Desperate Housewives star Marcia Cross is helping conquer hunger this holiday season as the official spokesperson for Grateful Platefuls who will donate $100,000 to Feeding America, which will provide 700,000 meals to Americans in need.
Celebrity Baby Scoop participated in an exclusive webcast with Marcia to discuss the urgent need for hunger relief right here in our own communities. The busy mother of 2 ½-year old twin girls, Eden and Savannah, also opened up about her “little jokesters,” what she really thinks about celebrity baby websites and the paparazzi, and how she manages her “very full life.”
CBS: What are Eden and Savannah into these days?
MC: “They’ve just started preschool so new songs and new kids. Savannah’s still only wearing navy blue so that’s a challenge,” laughs Marcia. “Eden likes to be naked so that’s another challenge but they’re fabulous and they’re really funny and they seem to have really good hearts and a great sense of humor.”
CBS: What kinds of things do the girls do to make you laugh?
MC: “My girls are really funny! They’re actually little jokesters. They do twists on words already. I call them ‘my little minxies.’ They dance, they do imitations of other kids dancing, they make up songs, they make up lyrics. It’s all so silly but every mother just adores their own child and I’m the same way. They make me laugh all the time.”
CBS: Do you ever have any frazzled mom moments?
MC: “Omigosh do I ever have frazzled mom moments? What you really should ask me is how many frazzled mom moments do I have in a day, which is like every mom I’m sure. And I have a lot of those frazzled, what do I do now moments where you are being challenged by your 2 ½-year old and you’re thinking ‘I don’t know what to do now…..is this a discipline moment or do I talk to them moment?’ Sometimes I say, ‘let me get your father.’ That’s what I do when I’m really confused and frazzled, but it sounds like I’m really in control like ‘Oh, I’m going to speak to your father about this’ [said in deep, serious voice]. But yah, I’m frazzled a lot, and overwhelmed, and overjoyed and all those things that go together with being a mother. And I think that’s never going to end!”
CBS: Do the paparazzi drive you crazy?
MC: “Sometimes the paparazzi do drive me crazy! But, for the most part, I really try to ignore them. And then I think, on the flip side of that is I get to talk about this wonderful program Grateful Platefuls, and it’s because people know my face and because of my celebrity that I get to talk about how you can help with Feeding America. So I try to remember that it’s a two-fold thing. There are good things about being in the public eye, and the paparazzi and one of the not-so-good things. And luckily my daughters don’t seem to notice yet. I think when that day comes then I’ll have a lot more anxiety about it. But for right now, for some reason they just don’t seem to notice.”
CBS: How do you feel about popular celebrity baby websites like ours?
MC: “That is a great question because I have mixed feelings about celebrity baby websites. Sometimes I’m really happy because I see pictures that I would never see – I’m in the middle of taking care of my kids and someone will send me a picture and I’ll think ‘omigosh, that’s so sweet.’ As long as my children are unaware of it, then I’m ok. I just think that in the future it might become an issue but right now, since they’re still unaware, it’s OK.”
CBS: How do you balance your successful career and raising 2 ½-year-old twin girls?
MC: “I think some days I do it more gracefully than others, and other days it takes its toll. I think like any parent I go through times where things are going great and then I’ll have a week where both of my daughters are sick and so I’m trying to juggle work and home life and it’s hard. It can be stressful and I think it would be unrealistic to say otherwise. I think that mothers manage an incredible work load, whether you’re a stay at home mother or you have a job as well. It’s a very full life and certainly one that I dreamt about and always wanted. Given that, there are days that are challenging because you can only be in so many places at once, whether it’s at work or with your kids. You know, sometimes you just really want a nap!”
CBS: Do you believe in the connection between the body, the mind and the spirit?
MC: “I absolutely 100% do! I think we’re spiritual beings in a physical body. What we think about, we make happen. I think we have the choice to be grateful and look at all the good in our lives and come from a spiritual, loving place. And I think that our job on the planet is to develop empathy and compassion and take the time to help other people. Doing something like Grateful Platefuls is such a simple thing to do to help others. Go to facebook and fill in your name and say what you’re grateful for. Pick a dish for it to be served up on and it will show up on your facebook page. It’s food for your mind, food for your body and food for the spirit. It’s a great question and yes, there is a connection.”
CBS: Where you exposed to poverty issues as a child? If so, is that why you are the spokesperson for Grateful Platefuls?
MC: “I grew up in a small community where we definitely did take care of each other. I wouldn’t say that it was a poor community – we always had enough to eat. But I would definitely say that it was in my consciousness at a very young age that we needed to take care of each other and feed each other in whatever way possible. Whether it was taking care of the elderly or volunteering at the hospital or whatever it might be, I definitely grew up with that consciousness which I think is so important. I think that’s why this is such a great program because we need to think about people who are in need at this time of year, as well as year round. But right now is a really important time.
November makes me think of harvest and abundance which is not the case with so many people. One in eight Americans don’t know where their next meal is coming from and there’s a 30% increasing need this year because of what this country is going through right now. The amount of unemployment just rose. People are really struggling. You think of starvation or hunger being somewhere else – in Africa. You don’t think of it being down the street – the child down the block. I think it’s important that we take care of each other and I love that companies are coming up with these really simple programs where all you have to do is go on your computer. All you have to do is go to facebook and do something that is actually fun by putting in your name, think about what you’re grateful for, put in a picture of whatever you’re grateful for. Maybe you’re grateful about your dog, or a beautiful day and then it goes up on facebook. You don’t even need to send money or food for this program. They will give the money to Feeding America! It’s just such a fun thing to do and an easy way to give back, especially during a time when people don’t have a lot of extra money to spend or to give to charity. All you do it take a little bit of time and you’ve done something wonderful!”
Marcia graciously addressed other topics and questions during the webcast. Check out her answers below.
On what is next for Marcia Cross: “Let’s see…..the park, naptime, more books, bath, but you probably want something more exciting,” Marcia jokes. “I’m working a lot, doing my show which I still love, raising my daughters and that is a very full plate for me that I’m grateful to have.”
On if there are any similarities between Bree and herself: “You know, I wish there were more, because she’s so organized and such the domestic diva which I am not. I think in her own twisted way, Bree has a big heart and a passion for life. Although I’m thinking about what she’s doing right now and we don’t have that in common! She’s having a little extra passion right now,” Marcia laughs. “So at the moment I’m going to say there’s a little less in common than more.”
On if she knows how to cook: “Not really! I used to always go to Whole Foods and get my meals there. Now, well luckily my girls aren’t that finicky of eaters. They like to eat generic kids stuff and I do like to keep things organic. That’s probably my main concern and I like to give them a variety. But no, I haven’t really learned to cook yet and one of my daughters is turning out to be a foodie so I think I might have to really soon.”
On what she teaches her daughters about giving back: “I have to be very honest and say that I’m in this very strange interim of wanting the world to seem like this perfect, lovely place because they’re 2 ½ to then introducing them to the idea that other people have less…. I think it’s going to start soon, I think around the holidays. The way I try to do it in a very simple way is, I have things in the house and I say ‘why don’t we give this to so-and-so’ and then say somebody else’s child. Or ‘you’re finished with that, why don’t you give it to so-and-so’ and I notice that they’ll come up with that on their own now which makes me so happy. So I can’t yet go to the place where there are kids that are hungry. Maybe in another year? I don’t know exactly. But I think just teaching empathy and then teaching giving is how I’ve started, and then hopefully it will grow from there in terms of how lucky we are. We say grace and we say prayers at night. Prayers to me is just saying what you are grateful for. One answer that my daughter Eden says all the time which I love is “outside” which is such a beautiful thing to say thank you for that we take for granted. I always thank God for the food that they eat and they always thank God for their ‘luckies’ and their ‘binky’s,” Marcia jokes, “but they’re getting the idea.”
On if she plans to make an appearance on Melrose Place: “I have a very busy life so it’s not that I don’t want to. I don’t even know what I’d do on Melrose Place because I’ve already done every crazy thing imaginable as the whacked-out Kimberly. I just don’t have a minute in my day left so I don’t have any plans right now to go on Melrose Place….unless they want to float me on a raft and I can take a nap in that infamous pool!”
On if she can say anything about the Desperate Housewives episode with the plane crash: “I would be shot if I said anything about the episode with the plane crash but the thing is, Marc Cherry sometimes says way more than I would ever think one could say but I don’t know that for sure and I’m not going to divulge any secrets. But yes, there is a big plane crash and people probably get hurt because they often do in a plane crash, but I can’t tell you anything else, I’m sorry [laughs].”
On what she is grateful for: “I could get a little weepy thinking about what I’m grateful for so I’m going to take a deep breath. First of all, I’m grateful for health. Health of my family, health of my friends, health of my parents who, thank God, are still with me. I’m grateful that I have a family that I’ve always dreamed about. I’m grateful for the job I have. I get to do what I love. I’m grateful that I get the opportunity to be a spokesperson for things that I feel are important. My gosh, the list in endless! I’m grateful for my body, again that goes back to health; if you don’t have health you don’t have anything. I’m grateful that I don’t have to worry about being hungry. I’m grateful for the amazing friends that I have and all the love in my life. I’m grateful to live in a country of such abundance. I’m grateful for my spiritual growth. Shall I go on? [laughs]”
On her last thoughts about Grateful Platefuls: “You need to be on facebook to join Grateful Platefuls. It will go on your facebook page so other people can see what you’re grateful for. Let’s make this a time to think about how you can feed your soul and feed someone else’s stomach. This time, when you sign off, you can feel really good about what you did on your computer today. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!”