Once a mom, always a mom. In fact, nature doesn’t care if you have work to do… or an interview with a celebrity lined up. So after getting to attend the “blue” carpet at the premier of Rio at Hollywood’s infamous Chinese Grauman Theater and seeing the animated 3D visual stunner with the stars of the film like, Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, Jamie Foxx, George Lopez, Will.i.am and more, Breezy Mama was fortunate to join several other “mom” bloggers for a round table interview with Leslie Mann, who plays one of the main characters, Linda, afterward.
Banking on the fact that, as per usual in LA, things would run late, I made a mad dash once the movie ended to my hotel, The Renaissance to get my pump on (I would have gladly nursed the twins, but as luck would not have it, the hubby had just fed them and put them down for naps). Once finished, I raced back past the movie theater through crowds of tourists, making my way to the Roosevelt Hotel when I came to find that not only was the interview happening on time, but it even started early! Running up the stairs, I flew into the packed room with Leslie at the head of the table on one end, and the only seat left available was at the other end of the very long table. Completely out of breath and interrupting as it was, there was only one thing for me to say to the full room: “Sorry, I’m late. Had to pump.”
“Doesn’t that make you so tired? Pumping always used to make me so tired,” mom of an 8 year old and 13 year old Leslie asked.
“Yes, that and just running back here,” I said panting.
“And she has four month old twins!” Someone offered.
“Are you serious?” Leslie asked.
“Yes. And they’re my 4th and 5th.”
“Oh wow!” Leslie exclaimed.
And graciously answered my out of breath questions from there. In fact, this very down to earth actress and wife of Judd Apatow, who’s Knocked Up Leslie and their daughter’s starred in, gave a very frank mom to mom style interview that I have compiled together — some of the questions I asked, and others from the women in the room — from her post-partum depression, to dealing with teens (oh, it’s going to happen to you one day, too), her favorite beauty secret and more.
Do you find it hard as a working mom balancing your family & your career?
Yes, it is hard. It was really hard in the beginning when I first became pregnant — it was just such a shocker. I was depressed for about five years. And I don’t know if I really had postpartum depression because back then no one would talk about it. I went to therapists who tried to prescribe me medication, but it didn’t work.
I’d say it went on until I was three months pregnant with my second daughter, I was feeling pretty bad. And then, it just lifted. And I remember thinking, is this going happen again with my second one? But it didn’t and it hasn’t yet.
Did you ever have an identity crisis after having your children?
Yes, that was part of my experience with the depression. I didn’t know who I was or what I was doing. It took me a really long time to figure out how to be this new person. But, eventually I did, and everything is good now.
Was your husband helpful when you were in that difficult place?
He was–he is very good. He’s good in that he stayed home for a couple of months when we had both of our kids. But, I think he probably was going through his own little crisis, you know?
Can you tell us a little bit about the film, as in how it worked with the filming? Were you by yourself or did you run lines with other cast members?
Well, what I do is, I go into a room with Carlos, the director, who’s a sweetheart. Did you guys meet him?
Oh, he’s so sweet–and just read lines with him throughout the process. A long process! Over and over and over again. Each session would be for about four hours, and we would read the same lines numerous time.
And then, toward the end, we would read against the picture after everything was animated. And that was the really fun part. So, it’s funny because in the beginning, I’m thinking–I’m going to work, I’ll try to look nice– and then after the first few sessions, I was showing up in sweats and Ugg boots. It was definitely an easy, fun job.
Aside from recording with Carlos [the director], did you ever get a chance to work face to face with the other actors?
They taped you all separately?
Did you wish they had a few of you together at some points?
Well, I can’t say. I’ve never done it any other way, so I don’t know how it feels using another process.
Did they show you your character’s like image right from the start, any drawings of how Linda will look?
Yes they did.
How far do you go in terms of details to prepare your character, for example, Linda is from Minnesota, so what else did they tell you about her?
Yes, well I tried at least! I researched a little bit in the beginning about the Minnesota accent however, I’m terrible with accents. I “tried” to do it right in the beginning. And the team said, um, no don’t do that, just do your regular accent [laughter].
Do you get excited when you get to work on movies like Rio? Since you know you’ll be able to take your girls to see?
Is that one of your prime reasons for doing something like Rio?
Yes, definitely, it is, because they can’t see the other films I’ve been in.
How do you feel about your children becoming actors?
Well, at first I say no. But of course they can do what they want. We are about to do another movie together, all of us, in June.
So with that being said, how do you keep them grounded growing up in Hollywood, the events, the movie sets, etc.?
I think they are used to it and they really have a very normal life. They just see this as our job.
You and your husband both are so funny, and I’m curious to know, do your kids have any clue how funny you are, or are they just like, “you’re so embarrassing, mom?”
You know what? Fortunately they don’t do that yet. My 13 year old isn’t embarrassed yet.
Who’s the good cop, bad cop between you and your husband?
I would say it’s probably me. I’m the disciplinarian.
Have you had to deal with any teen struggles yet? Arguing over makeup, clothing choices, etc?
My 13 year old is embarrassed of some of the clothes that I wear. She is super conservative. And she loves ’50s music, I don’t know where it came from, but I’m glad.
There’s actually a book called, Yes, Your Teenager Is Crazy. Has anyone heard of it?
I haven’t heard of it, but I did read there was a study that actually showed that tweens’ and teenagers’ brain chemistry is actually the closest it’s ever been to when they’re two years old. It actually explains so much, because you see the brain begin to access the world differently. It’s like they’re on a whole other mainframe.
Yes exactly, so my point is that you can’t get mad at them because they can’t help it. You just have to let it go because that’s also how they learn to handle conflict and I think how you handle them can really help the situation.
Does your daughter talk about getting into the acting business?
No she doesn’t. But she’s a really good singer. But it doesn’t seem like she wants to pursue it. We’ve had her in musical theater for a long time, and she doesn’t want to do it any more.
What does the family do for fun on weekends?
We go see movies. We hang out with some friends, basic stuff.
Do you guys have pets, or seeing this movie, do they want to get a bird?
Oh yeah, we’ve had birds, about four of them through the years. We also have a bunny, Coco. And we have two dogs, Curly and Cookie.
And who takes care of them? Do the kids do it or does that fall to you?
Yes, it falls to me a little bit.
Do you have one beauty tip to share, because you have to look good very often in your line of work?
Well, from when Maude was born until Iris was five, I have to admit that I didn’t work much to look good. I just didn’t care and yes, I looked really bad. But then I started to get it together because I decided that I wanted to start working more. And most importantly I started exercising. That helps. And then, there’s a clay mask that I use, I actually used it today. It’s called Aztec Clay, and you can get it at Whole Foods. And you mix it with apple cider and vinegar. It’s awesome and will give you a nice healthy glow.
Apple cider and vinegar?!
Oh, well, it burns your face a bit. You apply it and it will burn, but it makes your skin really tight & clear.
How often do you use it?
I only use it before I have a work event. It helps when I wake up with big creases in my face, a blemish, whatever. It’s about $5 at Whole Foods.
Are you like your character in this movie? Are you kind of a homebody, or do you like to travel with your family?
We travel sometimes but not often. We go to Hawaii.
Do you schedule projects around your children’s school schedule?
We do. We scheduled this next movie so that we’re all free in the summer.
Back to the filming process, when you are doing the voice overs, what do you do to get some of those extreme reactions out of yourself. It must be hard without your other cast members there.
It’s weirdly exhausting.
What do you think about when you were trying to accomplish those scenes? What place do you put yourself in when you have to conjure up those emotions or reactions?
Just believing it.
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To watch a preview of Rio, click here!