Melanie “Sporty Spice” Chisholm is trading in the glitz and glamor of the Spice Girls for something a little more subdued these days: A turn on the London stage. The 35-year-old mom is receiving acclaim for her portrayal of Mrs Johnstone in the musical Blood Brothers. She says that motherhood prepared her to tackle the difficult role.
“No one can explain to you that bond of love you feel for your child,” says Melanie, who is mom to 10-month-old daughter Scarlett. “And it has helped me understand the role, too. When Mrs Johnstone must give up one of her children, I think of ever having to lose Scarlett, and my heart literally bleeds.”
The singer talks to UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph about motherhood: “Being a mother has increased my confidence in a funny way. I never exactly felt under pressure but the press was always speculating about when – or if – I would have a baby. And what with the sporty image, there was this notion that I was the aggressive, masculine one, the tomboy, which isn’t me at all.”
Melanie also weighs in on the Spice Girls’ famous brand of “girl power,” musing on the responsibility that comes with being a role model to millions of young girls.
“It was something we took seriously,” she says. “It’s hilarious because we were criticised for being provocative or wearing revealing clothes a decade ago. Just look at girl bands now – they’re so sexual. We were tame by comparison.”
“To be honest, when we first split I didn’t see the other girls for a couple of years. Then we began calling each other, and when we did the reunion tour we rediscovered how close we really are. And motherhood has mellowed all of us. Now we meet when we can. We still fight, but usually after a few too many drinks.”
Melanie is pictured here in her theatrical debut this past October.