Actresses explain what it is like to portray maternal roles on screen
by Jaskiran Kaur | Fri, 07 Jan 2022 06:59:43 GMT
Image Source: Vanity Fair, Independent Co UK

Acting is not an easy job. Great actors tend to enter the skin of their characters or wear their shoes to achieve a life-like realness to their acting portrayals. One such great work of realistic imitation to a real-life person was Kristen Stewart's Princess Diana. Not only did she pose a striking resemblance to the late princess, but entirely got the character of the princess on spot. Gracefully imitating the princess's initial shyness in the Royal family to the later tumult that she had to suffer, no one could have done it better than Stewart. 

One of the most incredible aspects of her portrayal of the character had to be showcasing the princess's maternal side, and it is safe to say that Stewart did justice to part without being a mother in the first place. There was a natural relaxed aura in all the scenes the actress had with Prince Harry and Prince William actors in the film that you would expect from a real mother and her sons. The actors made sure to build an off-screen intimacy to make their scenes natural and real. 

Talking about Kristen, Prince Harry actor Freddie Spry shared, “I liked her straight away.” He added, “She was so fun, and we played games. Once we went for a walk in the snow, and we were playing, and she slipped and got mud literally all over her body. She was so cool about it. We laughed so much.”

Jack Nielen, the actor who played Prince William, shared a similar account, stating, “She is the coolest person I know. She is also super kind, friendly, and always very generous with her time, always there to chat and have a laugh. She made everything seem so easy and always treated me seriously — I really liked that.”

Director Pablo Larrain was the actual mastermind behind the strategy, who put all those motherly scenes of the actress together. Making them bond before shooting the film meant that Kristen would get attached to the kids and develop an instinct to protect them, just as you would expect a real mother to do. The subtle connection of the actress with the children really peeked through in her scenes with them. 

“You see pictures of her looking like a lioness protecting those kids,” marked Stewart.

Reflecting back on the times when the trio had to shoot the "soldier game" in the film portraying Diana, William, and Harry, the trio had very much become the characters they were playing. Spry shared that the director gave them the control of the moment, saying, “He just wanted it to be as natural as possible, so told us just to go for it.” He continued, “Kristen always had jokes or something cool to tell us that totally relaxed my mind and made me feel like I could be Harry in the scene.” “Everyone was completely wrapped up at the moment — it felt very real,” Neilen added.

Stewart and the children enjoyed their time on the sets of Spencer; Credits: Pinterest

Of course, the child actors really enjoyed their time on the sets, and when it was time to leave, they were really saddened. Spry mentioned, “Although I was so excited to go home and see my family, I was actually really sad. I loved driving around the country lanes singing at the top of my voice in the open-top sports car on the back of a lorry. I don’t think I will forget that ever.” Yet the Twilight actress later admitted, “I was intimidated by the kids.” “I’ve just never functioned around anyone younger than me, ever,” she explained. The actress comes from a home where she is the youngest child and has herself worked as a child star.

But playing a mother onscreen is not always fun and games. Getting to portray Monica on Friends has to be the highlight of Courteney Coxx's acting career. The most memorable moments from the series are when Monica was trying to have a baby on the series but ended up learning that she couldn't. Sadly, something similar was going on in the reality of the actress at the time. Not only did she have to act her real-life situation onscreen, but also had to add humor. It was especially difficult when the character of Rachel, played by Jennifer Aniston, was having a child in the series. 

In 2004, the actress shared with NBC, “I remember one time I just had a miscarriage and Rachel was giving birth. It was like that same time. Oh my God, it was terrible having to be funny.” The actress was diagnosed with MTHFR gene mutation. It leads to the formation of antibodies and blood clots that would attack the fetus and result in miscarriage. Courtney had gone through seven miscarriages and two IVF procedures before she finally could get pregnant. 

Sharing her experience with the troubles of attaining motherhood, the actress said, “Well it was really weird because everyone in my family has kids. I mean, they pop out like it's nobody's business. No one in my family has a problem. So to me, I just thought this would not be a problem at all." "I get pregnant pretty easily, but I have a hard time keeping them," explained Courtney. 

“So now I decided to do in vitro, and I did that twice. And then, give me shots of heparin every day - that's a blood thinner. Take a baby aspirin,” she added. And that is how she was blessed with her daughter Coco.