I think my only problem with the lovely ABC ensemble drama "Parenthood" is that, before it existed, I had gotten through several years of life without shouting "I LOVE THIS FAMILY" or "CRAIG T. NELSON, DON'T GO IN THERE!" at a television set.
Alas, I am now so invested in the Braverman family that I text my sister and best friend (also huge fans) after sad episodes just to "make sure" they're "OK."
If you aren't already a "Parenthood" superfan, go watch an episode right now. It's a really generous, well-done representation of a family -- there's lots of good drama but it's always grounded in humor and warmth and Mae Whitman's incredible rotating cast of amazing haircuts. Am I gushing? Yes. Which is why I totally dorked out when I found out I was going to be able to talk to Erika Christensen, who is what I will dorkily call "the coolest."
I've been a fan of Erika's since her early starring roles in "Traffic" and "Swimf@n" (which I still, incidentally, use as a verb to describe clingy white people). She's been acting since she was about yea big, and I love her very complex portrayal of Julia, a sweet, funny, type-A working mother with a hot househusband (even though I feel bad that since she's a lawyer on the show she constantly has to wear office-wear while Bonnie Bedelia gets to roll in caftans and Lauren Graham gets to wear chill hipster bartender outfits).
We asked the lovely Erika the same five questions we always ask, and as a result, I am now going to download some "skrillex" and buy Vitamin E.
XOJane: What is the grossest (or weirdest) thing in your purse?
Erika: Oh, my god, I actually have a good answer for this one. Yes! I'm so excited. OK, either me or my boyfriend found this -- it's a carrot butt. You know, like you've eaten the whole carrot except for the end? That was in my bag.
Whaaaaat? Those are biodegradable!
No! I was impressed with myself. I will recycle anything. I think it's because if somebody has something that can't be thrown out, I'm the one who just puts it in my bag.
Your commitment to the environment is laudable. I mean, a carrot butt. Whats the closest you've come to being arrested?
Mmmmm. OK… I don't know if you know this? But if you get around 25 miles an hour above the speed limit? They arrest you and confiscate your car. I was doing like… 95? A long time ago, on a very straight, tempting, beautiful stretch of highway. And the cop was so nice about it. I remember he asked me, "Excuse me, miss may I see your pilot's license?"
Ha! I love funny cops. Obviously I have to ask you what your whip was at the time.
I was about 17, so it would have been my mom's car, so I think a Saturn?
I love that you were burning rubber in a SATURN. You made that cop's day. OK -- what pills do you take every day?
I'm a huge vitamin person. I take… let's say a lot of different vitamins. But I suppose kind of the staples are Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Vitamin C is the magic cure-all though.
And wait, Vitamin E is for… Skin? Eyes?
Oh yeah, and your brain, and for hormones… Basically if you consume any kind of fat -- which you should, your body needs it and it's a good thing -- you should take Vitamin E, because you need that to use the fat for everything else. It keeps you running.
What's the weirdest thing you do when you're alone?
Oh, definitely solo dance party.
Yes. So, not weird at all.
Well, I mean, come on, I'm a human being. I either go into some real hiphop -- real hip hop being like Dead Prez or something or… OK, dub step is not "my world," but there are a couple that my brothers have turned me onto that are just… Like skrillex, and oh, please let me remember the title of this one, it's so good. Ahhh. OH! I remember! I remember! (Laughs for several minutes.) "Woo Boost."
Like, W-O-O space B-O-O-S-T.
Oh my God. I have to download that immediately. WOO BOOST. Okay, somewhat related: have you ever faked an orgasm? (Julieanne Note: inevitably after asking this question is an ominous pause and I start Catholic-ly sweating and freaking out.)
I'm sure I have and I'm sure I didn't think of it that way at the time? I honestly want to go into wayyyy more detail here, so I'll just leave it there.
Who is on your "celebs to make out with" list?
Oh boy. Hm. I do get to make out with [her hot "Parenthood" husband] Sam Jaeger every week.
AND FOR THIS YOU ARE LUCKY. He is unbelievably hot. I just watched an episode with my sister and he would just like, make a face and we'd shout "JOEL!" Like teenagers.
No way! That's great. I'm going to do some press with him in a few hours. I'm telling him you said that.
I hope you do! JOELLLLL!
Oh. But wait… I just thought of like, a whole list of celeb make outs, but it's bad…
My mom talks about how she wants to make love to Philip Seymour Hoffman, I am basically unshakable at this point.
Yes, but, your mom is probably not going to run into Philip Seymour Hoffman some day. OK, I will probably run into these people, but my top three are Sean Penn, Mark Ruffalo, Sam Rockwell.
You have such a type.
Do you think so?
Toussled haired do-gooders. Well, I mean, I don't know if Sam Rockwell is a do gooder.
You don't know if he… "does good"?
I will have to research that. Thank you. I will continue to squeal over your TV husband. I really, really love the show.
Thanks! It's been fun.
"Parenthood" airs Tuesdays at 10 PM EST on NBC, and is extra great.