Interview: Motherhood's Minnie Driver

Just over a year ago, shooting was underway on a Katherine Dieckmann project. Just over a year ago, Minnie Driver was pregnant with her first child. Now not only do we have Motherhood hitting theaters but we also have a mini Driver, Henry.

Dieckmann never planned for Driver’s character, struggling mother Eliza’s (Uma Thurman) best pal Sheila, to be pregnant, but since Driver was sporting a baby bump at the time and since the movie was about motherhood, why not? She admits it was extremely difficult trudging around the set during a New York City heat wave, but is thankful that she can look back on Motherhood and remember this monumental time in her life.

Celebrity babies gracing the pages of tabloids may be all the rage, but paparazzi be aware; if you get in Driver’s way she’ll probably just blog about it, but if you get in Henry’s she won’t take that so lightly.

If you could blog about anything what would it be?

Driver: Whoa. Well, I’m actually writing at the moment this thing. Sometimes when you see these pictures, like when you’re followed by paparazzi, I would love people to know really what the history is behind an actual photograph that when they – what was going on, like what actually preceded it, what went before the kind of day you were having to sort of humanize that experience so that people go ‘It’s not just that kind of oh, they shouldn’t whine about being photographed’ but somehow to go, you know, ‘I’d actually had five stitches in my foot that day, my son had fallen over and we were on our way to the pediatrician and I was running and this paparazzi wouldn’t get out of the way.’ Whatever it is, like whatever things that sort of go on I think that, I don’t, I always thought that’d be kind of interesting to blog about just cause it’s an angle that people, you know, you read one of those hellish magazines and you’re sort of like ‘ Oh look, she got kinda fat!’ And that’s sort of it and it’s like, wait a minute, there’s a person in here and a story and a life and a human being and I like the idea of humanizing this rather than cannibalizing celebrity.

Would you do that on a personal website?

Driver: No, I’m going to do it in a book I think which I might publish, you know, electronically, I don’t know. But I certainly - it’s tying in with actually with a, something, sort of a bigger thing but that’s one aspect of it. So, yeah, I think I’d blog about that. I probably end up will be blogging about that quite soon. The this is that seems how books are done these days.

It’s a great way to test the material and see how people respond.

Driver: I think so! Definitely get very immediate, you know, people leave comments, ‘This sucks! I don’t care. What are you wearing to the Oscars?’ [Laughs]

What’s the one thing about parenting that’s thrown you?

Driver: The love. The unquantifiable love. It just takes my breath away. My son’s face in the morning, or if I hear him ‘Mama, Mama, Mama’ and I go and he’s just sitting there in his crib, in the dark cause, you know, often he wakes up early it’s still dark outside. When I turn the lights on he’s like ‘Mama!’ And it’s just, it feels like Christmas. It’s just, you know, the thing of loving something more than you can – it is, it’s sometimes terrifying and I can’t, you can’t really go there. You can’t go there thinking of the absence of that. You know, it’s so, it’s so extraordinary and I, you know, everyone tells you that and everyone says that. You can’t know until you have it. It just blows your mind. Yeah, Henry.

How was it acting in this movie while you were pregnant?

Driver: It was horrible. I don’t recommend it. It was really sort of a great idea. It was me in my previous incarnation thinking ‘Oh! It’ll be fun!’ I’d just been on tour and that had been a bit tough but I was like ‘Oh, it’ll be fine. It’s a small part.’ You forget, like, it was a heat wave in New York. It was 100 degrees. You’re on New York City streets, the stink, I’m in a long sleeve t-shirt with overalls, I was so hot and uncomfortable and waiting around. You should just be at home.

How many months were you?

Driver: I was seven and a half months.

That wasn’t even a very small part. You’re in a lot of the movie.

Driver: Really?

I thought your character had a big impact.

Driver: I’m glad that she had a – that’s good. I think that she had a big impact but I don’t think I did – I hung around more than I worked which is usually fine, if you’re not that’s part and parcel. I rarely noticed it cause I was so pregnant. And we went over a little bit and I had to stay longer than I’d anticipated and I remember I was close to tears one evening and I was on the phone with my mom and I was like ‘I just [gasp] want to go home and iron [gasp] onesies. I just, I just want to do laundry mom.’ She was laughing and she goes ‘You’ll have plenty of time to do laundry, love. Don’t worry. There’s loads coming.’ But I did want to be nesting. I’m glad I did it. I just think, I said before, when you’re – the greater part, in fact, the whole of my adult working life ahs been chronicled on film and this, I didn’t want this part to be an exception. I’m really glad that I made it selfishly just to have him, you k now, for my own history.

Is there anything happening with the Riches?

Driver: Oh yeah, it was totally eighty sixed; 100%. Yeah, it was devastating. Really sad. Really, really awful. It’s just terrible when a, you know, a great show is canceled. But I’ve made a couple of really beautiful films this year. Really amazing, I just finished one, that’ll be great.

Can you tell us more about that?

Driver: Yeah! I just finished this movie in Montreal with Dustin Hoffman, Paul Giamatti and, which will be I truly believe kind of epic and wonderful. And then the one before that was with Hilary Swank and she was absolutely incredible and Sam Rockwell and Juliette Lewis, just beyond amazing actors. And Peter Gallagher and that’s going to be great.

Do you have anything coming up?

Driver: I’m just about to make another record. No, I’ve worked back to back and had a baby. [Laughs] I’ve got to have break! Hold on! I don’t actually but stuff usually comes up but there – I need to do the record. I need to do this cause it needs to be done before I think next year it’s going to be busy.

What would you say if Henry wants to be an actor when he grows up?

Driver: I would say good luck! [Laughs] Good luck and I’ll always cook for you when you’re totally broke.

Perri Nemiroff

Staff Writer for CinemaBlend.