Thoughtful Quotes About Parenthood From Joan Cusack

Joan Cusack has played many mom parts in films and TV shows, but it’s also a role she plays in real life.

The actor and her husband, Richard Burke, have two grown sons, Dylan and Miles. Since becoming a mom in 1997, she has shared snippets of her family life in Chicago during various interviews.

In honor of her birthday, here are 18 quotes about parenthood from Cusack.

On Raising Her Family In Chicago

“As my kids would say, ‘Chicago is awesome!’ It has rich culture and history, as well as some of the best museums, architecture and restaurants in the world. Plus, it prevents our family life from revolving around TV and the movies. In L.A. it’s easy to get caught up in what you look like or how much money you have, and those aren’t values I want my kids to adopt.”

On Her Hopes For Her Kids

“I want my kids to experience passion. I want them to see that I have things I feel passionate about because it is such a great feeling to really love something. My parents had five kids and we are all close. We were a traditional family. My mom didn’t have a job, she was just raising kids. My dad went out to work. He was a really funny man, very silly. He loved comedy. We would watch Mel Brooks movies and Monty Python and he would always find some humor in everything. He made home movies of us, and he would show them in the backyard. He was great fun.”

On Her Advice For Other Parents

“Don’t live vicariously through your kids or try to shape them into who you wanted to be, like the popular kid or an athlete. Children should be given the opportunity to be themselves.”

On The Traits She Wants To Instill In Her Kids

“Characteristics like honesty, integrity and compassion are important but I really want to foster each one’s sense of self. I want them to be able to recognize a challenge and meet it head-on without fear.”

On The Beauty Of Parenthood

“As a parent, you have to figure out how to shape your kid’s character. You want to have human beings who learn about good character. You have to be able to see your child with clarity, see the good side and the bad side of them, and work on the bad side and make them better so they fulfill their potential. You have to make them do stuff they don’t want to do, like take out the trash, while instilling in them all those difficult virtues that are not just about impulse gratification. Then there are those incredible moments when you see that they have learned or ‘got’ something. You see a quality in them that reminds you of your dad ― there’s all the joy of being a parent. It’s absolutely true that you would sacrifice your life for them.”

On Wanting To Raise Confident Kids

“I hope they’re never as shy as I am ― whether it’s around new people, big groups, or in a job interview. I want them to be able to relax without getting nervous. I think acting has helped me come out of my shell, because when I play a character I can’t be self-conscious.”

On Being Present But Not Overbearing

“I don’t want to be a helicopter parent, but I want to be there and help them grow. I can work … I love working. And I think it’s good for your soul to work, and I want to work. But I also want to be able to be there to help them.”

On Her Parents’ Influence

“My dad was a very funny man ― he’s the one who taught me life would be awfully hard without humor! I’m sure his Irish wit in some way influenced my decision to become an actress. And my mom was politically active, so I try to educate Dylan and Miles about what’s going on in the world.”

On What Impresses Her Kids About Her Career

“Being in ‘Toy Story 2’ with Buzz Lightyear when Dylan was younger. But now they’re more impressed that I was in ‘School of Rock.’ Their friends thought it was awesome that I played the principal.”

On The Timelessness Of Parenthood

“It’s a thing primordial. It’s a thing that’s timeless about life. They’ve existed forever and they’ll continue to exist forever. As long as there are humans, there will be mothers and fathers and children. And you’ll either be a parent or a child, or both.”

On Teaching Her Kids About The World

“I think children are naturally curious, and I try to just encourage that.”

On The Hardest Part Of Being A Parent

“Juggling parental responsibilities with those of being a wife and a career woman ― while also being a member of school and church communities ― is difficult. Every day I feel like I dropped the ball somewhere, but I’ve learned not to beat myself up over it because that won’t help. I try to be a role model to my sons by showing them that no matter what kind of mistake a person makes, she can always get back up again and give it another shot.”

On Stressing About College Early On

“I have friends that are going through that stuff. There are some parents whose kids are in grade school who do think about colleges, and fortunately, I don’t have that particular burden.”

On Teaching Her ‘City Kids’ About Nature And Science

“I heard once that if you just don’t worry about everything being clean all the time, and let them makes messes occasionally, or let them look at what happens with the milk that spilled on the floor, how it travels or where it pools, that all can be naturally scientific. Granted, you have to be in the right mood!”

On Her Kids’ Knowledge Of Her Career

“They know about it and about some of the stuff that’s been in it … We’ve had some really frank conversations where I’ve given truly Oscar-worthy performances of keeping a straight face when I was shocked and horrified about what they knew about.”

On Being A Parent, Not A Friend

“It’s harder to not be your kid’s friend but it’s more important. It’s another level of love that’s hard to understand. If you’re just their friend, you wouldn’t care as much as you do because you care at such a big level about your kids. You want to help shape them so you’re thinking about all aspects of them. A friend is really just a smaller relationship than what a mom really wants to do.”

On Keeping Her Family Grounded

“It’s that very laid-back Midwestern attitude that helps a lot! And recognizing when people are getting too stressed out and finding something relaxing and/or authentically fun to do.”

On Work-Life Balance

“My kids are my first priority always.”

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Adam Lambert Says He’s ‘So Proud’ Of Sam Smith For Living Their Truth

Adam Lambert applauded longtime pal Sam Smith for being so forthright in their journey toward living authentically as a genderqueer and nonbinary person.

In an NME interview to promote his new EP, “Velvet: Side A,” Lambert said he is “so proud” of Smith, who recently embraced the gender-neutral pronouns “they” and “them.”

“On a personal level, I’m really happy for Sam that they’ve found their truth and they’re feeling liberated by it,” Lambert told the magazine in the interview published Monday. “At some point, you have to break through the ceiling and discuss trans or non-binary issues … they’re really doing a bold thing. It’s time.”

Though Smith has drawn praise from other LGBTQ artists and advocacy groups, they’ve received a fair share of backlash, too. Speaking on “Good Morning Britain,” British media personality Piers Morgan suggested that Smith had only shared their pronouns as a publicity stunt, calling the announcement “a load of nonsense.”

In the interview, Lambert also drew comparisons between his experiences as a gay pop artist and that of Smith. 

After he was named the Season 8 runner-up on “American Idol” in 2009, Lambert ended media speculation over his sexuality when he came out as gay in a Rolling Stone cover story.

Later that same year, Lambert stoked controversy after angering the Parents Television Council at the American Music Awards. While his rendition of the song “For Your Entertainment” was tame by Madonna or Lady Gaga standards, it featured brief allusions to gay love, including a moment in which he and his male keyboard player shared an open-mouthed kiss. 

“The media loves something that feels new and 10 years ago – in America anyway – there wasn’t a lot of mainstream music people identifying as gay, so it was a novelty,” Lambert said. “I feel there might be some parallels there.” 

“If you stop for a minute and make it not about you and put yourself in the shoes of the person that’s being talked about and try to understand their experience – just for a second – you’ll realise what’s being asked is just that you be a decent human being,” he continued. “People get defensive, saying: ‘How dare you ask me to change the way I think!’ and just a little empathy would help.”

Lambert and Smith’s friendship dates back to around 2016, when the pair shared photos of themselves hanging out together in London and Mykonos. Last year, Smith found themself in hot water after Lambert accidentally shared a video of them expressing their distaste for Michael Jackson on Instagram.

Lambert, of course, defended his friend, telling People, “It was a sliver of a fuller conversation that was actually quite interesting. I think people need to give [them] a break.”  

Mila Kunis Wants To Do ‘Real Housewives’ With Ashton Kutcher And, Um, Yes Please

Since Demi Moore is done airing most of Ashton Kutcher’s dirty laundry in her new memoir, what’s the harm in sharing just a little bit more every week for millions to watch?

Mila Kunis, a noted reality TV die-hard, revealed that she once propositioned her husband about potentially joining the cast of Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” some day in the future.

“I did ask my husband once, I was like, listen: Later, in like 20 years, 30 years, what do you think of me going on ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills?’” she said on a recent episode of comedian Andrea Savage’s new podcast “Grown-Up Woman.” “I’m like, just for like, a year.”

Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher attend Zoe Saldana's Walk of Fame star ceremony in May 2018.

Alberto E. Rodriguez via Getty Images

Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher attend Zoe Saldana’s Walk of Fame star ceremony in May 2018.

And, just to be clear, they wouldn’t be the first actors to join the franchise, which welcomed icon Denise Richards to the cast last season.

Kutcher, unfortunately, wasn’t too keen about about becoming a reality TV husband despite his past success in the genre with “Punk’d.”

“He was like … ‘I would kill you,’” Kunis explained, surely breaking “Real Housewives” boss Andy Cohen’s heart somewhere.

The couple, however, aren’t exactly strangers to reality TV, as they both appeared on a past season of ABC’s “The Bachelorette,” which he described as their “greatest guilty pleasure of all time.”

Kunis and Kutcher, who share daughter Wyatt Isabelle and son Dimitri Portwood, appear to be less than enthusiastic about opening up their personal lives for public consumption these days.

After the release of Moore’s memoir, Kutcher pledged to keep his mouth shut for the time being about the claims she made about their marriage.

“I was about to push the button on a really snarky tweet,” he wrote the week Moore released her memoir. “Then I saw my son, daughter, and wife and I deleted it.”

Better to save it for the cameras in a couple decades anyway, right?

12 Years After ‘Grace Kelly,’ Mika Turns Personal Trauma Into Joyous Pop Once More

After more than a decade as a falsetto-voiced purveyor of pop music, Mika is hitting the reset button.

On “Grace Kelly,” off his 2007 debut album, “Life in Cartoon Motion,” the Lebanese-born British singer announced he’d gone “identity mad” as he crooned about adopting different identities, namely the 1950s screen siren of the song’s title and Freddie Mercury. (The song itself is a nod to his frustrations with studio executives who wanted to restyle his image.)

By contrast, the title of Mika’s fifth album is “My Name Is Michael Holbrook,” the first time he’s formally referenced part of his birth name ― Michael Holbrook Penniman Jr. ― in a musical project. 

“It was written as medicine,” the 36-year-old told HuffPost. “I needed to re-find that young guy who was writing songs in his apartment at 17 or 18. I felt this urgent sense, this need to reconnect with the elation and joy of making music after a good three years of having lost that sensation. At a certain point, you’re like, ‘Well, who am I, really?’ So I kind of used my legal name in order to … write about myself with more freedom.” 

Mika delves into personal territory on his fifth album, “My Name Is Michael Holbrook,” released last week.

Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

Mika delves into personal territory on his fifth album, “My Name Is Michael Holbrook,” released last week.

Released last week, “My Name Is Michael Holbrook” proves Mika hasn’t lost his flair for disco-tinged exuberance. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the album’s leadoff single, “Ice Cream,” a summery bop laden with sexual innuendo. “Tiny Love,” meanwhile, harks back to Elton John or “Bohemian Rhapsody”-era Queen with its anthemic choruses and vocal harmonies. 

But as its title suggests, “My Name Is Michael Holbrook” is also an intensely personal affair. “Paloma” is a contemplative ballad Mika wrote about his sister, who nearly died after falling from an apartment window and impaling herself on a fence post. The sultry, if deceptively titled, “Sanremo” was inspired by the adolescent awkwardness he experienced at age 13 while visiting the coastal Italian city of the title with his family.

The “Sanremo” video, which dropped Oct. 4, interprets the song’s escapist lyrics in a wildly different way. In it, Mika plays a closeted gay man in the 1950s who, after kissing his wife and daughter goodbye, ventures through the city streets and into a speakeasy-style bar filled with sailors and drag queens, in search of a male companion. The video, viewable below, concludes with Mika, who has been dodging suspicious glances from passersby, being stopped by a police officer as audio from what sounds like a vintage radio broadcast warns of the “dangers” of homosexuality.

The narrative of the “Sanremo” video could be seen as a nod to Mika’s own trajectory as an artist. He came out publicly as gay in 2012, though the media had been scrutinizing the queer subtext of his work for years. “It’s only through my music that I’ve found the strength to come to terms with my sexuality beyond the context of just my lyrics,” he said at the time. “This is my real life.”

Much as Mika looked to Mercury and George Michael for inspiration, he has, in turn, helped pave the way for the likes of Troye Sivan and Sam Smith, who have not shied away from expressing their sexuality and gender identity through their music. Still, he believes LGBTQ artists continue to face a “complicated” reality when it comes to the world of mainstream pop.

“I refuse to define the challenges associated with being LGBTQ purely with media acceptance,” he said. “It’s easier to know you’re going to be given a shot, and from that point of view, you’re going to face less discrimination in the media sense or the music industry sense — discrimination which I definitely suffered, and a lot of artists did much more than me. But that doesn’t mean it’s simpler. Every person’s journey is atypical.” 

“I refuse to define the challenges associated with being LGBTQ purely with media acceptance,” Mika said. 

NurPhoto via Getty Images

“I refuse to define the challenges associated with being LGBTQ purely with media acceptance,” Mika said. 

Mika’s defiance of convention has always been present in his live performances, too. In September, he embarked on his six-date Tiny Love Tiny Tour in Brooklyn, New York, with a high-energy set that was, as always, delightfully campy. He’ll return to the concert stage Nov. 10 in London, where he kicks off his Revelation Tour across Europe. 

One thing he isn’t deeply concerned with, however, is commercial viability. After the global breakout of “Life in Cartoon Motion,” his three subsequent releases — 2009’s “The Boy Who Knew Too Much,” 2012’s “The Origin of Love” and 2015’s “No Place in Heaven” — garnered critical acclaim but did not yield an across-the-board hit like “Grace Kelly.” 

If you’re finding yourself a niche artist — which I am — really go to the niche.

The flip side of that cooling reception, Mika said, is creative freedom. In fact, he’d like to divert even further from the mainstream by writing a movie musical or staging an opera in the future. 

“If you’re finding yourself a niche artist — which I am — really go to the niche,” he said. “Think of 15 people. Think of 100 people. What would those 15 or 100 people think?”

“I have no delusions about commercial grandeur,” he added. “My delusions of grandeur are purely storytelling or conceptual ones, and thank God I have those. Otherwise I wouldn’t want to get up in the morning.”   

Kaley Cuoco Reveals She Still Doesn’t Live With Her Husband

Kaley Cuoco and her husband of over a year are pulling a Gwyneth Paltrow

No, they’re not consciously uncoupling ― but they are consciously not living together at the moment.

The “Big Bang Theory” star opened up about her living situation with Karl Cook during an interview Saturday at the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Los Angeles.

“Life is about balance,” Cuoco told Extra over the weekend, before explaining why the couple isn’t shacked up together quite yet.

“It’s great — we are building our dream house, so we’re gonna be in our home together very soon. But as of now, it’s worked out fine for us. I have no problem with it,” she added. That puts her in the company of Paltrow, who also didn’t live with her husband until about a year after they tied the knot.

Karl Cook and Kaley Cuoco attend the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 6 in Beverly Hills.

Frazer Harrison via Getty Images

Karl Cook and Kaley Cuoco attend the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 6 in Beverly Hills.

Cuoco previously spoke about the pair’s new house and her “unconventional marriage” with Cook, who is a professional equestrian.

“We have different locations that we are at a lot,” the actor told E! News in August. “We are not together every single day.”

“It works well for us,” Cuoco said, adding that once their new house is complete the two will be “under the same roof forever.”

Paltrow revealed that she didn’t live with her husband, producer Brad Falchuk, so they could each let their kids adjust to their new, blended family. The actor has two children ― Apple and Moses Martin ― with ex-husband Chris Martin. Falchuk also has two kids ― Isabella and Brody ― from his previous marriage to Suzanne Bukinik.

“We took a year to let everybody [in the family] take it in and let the dust settle, and now we’re moving in together this month,” the actor said in an InStyle interview for the magazine’s September issue.

She previously said her friends thought the arrangement sounded pretty perfect.

“Oh, all my married friends say that the way we live sounds ideal and we shouldn’t change a thing,” Paltrow told The Times of London.

Prince Harry And Meghan Markle Make 1st Appearance After Slamming British Tabloids

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle presented a united front on the last day of their royal tour of South Africa, one day after announcing that the Duchess of Sussex is pursuing legal action against the Mail on Sunday “over the misuse of private information.” 

Though neither the duke nor duchess specifically commented on the legal claim itself Wednesday, Harry made a powerful speech in Johannesburg about challenging injustice. 

“We will firmly stand up for what we believe,” he said to the audience, as Meghan looked on. “We are fortunate enough to have a position that gives us amazing opportunities, and we will do everything that we can to play our part in building a better world.”

“We will always seek to challenge injustice and to speak out for those who may feel unheard,” the prince added. “So no matter your background, your nationality, your age or gender, your sexuality, your physical ability, no matter your circumstance or color of your skin ― we believe in you, and we intend to spend our entire lives making sure you have the opportunity to succeed ― and to change the world.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle arrive to meet with British and South African business representatives at a Creative Industrie


Prince Harry and Meghan Markle arrive to meet with British and South African business representatives at a Creative Industries and Business Reception in Johannesburg on Oct. 2.

On Tuesday, Harry slammed British tabloids for their “ruthless campaigns” against his wife, especially during the time she was pregnant and on maternity leave.

“My wife has become one of the latest victims of a British tabloid press that wages campaigns against individuals with no thought to the consequences — a ruthless campaign that has escalated over the past year, throughout her pregnancy and while raising our newborn son,” Harry wrote in the statement. 

“My deepest fear is history repeating itself. I’ve seen what happens when someone I love is commoditised to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person,” the prince said, before referencing his mother, who faced incredible levels of scrutiny from paparazzi. “I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.” 

Getty Images

The duchess, who is the only one involved in the claim though Harry made the statement Tuesday, is specifically pursuing legal action against Associated Newspapers, which owns the Mail on Sunday, over the “misuse of private information,” according to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s official website.

The publication published a private letter earlier this year allegedly written by Meghan to her father, Thomas Markle. 

Harry said Tuesday the publication “purposely misled you by strategically omitting select paragraphs, specific sentences, and even singular words to mask the lies they had perpetuated for over a year.”

The Mail on Sunday responded to the claim Tuesday, saying that it “stands by the story it published and will be defending this case vigorously. Specifically, we categorically deny that the Duchess’s letter was edited in any way that changed its meaning.” 

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Margot Robbie Returns As Harley Quinn In New ‘Birds Of Prey’ Trailer

Looks like Harley Quinn is coming back to the big screen, but this time without a Joker.

That’s one of the things revealed in the first trailer for “Birds of Prey,” an upcoming DC Universe film centered around Margot Robbie’s popular villainess.

Quinn is not a solo act. The trailer shows Robbie’s character joining up with female DC favorites like the Huntress, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Black Canary, played by Jurnee Smollett-Bell.

As you can see from the video above, Quinn not only chops off her hair but reveals she has cut her boyfriend/master the Joker out of her life.

“The Joker and I broke up. I wanted a fresh start,” she says in the voice-over. “But it turns out, I wasn’t the only dame in Gotham looking for emancipation.”

Although Jared Leto ― who played the Joker in the first “Suicide Squad” film ― isn’t listed as a cast member, speculates there will be an Easter egg suggesting Batman’s biggest foe is still part of the franchise.

“Birds of Prey” is scheduled to open in theaters Feb. 7.