Years after Ellen paved the way; it still takes courage to be out in Hollywood. Heather Matarazzo is one brave actor and although she’s neither richer nor poorer because of it (see below!), her roles continue to captivate in priceless ways. Probably best known for playing Dawn Wiener in Welcome to the Dollhouse, Heather has come of age and recently became engaged to musician, Carolyn Murphy. Chalk it up to love, progress and same-sex marriage in California! She takes some time to talk money, matrimony and this business of acting with Queercents. Enjoy!

1. What did growing up in Italian Catholic family teach you about money?
Growing up in an Italian catholic family didn’t necessarily teach me about money. My mom always instilled in me that it was wiser to save then to spend, but it was great to treat myself to something once in a while.

2. Do you think being out has any impact on what you’re able to earn as an actor?
I don’t think my being out has had any financial implications positive or negative.

3. Describe one money lesson Crutch has learned from her 30-something lesbian friends on Exes and Oh’s.
Truthfully, I don’t think Crutch was open enough to learn anything.

4. You started working at a really young age. How did money play into this?
The only advantage that I had was being able to save larger amounts of money for much longer periods of time.

5. Do you plan on having one of those outrageously expensive Hollywood weddings?
There is definitely not a plan to have an outrageously expensive Hollywood wedding.

6. What is your most significant memory about money?
My most vivid memory of money is that I spent a lot of it on needless things when I was younger, but the biggest gift that I learned was that I am always going to be taken care of regardless, and to not fear success of any kind, financial or otherwise.

7. Have you ever done anything besides acting to earn money?
I worked at McDonald’s for 2 months when I was 15 to get the experience of having a “normal job” which proved to be invaluable because it made me that much more grateful for the gift I was given of being self supporting and self employed.

8. Is there a price attached to activism?
I do not think that I could put a price tag on the gift of being an activist. The truth is, it’s easy to reach into ones wallet and dole out some cash, but it’s another thing entirely to take the time out and lend your voice, your experience, your hope to any given cause. There is a price we pay for being apathetic and afraid.

9. Have you ever had to take any financial risks?
Only when playing blackjack and poker.

10. How do you like to spend your money? How would Carolyn answer this question?
On Caroline, and Caroline would say the same.

More about Heather Matarazzo
Heather Matarazzo, a successful actress since her feature film debut in Welcome to the Dollhouse, which also earned her an Independent Spirit Award at the age of 12, has been captivating movie-going audiences for the past ten years. Most recently, she appeared on Showtime’s critically acclaimed L WORD and starred as a lead in the sequel to HOSTEL the 2006 box office hit for Sony Screen Gems. Currently, she can be seen on Logo’s “Exes and Oh’s” which premiered in October 2007.

Heather quickly followed up Dollhouse with a breakout performance in the Al Pacino thriller The Devil’s Advocate. In the following years, Heather worked on such films as 54, Getting to Know You, Scream 3, Sorority Boys, and Freshman Orientation as well as the critically acclaimed television movie, Our Guys: Outrage at Glen Ridge, in which Heather plays a mentally challenged teen who is gang raped by a group of high school students.

In 1997, Heather joined the cast of Roseanne for the final season of the smash hit show and in 1999 she began production on Now and Again, the largely successful Sci-Fi television show.

In 2001, Heather starred in Disney’s box office hit, The Princess Diaries, directed by Garry Marshall. In 2004, Heather reprised her role of Lilly in The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. 2004 also brought the sleeper hit, Saved! where Heather joined co-stars Jena Malone, Mandy Moore and Macaulay Culkin in this comedic look at Christian subculture.

Heather currently resides in New York City.

Read other Queercents interviews in the Ten Money Questions archive.