Patricia Heaton: The Beloved TV Mom on Raising her own Brady Bunch! - Page 2
By Paulette Cohn for JustMommies
Justmommies: Did you have any second thoughts about jumping back into a TV series?
Patricia Heaton: Mostly because it is single camera and the hours are very long. I am concerned about that, but because the kids are older and they are very involved in the school stuff, it maybe won't be so difficult. I don't know what it is going to be like, so I am a little anxious about it. Warner Bros. people are great and they are going to do everything they can to facilitate my schedule.
Justmommies: What do your kids think of your working?
Patricia Heaton: I think they are excited. They are now at the point now where I think they would like to make some money, so they say, "Mom, can we be extras on the show? I want to get this new bike." So now, they are seeing the advantage of me being on the show.
Justmommies: How is your husband coping?
Patricia Heaton: We are all good. We are producing some stuff, so he is busy with that. But that stuff hasn't taken off yet, so it is good to have this income coming in to support our producing ventures.
Justmommies: The experience of raising kids is so complex. Can a TV show ever get it right?
Patricia Heaton: This show really gets it for Brick (played by Atticus Shaffer), a kid with odd behavior. Almost everybody I know who has more than one kid has a kid who has these quirks. It is very real to me. Also, Axl (played by Charlie McDermott) is kind of a sulky, silent 15-year-old. It is classic. I relate to that. Also, the Sue character (played by Eden Sher), who doesn't seem to be good at anything but keeps trying, is very realistic. And the way Frankie throws things in the microwave, and the house is a mess. I have that whole thing going on.
Justmommies: Do you have tips for multi-tasking?
Patricia Heaton: The problem with multi-tasking is nothing sinks in. You get things done but it floats by on the surface of your brain. It is very hard to retain, so I forget a lot once something is done. If you ask me what I did yesterday, it would be very hard to tell you because I move from one thing to another. But you just have to give yourself a break. I am controlling, and I have had to learn to let that go. Things mostly work out without me having to control everything or be perfect. I like to read stories about people coming up who had really abusive childhoods if they are still okay, because my kids have a pretty good childhood, so I figure they are 100 percent ahead.
Justmommies: What is your best advice for real-life moms?
Patricia Heaton: Let go. I think the thing is to have a good attitude. Try to find the fun in every day and not sweat the small stuff.
Justmommies: Do you ever want to say, enough with the kids, let me play something else other than a mom?
Patricia Heaton: It is not the kids so much, it is the wardrobe. When I went back for my wardrobe fitting for this show, I just started sobbing. [The ill-fitting Superwoman] costume [that I wear in the pilot] was the height of my sartorial experience on this pilot. It was really fun. I wanted to try to make it look as bad as possible. I tried to get a girdle underneath it that would cut in, so you could see lumps and bumps. Hopefully, in high def it will show up, because everything shows up. You need to be true to the character and she is not a fashion plate -- that is not first on her agenda. Unfortunately, I don't know why I couldn't be on "Desperate Housewives" [she jokes].
Justmommies: How do you prioritize?
Patricia Heaton: I have a real problem with that and it paralyzes me. I have been thinking about this recently. I get up in the morning and I already have anxiety. Because it would not be a good thing to crack a beer open at 7 a.m., I started to analyze this anxiety. I have all these things to get, such as school supplies and school uniforms, a script to read to turn into another network that we are trying to produce, and we have also got this Broadway musical we are working on, so which thing should I do first? Oh, I should just read the Huffington Post for an hour. That is what I end up doing -- going on the computer for an hour, because I don't want to face reality!
"The Middle" premieres Wednesday, Sept. 30 at 8:30 p.m. on ABC.