With three children at home under the age of six, Maya Rudolph is no stranger to sleep deprivation, so it’s not surprising that she was attracted to the NBC sitcom Up All Night, even though her character is the only one without kids. She plays Ava, the talk-show boss and best friend of new mom Reagan (Christina Applegate), who doesn’t get why her pal is too pooped to party.
Channeling a non-mom wasn’t that hard. “I know people who can’t relate to having kids and don’t have kids,” says Rudolph, who puts her parenting experience to use off screen by sharing stories with the writers and producers. As mom to Pearl, 5, Lucille, nearly 2, and infant Jack, born July 3, “I’ve got one going into kindergarten, a toddler and a newborn, so I’ve got stories to give,” she says, acknowledging that so far she’s “holding it together” juggling work and motherhood. She’s had experience doing that, albeit with fewer kids, while on Saturday Night Live, and remembers going back to work when Pearl was four months old.
“I’d be writing till 4 a.m. and then going home. The baby would be up, so I’d spend time with her, then take a nap and then go to work. It was hard and I did it for as long as I could, but you can only do it for so much before you collapse,” she says, noting that with parenting, a lot of best-laid plans go out the window. “You give into the madness…you wing it. You do your best. You don’t remember half of it because you’re so tired. But as long as the kids are happy and healthy, it’s cool.”
Rudolph’s big-screen career is busy as well. Hot off the summer hit Bridesmaids, she’ll appear in a movie directed by and starring Jennifer Westfeldt with Jon Hamm, Megan Fox and Kristen Wiig that also mines parenting for laughs: it’s called Friends With Kids.
Up All Night premieres September 14 on NBC.
(Photo: Frank Micelotta/PictureGroup)