Keri Russell on parenting: ‘You instantly become less selfish. It grounds you’

Keri Russell

Keri Russell sat down with Parade magazine to promote her role in “The Americans,” which is the new FX drama/thriller that features Keri and Matthew Rhys as undercover KGB spies in the 1980s. FX has been pushing this show pretty hard, and I’ll admit that it sounds more than halfway decent even though I am notoriously hesitant to try out new television programming. Reviews of the show’s first few episodes are mostly positive though and speak to the “intriguing and exciting start” of the story following an arranged marriage between the two leads as they pretend to be normal, middle-class U.S. citizens and still go about their various missions.

For certain, this is a departure from Keri’s old television show and her main claim to fame, “Felicity.” Does anyone else remember how that show’s ratings took a huge nosedive once Keri chopped off her luscious, curly locks? That was a little embarrassing and unnecessary, but television audiences are a fickle bunch. In these photos, Keri looks tinier than I recall at “The Americans” premiere a few weeks ago. Here are some excerpts from Parade where she talks about balancing work and family:

Keri Russell

She’s not big on technology & digs the 1980s era: “I’m never on my cell phone. I don’t even know why I have one. It’s been fun to go back to this period of time. The actors who play my kids had never seen a rotary phone before!”

On her career breaks: “I like working hard, but my life outside of my career is equally important to me. Maybe I’m not ambitious enough, but I’m just as interested in my friends and my relationship with my family.”

How has motherhood changed her? “You instantly become less selfish. You can’t be the biggest person in the world anymore–they are. It really grounds you.”

How she spends her free time: “With my girlfriends, adult beverages, and delicious food!

On the “Felicity” experience: “It was a really sweet, heartfelt show and it’s funny because the creators were both men in their thirties when they wrote it. I think what people really related to was that time in your life when everything is possible. College is such a monumental time when your path in life is being decided, and it can go so many different ways, and every relationship you’re forming can affect that and I think the show just really captured that.”

[From Parade]

Keri is now mother to a 5-year-old boy, River, and 1-year-old girl, Willa. What she says about the transformation of motherhood is absolutely correct in my experience except that I’d add that the change might not always be because of newfound selflessness in the parents themselves. It’s more of a forced change because you simply no longer have the choice on whose needs come first, but it’s also a welcome adjustment in most ways. I’m sure some parents will still say they never think of their own needs and never feel a nagging twinge because they can’t do everything they want to do while being a parent. More power to them.

Keri Russell

Keri Russell

Keri Russell

Photos courtesy of WENN

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43 Responses to “Keri Russell on parenting: ‘You instantly become less selfish. It grounds you’”

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  1. len says:

    I’m a mom and I’m still selfish, I just don’t have the time to act it.

    • Jill says:


      Now I find that I internalize more of my snarkiness and curse words (unless, of course, I’m leaving a comment on this site!). But it’s definitely still there and I would guess my internal monologue has become much worse over the years as a result.

      Also, at certain angles on the show, does anyone else think her character’s husband looks a little bit like a younger Julian McMahon?

    • Violet says:

      Yeah, I think celebs need to learn to speak for themselves.

      Instead of saying “You instantly become less selfish. You can’t be the biggest person in the world anymore–they are. It really grounds you.”

      Keri should say “I instantly become less selfish. I can’t be the biggest person in the world anymore–they are. It really grounds me.”

      I mean, look at Dina Lohan or that Teen Mom who’s been making the headlines lately. Those two have got to be some of the most selfish, ungrounded people on the planet! (And should NEVER have had kids. Ugh.)

      • Raven says:

        She’s talking about normal parents. The people you mentioned should never have had children.

  2. Hannah says:

    Keri is so pretty!

  3. Sandy says:

    I heard the show was good. Seeing 80’s fashion on television has to be a plus too.

    • JenD says:

      She was rocking the high-waisted Guess jeans in the first episode. I use to covet those jeans!

    • Raven says:

      The show is good. Both she and Rhys are very convincing in their characters. FX brings on some interesting dramas, much better than most of the bland shows on network TV.

  4. Sirsnarksalot says:

    Was she always this thin? I saw her in Bklyn once an she had hella bitch face.

    • giselle says:

      She was really small when she was on Felicity too, but she did seem to gain a bit more weight on that Wilder show or whatever it was called.

      Bitch face? Maybe she was just hungry, lol

  5. brin says:

    I really like her…the show is good and I’m glad she’s back on tv.

  6. Barrett says:

    I saw her in a deli near NYU with her hubby! She was so beautiful. Her skin amazing! The husband very hot.

  7. Jayna says:

    She looks so different. How old is she now? I guess in her thirties. I just happened this weekend to see a rerun of a lifetime move with Stephen Collins where she played the babysitter and he killed his wife. She was so so pretty when she was young, had such a sweet look to her face. Gorgeous skin and eyes. The freshness of youth, I guess. So the difference after just seeing that to now just struck me, but I guess it’s been about 15 years. She’s still pretty, though, just a more mature face.

    • Kristen says:

      I agree Jayna. I saw it this weekend too. She has lost that dewy, ripe adolescent look and now looks like a mature 30-something. Some women are exquisite in their teens whereas it’s just a horrible time for others. For her, it would never get any prettier than “The Babysitter’s Seduction.” Check it out!

  8. Harpreet says:

    She is AWESOME on the show, and the 1980s styling is spot on. I really hope she gets some recognition come awards season.

    • annaloo. says:

      Funny.. I thought the 1980’s styling was so off…I would love to see an actor commit– REALLY commit– to an 80’s look with fried poodle Zotos permed hair. No one on that show has a convincing hairstyle. Where are the feathered mullets?

      • Lemony says:

        I haven’t seen the show, so I’m not sure what portion of the 80’s they’re portraying but mid to late 80’s is when the hair started to get mulleted-up & permed w, poufy bangs, I think. I think the early 80’s was more like Farrah Fawcett’s hair, big roller-set waves with longer layers.

  9. bns says:

    I love her. She is so cute.

  10. Hoya_chick says:

    I like her leather pants.

  11. ZigZagZoey says:

    Well, we just watched the Americans last night, and I really liked it a lot.

    But I do have to say that she is freakishly (it was distracting to me) skinny and it does not look good. She’s older now and needs some fullness imo.

    I would highly recommend watching the show. Seems to be plenty of good story lines in it.

    IDK, there is just something weird….She seems incredibly tense and unhappy (hungry?) in these pics….Maybe it’s just me….I really like the outfit though!

  12. Dawn says:

    I like her lots. She defines pretty to me, great skin, great hair and she does it all without pounds of makeup. I haven’t seen the show yet but will.

  13. Tulip says:

    “You instantly become less selfish.How she spends her free time: “With my girlfriends, adult beverages, and delicious food!

    *cackle* And that’s all you really need to know.

  14. ds says:

    I loved Felicity though my friends hated it. And I’m really glad she’s back on a TV show. Will watch it for sure if I can find it somewhere. She looks beautiful.

    • Nicole says:

      If you have cable on demand, you can find all four seasons in TV on demand. (Or at least I can and I have Comcast).

      • ds says:

        I’ll have to check… I live in Croatia, Europe so I’m not sure how it works. Thank you for the tip 🙂

  15. Little Darling says:

    She’s the epitome of a child star who did it right. She’s also a hella fierce actress in everything she does. She’s always been really tiny, her clothes usually are a lot less fitted, and she’s outgrown that baby chub, as what happened with me after my kids as well.

    Love the show, love her. 🙂

  16. Mitch Buchanan Rocks! says:

    This generation of parents – for the most part – seems to be very selfish towards people in public – allowing their kids scream in the supermarket and at restaurants and not doing anything to disclipline their offspring as they yap on their phones and ignore their kids.

    • DeltaJuliet says:

      I think people in general are more selfish and less caring about others. I am very watchful over my kids, and I realize not everyone is. But the first person to give a dirty look to a kid who’s crying is usually the same a-hole who thinks his dog is human and trots him around public buildings and stores.

  17. TheOriginalKitten says:

    She’ll always be Felicity to me-she was PERFECT in that role. I want to see her with her hair with her beautiful, naturally-curly hair.

  18. janet says:

    She is not ageing well. Nice toned figure but her face looks saggy

  19. Becks says:

    I think The Americans is becoming my new obsession. The pilot episode was so effing good!

  20. Alana Fajina says:

    Wow, I think she looks really good. Very fit, and she’s a mother of two- kudos chica! The show, I am meh about. It could be because like you, it’s hard for me to get into anything new, Especially when it’s a drama. I get anxiety having to wait an entire week for what’s going to happen next. I’m the girl that asks people what happens in the movies before I see them- I Need to Know!! lol

  21. Mrs. Darcy says:

    She looks older than her years imo because she straightens her naturally curly hair. She looks gaunt, curls would make her face look more youthful. (I think the same of Julianna Margulies, Nicole Kidman, etc.)Curly hair is actually finer than straight hair so people who straighten it end up looking kinda scraggly. It sounds weird but as someone w/curly hair I always think how much better people look when they don’t fight what nature gave them. (I know not everyone has curly hair and plenty of people w/straight hair look great, just those born with it a certain way shouldn’t fight it, maybe it’s meant to be that way for a reason). Keri is just another self-loathing curlyhead which is a shame (she once referred to her hair as an “afro”), but I will always be grateful for the Felicity thing, it briefly made curls acceptable/desirable!

  22. KellyinSeattle says:

    Nice figure and not a famehore/bitch.. I like her!!

  23. MsMileHigh says:

    It pi$$es me off to no end when parents imply that people without kids are selfish. I know plenty of selfish parents.

    • Ryan says:

      Same here.

      • Kristen says:

        Eh, I hear you. In this specific instance, though, she got asked a question and she answered it with her own personal experience. I think we all know that not every experience is universal.

        The mommy wars are just ridiculous.

    • Gemini08 says:

      I think perhaps you are reading too much into what she said. I don’t have kids and I don’t think she was implying that at all.

  24. Caroline says:

    Cute outfit

  25. Gemini08 says:

    Love Keri’s outfit in these pics. Felicity was one of my all-time favorite shows. I was the same age as the character at the time so I related to everything she was feeling.