The Real Woman Behind The Story Of “Conviction”

You know how when we were kids we thought our moms could do anything? Well, Betty Anne Waters (far left) is a mom who just about did. After her brother, Kenny, was wrongfully convicted of a crime that landed him in prison for life without parole, Waters became determined to become his lawyer and prove his innocence. Betty stayed relentlessness, earning her G.E.D, her bachelor’s degree, and the right to practice law, all while working a full-time job and raising her children. Her story has now been adapted into the movie “Conviction,” which opens this weekend. In the movie, Betty is played by Hilary Swank. Read on to see what this new Erin Brockovich had to say to about fighting through life and getting her story made into a film.On the main lesson she has learned:

“I think to just keep doing something. What got me through this is that I was never idle. Except for a little depression now and then. But keep going in the direction you want to go. That’s what kept Kenny going and me going and eventually I ended up where I was supposed to be so that when things happened I was ready.”

On what it was like to juggle school, work, and kids:

“There were hard times. I remember one time when I was getting my undergrad degree from Rhode Island College. First of all. my undergrad degree in economics. I’m like, ‘Why did I do that?’ I didn’t know. I took an economics class and said I like that so I majored in it. That was really hard. Also, I remember that my son Ben was in I think first grade and he was sick and I had to do a paper and it was due that next day. I remember my little boy with his head in my lap being sick and I am trying to hold him and type this paper at the same time. That was one of the worst times. Other than that—you just do it.”

The most surprising thing about Hollywood:

“Hollywood is nothing like I expected. I thought it would be all these divas. It was nothing like that. Every single person without exception that I have met in Hollywood I love them and they are fabulous and they are real people. And they care about this movie and they care about what happened. They weren’t just making a movie. Honestly, I feel like they care so much about my family. That’s what I am so amazed about.”

On the film’s message to women:

“It might sound ridiculous but you can do whatever you want to do. Just put one foot in front of the other and go in the direction you want to be in. Always have that in mind. My direction was always the same. Every hurdle was just a hurdle. I went one step at a time. I didn’t often look at the big picture. I looked at all the small pictures.”

Read more about Betty here.