This week Odd Mom Out's leading lady Jill Weber ventured out of the comforts of the Upper East Side to discover a different kind of mom. Landing in Brooklyn, Jill was greeted by a seemingly less-superficial spawn of mother who focuses more on nurturing their children than they do their own egos. Jill is briefly sucked into their world, but soon finds out that this kind of mom also comes with her own quirks, like... drinking placenta.
The Daily Dish caught up with one of those Brooklyn moms, Maia Brewton (who you might remember as the Thor-loving girl from Adventures in Babysitting), to break down what it was like to work with old pal Jill Kargman and momentarily seducing her into the Brooklyn way of life.
What was it like becoming this hippie/hipster mom and having that play against the Upper East Side momzillas the show usually focuses on?
Maia Brewton: My family and I live in Manhattan, but we like to say that we live in a quaint suburb of Brooklyn. There's a big part of me that could easily infiltrate the Brooklyn mom world — I have a mason jar tattoo, I am obsessed with pickling, 'nuff said. So it was fun to explore it, and to such an extreme. The show does an amazing job of portraying the tribal rituals of the UES, and, in this episode, the tribal rituals of Brooklyn. The truth is, those cliques exist everywhere.
Who inspired her for you? Do you know those kinds of moms/women?
She's a mash up of a lot of parents I've met over the years. Brooklyn takes the brunt of ridicule for a certain brand of parenting — sometimes rightfully — but no brand of parenting is without its absurdities. This episode is called "Brooklandia" and I'm a big fan of Portlandia — I definitely channeled Toni and Candace, feminist bookstore owners extraordinaire.
What goes into the look of the Brooklyn mom? Is her appearance just as important as the Upper East Side moms even though they appear less shallow?
The Brooklyn mom's look, just like the UES mom's look, is intensely curated to make her easily identifiable to other Brooklyn moms while out in the wild. And a Park Slope mom has a look different than, say, a Williamsburg mom. This particular tribe of Brooklyn moms can be identified by their abundance of crochet (done either by hand or by a local artisan using the same techniques employed by Russian grandmothers at the turn of the 19th century, with organic wool from local, grass-fed, heirloom sheep), sensible shoes, and, in my case, a nose ring. I was really into the whole look while we were filming — I had so much fun with hair and wardrobe. Having seen the clips, I wish I didn't look quite so Middle Earthian, but it works.
Discuss the near Brooklynification of Jill and why you think she *almost* gets sucked into their world. She is initially fascinated by them, but then finds herself defending her home against them.
The grass is always greener, right? And there's actually grass in the backyards of Brooklyn! Real estate envy is a serious condition. Jill Weber is looking for a place where she fits in, and at first glance these women are a new, weird breed.
This episode definitely explores a different kind of momzilla/version of parenting. Was it fun to play up those stereotypes? It feels kind of cult-like in its own way.
Are they cultish? It really depends on who you ask. The Brooklyn moms think the UES women are a crazy cult. They can't believe the absurd things parents on the UES do to their children. (They correct their spelling! They use gender pronouns! They feed their children pasteurized milk!) I have a lot of Brooklyn mom friends, and I had a great time parodying them. I'm going to get some friendly flack for it, mostly because I'm one of them.
The most jarring parts of the episode are: the woman who breastfeeds her five-year-old and the drink with the placenta. What did you think when you saw those things in the script?
The incredible thing about this show, and it's true for every single episode, is that it zeroes in on the most absurd parts of people — no one is safe. There are women who DO breastfeed for years! Whole businesses revolve around the various uses of placenta! There's no judgment. Plus, I play the woman breastfeeding her five-year-old, and that's my placenta in that smoothie. Everyone does a stellar job of honoring their character, extreme quirks and all. That's what makes the show such a success.
Which moms do you think you'd have a better chance at getting along with in real life: Brooklyn moms, UES moms, or a Jill-type mom?
I think there's a little bit of all of them in all of us. When our twin boys were born, we were far Brooklyn on the parenting spectrum. Not long term breastfeeders or placenta drinkers but cloth diapers, glass bottles — we drove four hours to get organic crib mattresses. There was some self-righteousness about it, I can admit it now. Over time, we've shifted more towards the Jill Weber parenting approach.
How familiar were you with Jill Kargman?
Once upon a time, I was a freshman at Yale, studying theatre. The very first play I did (Christopher Durang's The Marriage of Bette and Boo) also starred one Jill Kopelman. She was a total goofball, smart as a whip, funny as s--t, with excellent taste in art, a great love of sushi, and a world view unlike any other I'd ever witnessed. We were fast friends, and then she went and graduated. Jill Kopelman grew up to be Jill Kargman. Many years later, I married the talented and gorgeous Lara Spotts, who would go on to become SVP of Development at Bravo, where she would meet Jill Kargman, and they would work together to develop a quirky half hour comedy titled Odd Mom Out. True story.
Why did you want to leave acting in a full-time capacity? Do you plan to take on more acting roles?
I love acting, and I've been fortunate enough to experience it in many incarnations — from TV to film to off-Broadway to smaller theatre. After college I thought about getting back into professional acting, but I found drawn to other things. I did theatre with a wonderful company in Santa Monica — City Garage, check 'em out — and that scratched the itch in a wonderful way. I was also growing increasingly interested, and disappointed, in government and decisions being made on both a local and national level. I decided to go to law school to learn more.
Will we see more from you on “Odd Mom Out” in the future?
I think a West Side Story story line would be amazing — The Placentas vs The C-sections. I can picture the musical numbers now...
To this day, people love Adventures in Babysitting, what is your fondest memory of making the film? Have you kept in touch with the cast?
Filming AIB was a nine-year-old's dream. The cast and crew were all phenomenal, and I felt like a real part of the gang, despite being the only kid on set. We did most of the shooting at night, so I got to stay up late. It was an incredible time, shooting crazy car chases and gang fights with Elisabeth Shue at the helm. I did most of my own stunts, which was super rad. As far as shooting goes, singing "Babysitting Blues" was a real highlight. First, recording the song in a downtown Chicago recording studio, learning choreography — I use that term loosely — and the vibe during shooting was amazing. The people in the audience were so into it. It's still amazing to me the role that movie played for so many girls around my age. Everyone has a story of watching it at sleepovers, seeing it on their first date, and watching it now with their kids.
The sitcom you starred on Parker Lewis Can't Lose ran for three seasons, Why do you think that show connected with audiences so much?
There was no other show on TV at that time like PLCL. We were on in the early days of Fox, with shows like In Living Color, and Get a Life — there was a real sense of seeing just how far we could push it. I think it gave people a delightful break from the day to day. Actually, PLCL reminds me a lot of OMO, not in content obviously, but in sensibility. Jonah Hill already re-made Adventures.
With so much nostalgia for the ’80s and ‘90s, do you think Parker might be next? Would you want to see that?
I'm not thrilled about this remake movement. I want my kids to watch the classics! Honestly, I'd rather PLCL remain where it is — in the annals of quirky '90s TV.