CHRISTINA APPLEGATE - BAD MOMS
Christina Applegate hit it big in ’88 in her role at age 15 on the hit television series, “Married With Children”, playing one of the most popular roles on TV at the time as Kelly Bundy, the dumb blonde and slutty daughter of the dysfunctional Bundy family. Applegate continued in comedy, winning an Emmy award for her guest appearance on the hit television show, “Friends”, and played the hilarious role of the ambitious new anchorwoman who throws co-star Will Ferrell’s character, Ron Burgundy, for a loop in the hit 2004 comedy film, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.
Then in 2008, Applegate was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent a double mastectomy, yet dove back into Hollywood with her voice on several of the Alvin and the Chipmunks film franchise, and 2010’s Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, before co-starring with funnyman Will Ferrell once again in 2013 in the comedy sequel, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. In between the comedy, Applegate entered motherhood in 2011 with the birth of her daughter, Sadie, with husband Martyn LeNoble.
2015 saw the blond beauty take on the side-splitting role of Debbie Griswold in the remake of the comedy film favorite, Vacation. As a veteran mother to her now five-year-old daughter, Applegate takes on the manic role of Gwendolyn with ease, as a very “bad” mom in this year’s hit comedy, Bad Moms.
STRIPLV: Have you ever encountered a mom in real life that’s as terrible as your character, Gwendolyn?
APPLEGATE: I’ve come across the spirit of Gwendolyn in some moms that I’ve crossed paths with in my years of being a mother at a school. So she’s sort of an amalgamation of a lot of different people that I’ve come across—because I don’t have that in me. I don’t have like that alpha mom who has to kind of control everything. So I really had to sort of pull from what I’ve seen. Not that anyone I’ve ever met has been this awful, but sort of that need. And I’ve just seen it. So it was easy to kind of pull, and then come up with sort of this other worldly person, as well, who I don’t understand—who’s like incredible wealthy, and incredibly lonely.
STRIPLV: Tell us about how your character is struggling in the story.
APPLEGATE: She’s grasping for air! This school, these mothers, these kids, the PTA, is all she has. It’s all a ruse. And it’s not put upon, it’s like this is her air. This is how she’s breathing. It’s where she finds her biggest joy, because it can take her away from what her reality is. And her reality is not good. It’s dark. Her home life is not great.
STRIPLV: What is one of the most difficult tasks in this film for your character to have to handle?
APPLEGATE: Amy [Mila’s character] challenging her. She’s not used to her challenging her. But she also envies her. She envies sweet, young, wonderful, energetic, broken, you know, mis-stepping mom. She wishes she could be that. And that’s for me, what I’m using as looking around, going: “God, I would love to not have to curl my hair everyday, or put this on. I would love to go get wasted with my girlfriends, and not feel like I have to have everything so perfect.” I mean that’s tiring. And I know people who are very controlling in life—and their exhausted, because if one little piece is out of whack, then the whole thing falls apart. And I think she really, really wishes she could be in with these girls. And that’s when she gets resentful and jealous, and then she starts to see that this is what all the moms really want, is to just be accepted for not being perfect. And that’s killing Gwendolyn. It kills her.
STRIPLV: What was it like working with Mila and all of you six talented women working together?
APPLEGATE: We all lucked out with her as our ringleader. She’s gracious, she’s kind, she’s professional, she’s funny. She’s such a good actress. She’s lovely, she’s adorable, she’s pretty, she’s teeny, she’s awesome. I love her. But I have to say, working with six women, that I don’t know what that could be like, had the stars been aligned in a different way. But these particular six women are so incredible, and kind, and loving, and supportive. And we’re all moms, and so we completely relate to one another. Everyone’s rooting for everyone else. There’s nothing, you know… I know the world wants to think, like: ‘Is there anything catty?’ No, it’s completely opposite. These are the most down-to-earth girls that I’ve ever worked with in my life. So we really lucked out. Really lucked out.
STRIPLV: And how was it on set with directors Jon and Scott?
APPLEGATE: They were wonderful. And they also really trusted our instincts, you know. They didn’t try to like tell us how these women would be feeling, you know, because they really trusted that we knew; that we understood the characters that we were playing, the story that we were telling, and the moral of the story, and also capturing the fun of it, as well. I really liked the fact that they just were like (gesturing hands reeling someone back in), you know, when they felt like they needed to kind of guide us for whatever reason they did, but it was never about the core, because they trusted that we got it. We got this!
STRIPLV: How do you personally relate to the moms in the movie?
APPLEGATE: I went through that for a while where I wouldn’t even let anyone do anything. And it was like, you know: get up, do the morning routine, (which was an hour-and-a-half of crazy town), drop her off myself, rush back home, try to get some exercise for myself, not shower, rush back down to get her, go to pick up the lunch, then go to soccer, then get her to the playdate, get home finally to take a shower. Now I’ve got acne because my sweaty… sweat has been sitting there. And it did end up with me in a crying heap on the floor. And my husband’s like, “You’ve got to like let me do drop-off, and let me do things, because you don’t need to be doing this to yourself.” And I was like, “Yes. You do drop-off, and when you leave, I’m gonna watch “Live with Kelly”, and I’m gonna be happy… all by myself.” It’s really hard to let go of though. It took me a long time.
STRIPLV: What are the main themes of the film?
APPLEGATE: It’s about balance and figuring it out, and then trying to take care of you, too, which is difficult. It can be difficult, and make a living, you know, and work and do all the stuff you can. And there’s no such thing as balance. Everyone says: “We try to balance it out.” Well, there’s no balancing. There’s always gonna be something that loses in the end, but you can try to just give your attention as much as you can. I try to stay in the moment. That’s my whole new thing, is like, ‘Don’t get overwhelmed with everything,’ you know?