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Faith Ford Tackles Motherhood in "The Pacifier"

Faith Ford on Playing a Mom and Working with Vin Diesel


Faith Ford The Pacifier

Faith Ford in "The Pacifier"

© Walt Disney Pictures
The Appeal of Playing a Mom: They basically offered it to me and when you're an actor and you get offered something, you should pay attention to it. I'm not ever so egotistical to think that that just comes along for everyone. So whenever I do get one, I like to pay attention to it.

I was very flattered and I said, "What is it? What's the part?" And they said, "Well, you're a mom and you've got five kids." I said, "Five kids! In real life, I don't even have one. How am I going to be the mother of five kids?" It's bad enough to have three on the show.

But I love playing moms. It's a lot easier than being a mom, I hear, because whenever the kids scream and cry, you can give them to their real moms. I love doing it. I think I just took it on because I thought it would be a great family film and I wanted to do something that, if I do have kids, they'll want to watch.

Her Rules of Motherhood: I would probably have to make them do things. I don't think I could just let them sit around. One thing I think kids need to do is more chores, and take care of their own rooms. Responsibilities are really important to start them with. If they have animals, they have to feed them and care for them. That's the only way I think I could do it. I wouldn't be able to just do everything for myself. And, I would expect them to do what I would do. I pick up after myself, so I would expect them to pick up after themselves.

How Her Character Rates as a Mom: She gave up. Julie clearly gave up, probably as a self-survival thing. If you got into the neurosis or the subtext of Julie, you'd probably find out that she hasn't dealt with a lot of it. She's just had to keep going. I have a friend that has five kids and she went through a trial separation with her husband, and she didn't have time to be upset. Every now and then, she'd call me on the cell phone and just cry and say, "Okay, I've got to go now because I've got two Brownie Troop meetings and this and that and the other." She couldn't sit around crying in front of her kids and doing all of that. I liken Julie to that.

The Real Vin Diesel: Nothing like those action characters that he plays. He’s nothing like that. [He’s] like a kid in a man's body. That's what he is on the set. Every time I've run into him since being on the set, that's what he's like. He totally self-deprecates and deflects all intention toward him, that way. The only thing that makes you see that Vin is a star is what he's like on film. I think he has amazing presence and the fact that he's smart.

He plays around and he has a lot of fun, which makes him fun and available. And I think Adam [Shankman, the director] pulled that out of him. In this movie he brought out the kid in him, which made him have such great, real scenes with these kids. He's very vulnerable and I look forward to seeing what he's going to do in the future, as a result of having done this. I think it will be really great for him. But, I think he's also very, very smart. He's a smart producer. He has a great team of people that work behind him that make him able to, when he is working, completely focus on his work. I think you'll see more of him, for a very long time. I think he's only scratched the surface of what he can do.

My theory is, if you can do comedy and you can be in a scene with someone like Brad Garrett and hold your own, you've really got a future in this business because I think comedy is one of the hardest things to do. To play the straight guy, which he did in a lot of his scenes with Brad and Carol [Kane], it really should be commended.

TV Versus Films: It's hard to work, in general, in our business, on more than one thing. How some actors go from back-to-back films, I don't know. I don't know if I could do that. It takes a lot of energy to work, in general, especially if you're the lead in something. To do my show, I'm always in every scene and it's very physical comedy, and even to motivate to want to work at all when I'm off is very challenging. But sometimes you go, "Well, what if the series is over next year and then there's that lull?"

Usually when you're working is when people want you to work. They don't want you as much when you're not working. That's the frustrating nature of our business. In all that time period that I had in between doing “Murphy Brown” and “Norm” and other things, you're not as much in demand. They want the other person that's working on the other thing, and they don't have time to do it. So when things come to you, you try to take advantage of those opportunities.

I also knew that this wouldn't be very demanding, compared to what I do. It wouldn't be as physically or emotionally demanding. That was also a motivating factor. And I was going to get some time off in there to be able to come back to L.A., and I did. Actually, sometimes I really felt guilty even being there because they put me in a really nice hotel and I got to really relax and enjoy the spa. It was just so great. We're very spoiled.

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