Anna Faris plays a hilarious mom on CBS’s sitcom Mom, and she’s getting some real-world experience at home. Two years ago, Faris landed the role of a lifetime when she and her husband, Guardians of the Galaxy actor Chris Pratt, welcomed their first child, son Jack. Since then, they’ve learned a thing or two about parenthood, like how to raise a well-behaved child in Hollywood, the importance of keeping it clean (we’re talking about germs here), and what mommy move gets Jack to giggle. In an exclusive interview with Red Tricycle, Faris tells us how she juggles motherhood and her busy career, and spills what she would do with her handsome husband if they had one weekend all to themselves sans tot.
Anna Faris of the CBS series Mom for the CBS Television Network. Photo: Robert Ascroft/CBS © 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.
RT: What was the first thing you did when you found out you were pregnant?
Well, I called my parents. I got pregnant at 35. They were waiting, as they like to remind us, for a very, very, long, long time, so I didn’t think I could handle keeping that secret for three months. They were going to see a play, and they started to cry and it was really, really amazing. I did think instantly that I had to start making kale juice. But I think the first thing that crosses your mind is that everything that you’ve been doing for the last six weeks, or however long it takes, is like, “Oh my gosh, oh boy, what have I been doing?” My doctor was like, “Don’t worry, my second daughter should have been named Margarita.”
RT: What’s on your son’s menu? Is he a mac-n-cheese kid or does he share your interesting palate?
We have a lot of interesting food in this house because my husband hunts and he, being a little bit philosophical about it … insists on eating everything he kills — and Jack is really good [about eating.] But at the same time, he’s like all toddler, I get so worried, I’m like, “You ate one blueberry for dinner?” I think that all parents go through that, the toddler-not-eating thing and I think that I have definitely been feeling like, okay he’s eating chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese and maybe that’s okay. [Overall], I would give him a C+ for eating.
RT: Are you an “always prepared mom” or a “figure it out” mom?
I feel like I’m the worst combination, which is never prepared but always anxious about it. I have some friends who are never prepared but they’re never anxious about it and things just work out and it’s just fine. And then I have friends who are totally prepared and not anxious about it because they are totally prepared. Then I’m just sort of like, “Oh did we get the thing? We forgot the sippy cup again! Where are the wipes? Nobody put more wipes in the diaper bag?” But I feel like even with all my anxiety, between being resourceful and the kindness of strangers, things tend to just be fine.
RT: How do you feel about germs? Sanitize everything or dirt can’t hurt?
I’m a little bit of a dirt-can’t-hurt. My mom is constantly sanitizing. My mom, who because they still live in Seattle but they spend a lot of time in Los Angeles because they think they have a baby, [says] a line from my show Mom, [she] calls my baby her do-over baby, so there’s that. [Her] favorite thing to say is that the menu is second dirtiest item in a restaurant, so after we order food, we have to go through this embarrassing process where the whole family has to hand sanitize and it’s a little mortifying. But honestly Jack is really healthy and he doesn’t get sick very frequently, so maybe there’s something to it.
RT: What is one thing nobody told you about parenthood?
It was just my brother and myself, [and] I was the youngest, but I didn’t have a lot of experience with kids. I wasn’t really drawn to them like some of my friends. So I feel especially underprepared to be a parent, but I feel like having had to focus on my career for so long and making it such a priority in my life because it’s so cutthroat, it’s so amazing to have something else in my life that reprioritizes everything. You start to appreciate the small things. Today I was thinking about how I can’t wait till Jack gets old enough so I can take him for a long hike with me, so I can annoy him (laughs). It requires so much generosity that I’ve never really had to give before. It shifts everything in your life.
I guess that what everybody says is true, all the things you hear and kind of dismiss because you can’t really relate … things like, you’ll never love anything more, things like, it’s really frustrating, things like, you’ll never really sleep, there’s never any time, it’s totally life changing, nothing will ever be spontaneous, it’s so incredible to watch something grow that you created. Everything that everybody ever said about being a mom is true. It’s so complicated, and life changing and incredible.
RT: What’s your funniest parenting memory/story?
Jack does this adorable thing. He likes interacting with strangers and he’s very friendly. He’ll go up to anybody and shake their hand and say, “Nice to meet you,” after which my mom will pull out the hand sanitizer. We were on a plane to Hawaii and he just walked up and down the whole plane for at least an hour and a half saying, “nice to meet you, nice to meet you, nice to meet you, nice to meet you.” I just thought it was adorable and charming. I’m sure there were some people who were annoyed, but it’s hard to resist a two-year-old who wears glasses.
RT: A trustworthy Mary Poppins drops in for the weekend, what do you and Chris do?
Oh, what would we do? I think we would like, I mean, maybe it sounds a little cliché, but we would check into a nice hotel and sleep! Um, yeah. I’d love to give her a list of chores too.
RT: Everyone thinks that both you and Chris are hilarious but who is the “strict” parent between the two of you?
You know Chris is a little more strict than I am for sure. We both were raised with pretty strict parents but I think Chris wants to make sure that Jack is well-mannered and nice to other kids and a good boy. We try to stress that a lot. We try to do a lot of positive reinforcement. We like to tell him how proud we are of him. Even from a very, very young age, he embraced the idea of, “Mommy and daddy are proud of me.”
RT: What’s your go-to move that can always get Jack to giggle?
Well, you know, he’s funny. If I laugh really hard, he will laugh really hard. He’ll imitate me. He does sort of a thing where we don’t actually tickle, but I’ll reach out to him, like a tickle monster, and his whole body kind of tenses up. His eyes get really big and he just starts to squeal and I just think that the anticipation thing is adorable. He likes to kind of make other people laugh. He’s a pleaser like that. He’s exactly like his parents.
Thanks, Anna, for chatting with us!
— Interview by Jo Aaron
What about you, readers? What do YOU want to ask Anna? Let us know in the Comments … and tune in to Mom on Thursdays at 8:30 EST on CBS!
additional photo credits: middle photo – “Corned Beef and Handcuffs” – Bonnie (Allison Janney, left) and Christy (Anna Faris, right) share a laugh after Bonnie gets home from her date, on MOM, Monday, Dec. 2 (9:30-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Darren Michaels/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. © 2013 WBEI. All rights reserved. bottom photo: “Leather Cribs and Medieval Rack” – Christy (Anna Faris) and Bonnie come clean about secrets they’ve been keeping from each other, on MOM, Monday, Jan. 20 (9:30-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS ©2013 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.