Bad Moms 2 (aka A Bad Moms Christmas) follows three under-appreciated and over-burdened women as they rebel against the challenges and expectations of the Super Bowl for moms: Christmas.
And if creating a more perfect holiday for their families wasn’t hard enough, they have to do all of that while hosting and entertaining their own mothers. By the end of the journey, these moms will redefine how to make the holidays special for all and discover a closer relationship with their mothers.
Bad Moms was incredibly successful and really seemed to strike a chord with people. Were you surprised by the impact that the first film had?
Yes and no. Movies are difficult. If they’re not made at the right time, even if they’re brilliant they don’t make a blip. I knew this one had a narrative that would succeed if it were made at the right time. In fact, when I read it I was kind of shocked that something like it had never been written from the perspective of the overworked mom. It just lends itself to comedy because to get through being an overworked mom, you have to laugh at it. You won’t make it if you get too depressed, so I think this is the version we want to see. I was pleasantly surprised that people reacted the way they did.
What was it like to be back on set for the first time with Mila Kunis and Kathryn Hahn?
It was lovely! I adore those girls. We have as much fun off-screen as we do on-screen and I think that’s the only way it could be captured so authentically. If we hated each other, it would not have turned out very well, but we have chemistry and we laugh a lot together and sometimes our kids play. It just felt like a wonderful and exciting reunion.
The new film brings in such an amazing group of new actors including Cheryl Hines, who plays your mother. What was it like to play the mother-daughter dynamic with Cheryl?
It made me so happy. It was a tiny bit strange because Cheryl and I are actually friends and so I was like, ‘Now you’re my mom, I guess?’ We added the line of dialogue about how she had me really young, so if you think that she’s playing older by a few years and I’m playing younger by a few years, it could physically and anatomically happen. I did a movie that Cheryl directed ten years ago. I think she’s such a fantastic person and she’s one of the most incredible people to act with, as proven by her years on Curb Your Enthusiasm. Not many people are more in the moment than Cheryl is, so I just had a blast with her.
“…their moms showing up inadvertently causes them to act like rebellious teenagers”
In addition to Cheryl Hines, you also worked with Susan Sarandon and Christine Baranski, who play the other two moms’ moms in the film. What was that like?
We got very lucky. Everyone fit really well and was absolutely perfect for their characters. To say nothing of the fact that my husband Kent (played by Lyle Brocato) has quite a role in this film, which is wonderful because Lyle is a fantastic actor. I’m really glad that they explored the Kiki and Kent of it all for a little bit in this movie.
We are so used to seeing most holiday movies depict a very aspirational Christmas. What was it like to turn that idea on its head?
I think that this movie, even though it’s a comedy, is much more accurate. What I loved about it is that they didn’t just give you a movie where it was so similar to the first, in the fact that the girls throw caution to the wind and relax more. They show the girls intending to do that, but their moms showing up inadvertently causes them to act like rebellious teenagers. I think it just added a really accurate dynamic on a new level.
What did you respond to most about how these characters were written by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore?
I was shocked, even at the first one, that they really hit the nail on the head like they did. They are very in-tune men. You can’t smell violent testosterone on them when they walk into the room. Sometimes you can with men. They realised where they would fall short and they compensated for it and they did their research. The first Bad Moms was written by getting their wives’ friends wine, having them over for dinner and asking them to talk about their kids, and writing it all down and then refilling more wine. Someone over the course said what Carla says in the movie, which is, ‘I love my kid, but I do not like him’. I think they’re very respectful about what women go through, but they’re also responsible about how they gather the information because they pay attention to their wives, which is really sweet. It is why they were able to witness all of this firsthand and also see that their wives would get funky when their moms were in town, and realise that that’s a dynamic they’d like to explore.
What was the most enjoyable aspect of making a [US] R-rated comedy for you?
When it’s funny, you can let it be funny. Provocative things are generally funny. Hyperbolic things are funny. Safer jokes are sometimes funny, but a joke is a joke because it pushes the limits of reality. So to have that freedom solidifies that you’re going to have something funny. You don’t have to be tiptoeing around someone else’s censorship or boundaries or even any imaginary boundaries.
Do you think that even if you’re not a mother yourself, you’ll still enjoy Bad Moms 2?
Yes! Everyone has had a mother, so everyone can connect to this film. You don’t have to be a mother. This is about a life experience that we’ve all been witness to and one that is true and quite comical. Being a mom is one of the funniest things on the planet. You wipe other people’s butts! What? It’s crazy.