Naya Rivera, who is best known for her role as Santana Lopez on the Fox hit “Glee,” is currently enjoying some down time with her 18-month-old son, Josey, in Los Angeles. “He’s my number one priority,” she shared with Momtastic.
Earlier this year, she co-starred in Sony Crackle’s Mad Families, along with Charlie Sheen and Leah Remini. “Everyone was so funny and always joking around,” she tells us about life on the set. “It was really loose and light hearted.”
Rivera had lots more to chat about, from co-parenting with her ex-husband, Ryan Dorsey, to speaking up about women’s rights in her deeply personal memoir, Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes, And Growing Up. Read on for more.
MT: What has surprised you most about parenthood?
NR: The unconditional love. You hear about it and you think, ‘Well, obviously I’m going to love my child.’ But it’s so deep. Even after Josey goes to bed, I find myself thinking of him and looking at pictures of him and it almost brings me to tears half the time, because the love that I have for him is so amazing.
MT: Have you had any crazy parenting experiences in public yet?
NR: Yes! Recently, we were sitting at a restaurant outside eating breakfast and all of the sudden he flipped our table. I was like, ‘Who are you, the incredible hulk?!’ The whole thing came toppling down—plates and mugs breaking everywhere!
MT: Did you feel judged by the other people at the restaurant?
NR: No, I felt like they got it, like, ‘Oh man!’ I told Josey he has to tip extra now that he’s flipping tables.
MT: You and Ryan split up last year. Has single parenting been challenging for you?
NR: Not really. We’re very good at co-parenting.
MT: What’s your secret to co-parenting well together?
NR: It’s always going to have its challenges logistically, but Josey is our priority. We’re his parents. If everybody looks at it that way it alleviates some of the drama. Doing what’s best for Josey is really what it all boils down to.
MT: Switching gears to your book, which was published last fall: What did your “Glee” cast mates think of it?
NR: Heather Morris and Kevin McHale both read it and they were really proud of me and voiced their support.
MT: Was it difficult to share your own deeply private experiences involving reproductive rights?
NR: No, it was cathartic to talk about women’s reproductive rights in an open and honest way. I feel like women are shackled by secrets involving their reproductive rights. They don’t want to talk about it. Being in the public, I felt like I should talk about it.
MT: Given your experience, how do you feel about the threats the Trump administration poses to women’s access to reproductive care?
NR: With everything going on right now, I feel like it’s even better that I shared my story.