The Big Bang Theory actress Mayim Bialik partnered with Gillette to address how Superman shaves, coinciding with the recent release of Man of Steel. In the movie’s trailer, young Clark Kent sports a full beard then reappears smooth-shaven as Superman. Mayim is a member of the esteemed council theorizing how the “Man of Steel” can shave.
Mayim opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about her work with Gillette’s HowDoesHeShave.com program, the love her sons, Miles, 7-and-a-half, and Fred, 4, have for LEGOs, and how she plans to co-parent her kids in light of her recent divorce. The talented actress also reveals what she thinks about being in the dating game again!
CBS: Tell us about teaming up with Gillette and the troubling questions of Superman. What’s this new project all about?
MB: “Gillette approached me to theorize how Superman, the ‘Man of Steel,’ shaves. This question has plagued comic book fans for decades and is something that has been addressed. I think it’s really cool that Gillette thought to combine not only the fact that I’m a comic book person, but also the facts that I’m a real scientist and I’m known for being on a show beloved by people who also love comic books. It’s a cool combination of all things in one.”
CBS: Do your sons like Superman? Are they into superheroes? How are your boys doing? What are they into these days?
MB: “My sons do like Superman a lot. There’s something very attractive about someone so strong and so fast, who can also fly. Those are Superman’s characteristics that I think really appeal to young people. I also loved finding out that Superman only fights to defend people when he has to. He doesn’t use guns or knives; he only uses his brains and rescues people who are in need. Honestly, those are very important values that he embodies as a superhero.
My sons are also huge on Batman. One reason we like to emphasize is that Batman uses brains and not guns. Batman is actually not a classic superhero, but he uses all of his skills, tools, and brainpower to defend good and defeat evil. My sons mainly like DC heroes; there is a lot of Spiderman interest and we’ve been reading the original Flash comics. These comics are very interesting culturally, because you can see how women were portrayed and how the whole superhero genre was back then.
My sons also love LEGO! There’s a ‘Lone Ranger’ LEGO set that I think is really cool, and I think it’s normal for children to be interested in having ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys.’ With these sets, you can set up the horses and barracks, and you can talk about gun safety because there are LEGO people with rifles. They each actually saved up money to purchase their own new LEGO sets, so that’s exciting. We also teach them about budgeting, accounting, and all that stuff.”
CBS: How do your sons earn money for new LEGO sets?
MB: “We actually don’t pay the kids for chores. I explain it to them by saying, ‘I don’t get paid to do chores!’ [laughs] Instead, they do jobs that I would otherwise hire someone else to do. We call these jobs ‘specialty jobs,’ and they do get a small compensation for them . A portion of the money also goes to charity, which is called ‘Tzedakah’ in Hebrew. These are jobs like cleaning the windows, specialty gardening, and collecting and sorting the recyclables. So they get a small amount for jobs that other people might get paid for. As I said, we kind of make it a lesson in accounting and math, and a portion goes to Tzedakah for charity. They get to pick which charity it goes to at the end of the year.”
CBS: We were sorry to hear about your recent divorce. How are you doing? How have your sons handled the break up? How did you explain the split to them?
MB: “I am actually doing very well! Most importantly, the boys are doing really well. It’s not a fun transition, but it’s going very smoothly and I’m very grateful for the support, respect, and privacy that I’ve gotten.
I haven’t spoken explicitly about how I explained the divorce to my sons and I probably won’t. Other people who went through this told me it is important to make sure the communication is always open. No matter how you tell them, they are going to have different types of questions as you go along each week, month, and year, for the rest of their lives. I just sort of make sure I touch base with them and make sure the communication is always open. Usually they say, ‘I don’t want to talk about it, I’m fine.’ You also just need to let it go too.”
CBS: How and you and Michael going forward with co-parenting? What seems to be working for you two? What is your best advice for people who are co-parenting?
MB: “What works for us is good communication and remembering that you are your children’s parents forever, no matter what your romantic status is. We both really kept that our main priority and it’s working very well, I am very grateful to him and I hope he is grateful to me as well.
My best advice for people who are co-parenting to just remember that you will be parents forever and you must treat each other accordingly.”
CBS: How are you and Michael going forward with home schooling now that you are divorced? Do you share in the home schooling duties 50/50?
MB: “We are going forward with homeschooling like we were before. When I’m working, the kids are with their dad. When I’m not working, they are with me. It’s actually working very well. I am still responsible for all the things I want to teach them and we make decisions together. The homeschooling duties are split 50/50. It’s great when the world is your teacher, because you can teach them all the time.”
CBS: How do you feel about dating again? Exciting or terrifying?
MB: “No. [laughs] No comment, I am not excited about it.” [laughs]
CBS: What kind of feedback did you received for breastfeeding Fred until he was 4? Were people mostly supportive?
MB: “I don’t know, Celebrity Baby Scoop wasn’t! [laughs] It was a mixed bag, but like the thousands of women who are part of the La Leche League International, many of us make it work. Fred is doing great; he speaks and he doesn’t nurse anymore. It works.”
CBS: How are things going on The Big Bang Theory? Do you have any other projects in the works?
MB: “We are on hiatus right now, but I am very eager to get back to our new season because I have no idea what our writers have in store for us. It is very exciting. It is also pre-Emmy season, so that’s something we are focusing on too.
I don’t really have any other projects in the works. Gillette’s HowDoesHeShave.com is taking off this summer, and I also have a vegan cookbook called Mayim’s Vegan Table coming out in February. It will be available everywhere you can imagine, and we are just starting to do press for it now.”
CBS: What do you plan on doing this summer with your family?
MB: “I am taking the boys to a resort in Mexico, which I will probably blog about. We’re also going camping, because we go camping every summer. We will also do a lot of normal at-home stuff like go to be beach once or twice a week. During the year, I don’t get to see a lot of my girlfriends who have kids that my kids are friends with, so we like to spend the summers sitting on the beach and letting the kids play with each other. Then we can have mom time.”