Actress Kyra Sedgwick has starred in a number of major Hollywood films, including Phenomenon, Secondhand Lions, and The Game Plan, but she is perhaps best known for her role as Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson on TNT's hit television series "The Closer,"  for which she has received several Emmy nominations and a Golden Globe.
Sedgwick has been married to actor Kevin Bacon since 1988. The highly successful acting couple have two children, Travis Sedgwick Bacon and Sosie Ruth Bacon.
Recently, our friend Beth Feldman, founder of RoleMommy.com  hosted a screening party for TNT's "The Closer"  featuring a guest appearance by Kyra Sedgwick. After partygoers enjoyed a chocolate fountain and caught a screening of the first episode, Kyra answered a barrage of questions from an audience comprised mostly of women with children. Throughout the brief Q&A session, Kyra was brutally honest about her life as a mom, wife and actress.
How do you remember your lines?
I do it by listening to a small tape recorder. Not a high tech digital one. I'm talking the old fashioned type. I listen to it as I walk everywhere. Even when I'm on the toilet and I'm not kidding. Women get that because moms are never alone when they go to the bathroom. I don't take a bath without my tape recorder. I listen to it over and over again all day long while I'm working.
What do you have to confess?
I guess this isn't a confession. But honestly, what I wish I'd done differently is that I wish I didn't feel so darn guilty about working when I worked because I never worked too much and my kids turned out really well.
Unless you've killed someone, honestly, guilt is a useless emotion. I wish I didn't waste so much of my time feeling guilty.
How should we describe you?
Tall! Really tall! [Kyra laughs and lifts up her heels.]
Tell everyone I'm just really tired and shut down.
As a working mother, how do you organize and manage your time?
That's funny! I don't. People literally walk behind me and gather everything I've dropped. I'm not the organizer. Organizing is great if you can do it but I can't do it.
I'm in the poopy diaper stage of my life. But I know you've been married for 20 years to Kevin Bacon. How do you maintain such a happy marriage?
The first secret is not to be naive enough to think that there is a secret. I think that's a start. How do we all do it? I got lucky. I really like him. I really lust after him still which is a good thing.
I think we are both similar in our managing styles. As far as changing the poopy diaper — whoever smelled it first always got to do it. Also when one of us worked, the other kind of stayed at home which was nice. I got good at being a single parent. I have empathy for the single parent. There were plenty of times where he would be working and I would be home with the kids. Not that I didn't have help. I was lucky enough to always have help.
I know you have a daughter. How do you handle making sure she has a positive body image?
It’s so hard. Welcome to America. It's like portions are huge and we are supposed to stay skinny. I mean I don't get that! How did that happen? We are supposed to be skinny and hot and change a poopy diaper.
My daughter is 16 and doesn't seem to have any eating or exercise issues but I most certainly did. It’s something I've worked on very hard. I used to be an obsessive exercise person. Now that's a confession. I mean every day 'OMG how am I going to burn more than I took in'.
It's just the luck of the draw. She just doesn't have that gene. And I talk to her about it and the insanity of it. A lot of her friends are struggling with the issue. Everything is tall, thin and skinny and how can we come out of it? We just try to talk about it. I really don't have the answer.
How did you bounce back from your kids?
I was a compulsive exerciser which wasn't proper. I spent a lot of time at the gym instead of being at home. I also had my kids very young. I had my son when I was 23 and my daughter when I was 25. I also breastfed — that was very good.
Don’t expect the pounds to come off overnight. That is just not realistic. Damn those magazines with the before and after celebrity pictures showing them fully bounced back. What a great message you know?! It’s not their fault by the way. It’s the magazine's fault.
I've read a quote from you saying you give so much of yourself to your character that it's hard to separate from her at times. I can envision you going home to Kevin and asking a dozen questions. How do you break away from that?
I wouldn't say the interrogation part of my character is what I bring home. I would say it's more of the darkness that I bring home. Because of the nature of the show, I can look at an object and think, 'That can be used to suffocate someone.'
How do you unwind after filming?
I don't unwind. For the 6 months of shooting I never unwind. It's like being at the beach and enjoying the water. You see a big wave, get sucked down by it, recover and enjoy it . . . but then another wave comes and knocks you down again. That's what it feels like to be on the show.
What is your schedule like? How often do you film? And what do you do on your downtime?
I film six months out of the year and when I'm not working I try to see my friends and spend more time with my family. All my family is in NY. I try to exercise and I also try to make a movie to be perfectly honest. I want to make sure my feet stay wet.
Do you want your children to become actors?
You know. It's a totally narcissistic industry and while I try not to be. I try to stay outward focused. It can get complicated. You can be very self involved. It can also be very insecure and as a mother you don’t want your children to be told they aren't right or perfect or good ever.
You don’t ever want them to hear 'you aren't going to get the job because of x,y and z'. You don't want your kids to feel bad — not even for a day.
But our rule was to not let the kids work professionally before 18. That got blown out the water with Sosie.
[Kyra explains that she and Kevin were working on a project together and realized that a part of the film would be perfect for their daughter so they decided to break their rule. But Sosie negotiated her work schedule. She asked how many days she’d have to be out of school and Kyra said four — Sosie replied “I’ll work three days and we’ll have a deal.”]
On the second day of filming she said 'I think I am over this whole acting thing' which was probably the best thing to come out of it.
If you enjoyed this Q & A with celebrity mom Kyra Sedgwick, don't miss our great Working Mom interviews with other celebs!
Check our our chats with 90210 star Tori Spelling , Desperate Housewives diva Marcia Cross , actress and director Melanie Mayron , Malcolm in the Middle actress Jane Kaczmarek , and The New Adventures of Old Christine star Julia Louis-Dreyfus !