Jack Pratt, the son of actors and co-parenting goals icons Anna Faris and Chris Pratt, is the spitting image of his mom — and he’s got her sense of humor too. I know this because I unexpectedly ran into him a week before I was scheduled to interview her. The adorable bespectacled 6-year-old was giggling up a storm playing toy trains with my son in a museum gift shop while his insanely dapper grandparents — Faris’ mom and dad — looked on in way more fabulous clothes than I would ever consider wearing to a train museum.
So when I sat down to chat with Faris later that week — to talk about mom guilt, her TV show, Mom, and her partnership with Uncle Ben’s to inspire kids to cook with their parents — I of course had to mention my run-in with her chic son and even chicer parents. In true Faris form, she guffawed.
Anna Faris: Oh, my God, that’s so funny! Actually, that was his birthday when you ran into him at the trains. My parents were in town, and they were like, “You can do whatever you want today,” and he was like, “I wanna go to the train museum.” I hope Jack was good — like, not trying to take your son’s toy or anything. My parents just stare at my son with, like, glass eyes, like, “Aaaaah!” — he can do no wrong. I’m like, “Mom, you gotta lay down the law sometimes.”
SheKnows: I mean, your mom is so glam. Even when chasing a toddler on a Saturday. Do you get your fashion sense from her?
AF: I know she gets embarrassed by the stuff that I wear since I’m always in sweats and baseball hats and whatever. She’s like, “You’re not going to try to look nice?” [Laughs]
SK: What’s your favorite lesson you learned from her?
AF: I grew up cooking with my mom; she’s an amazing cook, and she started cooking with Jack when he was 2-1/2, and he was just cracking eggs and mixing things and probably grubby… I love to cook, so for me that’s always been such a bonding time for us. Jack loves to cook too, and my mom just got him chef’s knives and an apron and a cookbook.
SK: Speaking of moms, OMG Allison Janney. What’s it like having C.J. Cregg for a TV mom?
AF: She is like, I can’t. I know that a lot of actors, whatever, they’re not going to say anything disparaging, but I can say with so much sincerity that I love her so much. She’s so brilliant and kind and so fun. I’m so lucky. This sounds corny, but I truly drive to work every day so happy I get to see her and hang out with her. I can’t say enough about her, and I’m so happy for everything that has happened [with her Oscar win, etc.]. I’ve definitely gone over to her house and held all her awards and done some acceptance speeches myself [laughs].
SK: She is a force of nature. So, tell me: Everyone always asks moms, not dads, how they “do it all” work-wise and family-wise — which honestly can contribute to a lot of mom guilt when we feel like we can’t measure up on one or both sides of that coin. Do you get that question a lot? Do you hate having to answer it?
AF: I love it that you asked that. You know, when I had Jack, I was worried that my whole identity would change. Not just within Hollywood but everywhere — that suddenly, the identity is motherhood. And it’s just not quite the same for men. And the different pressures that we put on moms? I love it that you asked that because I do think it should be a dialogue. It is difficult — of course it is difficult. I have to get my son moving in the morning when he wants to sleep in, get myself ready while I get his snacks together — everyone deals with it.
SK: How do you deal with that feeling that there are never enough mom hours in the day?
AF: Honestly, that’s why cooking is really important to me — to make sure that we have that time that’s not about the craziness of life, and I’m lucky I can come home and cook with [Jack]. It’s important for both Chris [Pratt, Jack’s father] and I to make sure that we have family dinners and make sure there’s time for being connected. My parents always prioritized family meals, and I think kids really love it too. They may grumble — because that’s what kids do — but I know. It’s just really important to have that time to connect.
SK: Speaking of kid food, and this may sound silly, but how on earth do you get Jack to eat stuff? I swear my 2-year-old lives off grapes and olives alone. Very Mediterranean of him.
AF: Oh man, you have to videotape your son at this age eating a lemon. It’s hysterical! But anyway, Jack doesn’t love too many spices. He loves making chili… The other day, we made curry with Uncle Ben’s basmati rice that was delicious, and I don’t think he would have tried it if he hadn’t made it.
SK: What do you think cooking as a kid taught you?
AF: Growing up, those are the moments with my mom — cooking together — that I connected with her. That became increasingly more important as I became a teenager, and it also taught me to be more self-sufficient. I think later on, she also made me clean the toilet and do laundry, you know — she was determined: “You’re gonna be prepared.” I mean, I don’t know if it worked or not, but I made it this far!