July 20 (UPI) -- Actress Tara Reid says her new movie Worthless addresses a subject close to her heart.
"It's an anti-bullying movie and something that is very dear to me. I understand bullying and there is so much of it that goes on. It's just really an important topic and [the film is] something I think people can learn from," Reid told UPI in a phone interview Tuesday.
"It's something that really needs to stop and it's drastic how bad it's become," the American Pie and Sharknado icon said of real-life bullying, adding the amount of hate disseminated via social media, in particular, has become "outrageous."
So, what advice does Reid have for people who find themselves the target of body-shaming or other types of abuse?
"Believe in yourselves and don't listen to all the haters," she emphasized. "For so many people, it's so easy to hate and to be mean and to hurt you, but you can get through that. People are mean, they want to hate you, but there are a lot of people out there that will support you, too. ... People have to stop judging so much and support each other much more. There is so much meanness and cruelty people have toward each other. ... You've got to keep going. ... There are times you go: 'Why? Just leave me alone! Just leave me alone!' And for some reason they don't want to."
The actress noted attacks from strangers or criticism from members of the press don't just hurt the feelings of the intended target.
"It affects me and it can affect my publicist if I'm mad and I say, 'I don't want to do this right now!' And then she can hang up the phone and yell at her boyfriend and they get in a fight, you know what mean? It's contagious. It's something that keeps going. It doesn't just stop at one person. It's a whole trail of things. It's a cycle, a bad cycle. It's a cycle we just need to stop," she said.
Reid admitted she feels she has been bullied throughout her whole acting career.
"But I keep working. I keep moving," she said. "I'm not going to let these people not let me work because I'm trying to make a living. I'm happy with what I look like. I don't care what people say about it. Sometimes the people it hurts a lot more is someone like my mom. [Haters] forget you're someone's daughter, you're someone's sister."
Asked how she maintains a positive attitude, Reid replied: "I'm 41 years old. You just get older and wiser. When you're young, you're young and dumb and you're going to learn. ...
"What you do now, you didn't do when you were 18. Also, what I look like right now isn't what I looked like when I was 18 and people have to stop treating me like I am 18. I'm not. I'm a woman," she laughed. "[Some people say,] 'Look at her!' I'm like: 'Yeah, I look like a 41-year-old girl. Leave me alone.' I don't look the same. No one looks the same as they did 20 years ago."
In Worthless, Reid plays a woman who finds herself bullied at her high school reunion, much like she was when she was a teen. The actress will also soon be seen reprising her role of the world-saving heroine April Wexler in Sharknado 5: Global Swarming on Syfy.