Felic­ity

The Em­mynom­i­nated star on rais­ing teenagers, lov­ing her fa­mous hus­band and find­ing peace

Closer Weekly - - Contents - — Re­port­ing by Amanda Cham­pagne-Mead­ows and Lanae Brody

Felic­ity Huff­man talks to Closer about her mar­riage, her kids and her ca­reer.

Like her char­ac­ter on the land­mark 2004–’12 hit Des­per­ate House­wives, Felic­ity Huff­man is a wife (to fel­low Emmy win­ner Wil­liam H. Macy, 68) and a mom with teens (Ge­or­gia, 16, and Sophia, 18). And just like Lynette, she was a bit des­per­ate her­self when her kids were younger. “I found my­self over­whelmed by moth­er­hood,” Felic­ity, 55, con­fesses to Closer. “I had mommy guilt all the time.” But it helped that she got up early each morn­ing to spend time bond­ing with her kids and help­ing them get ready for their day. We caught up with Felic­ity to talk about ad­vice she’s got­ten from Bill, how she feels about a Des­per­ate re­boot, and her two up­com­ing Net­flix projects, Other­hood and Cen­tral Park 5.

You’re so busy! But it’s great to hear you’re star­ring with An­gela Bas­sett and Pa­tri­cia Ar­quette in Other­hood and Vera Farmiga in Cen­tral Park 5.

I loved mak­ing Other­hood, and it’s been won­der­ful work­ing with [di­rec­tor] Ava DuVer­nay on Cen­tral Park 5, a minis­eries about young men who were falsely ac­cused in the at­tack of a woman. Then I’m off to Canada to do the movie Tammy’s Al­ways Dy­ing. It’s so great, I have to pinch my­self.

With all th­ese TV re­boots, has there been talk of one for Des­per­ate House­wives?

Ev­ery­one al­ways asks me. Even my agent, lit­er­ally last week, said, “OK, I have an idea, this is what you should do: Des­per­ate House­wives, the re­boot!” It’s just not go­ing to hap­pen. We used up so much nar­ra­tive, 22 to 23 episodes a year, that I don’t think there’s any­thing left to be done. It’s go­ing to be on my tomb­stone, so we’ll leave it at that.

What’s it go­ing to say?

Felic­ity Huff­man: Des­per­ate House­wives, Crazy Mom!

Ha! Do you keep in touch with your co-stars?

I’m in touch with Eva [Lon­go­ria], which is awe­some. To know Eva is to love Eva.

How did you be­come a spokesper­son for Re­new Life pro­bi­otics?

They called a year ago and asked, “Do you take a pro­bi­otic?” I said, “Yes, I have bot­tles of you in my re­frig­er­a­tor now. I’ve been tak­ing you for many years.” I jumped at it, be­cause I to­tally be­lieve in hav­ing a

bet­ter life through a bet­ter gut.

They pro­mote tak­ing a #Pow­erHour be­fore school starts with your fam­ily.

I bet most moms do it, be­cause it’s kind of the tram­po­line — how you’re launched [in the morn­ing] is a real re­flec­tion of how the rest of your day goes.

What’s your rou­tine?

I get up a half-hour be­fore my fam­ily. I learned that from a mom; when I asked why she did, she said, “Be­cause it’s my time.” I make but­ter cof­fee, then read a novel for 20 min­utes. I make my kids get up 15 min­utes be­fore they have to so they can be a lit­tle slower, drink wa­ter and take the pro­bi­otics. Bill has in­cluded this thing where we all grab hands and ev­ery­body takes a breath. I know it sounds corny, but it ac­tu­ally makes us all land at the ta­ble at the same time. Then ev­ery­body loses their home­work, can’t find their keys, all th­ese hor­ri­ble things.

Do you have any­thing in com­mon with Lynette on Des­per­ate House­wives?

Oh, cer­tainly. I don’t know if that’s be­cause I played her for eight years and the lines start to blur. As she did, I went, “Wait, where’s the old me gone? I had an iden­tity be­fore I had th­ese kids!” And I think she adored her hus­band the same way I adore mine.

Bill just di­rected you in the film Krys­tal. Do you want to work more with him?

Oh, sure. I’d do the phone book with Bill!

He was an Os­car nom­i­nee for Fargo years be­fore you got a nom for Transamer­ica, and Des­per­ate House­wives made you a big star. Did that change the dy­namic of your re­la­tion­ship?

No, it didn’t! The only time it got a lit­tle weird was when we were in Paris, and it was like I was a rock star! We had to run down the street. That was the only time I saw him go, “This sucks.” Then [his show] Shame­less be­gan and it swung back.

You talked about mommy guilt. How have you worked through it?

I’ve writ­ten about it on my web­site whatthe­flicka.com. I haven’t been suc­cess­ful, but I’ll tell you two things: put your own oxy­gen mask on be­fore your kids, like they tell you on the air­lines, be­cause what’s good for the mom is good for the fam­ily. The other thing Bill tells me is: “Fig­ure out what your mo­ti­va­tion is. If it comes from guilt, fig­ure out a new one.” It’s a lit­mus test: Am I rush­ing home be­fore I eat be­cause I feel guilty about be­ing away? Then you go, OK, could I get a smoothie?

What did you learn from your mom?

I’m in awe of her for hav­ing eight kids — she didn’t kill any of us — be­cause hav­ing two, I know how tempt­ing that is some­times!

“As I get older, I try to fear less and look for­ward with de­light as op­posed to dread.”

— Felic­ity

How about your six sis­ters?

That re­ally helped, be­cause I’m very fa­mil­iar with teenage girls. The ups and downs with in­tense hor­mones doesn’t scare me. You un­der­stand why D.H. Lawrence called them lit­tle vol­ca­noes. I’m closer to my sis­ters and my brother than any­one else in the world. They taught me about un­con­di­tional love, what it means to be there for some­one.

You’ve done so much. Any new goals?

I’d like to pro­duce pe­riod [dra­mas], per­haps in tele­vi­sion. There were times in his­tory when women wielded a lot of power, like Cather­ine the Great, and some of those sto­ries haven’t been told. And I’d like to give more women op­por­tu­ni­ties to step into lead­er­ship and ex­ec­u­tive roles.

What’s the hard­est les­son you’ve learned?

Lord, you ask the easy ques­tions, don’t you? Be 100 per­cent more pre­pared than you think you ought to be.

“I loved that job!” she says of Des­per­ate House­wives with [from left] Mar­cia Cross, Eva Lon­go­ria and Teri Hatcher.

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