The real Erin Brockovich helps us tell her apart from the film and email versions

Movie stars send me email all the time. At least it seems that way, thanks to the latest trendlet of movie promos masquerading as personal messages. Cecil B. Demented drafted me into his gang (, American Psycho‘s Patrick Bateman stalked me (, and now Erin Brockovich, whose video came out on Aug. 15, is sending me diary entries ( So I tracked down the real corporate crime fighter, still living in California, to test the authenticity of these missives. The results of my investigation:

What are these emails based on?
They’re probably from interviews with me, and from speeches. I have one here in front of me and I’m reading ”My dad always said I should never give up.” When things were down and bad for me I would always hear phrases from my dad: ”It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” To this day there are days when I think I just can’t go on, and I’ll pick up the phone and call my dad.

One e-mail reads, ”I can’t walk away from a mess, whether it’s a room that needs to be cleaned or a case that needs to be solved.” Are you really a neat freak?
I had a total meltdown this morning because my closet wasn’t organized. I’m going to Indiana to give a speech and then to Las Vegas … If my closet was in disarray I couldn’t focus on how I was going to present myself. I know that sounds stupid, but I do that. And I do that on [legal] cases.

Everyone recognizes your name now. Has that changed your life?
I was somewhere the other day and I used my credit card, and the lady looked at me and she goes, ”You’re not the Erin Brockovich?” And I go, ”Yeah.” And she started laughing — the back of my card wasn’t signed. She looked at me and said ”Oh, no, I know who you are. I’m not messing with you, I don’t even want to see your ID.” I go: ”Wait a minute, I don’t want someone to be frightened of me. That’s ridiculous.” So I gave her my ID. I get reactions like that. If somebody got that message from the movie, I’d tell them that’s not what it’s about. I’m not a big bad bitch to just anybody on the street.

Erin Brockovich
  • Movie
  • 126 minutes
  • Steven Soderbergh