Friday Night Lights star Minka Kelly is digging deep on her childhood and relationship with her late mother, Maureen, in her new memoir. In Tell Me Everything, which hits shelves May 2, Kelly is set to unpack experiences from her life, as well as memories and regrets. 

Kelly grew up in poverty, she told People in a recent interview in support of the book, with a mother who worked in Los Angeles as an exotic dancer and would sometimes bring a young Kelly backstage at the strip club while she worked. 

“If she made a lot of money that night, we’d go grocery shopping at 2 a.m.,” she told People. “My childhood was colorful and chaotic, unstable and inconsistent, unpredictable and hard a lot of the times. But the silver lining is that it made me a very adaptable person.”

In the memoir, Kelly will open up about “the part that I carried the most shame about, the part that I felt the most embarrassed of, the part that I hid my whole life, and the part that I’ve had people make me feel bad about.” Before she got her big break on Friday Night Lights, Kelly writes that she had left a toxic relationship, performed in peep shows to make cash to make ends meet, been party to a coerced Sex tape, and had an abortion, according to People. The beloved NBC high school football drama, which was Kelly’s first big acting job, premiered in 2006. She played good girl-gone-eventually-rebellious Lyla Garrity, whose buttoned-up demeanor hiding a well of repressed anger and confusing feelings seems to have some parallels to Kelly’s own life. “I was learning as I was going,” Kelly told People about her onscreen skills. 

Kelly called revealing her past “the scariest part” of putting her story down on paper, and promises reflection on her relationship with her mother, who died of colon cancer in 2008. After a long period of estrangement, Kelly reunited with her after she was diagnosed, at the suggestion of a therapist. 

“She’s already broken,” she says she remembers thinking. “What is the point of pouring salt on the wound? I’m fine. I just want to take care of her right now.” 

Kelly has written about her complicated relationship with her mother before in Instagram posts like one on Mother’s Day in 2018 where she remembered wishing her mother were “like everyone else’s moms.” “It was a little too late when I realized that if I’m gonna blame her for the bad, I also have to blame her for the good,” she wrote. “And when I blame her for the good, I’m able to heal. If she were the mother I wanted her to be, I wouldn’t be me.”

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Kelly recently appeared on season two of HBO’s Euphoria in a role that was written specifically for her, she told Vanity Fair.

“After our first day working together, [show creator Sam Levinson] said, ‘I want you to be the older, wiser version of [Maddy],’” Kelly said. “I was like, ‘Yes, please! I love that. I see so much of myself in this girl.’”

She took from her own past for that part as well: “I love the idea of making sure that she didn’t have this misunderstanding that in order to have a healthy, functioning relationship as an adult, it means you have to live a perfect life,” Kelly said. “You’re not defined by your teenage years in high school. This is the time you’re supposed to mess up. This is all just a period of discovery.”

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