Quick Talk With Kathryn Hahn

2 minute read

Hahn, 43, may be best known as the measured Rabbi Raquel on Amazon’s Transparent, but she’s a barrel of raunchy laughs in the new comedy Bad Moms (July 29). She plays Carla, a single mom who prefers partying over PTA meetings.

How much did the premise of the movie resonate, as a working mom yourself?

So much. Motherhood has been such a sanctified subject. There are amazing exceptions, Mommy Dearest being one. But we haven’t seen an R-rated comedy focused on motherhood. The movie is a cathartic escape, but there was something that felt so dear, which is that we are so tough on ourselves and this idea of letting it go.

Have you encountered parents with the same lack of guilt Carla feels about her parenting decisions?

My mom had a couple of divorced pals when I was growing up, and I remember being in awe of their well-done nails and year-round suntanned skin–and we lived in Ohio. I don’t know any moms like that now. Carla feels like a little bit of a throwback.

Tell me about the scene in which you chug White Russians in the aisles of a grocery store.

There’s something so depressing about grocery shopping for your family, without your family with you. So to have permission to tear through it–it’s just wish fulfillment. And then when I had to guzzle the milk, it took a turn for Mommy. I was like, “Take that, Leonardo DiCaprio. I guzzled gallon after gallon of lukewarm soy milk.”

Do you have any memorable good-mom moments?

There are nights where we’re all cuddling and my kids ask me to sing a song–I am dreading the day when they outgrow that–and I just want to blow up and die with gratitude. I also feel like a good mom when I see one of my children treating someone else kindly. When I see them being good people, I think, O.K., I’m on the right path.

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Write to Eliza Berman at eliza.berman@time.com