You probably know her best as Laurie Keller on “Cougar Town,” but we’ve been loving Busy Philipps since way back in her “Freaks and Geeks” days. She first caught our eye as the bad girl we all wished we could be, Kim Kelly. And, of course, we watched her when she popped up as Joey’s freshman roommate Audrey on “Dawson’s Creek.” Since then, Busy’s been, well, busy. She’s racked up tons of great television and film roles and somehow managed to have eek out some time to get married, become a mother and accompany her best friend Michelle Williams to every major award show. How does she do it?
Because we’re so impressed, we’ve recruited Busy as a guest advice columnist here at The Frisky. After the jump, she answers a bunch of readers questions on everything from keeping the romance alive in a long term relationship, living together before marriage, her favorite travel destination, and whether she would support her daughter Birdie pursuing an acting career.
What do you think about the timing of moving in with a boyfriend? Is it important to live independently (i.e., not with a parent) before taking the step to move in with someone for the first time?
Honestly, I feel like it all depends on your relationship and truthfully where you live. I know people who move in together after a fairly short time because they’re living in a place where the rent is particularly high and it doesn’t make much sense to live in separate places when most or all of your nights are spent together… Personally, I lived alone for two years, without a roommate or boyfriend before I got married to my husband. And even though we did spend most of our time together, we didn’t move in together until after our wedding. I’m so grateful for all the years that I lived with roommates or alone before I got married. My husband is the only man I’ve ever lived with, and that’s pretty cool, I think.
What city/country has been your favorite place to ever visit or work? Why?
I love love LOVE Turks and Caicos. It is, to this day, been my favorite vacation! The water was amazing, the food was incredible and I did yoga everyday! Perfect!
I like to keep my life free of clutter and stress — I hate wasting time looking for stuff or running around town. What are your five must-haves to carry in your purse?
Epicurean lip balm, my credit card, iPhone, a dollar in quarters for parking meters, and mascara.
I love your style! Do you have any secret vintage places or favorite stores to shop at? Give us the inside scoop!
Shareen Downtown. If you come to Los Angeles, go visit her. A few years ago, I would have never told you this but she did a reality show about her amazing shops so I feel like the secret is out!
I would love to know how best to juggle an insane schedule of acting, being married, social events with friends and for work, and have a balanced personal life? Do you sometimes just take time off so you can have space from it all? How do you prioritize?
The greatest part of being on a TV show (other than fulfilling my lifelong dream of working as an actress on television) is that the schedule is so incredible for someone with kids (or a kid, in my case). I work from mid-August until March. Then I’m off until the following August! It allows me to take plenty of family vacations, do school and camp pickups, have BBQs with my friends, reconnect with my husband and generally relax and feel like a normal person for a bit. I am the kind of person that likes to do everything themselves, I’m a bit of a control freak, but when I am working, I need to be able to rely on people to help me pick up the slack. We have a wonderful nanny Iliana who helps out tremendously, my husband pitches in and I have great friends who understand if I fall off the face of the earth for a few months while I’m working!
First of all, I’m a huge fan of yours and think you’re the best part of “Cougar Town.” I am working on putting together a surprise trip for me and my girlfriend. We’re from San Diego and I want to pop the big question on the trip — I want to ask her to marry me. Do I need to give her friends and family the heads up or do I let it play out and we can tell them together?
I feel like if you are asking a lady to marry you then you know her well enough to know whether asking her parents blessing is something that is important to them or not. Personally, I would have been super annoyed if my husband had asked my parents for permission or something. I guess in some capacity it’s charming but come on, I’m not some possession to be traded for like 10 goats and a cart, or whatever. Deciding to spend your life with someone is deeply personal and while having support of friends and family is very important, I say wait and let them all in on the happy news together!
If you could be on any current TV show besides Cougar Town, what would you want to be on?
This is SO hard for me because I am a HUGE television fan and my fear is if I had a chance to be on one of my favorite shows, “Mad Men” for example, it would take me out of the realism of the world and somehow lessen my enjoyment of it!
I’m currently in a long term relationship with my significant other, and I was wondering what tips you have for making our relationship seem new again, even after we’ve been dating for years.
It’s tough, man! My husband and I have been together for seven years! What really does it for us is taking little trips together, just the two of us. We turn our phones off, stop checking Twitter or Grantland and just have fun together. We are also very communicative with one another about how we feel and what’s going on. Look, the fact is, your relationship may never feel new again, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Over time, relationships evolve and transform and ultimately end up deeper. The secret is not keeping it new or trying to recapture something you once had, it’s learning to evolve with each other by communicating and talking about what you need or what you may feel is missing…
What is the most romantic move a guy can make?
Never ask a girl if you can kiss her — if you’re getting the vibe, just do it! When I was single, that was the biggest turn off – if a guy asked if he could kiss me. Honestly, if you have to ask, you shouldn’t be doing it.
Since “Dawson’s Creek,” most of your work has been comedic. Do you hope to get back into drama or are you most comfortable in the comedy space?
I like being able to do both. The nice thing about “Cougar Town” is that I’ve for sure had moments of drama on the show, like the breakup of Laurie and Smith last year. In many ways I just find comedy more interesting and more realistic than dramas. I don’t know a lot of people who live their lives in a constant state of high drama with their friends and relationships, but I do know a lot of people who laugh a lot and do bits and live their lives more closely to what’s on comedy shows.
Ten years from now, your teenage daughter tells you she wants to be an actress. How do you respond?
You know, I was lucky enough to have two parents who encouraged me to follow my dreams of acting professionally. I can only hope I will be as generous to my daughter. I find it really strange when I hear actors who say “Never will my child go into acting as a career.” I actually find it incredibly selfish. Why wouldn’t you want your child to follow their passion or dream? It is not the easiest profession, to be sure, and the rejection is brutal. But most things worth having in life involve some sacrifices. I will say, I would be hesitant to let Birdie attempt professional acting until she was 18. I do believe that kids belong in school and theater is an extra-curricular activity.