In an exclusive interview with Closer Weekly, Christine Lahti, 68, opens up about overcoming sexual harassment at the start of her Hollywood career. “It never occurred to me that I would ever become a prostitute to become an actress. It was never an option. This casting director tried to convince me it was the only way I’d ever make it, and part of me believed he might be right,” the Chicago Hope star confides to Closer.

“Everything was taken away in that moment, because my only value was in my sexuality — and that’s the day I became a feminist in my bones,” she reveals.

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That wasn’t the only challenge she had to face in her acting career. “At first, I was too tall. Then I wasn’t pretty enough, then I was too old. Now I get to the point where I just don’t pay attention to it. That’s what’s so liberating,” Christine explains to Closer.

And although she celebrated her 68th birthday on April 4, she has no plans of slowing down. “I want to direct more, write more and play roles that scare me. I feel I’m in my prime! I don’t want to slow down, and I’m not going to!”

“I’m a late bloomer, but at this age I’m finally able to say I really don’t care if you think I’m too… fill in the blank! I’m just going to continue to do my work and what I love and what I think is important,” Christine tells Closer.

For more on Christine Lahti, pick up the latest issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now — and be sure to sign up for our newsletter for more exclusive news!