Published on Mommy Tracked (http://www.mommytracked.com)

Julia Louis-Dreyfus & Kari Lizer

A number of website editors and bloggers, including Mommy Tracked, were invited to meet Julia Louis-Dreyfus on the set of the fantastic working mom show The New Adventures of Old Christine. If you aren't already a fan of the show, tune in.


The New Adventures of Old Christine is one of the few shows on television today that takes the issue of single, working motherhood head on. Given that comedienne extraordinaire Julia Louis-Dreyfus plays the title role, it is hardly surprising that the show is hilarious.


We watched a taping and got to ask Julia and the show's creator, Kari Lizer, a few questions. They were candid and gracious. Check out the picture of Julia holding a bucket of Mommy Tracked products.


Click here to watch a CBS short on the blogger event featuring some of the interview with Julia & Kari. [1]




Are the meanie mommy characters who make Christine feel bad about her status as a working mom drawn from your experience?


Kari Lizer: It is loosely based on my experience. There’s nobody at my kids’ school that resembles any of these people. Initially the idea came from when my kids were in pre-school, the group of people that I was with, the other parents that I was with. Out of 18 families 16 of us were married, and by the time we got to second grade 13 of those families were divorced, which is a sad, horrible fact of life. And so what I noticed was the very, very different ways there are of handling that divorce. Some of them are ultra-civilized — like my ex and I try to be — and some of them the opposite of that. In addition to that where the meanie moms came from, there seemed to be this sort of war brewing between stay-at-home moms and working moms that I couldn’t wrap my head around. I couldn’t understand why we weren’t all on the same team as moms. And it felt like a viable area, and I think we were all just working moms and stay-at-home moms, we were all just trying to defend our place in the world and make ourselves feel better about the way we were doing it. So it felt like a rich area to go to for parenting.


Christine has lots of working mom moments. How many of them are inspired by your real life experiences?


Julia Louis-Dreyfus: I think they abound, these examples. It’s hard to do it all. When I go to school, there’s usually small things like a mom who doesn’t work outside the home, coming up to me and saying “Oh! Julia its so good to see you, we haven’t seen you here in ages.” And that just makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Well, I’ve been here, where have you been?


Kari Lizer: Mine is always when I show up to a soccer game or something, they say “Oh your ex-husband is so darling, he comes to all of her soccer games and it’s so great that she can have him here.” Yeah it hurts.


Why did you decide to make the Christine character self-employed as opposed to a 9-to-5 office job?


Kari Lizer: It felt like having Christine self-employed was going to be a good idea so that she wasn’t tied down to the job. So that she could sort of create her own schedule there with her kid. It was really important that in portraying a working mom, she was a good mom. So self-employment seemed to help with that a little bit, so that we could spring her loose to attend concerts and other things. There might be other stories that would have come out of her having a big boss or something, but this seemed to work. And the gym specifically, only because I joined Curves and I thought it was the funniest place I had ever joined in my entire life and it was fantastic. And there were contests and there were prizes and it was only 30 seconds on each thing and then I never sweat. It was my kind of a work out. So I just thought it was a funny weird place.


So many of the cast and the writers are working parents. How much of everyone's real life finds its way onto the show?


Julia Louis-Dreyfus: Yeah, I would say that a lot of stuff like that comes up. I mean the show is written fully, we don’t write it but when we rehearse it, often times stuff comes up in rehearsal, be it a physical bit of business or a line, that all of a sudden a line comes to you and if it works then it’s incorporated in the show and speaking for myself, being a mom is a huge help, relating to what that anxiety is all about, specifically being a working mom and balancing the whole. I am married, my parents were divorced growing up, so I am very familiar with that struggle between two homes, who am I here and what role . . . who’s playing what role and that was something I grew up? So all of that stuff, that life experience helps the rehearsal process for sure. And of course Kari is a working mom, writing about a working mom you know, it all sort of works.


Kari Lizer: And our writing staff, too, who aren’t here right now. Many of them are parents but even if they are not parents there are certainly enough worlds represented in this show that it’s not really specifically for single parents, married parents, parents. I mean there are a lot of points of view represented on this show. Because of Wanda and the meanie moms and the school and their stories and there’s Hamish single men stories going to medical school or whatever the hell he is doing stories. And the challenges of being a new girlfriend and from her point of view. So I think the stories come from everywhere and they come from everybody here and people that you don’t see too and just they come from all over the place.



If you enjoyed hearing from Julia Louis-Drefyus and Kari Lizer about The New Adventures of Old Christine, don't miss our other celebrity mom interviews! Check out our chats with 90210's Tori Spelling [2], Desperate Housewives star Marcia Cross [2], The Closer's Kyra Sedgwick [2], and Malcolm in the Middle star Jane Kaczmarek [2]. 



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