The Untold Truth Of Natasha Henstridge

The following article references sexual assault.

Like fellow models Rebecca Romijn, Tyra Banks, and Cara Delevingne, multihyphenate Natasha Henstridge made the leap from the catwalk to the cinema screen look effortless. The Canadian star made a memorable impression with her acting debut as an oft-naked human slash alien hybrid in 1995 sci-fi feature "Species," and she went on to land other major film roles in the likes of "Maximum Risk," "The Whole Nine Yards," and "Ghosts of Mars." In more recent years, Henstridge has become more renowned for her TV work, bagging recurring parts in "Commander in Chief," "Eli Stone," and "The Secret Circle." Since 2019, she's played legal aid director Colleen MacDonald in CBC's ground-breaking drama "Diggstown."

"I believe that every role that I have done this far has had quality and content," she told Indian Television in 2003. "My roles have been very demanding and every role has been a challenge and a learning experience that has helped me mature as an actress."

What's more, Henstridge's private life has been just as remarkable as her professional. Here's a look at the talented star's untold truth.

She is 'over' Species

Natasha Henstridge immediately proved that she was more than just a pretty face in 1995 when she landed the leading lady role in Dennis Feldman's sci-fi horror "Species." Then better known as a model, the Canadian more than held her own against established names Alfred Molina, Ben Kingsley, and Forest Whitaker in her acting debut.

And with the movie grossing $60 million in the States alone, it was little surprise when she was asked to reprise her role as the seductive, and regenerative, human-alien hybrid Sil (well, a clone of her anyway) in the 1998 sequel. But Henstridge only made a cameo in the third installment that was made for Syfy six years later, and she was entirely absent from 2007's "Species: The Awakening," another TV movie and one which had no relation to the original trilogy.

It's fair to say that Henstridge wasn't bitter about missing out on a return to the franchise. In fact, the actor only appeared in "Species III" due to contractual obligations. She told Toronto Star in 2008 that she's now completely "over" the franchise that helped to establish her in Hollywood: "It was an amazing part of my life, time of my life, a great vehicle for me, but I think it's been done to death quite frankly."

Natasha Henstridge fell for a pop idol

In 2011, Natasha Henstridge walked down the aisle for a second time and wed Darius Campbell. It's a name that probably means little on her side of the Atlantic, but in the UK, the groom was briefly one of the nation's most famous, and initially infamous, pop idols.

Campbell was initially viewed as a laughing stock thanks to his boasts on the first series of pioneering talent show "Popstars" in 2000 (yes, he really told Nigel Lythgoe that he'd have a double platinum album before his 30th birthday) and an erm, interesting audition performance of Britney Spears' "...Baby One More Time" which all but ruined his chances of getting into the show's manufactured group. But after getting rid of his signature ponytail and goatee combo, he re-emerged as a much humbler wannabe for the 2001 debut of "Pop Idol." The Scotsman ended up finishing a far more respectable third in the competition and went on to release an album that went platinum, although sadly not double.

Shortly after turning his career around, Campbell met Henstridge and in 2010 he proposed to the "Species" star. In a sign of things to come, this engagement was broken off before they finally said "I do." Within two years the couple had filed for divorce. The on/off saga continued when The Sun reported in 2016 that they were spotted sharing a kiss, but this reconnection didn't last: Two years on they officially went their separate ways.

She's opened up about taking diet pills

Having emerged from the modeling world, Natasha Henstridge no doubt became aware at a young age of the pressures to be thin. That perhaps explains why she resorted to drastic dieting measures after pivoting into acting, too.

In 2009, the actor told the Daily Mail that she'd previously tried everything from diet pills to Chinese herbs in a bid to keep the pounds off. But she now acknowledges just how ill-advised this was: "I've probably taken some pills that are taken off the market these days, that were like, 'Oh, but it just gives me an extra boost when I'm working out,' and it seems innocent enough and it's over the counter. Those things have a huge effect on your metabolism and all of a sudden, when you decide to go clean and healthy, things are changing in your body because you've done a little bit of damage."

Henstridge eventually realized that she could stay in shape by attending boot camp fitness classes and cycling instead. She told WENN six years later, "I'm really not a fan at all of the gym so it's tough for me to stay on that path too long. I'm really an outdoorsy person, so if it's mountain biking, or something that makes it feel like I'm not exercising, that's always my preference."

Natasha Henstridge was nearly a Bond girl

The name's Henstridge... Natasha Henstridge. Sadly, it's not one that's ever appeared in the credits of a James Bond movie, although it very nearly did. In 2015, the actor told WENN that she was once in the running to play Dr. Christmas Jones in "The World Is Not Enough" but that she was a little too preoccupied with motherhood to fully commit: "I met everyone for the role but I had just had a baby and my head wasn't in the game." She told SheKnows that she believed she was too distracted to secure the gig, even though she was a frontrunner. "I think they thought of me first as well, so..." she said. 

Henstridge still had ambitions at the time to appear as a Bond girl. "My name has been thrown around for a while throughout the years, but it hasn't happened," she said in WENN. "I think the films are incredible, especially with Daniel Craig as Bond. ... It would be a fantastic franchise to be a part of."

Dr. Christmas Jones, the nuclear physicist who was played by Denise Richards, isn't the only notable role that Henstridge lost out on. She was in the frame to play the femme fatale in "L.A. Confidential," a character Kim Basinger ended up winning an Academy Award for inhabiting. The Canadian shared with WENN that she turned down a chance to appear in another awards favorite, "The Wrestler," but instantly regretted it when she saw the finished film.

Botox is part of Natasha Henstridge's regimen

Something you don't hear of every day? A Hollywood star who admits their miraculously smooth complexion isn't simply a result of Olay's finest but a neurotoxic protein injected into the face. In 2015, Natasha Henstridge revealed to WENN that she will occasionally resort to a little cosmetic help to stay as youthful-looking as possible. However, the "Commander in Chief" actor explained that she's still more than happy for a few wrinkles to show up on screen. In fact, she prefers it: "I get a little Botox from time to time, particularly when I'm not working, but I like to have full range of motion of my face when I'm on camera!"

Henstridge then recalled one particular experience which, judging by the number of blank-faced performances, is a common occurrence in Tinseltown: "I'm very sensitive to it and really had a bad brow droop once and no expression, which is not fun when you're trying to do an emotional scene and the only way of telling if you're upset is tears and your voice."

Needless to say, for an actor — or anyone whose job involves being on camera — getting Botox at the right time is key. As Oscar winner Olivia Colman told The Times, "I have done Botox and I LOVED it [but] I've done it when I know there is a big gap [between roles]."

Natasha Henstridge has an autoimmune condition

Natasha Henstridge's struggles to conform to Tinseltown's obsession with being slim has been made much harder by the autoimmune condition she was diagnosed with back in the early '10s. The Canadian suffers from Hashimoto's disease, a thyroid disorder which can affect both the heart rate and the body's metabolism.

"The Secret Circle" star explained to WENN in 2015, "[It] can wreak havoc on your body in many different ways, but one of the more visible side effects is weight gain. As a result, I don't burn off extra calories easily. I try quite hard to maintain even the size I'm at now, which by Hollywood standards is large."

Henstridge isn't the only famous face dealing with the disease. Model Gigi Hadid, former tween favorite Victoria Justice, "Avatar" actor Zoe Saldana and "Jane the Virgin" stars Andrea Navedo and Gina Rodriguez have all revealed they suffer from the autoimmune disorder, too, although the latter is doing her best to put a positive spin on things, telling, "As an actress, I was like, 'Seriously? In a world that's so vain, I have to deal with the disease that makes you not keep weight off?' But it actually became a blessing, because then I got to represent not only women and Latinas, but also women who are dealing with this disease."

Leonardo DiCaprio was a rumored fling

Could Natasha Henstridge be responsible for Leonardo DiCaprio's apparent inability to forge a relationship with anyone other than twenty-something models? According to Page Six, the Canadian was one of the first such types to have a romance with the famously non-committal Academy Award winner.

Henstridge and DiCaprio apparently got together in 1997, two years after the former made her acting breakthrough in "Species" and a year after the latter had become Hollywood's ultimate pin-up in Baz Luhrmann's "Romeo and Juliet" ("Titanic" was just around the corner, too).

It's probably easier to list the models who DiCaprio hasn't dated since, but Eva Herzigova, Gisele Bündchen, and Nina Agdal are just a few of the more high-profile ones the playboy has been linked with over the years. Henstridge, who'd already divorced first husband Damian Chapa by the time she met DiCaprio, went on to forge a long-term relationship with another actor, Liam Waite, before marrying and then splitting with singer Darius Campbell.

Natasha Henstridge doesn't like watching her work

You may have seen Natasha Henstridge gracing the red carpet premieres of her work either side of the millennium. But there's a good chance she simply went home once the cameras had stopped flashing, for the Canadian star can't bear to see herself on screen.

In a 2021 chat with Ain't It Cool, the actor revealed that she's not much of a fan of her own movies, either. That said, there is one entry in her filmography that Henstridge will happily sit down in front of. Is it "Species," the hit sci-fi that helped launch her to fame? Perhaps "The Unhealer," the supernatural revenge tale for which she won Best Actress at the New York City International Film Festival? Nope, it's the fairly middling 2000 crime caper "The Whole Nine Yards."

Henstridge explained, "I remember watching [it] and chuckling my way through and even losing sight of the fact that I was in the movie because I was so enjoying the film, so yeah, that was a good one."

Natasha Henstridge is cool with nudity

Natasha Henstridge has shown flesh on screen on more than one occasion. She's appeared unclothed in the likes of "Maximum Risk," "Bela Donna" and "Second Skin." The actor also spent much of her film debut as human-alien hybrid Sil in "Species" in her birthday suit. Luckily, she doesn't appear to have a problem with baring all.

While speaking to Indian Television in 2003, Henstridge admitted that her body confidence has served her well in Hollywood: "I might sound very candid but I think my comfort with nudity definitely plays an important role in getting me my roles." The star did reveal, however, that she found the need to be both sexy and strange in her first movie role particularly challenging: "The nude scenes were a little eerie. And I felt a little odd. Yeah, when the camera scanned up my body, I said to my friend, 'Now that's a close-up.' I mean, you see every inch of my body. But I'm okay with it and so it was cool."

Reflecting on filming certain scenes for "Species," she told the Daily Beast, "Very funny and very awkward, but I've never been a particularly shy person. ... They had to shut down an entire city block and I had to run for one of the scenes and I was naked. It helps when you're 19 or 20 years old and have a cute body."

She has mixed feelings about the internet

Speaking to ParentsCanada magazine in 2014 about being a mother of two, Natasha Henstridge admitted that she has something of a love/hate relationship with the world wide web. On one hand she recognizes that Google can help her pass as an all-knowing genius. On the other, the actor doesn't like the fact that kids have access to "pretty much everything" at the click of a mouse. The "Bounce" star also worries about the impact of social media on her two sons: "There's a lot of pressure to be the craziest, funniest or most popular. Things spread like wildfire but kids don't realize the impact that what they're posting can have on their lives and their future."

But that hasn't stopped Henstridge herself from signing up to the likes of Instagram and Twitter herself. When asked about her accounts by Movie Mom in 2016, the Canadian said, "I think it's a fun way to burn a few moments of your day and check-in and stay somewhat connected."

She accused Brett Ratner of sexual assault

In 2017, Natasha Henstridge became one of six women to publicly accuse Brett Ratner of sexual assault and harassment. The actor told the Los Angeles Times that the incident occurred at his apartment in New York back in the 1990s shortly before she landed her star-making role in "Species." Henstridge had fallen asleep there surrounded by others but when she woke she found herself alone with the Hollywood producer who then allegedly assaulted her. Ratner's lawyer denied the accusation. 

Just a few weeks after the story broke, Henstridge appeared on "Megyn Kelly Today" where she expanded on her account of the night in question. "At first I thought he was just coming on strong, and trying to convince me that there was something between us, and that he was trying to be super convincing," she recalled. "That was my initial thought until I made more of an effort to sort of get out. That is when I realized he wasn't playing around anymore. He just got very aggressive."

Henstridge said she felt ashamed, dirty, and gross following the incident but recognizes that she had no say in the matter. The Canadian also addressed those who questioned her own culpability: "When you are afraid of someone, when you physically don't know what someone is capable of, when you are afraid of them, you don't know what they are capable of doing, and therefore you submit. And I submitted. I did submit." 

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Natasha Henstridge spoke out against Harvey Weinstein

In the same month she made claims of sexual assault against Brett Ratner, Natasha Henstridge also revealed that she'd been a victim of another prolific Hollywood predator. The "Eli Stone" actor alleged that Harvey Weinstein once masturbated in front of her during a meeting at the Sundance Film Festival. 

During an appearance on "Megyn Kelly Today," an emotional Henstridge said, "One thing led to another, he got very flirtatious and suddenly it became not about the job he was trying to offer me or put me up for anymore. It became all about flirtation. And he did some terrible things there as well. Came on to me repeatedly and the story goes much deeper."

Henstridge added that although Ratner was more aggressive in his conduct, Weinstein "definitely tried" to make things even more physical. Luckily, the Canadian managed to escape before things got to that point but the incident still haunts her. She went on to tell Kelly that she believes her line of work has made it much easier for men to objectify her: "I did a lot of films where I am playing the beautiful role or the sexy role or those kinds of things and so I think on some level, people remove the part of you that is an actress from the human part of you. It's about power and control." In 2020, Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison on two other sexual assault charges.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

She filled in for Courtney Love

Depending on which side of the "Is 'Ghosts of Mars' the worst John Carpenter film" debate she stands on, Natasha Henstridge can either thank or curse Courtney Love for enabling her to star in it. The Hole frontwoman was all set to play leading lady Lieutenant Melanie Ballard in the 2001 sci-fi horror, but, as MTV News reported at the time, she dropped out just days before shooting began.

Henstridge's name was then thrown into the ring as a last-minute replacement by then-fiance Liam Waite, who had a minor role as Officer Michael Descanso. Whatever she may think of the finished product, the Canadian model appeared to have a good time making it, telling, "It was cool. I was a real tomboy growing up, and I've always loved action stuff. I'm the person who, when those movies like 'G.I. Jane' come out, is the first in line. ... So it was great in this, being able to kick some a** instead of being dragged around by the guy who's doing all of the a**-kicking."

"Ghosts of Mars" may have bombed at the box office — grossing just half of its $28 million budget. But it remains one of Henstridge's most high-profile films and like every flop scarefest, has since developed a cult following. And the film doesn't appear to have deterred the star from the genre — her recent filmography boasts several horrors including "In From Outside," "Why?" and "The Unhealer."

Natasha Henstridge has quite the net worth

In a 2009 interview with blog My Take On TV, Natasha Henstridge freely admitted that her career choices haven't always been about the art. "You know, there are things that you do just for money, I'm not going to lie," she said. "I'm an actress, I have two kids, I have a family to support."

It's an approach which appears to have paid off. According to Celebrity Net Worth, the Canadian has $14.5 million to her name having appeared in no fewer than 76 different projects since her 1995 acting debut in "Species." Not bad for someone who, as Henstridge told the Daily Beast, left their trailer park home at the age of just 14.

That figure is perhaps all the more impressive for the fact that Henstridge has gone through two divorces, too. In 2018, The Blast reported that following her split from second husband Darius Campbell, the actor retained all of her production company rights and royalties. In other words, she keeps making money and she doesn't have to split it with her ex. She may be "over" her "Species" gig, but her bank account probably is a big fan.