Christine Baranski, Susan Sarandon, and Cheryl Hines talk motherhood, Christmas, and licking the nipples of a certain NBC prime-time star
The Bad Moms’ moms are coming to town.
The sequel to last year’s hit comedy finds Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn once again revolting against the pressures of motherhood — this time while juggling their own messed-up mothers. Christine Baranski is Kunis’ perfectionist mom, Cheryl Hines is the helicopter mother who clings to Bell, and Susan Sarandon is Hahn’s freewheeling, hard-drinking mama.
“It’s really silly, but I think people are going to relate to it,” Baranski says. “Bad Moms was a fantastic movie because it’s the women rebelling against the whole idea of women being the perfect mom, and this movie’s about those moms rebelling against having to have the perfect Christmas.”
Before A Bad Moms Christmas hits theaters on Nov. 1, EW caught up with all three grans to talk about their very naughty holidays ahead.
How did you bond with your on-screen daughters?
CHERYL HINES: I’ve known Kristen for about 10 years. In my mind it was always big-sister bonding. But for the movie we switched it up to mother-daughter.
CHRISTINE BARANSKI: I didn’t even have to work at it [with Mila]. I met her, I fell in love with her. She’s just so alive and so spontaneous in life and in front of a camera that I felt I actually learned from her.
So much of this film is about the pressure that mothers feel to be perfect. Have you three, as moms, ever felt that pressure?
HINES: I think every mother wonders if they’re doing it right. If there’s anybody out there that’s wondering if they’re not doing it right, then they’re doing it wrong. [Laughs]
SARANDON: One of the first lessons I learned as a mom was to forgive myself for not being perfect and to try to prioritize what was really important. I had to really accept very early on that after a while, reading a script and finding the form for the class trip, it was hard to realize which one had priority at times. So I just had to say, “You’re doing the best you can, and when you make a mistake, apologize. Your kids know that you love them.”
BARANSKI: There was this whole female thing [on set] of sharing stories and sharing the experiences of being working actresses. The ones who have children or raise children, they know the language. [They know] how hard it is, how challenging, how awful it is to be separated, but somehow the kids survive.
There’s a great scene in the movie where all three families get together for an epic dodgeball showdown on trampolines. How was shooting that?
HINES: There were balls flying and cameras flying and people yelling and screaming, and it smelled like sweaty socks.
BARANSKI: Bouncing like that, apparently it’s very healthy for you mentally and physically. So I have to find myself a way to do that bouncing stuff again.
Susan, you dance on a bar with a bunch of stripping Santas, including Justin Hartley from This Is Us.
SARANDON: He was very sweet, and he didn’t mind me licking his nipples and all the other ridiculous things I had to do. I have a group shot with all those other guys that would make a really provocative Christmas card. [Laughs] There was a funny thing that happened, where supposedly I’ve fallen off the bar, and they don’t know if I have a concussion. One of the big framed pictures that was hanging above me on the wall actually did fall off the wall and hit me on the head while I was pretending to have a concussion. That’s when wigs save your life. There was a bit of padding, so the damage wasn’t that bad.
Do you have any unusual family holiday traditions?
HINES: We usually have a talent show on Christmas Eve, and everybody is supposed to participate. One year we got a [somersault] from one of the grandmothers.
BARANSKI: We do a Polish Christmas. You wait for the first star to come out before starting the Christmas Eve meal, so we’ve done it now with my little grandson. We go out and look for the first star, and that’s one of my favorite things.
SARANDON: I started doing something for my kids for their birthdays, where I would tie a string on the door of their bedroom, and when they woke up, they’d follow the string. The presents were all throughout the house: in the dryer, on shelves, up in trees, under cushions, upstairs, downstairs, all around.
Which of Santa’s reindeer do you most identify with?
BARANSKI: Blitzen sounds so fantastic.
HINES: Prancer. I like to dance it out.
SARANDON: I have worn a clown nose when having an intense personal discussion, because I find it alleviates you taking yourself too seriously. So I guess I’d have to go with Rudolph.
Finally, who deserves coal in their stocking this year?
HINES: My two dogs. They have chewed up every couch I’ve owned.
BARANSKI: There’s not a stocking big enough for the people I think should be getting coal this year.