Patricia Arquette's entire family are performers, her siblings David, Rosanna, Alexis and Richmond, included. She says: "Even my great grandparents were in vaudeville. I’m sure when we understand the human genome we’ll find there’s probably a gene for this.”
Whatever that gene is, it has put her at the top of the Hollywood system as the star of her own TV show Medium and with lead role in Oscar-nominated film Boyhood.
She was born in 1968 to an actor and a therapist. The family lived on a commune in Virgina and Patricia says: "I still have that hippy thing underneath somewhere."
It's not that far beneath the surface either. At 15 she ran away from home to live with her big sister Rosanna, falling in with a wild bunch of friends, "punkers and gang bangers".
When she was 20, Patricia had a son named Enzo with her boyfriend Argentine musician Paul Rossi.
In 1995, she wed Nicolas Cage – a union which lasted five years. Her mother died of cancer during the tempestuous marriage, followed soon after by her father.
So it was left to the actress and her siblings to support their transgender sister Alexis who was born a man. "I didn't exactly understand it (but) I said, 'I don't care what package you're comfortable in, I love and accept you'."
Patricia's second husband was Thomas Jane, the father of her daughter Harlow who was born in February 2003. They divorced in 2011.
Rather than hinder her career, Patricia believes that becoming a mother so young gave her the impetus for success. "I had to go feed a baby, change diapers and hustle to make money."
Over the next few years the hustling included starring in Quentin Tarantino classic True Romance with Christian Slater, Ed Wood opposite Johnny Depp and Flirting with Disaster.
Medium, in which she starred as a psychic ran for seven years and garnered her several award nominations and an Emmy.
Even to this day, she remains a rebel soul. The A-lister supports organisations in Haiti, working on education, health and sanitation. She points out that lack of sanitation is more dangerous to human health than diseases like AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.
She hasn't had plastic surgery. "Personally, I’m so happy to be getting older," says Patricia, adding that she wouldn't go back in time because "wisdom is so much more important (than youthful looks)".
And when the producers of Medium asked her to lose weight, she refused on the grounds that it wouldn't be realistic for her character, a mother of three children, to be rake thin.