Mena Suvari poses in short shorts for Boston Common

Feb 27, 2012 at 5:19 p.m. ET

Mena Suvari is opening up about her love of indie films, the new American Pie movie and even her recent divorce -- all while wearing short shorts in the middle of winter.

Mena Suvari

Mena Suvari tries to stay under the radar, but with a recent divorce and the new American Pie sequel American Reunionthat's pretty hard to do. The actress sat down with Boston Common Magazine to talk about life, love and movies -- and check out that cover photo!

On her dichotomy of taste

"I'm definitely attracted to things that are deep, dark and heavy," Suvari told the mag. "Taking these challenges, I've learned and discovered so much about myself in the process." But she loves comedy, too. "I'm so grateful because I love comedy. I grew up on Tracey Ullman and singing in a choir."

There's room for appreciating both, she said. "I appreciate the workmanship, the extremely creative unique expressions. When I see people who make choices that aren't influenced by other people, I see the person that I've always wanted to be, somebody who really owns who they are."

Beauty vs. brains

"People look at me and think I should act a certain way and then are shocked that I don't," she said. When a director was surprised that she was smart as well as attractive, "My jaw dropped. I thought, is this an insult? Is this a compliment?"

While traveling after shaving her head for a movie role, a customs officer looked at her old passport picture and said, "And you're such a pretty girl."

"Is that what defines me? The length of my hair?" she wondered.

Growing up and moving on

"I have a wonderful family and a lot of beautiful people in my life, and I'm thankful," she said. "But I didn't have time to really grow up with the rest of them. In many ways, I kind of raised myself and had to go through a lot of struggle and growth on my own."

But the industry did not lead to the breakup of her marriage to Italian concert producer Simone Sestito. "Definitely not. I don't let that affect my personal relationships. I'm very Aquarius that way."

Read on for more celebrity divorce news on SheKnows >>

"It's taken years to get to know myself. I had never really taken time to cultivate who I was," she said. "I've felt drained by it. But I feel like I'm really, finally, content at this point in my life. I'm accepting of who I am and how diverse I am and honoring that. All of it."

Read the entire interview with Mena Suvari in Boston Common Magazine, hitting newsstands next week.

Image courtesy Boston Common Magazine