"I felt like I had done a lot, but I hadn't experienced very much," she says. "And that's because I was always just trying to ... prove that it was okay that I was here, that it was worth me being born."
Demi Moore was feeling the exhilaration of a live show when she swung by "The Tonight Show" on Tuesday night to talk about her new memoir that seems to be going viral with one bombshell revelation after another.
What's perhaps resonating so strongly with her legions of fans is that Moore seemed to live such a public life in the spotlight for so many years, and through high profile relationships with both Bruce Willis and Ashton Kutcher, and yet we're learning that there was so much about her we still didn't know.
As it turns out, a lot of that was by design. "My outsides didn't necessarily convey" the truth of her life, Moore told Jimmy Fallon, "Because I didn't want that to be seen." And so, the experience of writing her memoirs was about "being able to put that down and stop feeling like I had to protect myself or hide who I really am and be able to let myself be seen."
For Moore, there was as much prep work before writing the memoir as there was putting it together, because she had to be present in her life in a way that was totally new to her. And it was through this journey that she even discovered what she was doing in her life.
"I had a very unusual and challenging childhood and it left me in a life that was running," Moore tried to explain. "I say in the book that I felt like I had done a lot, but I hadn't experienced very much. And that's because I was always just trying to keep going and prove that it was okay that I was here, that it was worth me being born."
That way of living kept her from fully embracing all the wonderful things that had happened in her life. "There's no way that you can stop and be present and really experience life when you're running in a way that's a fear," she said.
And so she had to stop running and look inward and figure out how to truly understand her life. "For me there became a central question that I framed around, which is, how did I get here?" Moore explained. "Like, where I came from, what my life was. Like, how have I had the life that I've had ... and then I hit a very hard time in personal life and I was like, how the f--k did I get here?"
At this point, Moore hilariously censored herself by going silent on the f-bomb. "Thank you for censoring yourself," Fallon said. "We are live tonight; I love you for that."
Ironically, Moore's ex-husband Ashton Kutcher displayed this same skill a couple of weeks ago when he swung by "The Tonight Show," though in his case he said it was a necessary ability in a household of children.
Her relationship with Kutcher was just one of many bombshells sprinkled throughout "Inside Out," which also included shocking revelations about childhood sexual abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, infidelity, threesomes, divorces and even estrangement from her children.
"Where the book starts is at a real low point in reality which is a realization of great loss in so many ways of my life," Moore said. "And so the journey is really exploring love and loss and about self-acceptance and forgiveness, self-forgiveness, and ultimately self-love."
And it was through this process of self-healing that Moore was also able to salvage her health, her happiness and her relationship with her children and Willis, who were all on hand to support her for the book launch.
Later in the interview, Fallon and Moore joked about the 26-year gap between her nude covers, both of which were groundbreaking in their own way. Her latest "high fashion" look on the cover of Harper's Bazaar is notable because she's 56 years old, and that's just not something commonly done.
But she was much younger when she shocked the world with her nude and pregnant cover for Vanity Fair, a picture Moore shared was never intended to be used for the magazine at all.
"We were doing the shoot for Vanity Fair and that was the one we were doing for me and the family," she said. But as she was doing it, Moore says she thought about how wild it would be if the magazine "had the courage to put this on the cover." It turns out, "they came back and said, 'Hey, we would like for you to do that. Are you okay with it?'"
And it's something Moore is very proud of, as she feels that cover "changed the way we looked at women when they were pregnant. Before that, they had us in Peter Pan collars."
She also talked about the 30th anniversary of the classic "Ghost," with Patrick Swayze and Whoopi Goldberg, which was a more unlikely hit than many modern audiences realize.
"If you were to read the script, you were like, 'Okay, they want to do a love story, a thriller and a comedy.' Okay, this is either gonna be really good and interesting or an absolute disaster," Moor said. "And then it wasn't. And the reviews were terrible."
Even then, movie reviewers and movie viewers could be on very different pages. And for the record, "Ghost" is an amazing movie that is all of those things and still manages to work thanks in large part to the towering talents of its three leads.