Meghan Markle revealed a lot about her journey to success just weeks before her royal romance made headlines.
In exclusive new footage from the Create & Cultivate conference in Atlanta, Georgia, the 35-year-old Suits star opened up about being a struggling actress in Los Angeles, her passion for humanitarian work and becoming the ultimate girl boss. She also dropped a very subtle hint about her relationship with Prince Harry.
Sitting down with Create & Cultivate founder Jaclyn Johnson in October 2016, Markle announced that she had just flown in from London the night before (we wonder who she could have been visiting there). She is even seen wearing the matching bracelet on her left hand that she and Prince Harry wear together. At that time last fall, news of their romance had been mere speculation across the pond.
Create & Cultivate
Create & Cultivate
During the 30-minute sit-down, Markle got real about her past, discussing her years of struggling as an actress and developing a thick skin in the entertainment industry. "I was brought up in the entertainment industry, so it was a very comfortable environment for me," she shared, "but at the same time I think what became abundantly clear very early on, beyond just the nature of how completive trying to have a career as a professional actress, is because I am biracial, I was able to get into so many more rooms… I ended up going into so many different auditions and you get the thickest skin of all time because it is very hard not to question something about yourself in those moments when it has nothing to do with you."
At one point during Markle's endless auditions, she tells the story of when she could not afford to fix her car, and had to crawl through the trunk to get to the front seat. "This epic day happened where the locks stopped opening with the key. And the clicker wouldn't open the front doors and I couldn't afford to fix this car and this was how I got from one audition to the other," she confessed. "So what I would start to do is literally go to these auditions, park at the back of the parking lot and I would open my trunk… and crawl into the back of my car to the front seat to drive off to my next audition. This, by the way, went on for five months."
Struggles like these for Markle are certainly in her past! Today she stars in the USA drama series Suits, which is in its sixth season. "Suits is not what I ever thought, I never thought my life would be that awesome!"
Get used to it, Meg -- you may very well have a life of royalty ahead of you!
Much like Prince Harry and his late mother, Princess Diana, Markle shares a strong passion for her humanitarian work. She discussed her work with the UN Women organization and World Vision, and her travels to Rwanda for a field mission and India to work with a women's program. "I think being able to give back and do any sort of humanitarian work will make your life feel a lot more balanced, because you realize where your priorities should be."
As an actress, a writer, and humanitarian, it's clear Markle is a total girl boss! "I don't know anyone who just does one thing anymore. Right?" she said. "As women I don't think we've ever just done one thing. We do it all!"
The actress also has a refreshing take on what feminism means to her. "Of course you can still be a woman who wants to look beautiful," she said. "It doesn't lessen the fact that you are standing up for something that is incredibly important [to you]… You don't have to play dress up to be a feminist. You are a feminist exactly as you are. And so, I think for me, it's not even a question of how you reconcile, it's just what it is. And I love being a woman, a feminist, and I love being girly too, so they can all co-exist. Yeah, I love being a girl boss."
A girl boss who is also down to earth, Markle loves a good glass of wine, her girlfriends and her mama. Her blog, The Tig, is named after Tignanello wine, she gets inspiration from her girlfriends and she chats on the phone with her mom often – "Always take mom's [phone] call!"
Through Markle's journey to success, she emphasizes the importance of always being grateful for the little things. "It's all still exciting and I think when you are really grateful for those little things and you don't lose sight of that, is when you can enjoy it. I'm pretty certain the whole point is to enjoy this silly little life ride that we're all on."
Watch ET tonight to see more of Markle's inspirational interview.
Create & Cultivate is the fastest growing millennial career site and national conference series for female entrepreneurs. Their next event will be a pop-up at SXSW on March 12th in Austin, Texas, where Kristen Bell and Sophia Bush will be C&C's keynote speakers.