It's been about 10 years since Molly Shannon left behind her beloved "Saturday Night Live" characters for the big screen. Best known for portraying Catholic schoolgirl Mary Katherine Gallagher and "licensed joyologist" Helen Madden, Shannon is currently starring in "Scary Movie 5" and is the Excedrin Extra Strength spokeswoman.
In 2004, the 48-year-old "Superstar" actress married Fritz Chestnut and together they have a daughter, Stella, and a son, Nolan. Recently I spoke to Shannon about her family, balancing it all, her upcoming roles and how she deals with life's little headaches.
You've spent most of your career playing humorous roles. How does humor play a role in your family?
"I definitely have a silly sense of humor. I'm easygoing with my kids. My husband is funny -- he texts me funny things all day. I feel like so much creativity comes from silliness and being free, so I definitely encourage that through play."
You're so busy. How do you balance your work and family life?
"It's such a personal thing to figure out. I feel so happy that I built a career before I had kids. There was a period when I was so work-oriented, but I'm so glad it all worked out. I try not to work too much because I really love being with my kids. It's hard balancing it all. Luckily I'm able to do a TV show and take a few weeks off. I can sort of pick and choose acting stuff, and this way I can take a little time off to be with the kids. So that works out for us."
What have your kids taught you about life?
"They've taught me to be really patient because sometimes it's hard and all I say is, 'Hurry, let's go.' Also trying to be present, that's hard, too. I feel like moms do so much -- they work, they're organizing play dates, returning emails. I have compassion for working moms and how much they do. Just being in the moment is also something my kids have taught me. I enjoy life and enjoy the moment -- I'm really happy where I am. I'm embracing my life because I have everything I've ever wanted."
What are some of your favorite family moments?
"We like to go bike riding. My daughter and I walk to the farmers' market on weekends. We go to the toy store. My son and I like to go outside and I watch him use his skateboard. We play Monopoly and watch movies. We go shoe shopping. My daughter and I get our nails done. In the morning we go to Pete's Coffee and I let them finish their homework. I drive them to school so we have time to talk. I like a lot of kids in the house, so we always have people over."
Since you're working with Excedrin, how do you deal with the headaches of life?
I try not to take stuff too seriously. I try to have a sense of humor about it. I tell myself to relax, that I'm going to be fine. I try to be gentle on myself. You can't check off everything on your list. There are things you have to let go of. To be more patient with myself.
What's up next for you?
"I have a movie coming out called 'Trust Me,' premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival. I'm in 'Scary Movie 5' and I did a guest star role in 'Hannibal' on NBC."