"You think you sort of have it figured out, and then things change," the actress tells PEOPLE

By Christina Dugan
June 07, 2021 03:11 PM
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With 25 years of experience in Hollywood, Clea DuVall has plenty of wisdom to share.

In this week's issue of PEOPLE, the actress, 43, reflects on her time in the industry: the good, the bad, and the lessons learned.

"I was very shy and wasn't really comfortable letting myself be completely open," says DuVall, who rose to fame in the late 1990s, appearing in Girl, Interrupted alongside Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie. "I always felt like there was a part of me holding back, and that's probably why I ended up in more serious roles."

Clea DuVall
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These days, she's having more fun. DuVall — who came out as a lesbian in 2016 and revealed last year that she's happily married — wrote and directed the 2020 queer holiday romantic comedy Happiest Season.

Currently, she executive produces, writes for and lends her voice to the new animated comedy series HouseBrokenabout a therapy dog, airing Mondays on Fox.

"The cast is incredible," DuVall says. "There are so many things I love about the show. I mean, as a creator, I love the freedom you have in animation, and how you can really just let your imagination go and do anything."

housebroken
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At this stage in her career, DuVall has learned to go with the flow — and roll with the punches.

"Life is always changing," says DuVall. "You think you sort of have it figured out, and then things change. But I think what you sort of learn is that there is no constant. It's never going to be any one way for that long a period of time. So it makes the bad times not seem as bad, and it makes you appreciate the good times more when they're there because, who knows, anything can happen."

"You get more comfortable with yourself, so it's easier to be more open, try new things and not be afraid to look silly," she adds. "I've learned to be the source of my own happiness."

HouseBroken airs Mondays (9 p.m. ET) on FOX.