I grew up in Nacogdoches, Texas... raised by my grandmother. We were very poor and had no indoor plumbing. My grandmother was a very religious woman, though, and she gave me a lot of faith and inner strength.
I don't know if it's that the scripts are evolving or just that I'm getting older, but the characters become more interesting as you get older because you've lived more life at different stages. You've loved; you've lost; you have more of that journey.