Mamas At Work: ‘Girls On The Bus’ Star Christina Elmore On Preparing For Baby #3 And Still Being Called Condola

JD Barnes

Christina Elmore is returning to TV to star in a project that, after much delay, is finally making its premiere, and it has a story that is right on time.

“We made the show at the end of 2022 into early 2023 because of life and the strike and budgets, or who knows? It was pushed,” she says of her new Max political drama Girls on the Bus, premiering March 14. “But I’m so happy that it’s going to exist in the world. I loved making this show.”

In it, Elmore plays Kimberlyn Kendrick, a “seemingly self-assured” political reporter working at a conservative news network who has her first experience riding along on presidential candidate’s press bus, covering the frenzy. “She’s trying to hustle and see if this is actually what she really wants. And the question is, if it is, is this enough?”

Amid the chaos of our own real-life election year, the series is a welcomed addition to streaming playlists. “Sometimes the doors close because they need to open at the right time. And I think it’s great that it’s coming out in an election year, especially such a charged, deja vu election year,” Elmore says.

Also coming out this year? Another baby for the actress and her husband Ryan Duke.

“This is my third. So many kids,” the mother of two boys jokes. “It was a special little surprise. I thought our family was complete and then maybe God was like, ‘It’s not.’”

“I’m excited now,” she adds. “I think in the beginning I was just shocked and I was also so very sick. I suffer from hyperemesis gravidarum, which is an extreme version of morning sickness. It’s been a struggle, but I’m finally feeling better just in time for press stuff, which is blessing.”

The year is off to a full start for Elmore, and it’s only going to get more exciting. With that in mind, we had to chat with the supermom about how she handles a bustling career, mothering two kids and a third on the way, marriage, and her own needs. She says it takes plenty of grace — and warm baths. Check out what she had to say about that, being “Condola” to Insecure stans to this day, if there’s a future for her former BET comedy Twenties, and saving Black TV shows.

ESSENCE: With a third child coming and just in general right now too, how do you balance career with motherhood?

Christina Elmore: You know what? I think that I had to just throw away the idea of ever finding balance. And I think it’s true for so many of the characters in [Girls on the Bus] too, that you’re going to excel in one part of your life and another part is going to suffer. And that is not just okay, but it’s the only way that it can be. I think I spent a long time thinking that I had to be firing on all cylinders in every area of my life, and then I would just feel like a failure when I wasn’t. And now I’ve reframed that like, “Oh, no, no. There’s going to be a time for this and a time for that. And there’s going to be times when this is really going great and this is slacking a little bit, and it doesn’t make it so that I’m doing bad in an area. That’s just life.” And so I don’t know that I’ll ever have balance, and I’m becoming more and more okay with that.

I love that. I think that’s honest. I feel like a lot of people are saying that because we’re getting out of that mode of, “You’ve got to find balance.” It’s so impossible.

Yeah. And I feel like we all thought that that would make us feel good, but it didn’t. I think it’s led to a generation of women who feel burned out and tired, and then still on top of that they’re doing something wrong. And it was a myth to begin with. I love the idea that we can have it all, but you honestly, you can’t have it all at once, and that’s okay.

Facts. And like you said, I think it’s like you just have to pick and choose. Today may not be the day that you’re super committed to one thing or another. You’re always going to be committed to your kids and they come first, but you may not do the greatest job. You may not get to take them outside. You may not get to cook.

Yeah. It’s not going to be a crafting day every day, and there’s not going to be educational activities every day. There’s going to be a little more TV than you imagine some days. And the kitchen’s not going to be clean all day, and that’s okay. And your job, it’s going to get what it gets.

I feel like what I have started to learn is that I should develop a sense for what area needs more of my attention. And that’s been helpful. I haven’t found balance, but I have found a keener awareness of when I need to step up and when it’s okay to let go in certain areas.

Mamas At Work: ‘Girls On The Bus’ Star Christina Elmore On Preparing For Baby #3, Still Being Called Condola, And The Status Of ‘Twenties’
JD Barnes

So true, so true. And how do you honor your time alone when you do get it? Are you just doing nothing? Are you vibing out, listening to music?

All of the above. Especially now that I’m pregnant, I’m so into baths. I am a person who puts my kids to bed at 7:30 p.m. no matter what. They are going to bed. I don’t care if they’re waking up at 6:00 a.m. I need those nighttime hours. I do. I have to have them. I do this thing where every night, my house looks crazy all during the day, and then at 7:30, once my kids are in bed, I clean my house, I finish up any task I have to do. And now, recently, I’ve been taking a bath three, four times a week, and it’s been heaven.

Nice! So you can choose which one you want to answer next: What is the biggest thing motherhood has taught you about yourself or the biggest advice you would offer another mother that you’ve learned?

I think I will choose the biggest thing that I’ve learned from motherhood is to have more grace, to have more grace for myself, to have more grace for my children. I think that we expect a lot of ourselves in mothering and then we save up all of our grace for our kids. Of course they’re supposed to make mistakes and they’re still learning. And guess what? We are too. And I’ve been doing this now, I guess, for seven years, but I haven’t mastered it. I’m going to be learning every day and I’m grateful for the mistakes because I feel like they’ve taught me something. So I have more grace for myself, and I definitely extend that to my babies.

One last thing I did want to ask you, do people when they see you still call you some variation of Condola?

Yes. And I’m like, “How much longer will that last?” They do, and it’s never bothered me, but I am shocked by how long its stuck. I will say, there’s a lot more calling her her name, calling her Condola, but I’m ready, I’m excited for one day when somebody says, “Hey, Christina,” because I haven’t heard that in a while [laughs].

That’s hilarious. But how does it feel though, because we were having a conversation recently about a lot of shows that had Black leads and a large black cast, they are being canceled. So knowing that and knowing just in the short amount of time that your character had for us to be introduced to you in the last seasons of Insecure how important your character was and how big that show was, how does it feel to still have that connection with people?

It’s a real gift because that was the first time I worked on a show that I was already a fan of. I was an avid viewer of Insecure before I ever was on it. And so it was such a gift to be on a show that I respected and loved so much. I thought that that was still the dawning of the era of interesting, realistic, messy, prestige Black shows. I didn’t know that we were rounding out the era, and I pray that that’s not true. But it will always be such a gift to be able to have been a part of a show that I think was so important to the conversation around what it means to be Black, and introduced another way of looking at Black young people, young women specifically, to the world that we all know, but the world now got to see us in ways they hadn’t before.

And I’m confused as to why these shows are getting canceled left and right and not getting greenlit left and right when the biggest thing I hear is that people are rewatching and binging Insecure and coming back to it. And that’s the case for so many of our older shows too. People are still watching Living Single and they’re going back to Moesha. And so it surprises me that so many of our shows are losing their light. I hope that this is just a blip, a post-strike blip and that we’ll be coming back.

Yeah, yeah, I hope so. And with that being said, and I’ll leave you, I did want to ask, is [BET’s] Twenties done? I really enjoyed it.

I will say our contracts expired, but it was never actually officially canceled, so I guess there’s still light at the end of the tunnel maybe, but it would take a Herculean effort to bring it back for a third season. But you’re right, I miss that show every day, and I felt like it was a little nugget, a little gem that not a lot of people knew about. But it was a special little show that I hope sees some sort of light. It might have to be 40s by the time it comes back, but I really did love that show. I have a high hopes for it too, but I don’t know. I know Lena [Waithe] loves it and loves that story and would be happy to tell it again. So hopefully there’s some world in which that happens in a different iteration at some point.

Oh my gosh. Yeah. Come to Netflix or something. Make it happen.

Right? Make it happen. Tell them to call Lena real quick.

Girls on the Bus arrive on Max Thursday, March 14.

Source link

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Shopping cart