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Vanessa Williams Says Jean Claude Van Damme Once Said Her Eyes 'Look Like Lasers' (But She Took It as a Compliment!)

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Clear Eyes

It goes without saying that at 54 years old, Vanessa Williams is a true American beauty. But when looking at the former Miss America, it’s hard to miss one feature: her striking bold blue eyes. And we’re not alone on that one. Apparently, Williams says she’s gotten some pretty interesting compliments about her big blues over the years.

“When I was performing at the casino in Monte Carlo and Jean Claude Van Damme came up to me after the show and said ‘Your eyes look like lasers!’ the Clear Eyes spokeswoman tells PeopleStyle. “That was a big compliment because it was unexpected and very comedic.” So it’s a fitting match to see Williams continuing her relationship with Clear Eyes by starring in the brand’s television spot called My Shining Moment, which celebrates the positive moments in people’s lives.

“I love the new catchphrase ‘Your shining moment,’ because those are the things as a parent you try to instill in your kids — to know that life is precious and there are rough times, but there are some shining moments you need to celebrate,” Williams said.

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It goes without saying the star’s had her fair share of shining moments throughout her life in the spotlight, whether it be tying the knot to her husband John Skrip or judging the Miss America competition 32 years after she originally took the crown. But Williams’ standout shining moment happened at the start of her career.

“I grew up outside N.Y.C. and always went to Broadway shows. To see my name in lights at my opening night on Broadway and to see my parents and family and all the people I had gone to school with see me star in a Broadway show [Kiss of the Spiderwoman] back in 1994, I would probably have to say that was a collective win for us all,” the actress told us.

Paul Zimmerman/WireImage

Because of her combined singing and acting careers, Williams has been a red-carpet regular for years. But she says walking the carpet today is a completely different experience than when she started. “It has gotten more massive as years have gone on. The initial red carpet was entering an event and saying hi and moving on,” Williams said. “Now it is a complete photoshoot — the red carpet is work! It’s another event unto itself before even getting to the main event.”

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But when Williams admits the greatest joy — besides all the glitz and glam of fame — is connecting with fans.

“I feel most like myself when I’m making a connection with someone and I see the light in their eyes,” she told us. “My favorite part about singing in front of an audience is seeing them sing along — they know every word and you can see tears in their eyes.”

What is your shining moment? Tell us yours in the comments below.