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Keri Russell attracts a gaggle when she carries her son River down the hall at NYC’s Waldorf=Astoria hotel. Wearing a gray cardigan and a chunky yellow-gold citrine necklace, she is giggly as she points out the fresh baby drool on her shoulder.

How has motherhood changed her?

“It unavoidably changes you,” the August Rush star, 31, tells me. “I’m bossier. It opens everything up in a way that you can’t anticipate. The highs are so much higher, the lows are so much lower. I think you just sort of feel more, which is good, because in life you want to feel. In that way, it’s nice. It’s a strange thing to be so out of your control, like something is completely taking over and for someone – I am a little bit of a control freak – that’s out the window. There’s change every single moment. It’s good.”

It’s also made her more in tune to her emotions.

“It changes the way you view movies,” Keri says. “I was watching Finding Nemo and just burst into tears. ‘I hope he finds his parents! That’s so sad!’ But you do, and it’s uncontrollable, it’s really weird. Or you’ll be with somebody and they’ll tell you this story about this little kid, and you’re like [theatrics] ‘Oh my God, he’s not going to make it through, I hope that kid’s OK.’ It’s uncontrollable. It just happens.”

How did she lose the baby weight?

“I’m sorry to say, but I do think it has a lot to do with genetics,” she says. “My dad’s family is tall and thin. I didn’t get the tall part. And it’s my first. They say your first is a lot easier. That’s just kind of the way it worked. Hopefully it will stay.”

She praises her contractor hubby Shane Deary, whom she married on Valentine’s Day.

“He’s such a good dad,” she tells me. “I totally married the right guy.”

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