OnlyOnAOL: The one rule Christina Applegate never breaks
By: Donna Freydkin
Christina Applegate has one thing in common with Gwendolyn, the tyrannical, type-A PTA president she plays in "Bad Moms."
"I don't do one minute late. I'm anal about being on time. It's exhausting, let me tell you," says Applegate.
Other than that, the mom of Sadie, 5 (with husband Martyn LeNoble) takes a much more forgiving, relaxed approach to parenthood and her life in general. "It's such a gift to be a parent that we feel like we can never complain. But sometimes you just need to go away for two minutes. It's rough and it's awesome and it's ok to say that it's rough. We're all doing the best we can. No one wants to (screw) up as a parent," says Applegate.
In the film, Applegate's Gwendolyn bullies and belittles her fellow parents and their kids (Watch our interview with "Bad Moms" costars Kathryn Hahn and Annie Mumolo above). Until, that is, another mom (Mila Kunis) challenges her for the crown.
"There's so much self-inflicted pressure we put on ourselves as parents to be perfect and do it all," says Applegate.
Gwendolyn is dogmatic and autocratic, the doyenne of 2-hour PTA meetings and the overseer of bake sales and soccer games. Stepping into her towering heels was "delicious. She's so incredibly powerful," says Applegate.
And she never raises her voice. "A long time ago, I learned that you should never yell at your kids when they're doing something wrong because it's ineffective. I'm not a big yeller. You get down and quietly and ferociously tell them to stop throwing their food. That is how Gwendolyn conducts herself. It was so fun to do that. She's really despicable," says Applegate.
There's zero chance that Applegate will be confused with Gwendolyn by her fellow mommy friends, and parents at her daughter's school. "Everyone knows me. We're so close. All the moms are fantastic. I've been lucky with my preschool. It's a hippie school. They're excited. My mommies are planning a night they're going to go see it."
Applegate, after having Sadie, was floored by how deep her love was for her daughter. And she was equally surprised by "how hard it is to get that person out of the house. Her daddy takes her to school. I'm sweating and out of breath. I just had to ask her to brush her teeth 50 (expletive) times and put her shoes on 50 (expletive) times. I'm making sure she gets dressed and packing her snack. My shoulders are up in my ears when they walk out the door."
Which is why Applegate is refreshingly honest about the travails of childrearing, and those often-maddening toddler demands. Sadie will only wear seamless socks. She's very specific about her footwear. And even though Applegate wants to spend all her time with Sadie, recently including the little girl in mom's epic closet cleanout, sometimes she needs an adult time-out.
"We're all afraid to say that sometimes it sucks. I've been so blessed with the mommies I know. We're so honest. We don't judgment anyone. Everyone has something going on at home. We're all bad moms in that sense. We all mess up," says Applegate.