Celebrities who are mothers of young children often have to perform this weird public role where they have to pretend that all they want to do is be moms. Just a few examples: Natalie Portman said in her 2011 Oscar acceptance speech that motherhood would be her “most important role,” and Gwyneth Paltrow said she gave up her career as a leading lady to spend more time with her kids. That’s why it’s kind of amazingly refreshing to hear
Danes is at an amazing point in her career, starring in the critically acclaimed series Homeland. She has won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her role as mentally disturbed CIA agent Carrie Mathison, just a few years after her Emmy win for her role in the HBO miniseries Temple Grandin.
She also gave birth in December to her first child, a son named Cyrus, with husband Hugh Dancy. Normally, this is the stage at which celebrity mothers start to gush about how they wish they could stay home, or at the very least about how difficult it is to balance time with kids and time at work. Not Claire Danes! “I think I would make a lousy stay-at-home mom,” she told Elle magazine a few months before giving birth. “It just wouldn’t suit me. I feel so fortunate, in that I’ve had this arrow-straight focus…that I wanted to act.”
Cue the anonymous internet commenters, who ask things like, “why did she have a kid if she doesn’t want to take the time to raise it?” (on US magazine’s website) and “But why even have a baby if you, its MOTHER, are not prepared to take care of it? If you can’t give a few short years of your life to make your child your priority, then what’s even the point?” (at the Daily Mail)
To be fair, commenters also bashed Ben Affleck, who made the same point as Danes did back in September: “I don’t want to be a stay-at-home dad,” he told Details. “Work is very important to me. I like to work. But I need my work to mean something to me in order for me to not be home with them.” Typical commenter: “Sad to say, but your career is your career, but your family life? That’s your legacy. **shakes head**”
Good heavens, people. The only reason we’ve heard of any of these people is that they’re incredibly ambitious and driven! That’s why they get to the point in their careers where people are interviewing them about the contents of their wombs, and their feelings about their kids. There’s no such thing as an A-list celebrity who doesn’t really care about working and being famous. I love that Danes is not afraid to say so.
Photo: Elle magazine