April 18, 2017 6:38 PM EDT

Blake Lively is one of Variety‘s “Power of Women” cover stars this year, so she took part in a behind-the-scenes video with a few unexpected tidbits about her background.

For instance, the glossy star—perhaps best known for her portrayal of the iconic and uber-wealthy Upper East Sider Serena van der Woodsen in Gossip Girl—had a much more humble start to her own life in New York.

“My first New York apartment was really, really, really tiny,” she explains. “The kitchen and the closet were the same room.” This will sound familiar to other New York transplants dealing with the notoriously tricky housing that the city offers. Celebrities: even their early experiences in real estate can be relatable.

“I had too many cake pans that I brought from home that I had growing up that my mom gave me,” she further elaborated. OK, so, maybe not that relatable after all.

Lively also shared advice from her mother, who was a working woman with five kids: “Don’t compromise one for the other, and you can do both fantastically. And some days, you’ll do both horribly. As long as you’re happy and give your family the love and attention they need, it all sort of falls into place,” she said. Lively, of course, is married to fellow actor Ryan Reynolds, with whom she has two young children.

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Write to Raisa Bruner at raisa.bruner@time.com.

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