Thanks to Mary-Louise Parker’s perfect portrayal, her character Nancy Botwin on the Showtime hit Weeds has joined a select group of television’s most memorable moms. The self-absorbed pot-selling widow is a far cry from June Cleaver, of course. And she’s certainly a far cry from Mary-Louise herself, who tells Chatelaine magazine that her most important role these days is that of a doting mom to her two kids William, 5, and Caroline “Ash,” 2.
Reflecting on her own South Carolina childhood, the actress says, “My childhood wasn’t fun. My parents are amazing; I just didn’t come along at a time when there was joy.”
Now a single mom – she split from William’s dad, actor Billy Crudup, while pregnant and adopted Ash in 2007 – Mary-Louise seems set on filling her family with as much fun as she can. Case in point: She spent the morning of the interview building cardboard castles with the kids and then roasting marshmallows in the fireplace of their New York home, and arrived to meet the reporter covered in shiny, colorful stickers courtesy of her son.
“When I left today, he kissed my hand on both sides and made me promise not to take them off,” she explains.
At 45 years old, Mary-Louise is still a relative newbie to motherhood. Though she always knew she wanted kids, she’s the first to admit that she wasn’t cut out to be a young mom, saying, “My early twenties? Forget it. That girl shouldn’t have had a child. She shouldn’t have even had her own mailbox.”
Though she seems a natural now, like most moms Mary-Louise says there is always room for improvement: “I have my little family,” she muses. “It’s not perfect. I wish it were more perfect. I always want everyone to have a good time.”