Law & Order alum Charlotte Ross is set to light up the big screen with Nicolas Cage in Drive Angry 3D. The 43-year-old single mom opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about her “great” son Max, how she juggles career and motherhood, and why she doesn’t like to bring Max to the set.
CBS: How is Max doing? What is he into these days?
CR: “Max is doing great! He’s half way through first grade at a new school as we pulled him from the school he attended last year. He loves it. It’s such a relief when you know your child is going to a school where the teachers really care and are very attentive.
He loves music, math and science. And, lately, he’s been obsessed with taking my iPad and playing Club Penguin and getting fun kids games to play by buying apps. I waited as long as I could to try and delay his use of computer devices as I think children do them too much these days. And, my fear was correct. If I don’t watch him and make rules and guidelines as to what he plays and the duration he plays them, he’d be playing all day! But, there are some games that lean a bit more toward the educational route so, that’s nice.”
CBS: How do you balance motherhood and your career?
CR: “Balancing motherhood and my career is sometimes easy and other times very difficult. I sometimes wish I was a full time mom and other times I just want to be surrounded by adults, adult conversation and work on the craft of acting as I’ve been passionate about being an actress since I was a little girl.
For me, it’s trying to do everything 100% when I’m doing it. When I try to do too much and feel scattered, everything suffers. I do look at the kind of jobs I chose a bit more carefully now. I just passed today on a series that would shoot in Vancouver. It looks like a pretty good one and seems to have a chance to go the distance in terms of a few seasons with who is involved, etc. But, unless I’m extremely passionate about a role/job, I just can’t commit to leaving Max for sooo long.
A series requires you to sign a 6 to 8 year deal and that is a big commitment, obviously. Many don’t go that long but, I’ve been on a few that do, so you never know. In the end, I just wasn’t that passionate about the role and was fearful that my balance of work and motherhood wouldn’t fare well. If I have to leave for a while and commute back and forth for something I’m really passionate about, it’s much easier, I’m better at my job and, ultimately a better mother as well. I tend to lean more toward feature films these days as I can lose myself for a few months in the role and then I’m done and I can enjoy being a full time mom for a while. But, again, it’s a real conscience balancing act I try to do. Some days are easier than others.”
CBS: What are some of your favorite mom moments or memories?
CR: “Some of my favorite mom moments have been when we’re alone. My son loves music and I get so busy and self absorbed with what I’m doing that, sadly, I don’t feel I allow as much ‘us’ time as I’d like. I’m sure most mother’s feel the same way. When we’re alone I sometimes just put on a fun CD and dance and dance and dance. I’ll swing him around he laughs and I laugh. Those moments will always stand out in my mind.
Another one was when I was sick and I shot up a high fever pretty quickly. Wasn’t the end of the world, but fevers aren’t fun. So, as I was laying down I put a cold compress on my head and Max kept asking if he could make the compress colder for me or rub my hand or sing me a song. Anything he could do to try and help me feel better. It was so cute and endearing. It’s an odd feeling when your little one is the care taker for a bit. I think he really enjoyed it.”
CBS: Are you dating anyone right now? Would you like to have another baby one day?
CR: “I am dating someone right now. He’s a wonderful man, but it is challenging to try to mesh two families with kids. There is no rule book and when ages range like teenagers with toddlers, etc. It can be hard. It takes a lot of work and optimism to join them in a fluid manner. We’ll see. No plans for marriage at this point, just dating. He’s wonderful to my son so, obviously, that matters a great deal. As for having another baby? I’m on the fence. You never know, right?”
CBS: Tell us about your upcoming movies: Street Kings 2, Motor City and Drive Angry 3D.
CR: “Street Kings 2 ,Motor City is a feature film I recently completed in Detroit. I played Ray Liotta’s supportive and loving wife. I’ve admired his work for years, so I was thrilled to get the role. It was nice to play someone a bit normal as I seem to be drawn more to really damaged characters. I find them a blast to play.
The role I play in Drive Angry opposite Nick Cage is more up that damaged alley, to say the least [laughs]. I play a very honey, covered in tattoos, low income, hard working foul-mouthed gal who goes on a ‘ride’ with Nick and it doesn’t quite go as planned. Working with Nick was one of the best working experiences I’ve ever had. I had to do full frontal nudity – and in 3D! – and he was very supportive. Our sex scene took a week to shoot as he kills 9 people while we ‘stay connected.’ And, in our other scenes he was just all about the work which is a dream for me. The more I ad-libbed or improved, the more he wanted and the surprise of not knowing what the other would do next was one of the reason’s I love what I do so much. I totally lost myself in the character as, I guess, I love to do with most characters I play. It definitely helped on this character because in real life, I’m quite shy and private, so to do and say the things I did with Nick as Candy, I really had to step in her shoes. It was awesome.”
CBS: Did you bring Max to the set of either movie?
7) I never brought Max to the set. No way! I don’t bring my son on many sets as I don’t think that, in most cases, they are appropriate for kids. I’ve worked with many kids throughout the years and always find myself counting how many swear words the cast and crew says as we’re shooting or just hanging out between takes. It’s a real adult kind of environment in most cases. He’s seen a few sets, I suppose but it’s not that high on my priority list.”
CBS: What’s up next for you?
CR: “I’m planning on returning to Glee again this year. I play Quinn’s mom, Judy Fabray. She’s such a fun character. She’s like Ann Coulter times 1,000, St. John wearing, tea party member and right, right, right wing Republican and still wishes her daughter was in the celibacy club. That show is a blast to work on.
I’m considering doing another series right now, but my fingers are crossed for the feature films I have in the mix right now. Mainly because, as I said, maintaining that balance with my son seems easier when I do film. Lastly, I’m just looking to work with more people I admire and want to get in the ring with, as we funny actors like to say.”