Currently starring as Joyce Fisher on NBC’s Growing Up Fisher, Jenna Elfman admits her character’s approach to parenting (and life in general) is quite different from her own. And after chatting with the actress I concur—not once did Jenna utter anything that made me think, “I can’t believe she said that.” If you’ve watched even just one episode of Growing Up Fisher, you know the same cannot be said for Joyce.
Jenna breaks down her character and how she keeps it all together as a working actress and the mom of two boys.
OK!: What do you love about Joyce?
Jenna Elfman: I love that she’s a great mom and completely quirky at the same time. She’s warm and kindhearted and completely an oddball. I like that aspect of her. She just misses social cues. She’s not marching to the same beat as everyone else.
OK!: Can you relate to her at all?
JE: I can relate. I think she’s on a journey that is not my journey. I really try to pay attention to social cues. I think she’s so hell bent on having her own experiences now and jumping into life and she’s finally free to do so. But I don’t think it’s just the situation, I think it’s who she is. DJ Nash, who created the show, always said about his dad, “I can’t believe he’s doing that,” because he’s blind and chopping down trees and putting himself through law school, and about his mother, “I can’t believe she just said that.” So she’s that person. But she doesn’t mean it in a bad way. It’s just what she sees and what’s on her mind.
OK!: Was the idea of working with kids nerve-racking at all?
JE: No, I’m a mom of two kids. I have a high buffer tolerance for children. And he’s (costar Eli Baker) 12, it’s not like they’re toddlers running around or anything like that. And Ava (Deluca-Verley) is certainly older than 16 so she’s mature. It’s awesome.
OK!: How do you balance career and motherhood?
JE: Time management—I’m sometimes scheduled down to a 15-minute window to make sure everything is getting done, but I do that so that I can be doing what I’m doing while I’m doing it and not getting distracted by how I’m going to get everything else done. I know it’s scheduled. I can pay attention to what I’m doing. I can give my job my full attention. I can give my kids my full attention. I am diligent. Every Sunday I know my weekly shooting schedule and I plan out the entire week like when I can pick my son up from school, when I have the morning off I can be with the boys here, I can learn my lines there, have a date night here, catch up on sleep there. I know what all of my priorities are so I’ve learned at this point what things have to be plugged in to have everything function well. If there’s time for extras then I can bring those in. My husband is very helpful and supportive. But we’re working it out as we go.
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