We’ve loved her for years as Kendall Hart, the villain-turned-heroine on TV’s All My Children. Alicia Minshew is now enjoying the bittersweet end of the popular daytime soap and “diving into” the routine of her 2-year-old daughter Willow.
The mom-of-one opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about the joys of motherhood, her active daughter who is “into everything,” and her upcoming Bollywood project that is “a completely different role than Kendall.”
CBS: You are well known for your role on All My Children, playing Kendall Hart. Are you anything like her?
AM: “In the beginning I was nothing like her because she was evil, so I really had to channel my inner bitch. She was very different than me, which was a lot of fun. But now that it has been almost nine years she has become more like me. I have softened her and made her more human. She became a mother and that has been nice. But she still has that edge which is really fun. I get to sleep around town, slap people, and say and do things that I would never do in real life so it is still a really fun character to play.”
CBS: How old is your daughter Willow and what is she into?
AM: “Oh my God, this kid is a riot! Willow will be two on November 4th and she is so much fun! She is into everything. She attends a music class where she gets to play on the piano and bang on the drums. Dancing, dancing, dancing! One of her favorite things to do is dance, which is fun because I danced as well. We take her to a baby gymnastics class where she tumbles around. She does a lot of things where she gets to be with other kids. She is a very active child so as long as she is moving she is happy. She loves to color and paint, but she prefers to be running around with other kids.”
CBS: Is Willow a mama’s girl?
AM: “She’s very into both of us. She loves playing and going to the park with her daddy, but she loves snuggling and reading with me as well. Like I said, she is very close to both of us, but she is a little clingier to me right now, which I am totally okay with and actually really love.”
CBS: How has motherhood changed you?
AM: “Wow! It has changed me in every way. It has taken my attention completely off myself and put it on this little human being. As an actor it is easy to be self-involved and then you have a child and all that just shifts. Now I am focusing on what’s really important and everything else will just fall into place.
I am more understanding with other parents with children. I can relate to the parent on the airplane or in restaurants who has a screaming child, and I find myself wanting to help them. I have this whole new level of pure joy that I never had before, and it feels like life is as it should be.”
CBS: Has it been tough balancing a demanding shooting schedule and motherhood?
AM: “At first it was really hard to go back to work. With nursing and lack of sleep I was worried about how I was going to not only get my job done, but how I was going to get it done well. And it was really hard to leave Willow, both because I wanted to be with her, and because I worried about whether or not she was safe and okay. But we have an amazing, amazing nanny so between her and my husband I know she is with people who love her and who are taking great care of her.
Now I am finally able to begin finding my groove and learning how to be a working mother. Although, I still don’t like being away from her. I find I just really just enjoy being with her; so being gone all day is still very hard.”
CBS: Are you and your husband thinking of having more children down the road?
AM: “My husband and I are both from very large families. I have three sisters and my husband has three siblings so we know how great it is to have siblings and large families. So we both want her to experience that and want her to have a sibling to grow up with. But at the same time, neither one of us can imagine starting over again with the pregnancy and the being up all night. Maybe in another year or so we will entertain the thought. If we have another one that will be great, but if Willow is our only child that will be great too. But for now, we are happy with our little family exactly as it is.”
CBS: How do you celebrate the holidays?
AM: “My husband is Jewish and I am a Christian so Willow is getting to celebrate everything. Both of our families are on the East Coast so we will be traveling a lot these next couple of months. We will go to New York for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah we will do here in LA, and then we will celebrate Christmas with my family in Florida. So Willow is a lucky little girl who gets to do it all. We want to expose everything to her and let her know and understand what both of her parents grew up with. Then, as she gets older, she can form her own opinions as to what she believes.
So for now we will enjoy the holidays. As I said, my husband and I both have big families so there will be lots of people around and it’s just a ton of fun. Holidays are so much more fun now because we get to celebrate with and for her. Willow has a three-year-old and one-year-old cousin as well so when they are together she is completely thrilled.”
CBS: What’s up next for you?
AM: “I am on hold to do a beautiful independent film. I have booked the role; we are just waiting for logistics to work out. The film is a Bollywood film that is supposed to shoot in Georgia in December. I am super excited because it is a completely different role than Kendall, and because it is an independent film it shoots on location rather than in a studio in LA so that is really different for me as well. So I am really excited about this opportunity, but we are just waiting to see if everything works out. I am really hoping to take Ritchie (my husband) and Willow with me.
Other than that I am just diving into Willow and getting into her routine because now I am around and can take place in her daily activities. So as sad as I am that All My Children is over, I am excited for this new chapter in my life and seeing where things go. Having Willow has helped me be more relaxed about where my career is going, now I know that if it was meant to happen then it will happen. And if it doesn’t then I am going to go home and be with my little girl and the right job will come along.”