Hey, dear listeners, today's guests are Sarah, Chuck and Katherine Heigl. You know Sarah from Scrubs, Rick and Morty Roseanne and how I met your mother. You know Katherine from Grey's Anatomy, knocked up and twenty seven dresses. Now you can see them together in their new series, Firefly Lane on Netflix, as their show is about a decades long friendship. I enjoyed talking with them about theirs and I really hope they invite me to their next girl's night.
Later in the episode, I'm joined again by Dr. Jenn Guntur, who is an OBGYN pain medicine physician and advocate for women's health. Dr. Jenn is the author of The Vagina Bible, which I highly recommend, and The Menopause Manifesto, which I just preordered. And as always, thank you for reaching out to us. And I'm so grateful for your kind reviews. If you have a story you want to share with us, please go to our link on our website, Unqualified Dotcom.
All right. Here they are, Sarah and Katherine.
Ladies and gentlemen, you are listening to Unqualified with your host unifiers. Hi, you guys. Hi, Heidi. Hi. I'm so excited to talk to you both. Oh, my God, this is so fun. This is the highlight of my day. You're so sweet. So where are you both?
Sarah is in Vancouver. I'm in Utah. It's really nice to see your faces. It really is.
I've been thinking a lot during quarantine about female friendships and by poor listeners know that I talk a lot about it because I realize, like in my forties, I struggle with female friendships in that I think that I'm not attentive enough to them, I guess. And I was thinking about your show and how it deals with the friendship that has lasted through decades, like three decades, is that correct? Yeah. Your characters met in the 70s when you guys were roughly 14.
Yeah. OK, is it nineteen seventy four. I think so. Is that right. It's like mid 70s and I did a little research. Oh look at you. I did so not much.
So your character, Catherine, you played Tully, who's a little bit of a hard ass. Yeah. Who's had some journeys in life. And Sarah, you play Kate. Is it awful when other people describe your characters? I'm sorry.
No, I love it. You're doing a great job. It's lot better than how I described.
So I was thinking about my relationship with friends from that time and how being in this industry, we, of course, drift away from that commonality because we have very exposed odd lives now, except a quarantine is sort of erased some of that. Do you both have friends from that time? Weirdly, yes. I got just really lucky. And I met my best friend in kindergarten and we both had a love of film and she actually went to film school, wanted to produce and I wanted to act.
We packed up her truck when we were twenty four years old and drove out of my parent's driveway with, like both of our families waving goodbye. It was like a scene out of a movie. Where did you go to L.A.? I'm from Canada. I grew up here and we had grown up doing instead of live, we'd rent one of those giant video cameras that were like three feet long. Yeah. And we would do we do Saturday afternoon free tapes and set aside live and make little skits and record them.
So we packed up our truck and it was like that scene from the Jerk where Superman's like, I just did this mug and this picture and we put all this random stuff in like a guitar that my dad gave me that I didn't know how to play, which I still need to learn how to play. And we like to play. And I, I don't think I would have lasted 17 years in L.A. without Jen if we hadn't gone down together.
I was telling Katie, unlike telling Kate in the show, where they had like real drama and real hurdles and trust and betrayal to get over. Our biggest fight was about cereal because I picked the granola out of the granola and flakes cereal. And so Jen came home one day with two boxes.
You much crunch, much crunch. You know it. Oh. So I was like, okay, mom, she's like, I don't like that. You pick up the roll out of the good ol and flakes. And so here's box for each of us. I'm going to write with a Sharpie, our name on each of our boxes. So that was like I think our biggest conflicts in the last thirty years. I love that. But it was super lucky a day hasn't gone by that we haven't talked or texted in the past three decades.
And we're kids the same age. And our group of girlfriends that we have from that time, a lot of people will move back to Canada and we're still close. It feels rare and lucky.
Sarah, that's the scenario. I really envy having like a common enough bond with people from my past because we all have the bond of our memories of watching each other like the awkward teenagers. But then to bring that into adulthood I think is rare to find still those connections. Hey, Katherine, can I call you Katie to please.
Everyone calls me Katie. OK, sorry, I'm lighting my incense. Oh, nice. I get my witch on Katie. Do you have a bunch of friends from childhood? I do actually. I have this group of girlfriends that I grew up with from middle school through high school that I call the Sacred Six because it was the six of us like we were this little pod and they kind of came into my life during that really messed up stage of adolescence where the friends you thought were your nearest and dearest, like the genes that you thought were going to be in your life forever, suddenly turn on you and hate you and you don't know why.
And I was working at that time in my life. So I was especially odd to people.
When you say especially like, did it separate you in a way that people resented? I think so.
No. I grew up in like a very waspy like New England town. And they kind of looked at me like I had chosen a career in prostitution, like it was really beneath them. And this sort of old money or New England way, like at the entertainment industry. It's interesting. That's an interesting choice.
A little bit of like the tallest poppy idea maybe. Yeah. Yeah. And so that wasn't well received and it just sort of set me apart even further. And then my family converted to the Mormon faith when I was nine, and I don't know why I did it. I connected with a couple of these girls around that time, but then I was still sort of trying to fit in to the popular crowd or whatever it is that you're doing at that age.
And I remember being like 16. I was making a film. I was gone. I was in Los Angeles for like the entire first semester of my sophomore year of high school and from about eighth grade until then. I don't know that I had that friend. You know, I had friends, but they weren't really the do or die friends, you know. Actually, that's true. I had one girl friend, so she was there for me.
But it was still a very tumultuous time. And I remember it was my birthday and this one girl was like, I'm trying to get everybody together to send you flowers for your birthday in California. But, you know, I can't get anyone to, like, give me the money for it. But everyone wants their name on the card.
And I was like, oh, I can't believe she's floating that on you.
I love her, but our intentions were great. I mean, mine were everyone else is not so much like I don't understand why won't they just give me the five dollars for the flowers? But they probably put their names on and it was just this like eye opening moment for me where I went. These aren't real friends. These aren't friends like this is. And what am I going to do, go home and try to continue to like fit in and make them like me and contribute to my birthday flowers?
I like the stimulus. So I just made this choice, like, screw it, I'm going to get brave. And I don't care if I just sit alone every day in the cafeteria. I'm not going to pretend that this is real and that these are real friends. And that's when I found my my pot, my sacred sex, like that's when we all really connected and came together. And then I had that safety net of loyalty. I mean, I guess it really all comes down to that loyalty.
Like, are they going to be there for you? Is this person going to be on your side no matter what, no matter how bad a day you're having or how unpopular you seem or some stupid thing you do or say in class, are they going to be there on your side or are they going to like go to the quick in the corner and start talking shit about you? And then those friendships remained until our probably early twenties. And then a lot of us, my girlfriends, a lot of them got married and started having families.
I moved to L.A. I started really pursuing my career. Our lives just were so different, you know? Yeah. And I think the commonality that brought us back together was motherhood, oddly enough. And now we're still together.
That's really great. The other thing I wanted to talk to you about, I've got just one more thing.
Just one last thing. I was watching your show, and I was thinking, though, how I would find it such a relief finally getting to work with a woman that you're not competing against. It felt like if I was cast in something, the other woman would be sort of a nemesis. And there just weren't as many, you know, there would be maybe like three or four guys and maybe two girls or something like that. But I found that one of the few things that I really treasure about getting older is that feeling that has left me of nine competitiveness that I would suppress.
I don't think I was a mean person in any way, but I didn't love those feelings of like a scary movie. Shannon Elizabeth was the sexy girl. And I was like, I would look at her with like, oh, God, I want to look cute to fuck. I'm not sexy. You don't like that kind of shit like rattling around in your brain.
And now with time, I find that a relief. Can you guys relate to that idea so much? Deeply. So much. I mean, for two and it's one of the coolest parts of this job, like Katie and I, I'm far older, just so much older than me, two years older and older.
So we both went into this with such a feeling of mutual support and in this together. And we were both so excited about this show and so excited about the project and so wanting it to work. And it was sort of like this huge side benefit that we immediately connected and hit it off. But there really was, in terms of what you're talking about, like such a mutual support of each other. Right. Like we were pushing ourselves in our early forties so far out of our comfort zones and the things that we were doing.
And part of that was because of the comfort level we felt. The showrunner, Maggie Friedman, is a woman who was super collaborative and involving us the decisions. But we would like there was something always there to bounce things off and be like, is this too much? Is this too little under where is this? Which I thought would you pick like, is this crazy? Because I'm going to be jumping the pool naked at night, but they're going to shoot it in a way they don't see nudity.
But like, I'm going have stickers on and then there's one hundred chromite. Like, how do you sort of have somebody there to kind of have your back and to laugh completely?
Yeah, no, that was the glory of this job in so many ways is not only that, Sarah and I very easily, very quickly connected like you. How you just know somebody is good, that they're good, you know, and that they're not going to mean girl you and they're not going to betray you and they're not going to use all of the verbal diarrhea that I intend to have against me. You know, I just knew it instantly with Sarah.
And then on top of that, this job must be that, you know, so it fosters it. It fosters that connection and that supportiveness because the show will not work. If both women don't shine, one cannot shine over the other. It will not work that way. So that element that is so often a part of the entertainment industry didn't exist here. It was like mind blowing. Would you guys say that this is the first time it's happened for you in a project like this that is an ensemble?
Yes, I think so. That's amazing. Yeah.
I mean, we were so quickly thrust into, like I mean, it was day two where I'm like we're snuggled up on the couch by the ocean and I'm like sobbing on Katie's shoulder. You know, it wouldn't have worked otherwise. I don't know what we've done. Yeah.
Even that physical intimacy is like a hard thing to fake. Right. And even if you do fake it, sometimes it works and sometimes it just doesn't. You know, you can like the audience can really be like, I don't buy the friendship. So, you know, it was just like, oh, God, thank God, because I think not only were we both so passionate in the material and really wanting it to work, you know, we knew I think instinctively.
I mean, if we don't connect, how will this work? And if we don't support each other and if we don't have each other's back, it won't work. We'd just be shooting ourselves in the foot if we started to get really competitive and try to outshine one another. Any of this kind of crap that tends to just be innate. We are part of this particular creative art.
Yeah. And I've always felt to like at the end of the day, you know, how do we want to spend our days on set for 15 hours? So it was really one of those cases where, like, they would pick up where we left off, we'd like finish off the story. It was like everybody runs off to their respective corners and hides. It was like, OK, where were we? What happened after that? I think he's a great storyteller.
We both love laugh. People love telling stories. And it's like that's the way you want to spend your day. If you're going to take time away from your kids, it's got to be on a project you believe in. Yeah. And then also the experience of it for it to be like that.
And you both have such rich dimensional characters. You guys are in the middle of a press tour. Can I ask you a really obnoxious question? Yeah. OK, how many times have you been asked were you a fan of the books?
A lot. What's your response? Oh, no, it's such an important question because it is it's so rare to have a book. I've only had that experience one other time. And, you know, obviously as an actor, when you get like a pilot or a 60 page script versus like a 500 page novel to work from and to draw from. And it's such a beautiful book. I hadn't read it. I wasn't aware of it until I read the script.
And then I immediately bought the book, read it in two days and fell in love with it.
You know how when you read a book, you create the characters in your imagination and your whole reality is something very different than when it gets adapted? Did you find that it married pretty well? I haven't read the books. I'm sorry.
We have to go on a yeah, sorry. We're going to have to hang up now. I haven't done the laundry and I haven't read a book in a long time.
I know the book is buried under the laundry, which is buried under the parenting which is buried under the elderly. Yeah, guys, that just reminds me. I actually just passed the laundry room. I really don't want to. I know I don't want to do it.
I'm at this place somewhere. Maybe three months ago I really started half assing things.
Yeah. It's like I'll unload the top part portion of the dishwasher and then just leave the rest. OK, wait, how old is your son? He's eight. All right. It's time for him to start pitching in. So that's what's happening here. Katie, I've got a twelve year old and eight year old. The four year old can't do shit. He's made that very clear. But the twelve year old or the eight year olds are getting involved and they do the dishwasher.
They do the after dinner dishes, OK? They do their own laundry now.
I can't do it all. I cannot.
Katie, I just want to bring him in here. He's on his lunch break. Oh, my God. I would love it if you school lunch break. You have to. We started it with this pandemic, too. And it's something that like when I was a kid, of course, we had to do all of that. It was just a given. I mean, we were making dinners. We were making our own lunches for school. Yes, we were cleaning.
It was a whole thing. The expectations were so different. And it's a value that I have. And it's something that I thought I was doing. Yeah. And it wasn't until we went into quarantine and then I realized how much I wasn't making that a piece of it. Right. Like, it's so much faster if you just quickly make the bed yourself and. Yes, having to follow through and they can do it. And we started years, we made a list and then whoever doesn't like.
It then has to be the one who gets the crap for the next day, which is usually taken out the compost. That's smart, but my four year old, my four year old folding laundry like nobody's business. We did.
So do you do like a compliment thing like, wow, you're really good at that. Is that what's keeping this going? Like how I do. And I don't think it's the right thing to do, but I am. I'm trying to catch them in the act of something good. And then also I'm like, but why should I be. Should I be saying great job? Or is that we're not allowed to do a great job anymore? You have no clue, right?
My mom did that once when Nellie was whatever one and starting to walk. And I did have a nanny at that time and we were all sitting out doing a press tour and we were all sitting in a room and the nanny a good job. We could look at you working.
And my mother looked at her and let Michelle stop it and say good job when she gets into Harvard. You don't congratulate her for doing what she's supposed to do. And I was like, OK, but so that's like I'm not going to be like, good job, guys. Great job for, like, helping me out.
You asked a great question. Nobody's asked us that yet. And it was about picturing the book. Oh yeah. OK, good. Yeah. Thanks. And when you read it. Oh that's right. When I hadn't actually thought about until this moment while we were sitting here was the experience of reading the book once. You'd already been cast in a part like I actually didn't realize until right now. You act like I pictured myself when I was reading the book because you already know that you have that part right.
And obviously I pictured Katie as totally like I was just kind of seeing the book and seeing the two of us as we was reading it.
You kind of had the privilege of, like forming yourself in the book as you're shaping your character and being able to insert yourself without having read it. Like if you'd read it, like a few years prior or something, you would have a different relationship with it, I would think. Totally. Yeah.
Yeah. So the first time that's happened yet I didn't see different people. I just I don't know that I had anybody particular in mind. It's just the way they're described in the book is I guess you form a kind of fuzzy outline of what you see that as. I feel like I wanted so badly to make myself into what I imagined totally to be. So it's always like a little bit disappointing for me because I just couldn't I couldn't make me into the version of her in my head.
I try to guide my hair brown. I tried, but I still came up a little short for me.
Katie, are you always this critical? Yeah, I felt like I had to just at a certain point get over the fact that I wasn't going to do it the way I kept seeing it in my head. But then the weird thing was that I can't now picture Kate as anyone other than Sarah. I can't picture Johnny as anyone other than Ben Lawson. They somehow managed to really become those people that were, in my imagination, to the point where the people, whatever remnants of the book that was in my imagination, has been redefined by them.
But I think it's really hard to do that with yourself.
You know, Katie, that's so interesting because you play the part with such certainty and confidence. It feels so seamless. And I take this as a comfort in a way as an actor, because there's always a little bit of that feeling of like, will people buy that? I am this person constantly. We're actors. I think most of us probably have an inkling of that somewhere.
Oh. Oh, yeah.
But Katie, it kind of surprises me, surely, because after watching the show yesterday, we watched three episodes and you both play the role so beautifully.
And Katie, I truly thank you for saying something like that. You both are such strong actors. It's nice to hear, but we're riddled with insecurity. Yeah. Yeah, it's there. It's there. I know.
And I feel like it's even harder when you've got to really not show that as totally right with me. It's like it's just riddled with insecurity. But she's supposed to be. So no matter how little insecurity, it's fine to do that. Kate has to do the job and have this sort of like armor. Well, that was before. And part of her. Yeah, like the freedom part of Tully was that she isn't insecure, that she's so good or bad herself.
And so there would be these moments where, like, you know, they cut and you'd feel so good because you have the channeling, that strength for the five minutes that we have in our scenes. And then you go home and lay awake at night worrying.
Yes. Oh, God, I'm playing redoing.
The actresses who play the younger versions of yourselves are excellent. Did you work with them at all in later episodes? No, because they were us at fourteen, so we were never in the same scene together. There was one scene. Do you remember the Sarah like when Holly's having her? They didn't use it. Yeah, yeah.
Thank God though that was really awkward at the moment. Yeah, I agree. I agree.
No, we got to meet them at the cast party really for the first time at the table read. I mean, they're sitting beside us and I'm looking across at Katy in an alley and they are so strikingly they resemble each other so much and it's crazy. And Ron is sitting to my left and reading Kato. I'm just kind of blown away by these two young actresses that were so breathtakingly good and natural. And they're performing. This was so heartbreaking.
Yeah, we just kind of won the lottery with them. What's the question you get the most? Is it the question or is it what drew you to this project? That was always a weird question for me. That's been the most was like somebody hired me.
Yeah, exactly. Because they said that I could do it.
Somebody I love the idea that they think it's like totally within our control. That's cool.
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OK, now I have some life questions for you both. Yes. What is our that? All right. Yeah, you know what? I never asked that one a pet peeve. It doesn't have to be the biggest. Doesn't have to be the smallest. You know what my pet peeve is? I hate it when people drive around the parking lot looking for the closest space.
Sorry. That's that's me.
All right. I'm writing it down. Here I go. Drives are going around and around and around until I find my pet peeve is, Nancy, all my pet peeves are going to center around Josh right now.
I'm sorry, honey, but we're spending a lot of time together. That's quarantine and quarantine. And he does this thing with me. We're like sitting together watching our show or whatever we're watching. And he has really thick beard hair before. But you like wigs out at the corner because he doesn't like it poking into his lip.
I wish our listeners could see you demonstrating this guy and then, like, tries to block it out, twitchiness the energy of it, like, look over at him and he'll be like, so, you know, if he knows it makes you OK.
Oh, he does. My I think right now is people that are wearing their masks pulled down like really far. And it's like, what are you doing? Just pull it up. Just put it just that's a good prop.. What is that? That drives me nuts, too. That's a good one.
That's a good one. All right. What intimidates you? Where to begin?
So many things. I know. I did start with a large one. Singing singing intimidates me more than anything in the world, not in my house. I love to sing. It's my favorite thing. I just want it to be happening. And I'm miserable. And I would run around singing musicals all over the house. And then my grade five teacher, Mrs. McKinnon, we were going to go sing Christmas carols in the mall for our grandparents.
Don't tell me Mrs. McKinnon killed your dream. No, no.
Right in that moment. Just killed it. I said it's over. What did she do? My dream of Apennine died. She said Chalke girls just melt the words for this performance.
So my sister and I are like, so excited to see her just like in it to win it, but like mouthing the words and performing, but realizing that we did not have the gift of song. And I'm so bummed because I feel like, OK, yes, maybe I don't hear music like when I played the cello for seven years. If someone else couldn't tune in, I had to do it myself. I would play with the bow like this far off the strings because I knew that everyone would hear out of tune.
It was I couldn't hear. They'd be like, Hear this now hear this.
And I'd be like, Yes, you're like, No, I don't think so. I knew that I was kind of tone deaf, but I just loved singing and dancing and musical theater. So Mrs. McKinnon lumped the girls together with being, like, tone deaf. Yes.
And so then in future, it just became like a thing. So I remember singing. She's like, I hear something bad like over here. And I remember Gillian was probably Sarah.
And I was like, I probably was Sarah.
I did a lot of regional theater in Seattle where I grew up. And I was Heidi in the musical, Heidi, and they had to eliminate my two solos from the musical.
But did they know? Do they have to do that really? I think so. OK, Katy, what intimidates you?
There's a lot that intimidates me, but the thing that I really struggled with the last ten years is when they ask me to present anything I get like I'm going to throw up and I really try to avoid it as much as humanly possible. And then if it's one of those situations where they're like, Katie, this is a big deal that they asked you, you've got to do this and no one can quite understand because they're like, but this is what you do for a living, like you entertain people.
How can you be intimidated? But I've never done any stage. I've never done anything in front of a live audience. And that scares the absolute shit out of me. I don't know what it especially if I have to be myself. I actually did a half hour comedy pilot. It was the first time I've ever done that. I was forty. It was like two years ago and it didn't go, but it was with Jimmy Burrows. I had never done it.
I've never done anything in front of a live audience. And I was so petrified. And I've certainly never tried to be funny and try to make people laugh in the moment. And we did the taping they do the night before, like with a live audience, like a rehearsal almost. And afterwards Jimmy wanted everybody to come out and take their bow after the and I was like, no, I can't go to the bathroom right now, Jimmy. Now, he was like, you have to be here.
I don't know how you did a live audience for. So, I mean, it's such a rush and it's so exciting and it's so fun. It was great. And the audiences were very forgiving. If you messed up, it was actually a really joyful part of the week. I was doing the live show because you're so. Insulated with the mechanics for the intense mechanics Monday through Thursday and then Friday, it felt like kind of the release and the live audience laughter would drown out like all the writers and producers and the terrifying people behind the monitors.
So they became like the dominant force, which was awesome.
I tell you really quickly, my favorite live audience story. Yes, please. Yes. So this is like one of the most humiliating things that's ever happened to me. I was doing Scrubs and I got an opportunity to audition for James Lupine for his play in New York. Molly Ringwald was going to be leaving the role as they were doing a cast switch over. And I was auditioning for the part, but it was off Broadway and I hadn't done any theater since drama class in high school.
So I was so excited but so nervous. And the way it turned out, I finished Scrubs and then flew the next day. And they're like, we're going to do a put in on Monday and then you'll start on stage on Tuesday. And I was like, great. So what's a put in there? Like, it's where we put you in to the shows. A great great. So I had no clue what I was doing. I stepped on stage night one and I thought to five weeks earlier to watch the show and kind of like see it and kind of try and lock the blocking into my brain.
But I want I remember stepping on stage going, this could be a terrible idea or it could be because they are.
And it was actually really fun. Within five minutes I went from, like, vomiting in my vomit of nervousness to, like, really enjoying it. But then about two weeks in one of the guys, John Kerry, and he couldn't be there. And so his understudy, Amir, was going to come in and do the play. And I had never done that before. Where you're doing the play with one person and then Amir and I had never done the scenes together.
And so we're at the front of the stage. He's supposed to just lean over and kiss me and he's not. And he's taking a pause. And then it's getting longer and longer and longer. I'm thinking, well, this is different timing. You know, it's a different actor. And I'm waiting and I'm kind of thinking like, what do we do? Like, is it like forgetting a line? He's forgetting that he's supposed to kiss me.
He doesn't want to kiss me. All these thoughts are like racing through my own God. And I had just had to do a crime scene right before. And when I cry, my nose runs. He ultimately leaps over and kisses me and pulls away. And in that moment it all comes together. And I realized why he had kissed me was I had like a giant booger on my face and now it is transferred onto his face. And I'm just like, mortified.
And I'm like trying to be like, I'm so sorry.
So I finished the scene and racing around, we go off into the wings and I'm like, I'm so sorry. I was like, I didn't know what to do. I didn't really want to. I was hoping that maybe you would notice and then you would move it out of the way, but you didn't. So finally, it's like theater, I guess it's so brutal.
I had an actor right before we were supposed to shoot a kissing scene, asked me if I would put Neosporin on my lips. What, as like a preventative or something? I know. Oh, my God. It's so awkward. And I didn't know what. So I did. That makes me want to murder this person the same.
I love you. I love you. See, Katie, you've got your gang of six.
I know why. Oh, well, just, you know, text me the name and location. What an asshole. So wait, did it taste like Neosporin? What an ass. Yeah, well, it was like he was very much germophobia and now going through what we've been through the last eight months, it's like, well, maybe we should examine some of these practices.
But it definitely I'm at that age in life where when I get embarrassed, I have to tell people that I love about it because. Yeah, you know, I just have to vomit it out. I can't keep it inside anymore.
Oh, it's the only way through it. All right.
Do you have a favorite movie that you can watch over and over like a rainy day movie? Oh, yeah. For me it's still Magnolia's for sure. It's Steel Magnolias and probably Good Will Hunting. Those are my two. I could just watch over and over.
Those are good choices. My newer ish one as of late is book smart. I just think it's so funny and so brilliant and makes me laugh so hard. I like to watch it over and over again. And then the one with my kids is your movie on. It's Cloudy with a chance people things.
It's so good and you're so good at it. I love it so much.
Sarah, you do a ton of voiceover work, right? There's a particular kind of challenge to it. You're weirdly exhausted, don't you think so.
Yeah. Yeah. And it's just for me, what was so weird at the beginning was just getting used to doing scenes by yourself. I mean, just go through it. You do your own lines and then there's something oddly freeing about that in the sense that if you're on set and you're like, I'd love to try something different with that, then it's like there's like a hundred people waiting on you while you try something different. It's like when you're recording you can try something like six different ways in under a minute.
And so there's something quite liberating about that experience. Yeah. I want to ask you guys a question that I don't ask too many people, but throughout like both of your careers in this. Industry, what is your relationship with fame and has it shifted? It's a great question. It's such a good question. In Canada, growing up in Vancouver was lots of shooting going on and it was sort of an opportunity to try a different little things. I was working on like a kid's show, being like the environmental reporter when I was like 12 or 13.
But mostly I was going to school and doing theatre and school and then kind of out of nowhere, I'd done a few jobs out of nowhere. Got this audition for a new series shooting in nineteen ninety four. And I put myself on tape and they called back and they're like, we're actually going to be switching Becky's on the Roseanne show and it didn't even make sense. I was like, what? And then I looked at the sides and they had been like wait it out.
And they put like something like Jeanine and Billy instead of Becky and Mark. But the scene was actually from an episode of the show. And so I sent another tape down and then another tape, like we're literally like mailing a voice tape down to Roseanne. And then I ended up getting the job and it was such a obviously so lucky and I'm so grateful. It opened up so many doors for me. But the part of it that was so hard was that it was the number one show on television at the time.
And I was so new to the business. And certainly that side of it was the piece of it that terrified me that I didn't understand and that I had no frame of reference for. So I would fly to L.A. for four days and then come home on the weekends because we had a four day workweek and we did two or three weeks on, one week off, and I'd come home on the hiatus weeks. Oh, my God.
Now, having done like seven seasons of mom and understanding when a guest star comes in, how just awkward of a position and uncomfortable it can be to suddenly have to fit in. But you had that so intensified in every way.
I was a baby total like never been more of a fish out of water. Like I got down there and I saw how first of all, I was and of everyone it was the most ridiculously embarrassment of riches of talent with these comedians. I would just watch Laurie Metcalf, what she would do with the script from a Monday to a Thursday and all the different things she would try. And I just kind of my job would be on the floor and I'm trying to take it all in.
But the fame piece of it was so confusing to a 16 year old because I would watch like everybody would kind of get into the tinted window. Cars and paparazzi was not like it is today, but it was certainly there and it was certainly there for all of those people. And then I was asked to go to an event and I just saw something out of my closet. And I was on the worst dressed list the next morning and probably the next time I went to an event to because I remember my mom saying, like, you should maybe get some shoes for that dress.
I'm like, well, why would I buy a pair of shoes for one day? That makes no sense at all. I got to go to nine West and spend eighty dollars on a pair of jeans when I have a pair of shoes that fit me. So I just didn't understand any of it. I didn't understand any of it. I remember Roseanne was nominated for Golden Globes. She invited the cast to comment. I was like, Yeah, but there's a party at the power lines on Friday night.
And I was like, no, I think you probably go to the Golden Globes. And so the whole thing was everything was brand new and seeing how their lives were so exposed really scared me. And that piece that I found really hard because I went from completely overnight just to having this part and getting recognized on the street and being that age when you kind of just want to fit in and blend. And I remember going to L.A. to do this and everyone saying to a kid like, well, don't change, don't change.
So then the message you get is will change is bad. You should never change. Don't let fame change, you know, and that's literally what people would say to you. And I remember this one really weird moment stands out of my mind. I was at a Freedom for Tibet rally at UBC where I was going to university. And this person came up to me and I was kind of with this relatively new group of friends that I met in college.
And I'm sitting there on this blanket and it's a Freedom Tibet rally. And this guy comes over like, you suck like the other Becky way better and stormed off like, OK, yeah. So anyways, guys, let's make more posters. And then he comes back over an hour later. He's like, I just wanted to apologize. You know, I've just really always wanted to yell at a celebrity. And so I did. And I'm sorry.
So it was just, you know, those kind of bizarre what a weird life goal.
What a yeah. Yeah, we're cool. So, yeah, that's a very long answer for it was a strange journey at a young age.
I know I are getting hit on. Yeah, I think so too. You were totally getting hit on. But Katie, I want to hear your side. I had this moment right after Scary Movie came out where like I got recognized twice and I was like intoxicated by that feeling of sudden nonsensical importance.
Right. Yeah, but then the industry can be humiliating and humbling enough.
I just think I've had enough of those experiences that I never got too carried away. Honestly, I never feel famous until I go somewhere. I've been doing this so long that it feels like a job, right? Yes. Yeah, I always have. I feel important when Josh is like, honey, you're a national treasure.
Josh, Josh, stop it. You say that you're married to me, but typically I go out into the world to do what you like when somebody's a. Approaches and then I don't think about it, I guess because I live in Utah and nobody gives a shit here and that's why I live here. And so when I have to step into that or have to remember, I'm very, very bad that I tend to say too much. I tend to share too much.
I tend to overcompensate. And then I'm kind of a letdown for everybody.
I think it goes back to when you were talking briefly about presenting and the awkwardness of that and the idea of being this weird version of like be yourself. But there's nothing about the environment that's humanizing in any way. Like on talk shows, I'm always like, who the fuck am I?
Yeah, who am I not supposed to be? You know, look, may I ask you guys, what does a trait you dislike and others?
Dishonesty, unkindness, cruelty. What's a trait you dislike in yourself? Fear for me. You're just letting myself get too afraid. Yeah. That's such a good one to perform, do you think?
Not necessarily to perform for whatever reason. That feels very safe to me in front of a camera, in front of a crew and not in front of a live audience. Mostly just afraid to fuck it all up. I don't know motherhood, being a wife, being a daughter, being a friend, giving a good interview. Yeah, I allow too much anxiety and I'm working really hard. I'm just a steadiness and a sort of what's the worst that can happen?
Well, with kids there's a lot.
But with something like this, like giving an interview, maybe I say the wrong thing, or maybe I see something that gets taken out of context. Or maybe I say something in the heat of a moment that comes off awful. But what's the worst that can happen? So a bunch of strangers don't like me. I guess.
You know, I've really liked, I think, a lot about this quarantine time. But what I've struggled with is like the idea of future, which is reframed kind of a lot of my anxiety because it feels like, well, I don't know what's going to happen next month. Yeah. All right. Let me ask you guys two more questions. I truly have like forty, and I wish I could talk to you guys all day. What's the best advice you've ever been given?
My dad always said the best time to plant an apple orchard was twenty years ago. The second best time is today. And I love that because it always keeps you thinking, OK, well, yeah, that would have been awesome edited then. But you know what? I'm going to do it now. I'm still going to do it. I love this like deeply profound. My mother just always used to say to me, I don't know if it's great advice, but she just always used to say, honey, you can have your cake and eat it too.
If you want to dance, you've got to pay for me.
I love your mom. She would like double down on the same sentence. They went together. I it was to teach me that if I wanted to be an actor, I wanted to do this. Well, then that's the comment you made. You might not be able to go on that field trip or go to that sleepover or whatever, but I was like nine and ten and I was like, so you're going to make me the cake, but you're not going to let me eat it.
I don't understand what's happening. The cake is delicious. Right? But why can't I eat it? I love it.
OK, what advice would you give your younger self. Oh, to travel later. Just to travel later. Next trip. Like I look back at that grade five, who's cutting out the project on Sri Lanka every page in the shape of an elephant and like was that really necessary? I was a bit of a perfectionist and I think I probably could have lightened up a little bit.
I wonder if that like approval of having perfect edges or something. I clearly meant a lot to you. There's something really sweet about that.
When I'm looking at my kids, I hope that they can lighten up a little bit more on themselves. And I was hard on myself.
I think it's actually really interesting because, like, I now know what I would say to my younger self, because I'm saying it all the time to my 12 year old. And it's really interesting because she has so many of the traits that I do or I did or I do. And I want so badly for her to be easier on herself. I don't want her to do to herself what I did to myself. You know, that's such an interesting concept because I'm not trying to tell the younger person inside of me that sees it in her, like, do you mind collaborating?
Is she a perfectionist or hard driven? Yes.
Yeah, she's a perfectionist. She holds herself to a certain standard. And I've been saying to her lately, maybe because she wants to try different things. Right. She was like really getting into art work and she wanted to try cooking. But the first time she fails, she gives up. And I keep having to say nearly no one is perfect at anything right out of the gate. And I keep trying to tell her the stories about first time I cooked, I melted the plastic thing on top of the dish and no one would eat it because it was full of plastic.
Like, I don't know how to use the oven. I didn't know you had to take the plastic thing off like I learned. You know, I'm forty two. Nayeli, you're twelve. Like, give yourself a chance to learn and mess it all up and be totally OK with that. That doesn't mean you failed. And then just the sensitivity like the taking other people's opinions of her too seriously, like at school and stuff that is so dangerous man.
Oh God that's heartbreaking to watch. Brutal.
And it's like I just again, this is my whole life. Who are they? Who are they all come by and have a little conversation. And that just makes it worse. Like, honestly, because that's what my mom did and it made it so much worse. So I'm just trying so hard. But you can't. Cannot make her learn these lessons before she's ready to learn them. I can't stop her from learning them, you know, and it's just killing me because I see so much of that little girl that I was in her.
And I just want to prevent those really uncertain years. You know, I want to, like, go out there and be bold, girl. Be bold.
Oh, I don't know what I would do if I had a daughter.
I already feel like I speak to my son in a semi awkward way, like you're really cool to talk to.
Maybe that's just stuff. But hey, you guys, I would love some time for all of us to hang out. Oh, my God. Please be awesome. Oh, I would love it so much. I could do this all day. Yes. And you're so good at it. And I love your podcast so much. I listen. Oh, God, yes. It was so fun to get to be on it. I do this all day long.
I was so thrilled to be able to talk to you guys. And I wish that we could just fucking gossip for like the next five hours.
Well, girl, I'm not going anywhere. So if you want to call back Sarah, let's get some cocktails.
I would love to, but I love you guys so much, truly.
And thank you. And congratulations on the show. Will you guys write me a role? Absolutely.
Are you kidding me? Yes. Maggie, let's hope we get to season two and then we can get an order.
Yeah. I love you, both of you guys.
I love you, too, you guys. Thank you so much. Also, bye bye so much.
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Hey, everyone, I am so happy to welcome back Dr. Jen Guntur. Dr. Jenn is an OBGYN pain medicine physician and the author of The Vagina Bible, which I highly recommend. Her new book, The Menopause Manifesto, is coming out in May. I do need to emphasize again that while I hope the following discussion is educational and helpful, nothing should be taken as medical advice. If you're experiencing a medical issue or have a question about a medical issue.
Please talk with your doctor. OK, here she is, Dr. Jen Gunta. Hi, Dr. Jen. Hi, Donna, how are you? I'm great. It's wonderful to see you and thank you again for doing this. My pleasure. Thanks for having me. All right. Let's call Katie. Hello. Hi, Katie, it's honor, my honor. How are you? I am great.
I am here with Dr. Jen Guntur, who is an ob gyn, and she has also been called Twitter's resident gynecologist. And she is just wonderful. Katie, would you tell us what's happening? Yes, I'm seven months postpartum, and my question is regarding low sex drive. I'm wondering if it's normal and if so, how long suspected Salaf. So that's a great question. Can I ask how old you are? I'm 30. OK, first baby or no.
Yes, baby number one. OK, all right. Well, congratulations. Thank you. Do you have any pain with sex or any irritation?
No. No pain or anything. OK, and have your period started yet? Yeah. All right. So one of the most common reasons that people have lower libido or less interested in sex is because pain with sex is actually quite common after delivery. It doesn't happen. I mean, it's normal and sometimes it's because of delayed healing or other issues. So it's always important to ask those questions. Also, sometimes when people are breastfeeding, they can have vaginal dryness related to low levels of estrogen.
And also, if sex isn't pleasurable, you might not want to have it.
The way we often talk about libido in our society is of sort of from a very sort of male centric perspective. And so many of us are familiar with the idea of being like horny sort of spontaneous libido. But it turns out that many of us really have a receptive libido and that for most people, for a lot of people, that's the driver. So meaning that you might not be spontaneously interested in sex, but if your partner kind of suggested or cozies up and makes the situation right, does that make you feel like you would want to be sexually active?
Depends on the night. Sometimes the other night, I think napping not.
But if it does at all, then that means that there is some receptive libido there. And that's a good thing.
I imagine that's what a lot of women experience. It's like after you start fooling around, after you're like, OK, my body is not quite there yet, but my brain is sort of getting there and then you kind of find yourself in the moment and enjoying it. Yeah.
So what happens is not everybody comes to sex because they're spontaneously horny, right? So some people come to sex for comfort and some people come to sex because they want to please their partner. You know, they want to do you know, maybe they're not quite into it, but they enjoy cuddling and being close with their partner. So the desire to have sex can start before sex. So it can start spontaneously. You can start receptively. But sometimes desire even kicks in after arousal, just like you mentioned.
And all of those things are normal. It's also normal in any relationship to have periods of time where you're more spontaneously horny, where you're more receptively horny. You know, that might change. And especially after having a baby, you're responsible for another human. You know, you're probably sleep deprived and a lot of other things going on. Libido can certainly wax and wane. And we always tell people it's also important to kind of learn to tolerate the downs as well as celebrate the ups.
One of the thing that's sort of a unique sort of point in time, probably right now, you know, before people would have been able to have a baby sitter and go out and have an evening out and get away. Is that something that probably have been able to do? Right.
Yeah, I know where we are currently locked down, so we're not really able to get out at all.
Yeah, it's hard to go out at the beginning of a relationship. We do tons of things to maintain our libido, but we don't really think about it or maintain our desire. You know, we get dressed to go out. You know, we're trying to attract this person. We put lots of effort into the courting in the meeting. What people don't realize is, is that you have to keep that effort going kind of long term to keep the relationship going.
If you've just had a baby and there's a lot going on in your life and there's also a lot going on in the world, putting that effort into sort of maintaining the sexuality might have fallen a little bit by the wayside. And if you're up at night and you're not sleeping well and you don't even get a break because you guys can't go out to have a date night, all of these things that you might normally have done to nurture the relationship with your partner, they're pretty hard to do right now.
That makes total sense, too. I mean, my husband works, so he gets to get out and get away a little bit and not like a date night, obviously, without me. But it's very difficult because we can't have anybody can babysit.
No places are really open to be able to do anything, you know, and I mean, I everybody is certainly different. But I had twins and, you know, when I had a seven month old twins and that's all I was doing was looking after them and the the babies were like on you all the time. Sometimes you're just like, I just don't want anybody touching me. I just want to go to the bathroom with the door shut. Oh, my God.
I would dry my hair forever. I would just get a magazine and I would just just drive.
And I and I don't have very thick hair.
I mean, another important another important thing is to check in to make sure that you have been experiencing any postpartum depression, you know, and again, not that there's anything going on in the world that might affect mental health right now, but but depression, certainly anxiety, all these things can also affect how we feel. Sex. Have you spoken with your partner about feeling lower sex drive wise? Yes, we're very open with each other. He knows and he was diagnosed with post-partum depression and anxiety.
So I'm working on getting that looked after as well. So that's definitely part of it.
And sometimes some of the medications for depression, if you're on any, those can sometimes also sometimes have some sexual side effects as well. You know, it's just important to look at all of those. And if that might be, you know, if you're maybe on one of those medications to to talk with your provider about it.
Yes, OK, so another thing to think about is to get your partner, to allow you to have some alone time, you know, even if you're in a small apartment, you can say, listen, you know what? You're going to look after the baby for an hour and I'm going to go to the bedroom and I'm going to take care of me, you know, maybe break out a vibrator and get sort of in touch with your sort of your own sexuality, you know, without having to please anybody else.
d'Argent, that is brilliant advice. Yes, definitely. And I have to say, my partner is amazing. My husband's amazing at coming home from work and taking over whenever I need it. So I definitely have an opportunity to put that aside because sometimes, you know, if sex is going right, it feels good.
And just reconnecting with yourself, you know, masturbating, doing some self pleasure, engaging in some self-love, sometimes that can, you know, add a little spark to so many of us, spend so much time looking after everybody else. And if if you're not getting any time for health care, it can be really hard to sort of feel sexual sometimes.
And so just thinking about some of the things that might be different now that you can do, because obviously when you have it, I have a baby, it's a bit different then you can't just, like, run out into the parking lot or something. So fantasy role playing, if there's movies that turn you on or not reading erotica, that's OK.
So something that I often say is, you know, get your partner to read erotica to you or read it yourself. There's also a fantastic book called Better Sex Through Mindfulness by by Dr. Lori Brodo, who is a fantastic sex researcher.
And it's also a great a great thing, Dr. Drew, but I really love what you said, is that if there hasn't been a lot of sexual activity, that you should reacquaint yourself independently.
Yeah, as long as that's also what you want, you know, because it's not a sexual problem unless you feel it's a problem for you. And it sounds like, you know, that's why you're calling in, that you feel it's a problem for you. And so you have some good times by yourself that also might make you interested in in good times with your partner.
Yeah, Katie, maybe you could say you put the baby to bed. I'm going to get reacquainted with myself for an hour and a half. And then you maybe you can come on in. You would definitely be good with that.
But Katie, I remember I wasn't diagnosed with postpartum depression, but I probably had it. And I have no I don't quite understand how the hormone depletion works. Dr. Jen, can you touch on that briefly?
Well, I think, you know, many women experience the baby blues, which are sort of some temporary, you know, changes that happen. But, you know, a significant percentage will develop, you know, a true depression. I don't think we quite understand all the biological reasons, but certainly it does happen. Many women, sadly, don't get treated. They get screened and don't get treated, then even get screened at all if that has happened to you.
I'm so glad to hear that, you know, some of your health care providers are taking that seriously and that you're working with them on that because, you know, depression absolutely affects sex drive.
Yeah. And I know for a while after having the baby, you're not supposed to have sex for a while. And then by that time, I was already starting to kind of take medication. So who knows if it's because of that? I don't know like of that or talk to my doctor and see. Right.
So, yeah, there are some medications that are less likely to affect sex drive. So it is worth talking to your doctor about it. Now, the other thing, too, is sometimes there's only one medication that works for someone. Right? And so the option to switch might not be there, but it's certainly worth having the conversation because your doctor should be able to listen and say, oh, well, there isn't a reason why we didn't try this other drug that is less likely to have that effect.
Or maybe there is a reason why we couldn't use that. You know, just even asking the question is, is kind of a good way to get started. Well, congratulations.
You are in the thick of it and seven months old. They are just the cutest things, though. Most definitely. Yeah.
I mean, you know, I like I remember thinking it's really hard when there's another thing that is so dependent on you to sort of think of yourself. And I think that so often in our society, we reduce women specifically to caregivers and caretakers. And, you know, all of a sudden all anybody wants to, you know, you sort of disappear into the background and that, you know, and the baby kind of takes priority. And that's that can be really hard.
And so I'm really glad to hear that that that you want more than that and that you're stepping up, you know, to advocate for your body and your needs.
And there's that physical exhaustion. Katie, I bet your back is killing you because you're hauling around a baby all the time.
Yeah. Yeah, definitely.
Sleep deprivation is also not so good as well.
So I think there's light at the end of the tunnel, Katie, and they definitely something I want to hear.
And Katie, Dr. Jen had twins.
They're now 17, but I just can't imagine it's like twins.
I always like to think about, like, you know, when I had a seven month old twins, if George Clooney himself had shown up, like at the front door, I would've been like, can you change a diaper? No.
OK, you're no good to me. Go away. Yeah. Like, are you going to clean this vomit off my shirt? Like my I had a kid that threw up all the time. My hair smelled of vomit for like months, you know. So these are the unglamorous aspects of motherhood that we don't always talk about. And it's hard to feel like sexy times when you're like, oh, oh, that's three day old soy formula is really doing a number on my hair.
Katie, Dr. Jen also has a wonderful book called The Vagina Bible, and I would highly recommend it to you.
Did you have any more questions about her? That helps a lot to know that I'm not alone in that. And I would definitely pick up that book for sure. I'm excited to give it a read.
Well, in Katie, please know there's so many women that are going through exactly this. And I know that we'll get a lot of response from our listeners thanking you for for being so open about, you know, these more private issues. And I know this call will be really helpful. So thank you so much for for doing this with us. For talking with us.
Thank you. I really appreciate it.
OK, Katie, have a wonderful rest of your day with a baby boy here. Take care. Thank you. Bye bye. Jen, truly, thank you so much. It's been so informative for me and I know how helpful you have been to these women and to hopefully a lot of other women out there. I would love it if you ever felt like joining us again. I would love that.
Oh, I would love to. I have a new book coming out in May, The Menopause Manifesto. Awesome. I'm heading that direction. Doctor Jen, I'm forty four.
All right. Well, I'm on t menopause. I'll tell you all about it.
I can't wait. Thank you again. Have a wonderful as your day in North. In California, which we were there. Thank you. Thank you so much and take care. Be Safe by Dr. Devi.