At 14, Heléne Yorke Was Thirsting For Prince William

“It was a hot mess explosion of hormones,” says The Other Two star.

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When Heléne Yorke was 12, she and her family relocated to the worst possible place to endure her awkward phase: Los Angeles, the birthplace of celebrity and the epicenter of our culture’s plastic surgery obsession. “[In LA], everybody is deeply hip and I was in the throes of puberty,” says the star of HBO Max’s The Other Two, recalling her bad case of acne. All that insecurity didn’t exactly help her make new friends, she points out. “Being social was so scary to me. I was so desperate to be cool but didn't know how to be cool.”

Then Yorke discovered the superpowers that would help her survive teendom: She was funny, good at acting, and could have multiple orgasms. (More on that last one later.) “I realized I was funny at one of my parents' dinner parties talking to my parents' friends. I remember at that age being like, ‘I'm just so much better with adults,’” she says. “All the cool [kids] were f*cking losers but parents accepted you because they're adults who accept themselves.” When Yorke later moved to New York to pursue a career on Broadway, it was this innate sense of humor that propelled her career, helping her book appearances in Louie, 30 Rock, and High Maintenance before she landed the role of the narcissistic, delusional Brooke Dubek in The Other Two.

But despite her newfound success, Yorke still lives by that anti-cool creed. “I was just saying to somebody that at all of these [Hollywood] parties, you're just holding in a fart for five hours and then you get home and you have a stomach ache for days afterwards,” the actor says. Instead, she much prefers her home life. “I'm married to the sexiest man alive. He's Jewish, a good dad, and so hot it’s insane.” He might not be her high school crush, His Royal Highness Prince William, but Yorke still thinks she did good.

Below, Yorke reflects on her teen years, her Prince William journal, and her erstwhile love for Limited Too.

Take me back to 1999, when you were 14. How were you feeling about life?

Recently on Life & Beth, [Amy Schumer] talked about this disorder where you pull your own hair out and it grows back in patches [called trichotillomania]. I had that. I [also] got acne, my body was weird, and I was pulling my hair out with anxiety.

Were your parents aware of your trichotillomania, or was it something you were hiding?

It was pretty hard to not notice. But it was still like a secret shame [thing that] was so satisfying to do. It calmed me down; it was a release.

I also learned how to masturbate when I was around that age and I just couldn’t stop. I was like, “What is this? It must be bad.” I never talked to anyone about it until I was a freshman in high school. Then I found out that other people were doing it and then I realized I was actually this amazing unicorn that could have that many orgasms.

Did you have any celebrity crushes that you were “thinking about” at that time?

I was absolutely out of my mind for Prince William. Out of my mind! When he got to Eton and he did that press conference, he was really cute. I had a journal...

Tim Graham/Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images

What kind of Prince William fan fic were you writing?

I wasn't writing, I was cutting out [pictures of him]. It wasn't an eloquent love. It was a hot mess explosion of hormones. Those pages probably stuck together, man.

You grew up dancing, but started acting in middle school. Did having that creative outlet help you fit in at your new school?

It was the thing that gave me confidence. I was in choir; I was taking acting lessons. That's an age where you're figuring out who you are and what you could possibly be good at. [Acting] was something I was good at and that made me feel like, “Okay, I have this. I can do this.”

What were your dressing like at the time?

The usual suspects. I was going to Limited Too, I had big bead necklaces, baby tees, short shorts, and the little butterfly clips. Recently [I saw a meme that said] if you were wearing those little butterfly clips, it's time for a night cream. And I was like, “Baby, it has been time for a night cream! It's time for surgical intervention! You need needles now! Bring in the big guns!”

How did you envision your adult life when you were 14?

This is going to sound so gross, but I think I dreamed about what my life is now when I was 14. I had these fantasies of going to New York City and now I live here and skip around town. I go to my friends’ Broadway openings, great restaurants, I have really interesting dynamic friends. I did it.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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