Star of Workin’ Moms says show is per­sonal

The Canadian Jewish News (Toronto) - - Television - DAVID SILVERBERG

De­spite the on-the-nose ti­tle of her new CBC show, Cather­ine Reit­man says Workin’ Moms is not just for, well, work­ing moth­ers.

“Most hu­mans have felt an iden­tity cri­sis at some point in their lives,” Reit­man says in an in­ter­view at a down­town Toronto restau­rant. “This is about peo­ple re­turn­ing to work af­ter a dra­matic event.”

Reit­man is speak­ing from ex­pe­ri­ence: she cre­ated, wrote and starred in all 13 episodes of Workin’ Moms’ de­but sea­son while rais­ing her two boys, one now 3, the other seven months old. When she went back to work as an ac­tor af­ter her first child was born, she rec­og­nized how topsy-turvy her life had be­come in jug­gling th­ese two ma­jor re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. “And when I spoke to my hus­band, we re­al­ized there wasn’t a show like this for Cana­di­ans,” she re­calls.

She and her hus­band, Philip Stern­berg, launched a pro­duc­tion com­pany re­spon­si­ble for cre­at­ing and pitch­ing Workin’ Moms, and CBC soon be­came an ideal suitor. “Lit­tle did I know, but prac­ti­cally all of CBC is made up of work­ing moms, so they could re­late,” Reit­man says.

As the daugh­ter of famed di­rec­tor Ivan Reit­man and the brother of Ja­son Reit­man, she was fa­mil­iar with the writ­ing and di­rect­ing process, but it also got over­whelm­ing. She says wear­ing many hats once again cir­cles back to be­ing a mother. “Sorry to sound cliché, but as a work­ing mom, I was al­ways mul­ti­task­ing and al­ways torn in many di­rec­tions.”

Workin’ Moms fol­lows the sto­ry­lines of four moth­ers neck-deep in parental and ca­reer re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. The show aims to shine a spot­light on the strug­gles and joys of par­ent­ing while em­bark­ing on a ca­reer, with a comedic flare.

“I want the show to be en­ter­tain­ing,” Reit­man says, “but it can also serve as a re­minder to love our­selves. Moth­ers are al­ways fac­ing con­stant judg­ment, from out­side and from them­selves, and this show should re­mind us that we have to nur­ture our­selves too. “

Reit­man is best known for roles in Black­ish, It’s Al­ways Sunny in Philadel­phia, the film Knocked Up and her own web se­ries, where she re­viewed films. But it was when she had two kids and be­gan to look at her­self both lit­er­ally and fig­u­ra­tively, that she found a home for all th­ese ideas swirling in her head.

“When I be­came preg­nant both times, I was ask­ing my­self, do I have what it takes? Am I still smart and ca­pa­ble and sexy and have the things I once had and felt so con­fi­dent about? That’s what soul-search­ing is, and men and women alike would re­late to that.”

Un­der­tak­ing this project also meant col­lect­ing as much ad­vice as pos­si­ble from her show­biz fam­ily. “The best words of wis­dom from my brother were to lis­ten to my own voice. Be stub­born about that. And I re­ally wel­comed that ad­vice, since this show is so per­sonal to me.”

Workin’ Moms airs on Tues­days at 9:30 p.m. on CBC.

Cather­ine Reit­man cre­ated, wrote and stars in all episodes of the new CBC show.

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