She's played a ditzy New York City designer, a brash Broadway lyricist, and a slew of other unique characters. But these days Debra Messing is taking on a role that hits a little closer to home — a single working mom. In her new TV series The Mysteries of Laura, Messing plays a detective who deals with crazy criminals throughout the day and two rambunctious sons at night. The part doesn't stray too far from the actress' real-life role as a single mom to 10-year-old Roman. While talking to the actress about her new work with Zyrtec, we also chatted about acting, motherhood, and how she manages to juggle it all. Here, a few of our favorite tips from the always lovely Debra Messing.
Life Imitates Art, and Vice Versa
"I related so completely to Laura's daily struggle of wanting to be the most involved and present mom that she could be, who is also very passionate and fulfilled by her professional life. I understand the chaos that comes from trying to juggle it all and how life always throws obstacles in our way and doesn't go the way we hope it will, and then we have to adapt. We have to be flexible, and we see that with Laura. She is constantly having to be creative when things go wrong, and that is where a lot of the light humor is from."
The Perks of Playing a Detective
"Kids are sneaky, [and] as they get older, they get better at lying. I really focus on the eyes. Roman's not a good liar, and usually his eyes will betray him."
Work-Life Balance and Boundaries
"Setting boundaries for yourself and knowing your limitations are important. It took me a long time, but now I have a pretty good idea of how many hours I can work on a TV show and still feel like I'm able to be present when I get home. Also, make sure you have people around you that can give you support and help, whether it's best friends, family members, or a babysitter. It's incredibly hard even when you don't have a job. So, when you have a full-time job on top of that, you just have to be über organized and that was a hard lesson for me to learn."
The Struggle and Joy of Raising a Boy
"Roman just has boundless energy. When he was 6, I thought, 'my God. He's going to start to slow down.' But he just keeps getting more and more energized, so [the challenge is] just really keeping up with him and being able to have the physical energy to stay present with him after working all day. You know, in an ideal world I would be fresh as a daisy and have energy to play soccer inside the house. He plays hockey inside the house and he's like, 'Mom, come on! Come on!' Sometimes I'm just too tired to do it, but I'll say, 'I'll watch you.'"
Sharing Moments on Social Media
"When he was younger, I wouldn't share anything. Now that he is older and there are pictures of him all over the place — like he can actually find himself — I guess I feel like it's OK to share moments of celebration that are not private, or special occasions like when we went to a hockey game together. That feels OK to me right now. But there's no doubt that my opinions and comfort levels are going to change as he changes."