwise the life of the woman and her kid are in danger(cardiac troubles or hypertension)

    i don’t judge this actress but she exaggerates and she needs to change her doctor

  57. Isa says:

    HorsePoor Hanna: After I got my epidural and slept through most of my labor. After I got it I just woke up to push. It didn’t hurt, I just felt pressure.

    #52- I read studies that say pitocin makes your contractions more painful. Maybe you just have a higher pain tolerance? Or because it was baby #3 and labors can be easier and shorter?

    All I know is I had pitocin with my first baby. I was in serious pain, screaming, acting a fool. Then I got my epidural and went to sleep.
    I had a scheduled csection with my second but I was already a 3. I was screaming at a three with my daughter. The contractions I felt were nothing!

  58. Scarlet Vixen says:

    Maybe she means 8 hours of active labor, not really pushing? I’ve often wondered what it would be like to have a long, more gradual labor. The whole marathon vs a sprint thing–is it better to ease into the birth or to start right off with labor pains every 45 sec?

    I had #1 in 4hrs and pushed 4 times. #2 was 2hrs of labor & she literally shot out. I didn’t even push–SHE pushed. It was incredibly violent and like something out of a horror movie–like Alien or something (and they were both over 9lbs)! When my husband mentioned having a #3 a couple hours later I literally wanted to punch his face in.

  59. Memphis says:

    30 hours of labor, yes I can believe that. 8 hours of pushing..that’s harder to believe.

    I had three natural births..no drugs, no intervention, no epidurals etc. and two of the three were with midwives. No way my midwife would have let me push for that long no matter how much I wanted a natural birth. It’s just not safe for mom or baby.

    It seems either she is over exaggerating/miscalculating the time line OR if it’s all true I’m glad it worked out for her but her midwife needs to have her license revoked!

  60. Lulumama says:

    I had my 1st this spring in the hospital. The epidural was a godsend! I never had any illusions about going natural – as my doc said “you could have a natural root canal too, but why would you?” My baby’s delivery was wonderful and calm. That being said, I have all the respect in the world for those who go without drugs. 8 hours though? I don’t buy it.

  61. Dana M says:

    @Anne: what a lucky Baby you have there!! You’ll love having a home birth. It will be so very sweet and utter bliss.

    Good luck and happy birthing.

  62. crazy homebirther says:

    Pushed 8 hours with my first homebirth. She was posterior so it took that long to get her through my tiny pelvis. My midwife took heart tones every 10 minutes and my daughter was never in distress. Gnarly hemmoroids for sure, but being a runner helped with the stamina. My point is, I definately believe her birth story. Everybody has a different mindset and pain tolerance when it comes to childbirth. I was just more afraid of being cut open.

  63. Andie B says:

    Since we are sharing – 21 hours of dysfunctional labour EXTREME agony, epidural 15 hours in. Ended up with emergency c-section because baby was stuck. Never got to the pushing stage, but eight hours sounds like a bit of exaggeration. If you were pushing for 2 or 3 hours and no baby was coming I think they would intervene. End result was a lovely healthy baby girl so it was all good in the end. If she had the baby in May I am impressed with how good she looks. I was a wreck for at least 18 months after I had mine.

  64. Bodhi says:

    @Andie B. – That makes me feel much better, my son is almost 5 months old & I am making myself crazy because I don’t look like a super model yet… not that I looked like one before I got preggo, haha

  65. Andria says:

    My mother was in labor (active, painful labor, people) over 24 hours.

    I was in active labor 7 hours, 2 hours of which were the pushing stage (due in part to a tilted uterus and back spasms). Med free, btw, although in those last two hours I was desperate for relief.

    There is no magic time cut off, especially when dealing with homebirth midwives. Some are quite non-interventionist.

    I don’t know Evangeline personally, so I can’t vouch for the veracity of her story, but it isn’t outside the realm of possibility.

    Modern medicine expects women to give birth on a tight schedule, but the body often has a different agenda.

  66. girl says:

    Of course a woman CAN push for 8 hours. That it is a totally horrible idea is another matter. And yes, it is a horrible idea. She’s lucky her baby isn’t dead if that “8 hours pushing” business is true. I’m all for natural birth and it totally can be done without drugs but medical intervention definitely has it’s place and it saves babies all the time.

    It is horribly ignorant to chide someone for wanting to go drug free. Just like your choice to have whatever intervention you deem appropriate, it is a very valid choice.

    If this 8-hours pusing deal is true, and the midwife only started discussing options at 5 hours in, she needs to have her license to practice reevaluated. I can kind of see that maybe it felt like 8 hours but babies die stuck in the birth canal in much shorter periods of time or suffer irreparable brain damage from lack of or limited oxygen.

  67. feyish says:

    I’m not having kids until someone discovers a better exit strategy. The two we’ve got now just don’t cut it for me.

  68. Gretta says:

    This is sooo after the fact but just had to ‘gassup’ about EVL. I think there’s something VERY wrong with her. I haven’t seen her around much since LOST (and yes, I was a fan – but then they dropped the ball at the end) except I once saw her on a talk show, can’t remember who’s and she struck me as exceedingly FAKE and one of these people who say something in a way where it can be interpreted ANOTHER way. She laughed a lot but there was and offness to her.

    I recall her saying something to the effect that women were jealous of her, don’t quote me on that but it was extremely offputting and so I began to google her and found a few other comments about people seeing the same thing about her.

    I’m guessing most of the crew admired her physical abilities on the set and I can’t deny she was very good in that role but in the real world, she’s just plain odd.