04:28 PM EDT 12/17/2014
Originally posted 08/09/2012 08:55AM
Darlene Cates was unforgettable in What's Eating Gilbert Grape, playing Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio's morbidly obese mother Bonnie, who hasn't left the house in years while in the grips of depression following her husband's suicide.
Now, almost 20 years and a number of health problems later, Cates, 64, has lost nearly 250 lbs. – and is feeling optimistic that she might act again.
"I can do moms real well. I don't have to delve very deep to find Mom in there," the Forney, Texas, resident tells the Dallas Morning News in a new interview.
Top 5 Most Voted Stories
Top 10 News Categories
The most buzzed about stars this minute!
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
More On PEOPLE.com
Got a News Tip?
Send it to our People.com editors!