Amy Poehler: Yes, I Get Asked the Juggle Question a Lot


If we women have to hear ONE MORE TIME about “balancing it all,” I might spit out my coffee… well, maybe that’s extreme (I need all the caffeine I can get). Point being, Breezy Mama is so tired of the question “How do you balance it all” and knew that Amy Poehler MUST be extra tired of it. In fact, when sitting down to talk with the female lead of the upcoming Free Birds movie, Breezy Mama got her take on the over discussed topic, her biggest “mom fail” and more during a chat with the actress (and Tina Fey Golden Globe Co-host- yay!) along with other “mom” bloggers… here’s what went down.

I feel a question in general during interviews with mom actresses is asking women how you juggle it all. I’m curious, is that something that’s come up a lot today doing interviews?

It has, yes.

And does it bother you?

It doesn’t bother me. We all already know the answer in a way. Everybody’s answer is different, I guess, is a better way to put it.

And I think when you’re working, it’s just a question that men don’t get but women get all the time.

My answer is pretty much the same all the time, which is just kind of figuring out what is good for you. What works for you is what works. Everybody’s thing is different. And especially as you go on, you learn what things are important to you, what things fall away, and that you shouldn’t listen to anybody’s advice, and don’t worry about what anybody says. Do your thing. Whatever works for you and your family is the right thing.

You’ve got to be a little easy on yourself during a lot of it, too. I think you have to kind of give yourself a break because there are many things you can do in one day. Today is a Saturday, and it’s spent here. It’s not spent at home. So, that’s what happens. That’s work.

Have your sons seen Free Birds yet?

Not yet, no. I’m looking forward to it.

Do your kids normally recognize your voice if they hear it?

Sometimes they do. They’re not that impressed. They hear my voice every day, so they’ll be very impressed with Woody’s voice because they’re in love with–I mean, excuse me, with Owen’s–and Woody’s voice, but they’re in love with Owen’s voice because of Cars
Did they get to meet him?

No. I think it would make their heads explode to meet Lightning McQueen.

How was it working with Owen and Woody because they seem very out of control chummy? And so, being the only female in between them, what was that like?

Well, we never were in the studio together. In fact, the most amount of time the three of us have spent together has been today, really.

Owen and I did a film together, worked together before this project. So, we knew each other a little bit, and he’s a great guy. But we never recorded together. It’s like a buddy comedy with the two of them. And their chemistry is really natural. I knew that everyone would buy that they would be friends like they are in life.

Owen said he’d see clips of you improvising, and he’d get inspired.

Well, that’s nice.

Isn’t that nice? That’s something you should know about.

That’s really cool.

Is it vice-versa? Were there things that you saw of them that you thought were really funny?

Yes, they had done a lot of their stuff before I had come onto the project. So, when they were describing the two characters and the kind of like scrawny little Reggie and then Woody’s a giant turkey, I couldn’t quite see it. When I saw the animation and their voices, it was really funny and great.

They’re both such great actors. Working with Owen even in an animated way is really challenging and satisfying because he’s has such a distinct tone, and it’s fun to play against.

We asked them if they had dad fails. What’s your most embarrassing moment that you’d want to share –your most embarrassing mom fail?

–Oh, Gosh. Sometimes, I forget where I’m driving them to. That happens, right?

How did we get in this car?

Yes, how are we in this car, and who am I dropping off and where are we going – that happens a lot.

I’m trying to think of other stuff. It’s just a lot of forgetful stuff that every mother has to deal with. I think I’ve sent my older guy to school with like an empty lunch box.

Oh, really?


That’s a good one.

That’s a good one, right? He opened it up, and it was empty.


Exactly. Maybe it was the best thing that ever happened to him.

So, in this movie, you’re more of a strong character, and sometimes, you’ve done zany characters. Did you feel like you had to bring it in a little bit?

Yes, well, she’s kind of the straight turkey in the movie. And animation’s so fun because you get to take really big jumps but you do sometimes need a force that’s grounding everything together, which I think the character Jenny is. And I didn’t really do so much of a voice in this because they really kind of wanted it to be kind of natural.

But, I’ve played all different kinds of spectrum of that. So, it’s cool to actually play someone that feels like a somewhat normal animated character, if that makes sense. But, she’s also a turkey.

Are you going to add pizza to your Thanksgiving meal this year?

Yes, sure. I like to cook. I don’t get to do it as much as I’d like, but I like it. I feel like holidays in general–correct me if I’m wrong, you guys would know more than me–are becoming really lose in a good way. I feel like everybody’s deciding how they want it to be. Especially when you have your own family, you kind of get to decide how you want to spend your holiday, like what suddenly is important. I was at my parents’ house, Thanksgiving at my parents’. And I’m a New Englander, so Thanksgiving’s a really big deal.

Have you made some of your own traditions?

Yes. I’m trying to think of some good ones. I like watching movies with my kids on Thanksgiving night. That’s always a really fun thing, especially showing them a movie they’ve never seen is always really fun.
Last year, we watched Willie Wonka, which was a big deal.

Do you think your kids will not want to eat turkey after watching Free Birds?

I don’t know. The struggle to get my kids to eat anything right now, it’s like whatever my kids want to eat, I’m fine with, as long as they eat.

That seems to be kind of a universal theme with parents with young children, just trying to get them to eat.

Trying to get them to eat.

Do you and your former SNL cast members share stories?

Yes, all the SNL ladies have kids – me and Maya [Rudolph] and Tina [Fey] and Dratch [Rachel Dratch] and Molly [Shannon]. And so, we are always sharing stories and pictures, and we had a really nice moment a couple of years ago.

I was pregnant with my second kid, with Abel, so this must have been three years ago. Betty White did the Mother’s Day special at SNL, and everybody brought their kids. So, it was really cool. It was like all these little kids on stage.

And, Maya’s daughter, who she looks exactly like Maya, is nine now, and Tina’s daughter Alice I think is eight or nine. Nothing makes you feel older than other people’s kids growing up.

What do you like better for the kids, the East Coast or the West Coast?

I like them both. I’ve been lucky to be able to go back and forth. I’ve been here [in Los Angeles] about 17 years, and I shoot Parks and Recreation here, so we go back and forth. And I like them both. There’s something about New York City and living there that feels like you learn more walking to get a bagel in New York City than you can all day in Los Angeles.

Nobody walks in LA, so.

Nobody walks in LA.

But then, there’s also a really great community out here of friends and a lot of people I know who have children. I have a lot of friends who have children my age, and a lot of actors. And so, you kind of create your community out here.

It’s different everywhere. And it’s different at every age group, as you know. What’s good for them at two is different than what’s good for them at five and what will be good for them at ten.

Free Birds hits theaters every where on November 1. For more information, visit:

To watch a clip with Amy Poehler as “Jenny,” check out this sneak peek:

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