Q&A: Sarah Chalke Fills Us In

Scrubs alum Sarah Chalke has been all about animated shows in recent years, but that’s about to change. A remake of the ’90s sitcom Roseanne, in which she played Becky, will air during the 2017-2018 season, and Chalke will be in it. (No word yet on her specific role, but we’ll keep you posted!) She’s also the busy mom to son Charlie, 7, and daughter Frankie, 1, her children with husband Jamie Afifi. Recently, we caught up with the How I Met Your Mother star to chat about her parenting adventures.

MT: What are the perks of doing an animated show, like your current gig on “Rick and Morty?”

SC: It’s a very loose, creative, fun way to work. When you’re shooting on a show and you have to do another take there are, like, 100 different people who are doing it with you. But with animation you can try it 10 different ways. It’s also a great job as a mom because you can be pregnant or you can be in sweatpants with no makeup, it doesn’t matter. You just go in for an hour or two and then you’re done.


MT:  What does Charlie think about what you do for a living?

SC:  I didn’t really explain it to him for a long time, and then he kind of figured it out when he was around 5-years-old. We’d be at airports and people would come up to me and ask about Scrubs. I’m making him wait a little longer to watch Scrubs [laughs], but he’s definitely excited about the stuff he can watch. He just started watching Milo Murphy’s Law and signing the theme song on the way to school. It’s really cute.

MT:  Does he ever visit you on set?

SC:  Yes. He’s visited me on sets where he’s gotten to put on the headphones and yell, ‘Action!’ and ‘Cut!’ and he loved it. When I was filming How to Live With Your Parents (For The Rest Of Your Life), he was 2-and-a-half and his favorite thing was driving around the lot in a golf cart. The Craft Services truck is always a big hit, too. The kids’ heads explode. They walk up to this truck with all of this naughty food and they’re like, ‘We can just walk up and take it?!’

MT: Did you always think you’d be a boy mom?

SC:  No! I come from a family with three girls and I always thought I’d have a girl. So when I learned I was having a boy, I thought, ‘What do you do with a boy?’ Now, I can’t imagine life without having a boy. It’s LEGO and light saber fights and every day we build a fort. I decided to learn how to skate because I don’t skate and Charlie’s playing ice hockey. I was like, ‘Let’s do this.’ I went out on ice the first time and I thought, ‘Oh no! This is not doable at this age.’ But every week I’ve learned a little more.

MT: Switching gears, Charlie became a big brother last year. How did you tell him that you were pregnant?

SC: We did a treasure hunt—we have a treasure hunt tradition in my family of hiding clues and then you follow the clues around. He collected letters and at the end they spelled ‘Big Brother.’ He was 5-years- old at the time and he couldn’t believe it. He had waited a very long time to be a big brother. He put his hand on my belly. He was thrilled.

MT: What’s it been like having a six-year age difference between your kids?

SC: In a lot of ways I would love to have had them so much closer together so they’d be at the same playing and development stage, but because of their age difference Charlie has felt nothing but pure joy over having a sister. I love that. In the morning, I bring Frankie in with me to wake him up. He calls her his alarm clock. I put her in bed with him and she starts playing with his face and she’s laughing and he’s laughing.

MT: What’s the sweetest thing he’s ever said about his sister?

SC: The other day he said to me, ‘Mom, how did we get so lucky to get Frankie?’

MT:  Did you just die when he said that?!

SC: Yes! You hope your kids will get along, but you never know, right? He’s pretty in love with her, and he’s very proud of being a big brother. His favorite shirt is his Big Brother shirt.

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