Maxine Bahns was made for motherhood! The 38-year-old actress and accomplished triathlete is also new mom to 8-month-old daughter Madison Rose and says “life couldn’t be any better.” Maxine opened up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about life with a textbook angel baby, staying in great shape while training for triathlons, her unexpected quick delivery (that her husband missed!), and her journey toward her acting career alongside ex-boyfriend Ed Burns.
CBS: You are mom to 8-month-old daughter Madison Rose. Tell us how motherhood has changed your life. Any surprises? What’s your favorite part? Tell us about Madison’s personality? What kinds of things does she do to make you laugh?
MB: “Motherhood has been amazing! I can’t believe how easy it is. Every one said “your life will never be as easy and you won’t sleep anymore.” Well, my baby sleeps 12 hours every night and she is super easy and has made my relationship with my husband so much richer. We just laugh with her and watch each other in her. Seriously, it couldn’t be any better. Madison and I go to swim class and it is so inspiring to see her kicking and splashing. I get to experience everything for the first time with her and I have been given the gift of seeing life with a whole new perspective. Four days a week I have been going to the pool to swim 1-2 miles each time, forgetting to appreciate the water, the sun, the freedom. She has definitely awakened my senses.”
Maddie is very confident and feisty. She loves to watch singing and dancing on TV (I think because I tivo’d American Idol last season and was constantly rewinding and playing back Adam Lambert – she has Adam Lambert’s voice etched in her mind). Lately she has been “singing” in a very high-pitched voice and it always makes me laugh because she is 8-months-old and so focused.”
CBS: You recently introduced us to your sweet daughter. We heard that you practiced yoga 5 days a week during your pregnancy, which you said attributed to your 20-minute delivery!!! Please explain further. Surely you were in hours of hard labor prior to this? Please share your birth story with us – and be sure to talk about the benefits of yoga during pregnancy.
MB: “Yes, I practiced yoga religiously while I was pregnant. I have practiced yoga since 2000 when I moved to Los Angeles so it was an obvious choice for me to do prenatal yoga. In 2006 I got certified at YogaWorks and I saw how beneficial it was to all the new moms. It helps ease any mental or physical strain. And yes my labor was quick! It was so quick my husband missed it! We arrived at the hospital once my contractions were close and after they gave me an epidural I was told it would be about 5 hours since I was only 3 cm dilated. I wanted to take a nap and I told my husband to go home, take a shower, eat breakfast then come back. Fifity minutes after he left I went into labor, which lasted 20 minutes and 8 pushes. I couldn’t believe it, no pain, nothing. The painful part was having to call him at home and tell him that he missed the birth. He still can’t believe it.”
CBS: Your breakthrough role was Audrey in the 1995 film The Brothers McMullen. At the time, you were dating Ed Burns who created the film. Were you planning on a career in acting, or did the surprise success of the low-budget production change the course of your life and career choices?
MB: “I had not planned on an acting career. I wanted to be a Professor of Latin at Princeton. That was my dream job. If I had wanted to be an actor I would have transferred from CAS to Tisch at NYU. My roommates were actors and I loved watching them prepare for scenes but I had no idea that would be my future.”
CBS: How does it feel being so well known for a film you did with your ex? Are you 2 still friends? Looking back on how both of you broke into stardom over such a low-budget film ($23,800 USD), do you feel your relationship was meant to be at that specific time in your life? Do these questions get a little old now that so many years have passed and you have both moved on?
MB: “I am very grateful for the success of Brothers and I am happy that it was with Eddie. We had a lot of fun together when we were very young. He was my first real boyfriend so of course it is cool that we did something so wonderful together. He is an awesome guy. Obviously a lot of time has passed and we are different people. We are parents now – crazy! I have not spoken to him in ages but do keep in touch with his brother.”
CBS: You currently star in the TV show The Mentalist. You also have a few projects set for release including Driving Me Crazy, Broken and What Would Jesus Do? Please tell us more about each of these projects.
MB: “I am not currently on The Mentalist. The Red John character, Jane’s wife and child were written out because they were too dark. The show is very light now with a lot of black comedy. Broken I have not shot yet; I shoot that in Louisiana in the spring. I look forward to that, I play a DEA agent who hunts down a drug dealer who killed my younger brother. What Would Jesus Do? is a little movie about a small town that has fallen into the hand s of greed and corruption. I play a wealthy woman who plays into the hands of a local politician and in doing so loses her sense of self until she makes contact with an apostle.”
CBS: How have you managed to stay out of the limelight so well? I don’t think we saw any pictures of your baby bump!
MB: “Easy, I rarely go out! If I do go out it is usually to the movies or to a friend’s house for dinner. I am a morning person so I prefer a 3-hour hike in the early morning to a late evening. When I left NYC I gave up the nightlife. It is just not the same in L.A. Although when I am on location I can usually be persuaded to a night out.”
CBS: Do you identify yourself as an athlete as much as you do an actress?
MB: “I am an actress first and foremost. Triathlons are my hobby and I love training for them. It is very therapeutic for me to go ride my bike for 4 hours or run for 2 hours and just clear my head of any unnecessary noise. I love to spend my mornings working out, whether it is yoga, running, cycling or swimming. It gives my life balance.”
CBS: You have competed in more than 30 triathlons, including the 2001 Hawaii Ironman – an elite competition that you must qualify for. What is your strength in these grueling competitions? The bike? The run? The swim? Or do they all pose certain pros and cons? Are you continuing with triathlons now that you’ve had Madison?
MB: “When it gets tough during an Ironman or half Ironman you just have to think about everything in your life that you are grateful for. That usually gets me out of a slump and also knowing that the pain will eventually end. There is such a huge amount of personal satisfaction with each completed race that it gets you through. I learned how to swim in 2000 as well as clip in on a bike so neither are my strengths and running is always so damn tough after mile 9… They all have their pros and cons. The swim is refreshing and invigorating but tiring, I feel like a little kid on the bike and I love going as fast as possible on the downhills. The run is the last leg of the race so you know you are home free. Yes, I am absolutely continuing with triathlons. In January I am doing a hardcore bikram retreat in Hawaii to jumpstart the season. I will definitely do a half Ironman during the summer.”
CBS: Your husband Patrick Watson is also a triathlete. Did you meet on the triathlon circuit? Do you 2 train together? Do you also make time for date night? Do you feel it is important to make the time for each other?
MB: “Patrick is a cat 3 cyclist and duathlete. We met on a photo shoot in Malibu because we had the same sponsor at the time. We do not train together because it is too frustrating for me. He is an amazing runner and cyclist so it is a joke for me to even think I can stay with him. Besides I like training with my girlfriends who keep me laughing during our rides and runs. No competition just pure fun. It is SO important to make time for each other. Patrick is my absolute best friend, confidante and partner in crime. We are now a triumvirate.”
CBS: Do you feel you are back to the same fitness level as you were before having Madison? Or is your body a completely different machine now?
MB: “I am almost back to the same fitness level pre-pregnancy but I have lost a lot of weight. I think because I have not been riding (bike) as much and have lost a lot of muscle. I run a lot because I can do it with Maddie in the Bob stroller. I usually weigh about 128 lbs. and I am down to 122 lbs., which definitely feels different. I will be racing in 2010 so it will be interesting to see how I feel.”
CBS: If you are working on any other projects or with any charities, please feel free to comment.
MB: “My absolute favorite charity is CAF-Challenged Athletes. Bob Babbitt founded it and they provide grants to athletes with physical disabilities. Watching the challenged athletes compete in the San Diego Triathlon Challenge (Half Ironman) is one of the most amazing events I have ever seen.”View Slideshow »»