Exclusive! Anne Heche Talks F’ing Fours and Raising Boys

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Last Thursday afternoon I needed a serious nap. With five kids, working, drop off, pick ups and sports, by the time the afternoon hit, I was exhausted. And I still had an interview with Anne Heche, who has appeared in several movies, including Six Days and Seven Nights with Harrison Ford, and TV shows like Hung, regarding her new series for NBC, Save Me, that starts airing Thursday, May 23. Celebrity interviews can be nerve wracking sometimes because you never know what you are going to get. With Anne and my sleepy self, Breezy Mama was very happy to soon be immersed in an uber-honest chat about motherhood. From the challenges of raising a 4 year old to having boys and more, here’s what went down.

Hi —

I’m sorry I’m a little bit late! How are you doing?

I’m good — I’m having a little bit of that afternoon ‘feeling tired’… I’m sure YOU know what I mean. How are you doing?

Today is actually a fun day. I just picked up my son from school, which I can do when I’m not shooting [my television show, Save Me]. And he is now bouncing around and we are watching our two dogs almost eating our tiny little kitten [laughs]. That’s what we were doing when I was late [to speak with you].

In theory, I saved a kitten’s life, right?

[Laughs] It’s so funny. The kitten has already ruined the house! He’s 2 pounds and [the dog] Jack is a Golden Retriever and the kitten has it all figured out. He can sit in the middle of the room and the dogs completely bow down to him. It’s so funny.

Since you have two sons [11 year old son, Homer, with Coley Laffoon, and 4 year old son Atlas, with James Tupper], any advice for raising boys?

It’s exactly like they say: girls like to sit and color and they are sweet and they let you comb their hair. Boys… my boys and every other boy I know, are active, active, active. I play with them all the time. I play football, baseball… I play all these things I never thought I would play. Anything with a ball they love. Boys are cuddlers and lovers though. When you tire them out, they love to sit and cuddle their mama. That’s the blessing of boys.

Many people say the 4’s are worse than the 2’s. Now that you have a 4 year old do you agree?

Why doesn’t anybody say that to you? Everybody says the terrible two’s! It’s so funny because people are just now saying, “Oh, no. Four. It must be awful.” I think 4’s must be the age where they decide they are going to fight you on everything. You say yes, they say no. Are girls like that, too?

Oh yeah! It’s called the f’ing fours in my household.

I love that! I’m going to steal that!

Unlike the 2’s for the most part, now they can talk!

Oh my gosh! Now they can talk! Now they can say no! It’s the funniest kept secret. Why can’t we get together and whine about it! This morning we had a meltdown over how his laces were tied. The bottom of the laces couldn’t touch the floor… the bows had to be a particular way. Every time I did it, he pulled them out, tore apart the bow, threw himself on the floor.. I mean, it was like… what is it? Is it just because he’s 4?!

YEP! It’s just because he’s four. And a parenting expert will tell you that means he’s developing perfectly [laughs].

I’m so happy to hear it! Because I look at my husband sometimes, like “WHAT!” I’m happy to hear that’s normal development – holy cow!

So I saw your boys in pictures on the set [of Save Me] on your blog for People. Are you having fun blogging with them?

I love it. I called the blog Mommy Wars. It’s funny — I wrote one of them about Atlas… Now, that’s going to be one of my Mommy Wars, “Is it 4, or is it me?” I’m going to write that next!

I really enjoy it because I feel like I have connected with a community of moms. One of the most incredible things was when I wrote a blog about Attie saying, “I hate this toy,” when I went into a toy store, got him a toy and it wasn’t the toy he wanted, he had a total meltdown. When I wrote about it and what I was going through, all of these moms wrote back to me. I couldn’t believe it! It connected me to the community understanding that we have, and always do, have support. It’s been really cool to know that.

That’s great! I love blogging. And congratulations on Save Me!

Thank you! I love it! I’m obviously biased I love the people I work with but I really have sweet thoughts of this show and I’m glad people are enjoying it.

How did your role in Save Me come about?

I was on Hung for 3 years and I was very upset when it got cancelled. My beautiful husband took me out to dinner and I was literally crying in my soup. The phone rang and, seriously, it was NBC! “We’re sorry your show got cancelled but we would love for you to come work for NBC.” I thought, “Incredible.”

They pitched me the idea Save Me and I just about fell out of my chair. I thought, “Fabulous!” Such a fabulous idea! I wanted the opportunity to start over. I thought there was so much possibility, so much fun and so much opportunity for humor. And I have [my character] Beth and she’s equally crazy in her new life as her old… we call her “bad Beth.” And we were shooting in about a month!

I just loved the choking on the sandwich. And THAT’s the pipeline to God!

I know! It’s hilarious! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a funnier opening or ending to a pilot.

I know. And I have to say… I just turned 40 and the show being somewhat dealing with a midlife crises, if you want to call it that, the show seems like it addresses that and a turning point in their lives of where to go next. Do you think that’s the basis of the show in a sense?

Oh my gosh, for sure! I think you put that perfectly. It could be a midlife crises. An opportunity for a second chance. We can figure out our lives and start again. I’ve been given the opportunity through… miracles. Whatever it is in the world to give us hope or a kick in our step or a smile on our face. THIS is what the show is about. How to find the strength to go on and then share that joy with others. I love that. It’s definitely a good feeling show. It’s definitely about finding and connecting with yourself… when you’re 40.

Cool. I love the idea of second chances, too. And deciding on your own direction and making it your own. So, I know you have done so many movies, too. Do you have a preference of TV over movies?

I’m lucky to be able to work in all these mediums. I like them all for different reasons and some of them are better for schedules for sure.If you’re on Broadway, it’s not really great for your kids [laughs] when you’re gone all night. Movies are terrific because you get to travel. I’m lucky — I just finished this little stint on the remake of Heat with Jason Statham- we had a blast. So, yeah, I get to do these fun little things. But the schedule for TV is extraordinary. I get to be in Los Angeles, I’m producing the show, my kids come to the set every day after school; They know everybody, they get to sit with me and have dinner… it’s a very beautiful life for the kids when I’m working. And when I’m doing comedy, all day long I’m trying to figure out how to be funny. It’s quite different when you are doing a drama. It’s all working out well for me. If Save Me could go on for years to come, it would be a life saver for my life.

What is one of your favorite roles to date?

Oh my goodness sakes. Right now it’s Beth… I feel like a whole combination of my sense of humor, how I see the world… giving back the gifts that have been given to me through this character is just great. It talks about friendship, my relationship… all the ups and downs. I think people talk to God whether they like to admit it or not. And we find God through all of these different ways. So, this show really speaks to me. Also, I get to be such a goofball and I’ve wanted to do that for the longest time. I’m always wondering, don’t people know I’m a big goofball? I mean, really, at the end of the day, I’m probably making as many faces as Jim Carrey to make my children laugh. I love to do it. So it’s really fun for me.

When I did Six Days and Seven Nights I got to work with Harrison Ford and that was the beginning of my comedic journey, so that’s a very special role for me, too.

Was there a moment when you had your first son that it hit you, “I’m a mom now”.

Homer is now 11, which I can’t believe. I think it continues to hit me. Saying this to you now, I’m going, “Wow! I’m a mom of two boys.” It hits you — I’m a mom. This is what you do. And you fall into these things that are so surprising.

Anne Heche’s new comedy, Save Me, premiers on NBC on Thursday May 23. To learn more, visit: http://www.nbc.com/save-me/

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