A Bad Moms Christmas chat with Susan Sarandon and Cheryl Hines

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Someday it will completely sink in that sat across the interview table from Susan Sarandon and Cheryl Hines, or it will fully register that Sarandon questioned whether I was drunk or not (more on that later.) Just typing that is like “Mind. Blown.” I attended this awesome A Bad Moms Christmas press junket courtesy of STX Entertainment, who provided travel, accommodations, a fabulous preview showing of the film and arranged for the interview session with these two acting icons.

A Bad Moms Christmas chat with Susan Sarandon and Cheryl Hines

In contrast to my prior interview session with Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn which was bubbling over with the same giddiness you experience on a girl’s night out, Sarandon and Hines were collectively cordial, delightful and fun but also highly polished and down to business of interviewing (as you would expect a seasoned professional actress with their incredible list of credentials.)  The effect is simultaneously engaging and terrifying as you wonder what on earth you could ask these talented ladies about that hasn’t been covered before.

While there’s probably a few cheeky questions you might blurt out, you stick with the staples these women came to share their wisdom about – motherhood and A Bad Moms Christmas (in theaters today.)  Because truly, no matter what journalist illusions you may hold, these two ladies are running the show and the effect is dizzying as your brain tries to organize it all and soak in the amazing experience.   The only thing that could have possibly upped the anti would have been to have Christine Baranski present (hopefully, I’ll get the chance to have that exceptional interview someday soon!)

A Bad Moms Christmas chat with Susan Sarandon and Cheryl Hines
Mila Kunis and Christine Baranski star in A BAD MOMS CHRISTMAS

Hines immediately asked us if we enjoyed the movie and Sarandon questioned if we knew her daughter, who is also a mom blogger (Happily Eva After,) which of course, some of us did!  And five second later, we were all begging for a “Bad Grandmoms” film to be made as a follow-up to A Bad Moms Christmas, which Hines and Sarandon both said they were up for doing (hurray!)

As a mom, who is now a grand-mom with an adult daughter, I truly related to the core mother-daughter relationship struggles in A Bad Moms Christmas when the central characters (Kunis, Bell, and Hahn) welcome their moms (Sarandon, Hines, and Baranski) home for the holidays.  With such a great group of actresses already at the center of the Bad Moms franchise, the producers chose wisely to bring in top notch talent to complement the family dynamic.

In the case of Hahn, who is has such a strong screen presence and scene-stealing dialogue in the film, I’m hard-pressed to think of a better mom-figure than Sarandon.  Sarandon, Hines and Baranski all have the power to overshadow anyone they work with but they all temper their roles with such ease that they both dominant and elevate everyone in the scene with them.

From start to finish, A Bad Moms Christmas is roller-coaster ride of hilarity and heart.  It’s most endearing to see strong women in strong roles who don’t complete to overshadow one another but work together with a harmony that is nothing short of brilliant!

A Bad Moms Christmas chat with Susan Sarandon and Cheryl Hines

Fun tidbits from A Bad Moms Christmas interview with Susan Sarandon and Cheryl Hines

Thoughts on…

Relating to their character in A Bad Moms Christmas:

HINES:  “Sadly, I really relate to Sandy, my character, because I have a 13-year-old daughter, and I just, I love her, and I want to be with her…. I like to touch her hair because she’s got beautiful hair…Well, even when I watch (A Bad Moms Christmas) I’m thinking, I mean is that a problem?”

SARANDON:  “I am very physical with my kids, too, and so I identify with that.  I was saying that, when you have a job outside the home it curtails those tendencies to be just like overbearing, and it kind of naturally makes a space for you because you have other stuff you have to do…. Now that I’m a grandmother that I realize as a mother how constant your child or children are in your bubble.”

A Bad Moms Christmas chat with Susan Sarandon and Cheryl Hines
Cheryl Hines and Kristen Bell in A BAD MOMS CHRISTMAS

Being a mom:

SARANDON: “You don’t realize how much, how present (moms) are until, for me, I had grandkids and I saw and experienced a love relationship where I wasn’t the one holding all the loose ends. When young women say to me, I’m wondering if I should have a baby, I say well look, I don’t care how great your husband is.  You’re going to end up doing this.  You better be ready to understand that at least the first two years the burden is going to be so much more on you than it is on him.”

HINES: “What I learned was–I’ve always been very honest with my daughter, and if I’m having a bad day, if I’m upset about something, if something sad is happening, you sit her down and say look, it was really hard to pay the electric bill this month… I’m human, and she sees me as a person, and I see her as a person, and she’s okay to come to me and say I’m having a bad day.  Don’t talk to me.  I woke up in a bad mood.  I’m like I get it.”

SARANDON: “Forgive yourself for not being super perfect.  If you’re happy your kid knows that you’re happy, and all the guilt you feel for not being there every second, that your kid will admire you.  You’ll be raising kids who have an expectation that you’re more than just a mom.  And that’s a really good thing.  But it doesn’t matter if your house is messy for the weekend.  It doesn’t matter if you’re eating leftovers or ordering pizza.  What matters is that they know that you love them and then when you’re there for them you’re really there for them, and you’re happy to be with them.”

HINES: “I think that’s important to just take a little bit off of yourself and say you’re not going to be perfect.  There’s not going to be a perfect day.  There’s not going to be a perfect Christmas.  There’s not going to be a perfect Thanksgiving.  There are going to be perfect moments.  And when you have those perfect moments it’s great to say oh my God, or we’re having like a perfect moment.”

Raising sons:

SARANDON:  “I think what we have to do is not only call out the men, but raise boys that are more respectful.  When I had a daughter I knew how I had to raise her.  I knew I had to tell her things were going to be tougher for her.  I knew that even though she’s gorgeous it was brains that she would go-–I knew that she had to have her own money.  But what I wasn’t prepared for was what happens to boys when they get their hearts ripped out during the socialization process and they’re completely told to be completely different than they are.”

A Bad Moms Christmas chat with Susan Sarandon and Cheryl Hines
Kathryn Hahn and Susan Sarandon star in A BAD MOMS CHRISTMAS.

Lessons from A Bad Moms Christmas: 

SARANDON:  “This movie says build time for yourself, which is the hardest thing to do, and that we only have ourselves to blame if we don’t find a way to do that.”

HINES: “(The screenplay writers) wrote these women characters in a very real way and really found a way to find the heart of motherhood and also what’s funny about motherhood and then had the ability to put it on a screen.”

Lastly… thoughts on my drinking habits: 

To preface this conversation a bit, I had a bottle of Jim Beam Vanilla we received with our press kit with a signature cocktail recipe designed by Mila Kunis (pictured below.)  As I was still carrying it around (unopened, I swear!) I placed it on the table near my notebook before the interviews.  Near the end of the interview, my unintential prop caught Sarandon’s attention and the conversation went like this:

SARANDON: Are you drinking liquor down there?

HINES: Yes, she’s got a whole bottle.

BLOGGER:  It starts with that.

SARANDON:  Oh my God.  You guys are rockin’.  Oh my God.

ME:  [Unintelligible laughter or something closer to chortling] We got these when we checked into the hotel. These are part of the A Bad Moms Christmas press junket.

HINES: I love it.  I love it so much.

SARANDON: That’s a goodie bag from–wow.

Perhaps, just perhaps, my finest moment in ten-plus years of interview sessions attended – leaving Susan Sarandon and Cheryl Hines with the impression that I’m hard core drinking before 11 am celebrity interviews.  Well, I guess like Sarandon’s character, that makes me a little of a bad-a$$ mom, now, doesn’t it?

About A Bad Moms Christmas

A BAD MOMS CHRISTMAS follows our three under-appreciated and over-burdened women as they rebel against the challenges and expectations of the Super Bowl for moms: Christmas. And if creating a more perfect holiday for their families wasn’t hard enough, they have to do all of that while hosting and entertaining their own mothers. By the end of the journey, our moms will redefine how to make the holidays special for all and discover a closer relationship with their mothers.

The film stars Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Christine Baranski, Susan Sarandon, Cheryl Hines, Jay Hernandez, Wanda Sykes, Peter Gallagher, Justin Hartley, and Oona Laurence.

For more information about the film, check out the Bad Moms Facebook page, follow along on Twitter and Instagram, and watch for hashtag #BadMomsXmas on all social media.

Take a tip from the Bad Moms and take a break to treat yourself this holiday season. Get your tickets now: BadMomsTickets.com

A Bad Moms Christmas arrives in theaters today!

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Barb Webb. Founder and Editor of Rural Mom, is an the author of "Getting Laid" and "Getting Baked". A sustainable living expert nesting in Appalachian Kentucky, wen she’s not chasing chickens around the farm or engaging in mock Jedi battles, she’s writing about country living and artisan culture.
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