Kyra Sedgwick Up Close

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Hands-On Working Mom

Sedgwick's passion for drama runs in the family: Her second cousin was the '60s pop icon Edie Sedgwick. And there are two roles that changed the course of Sedgwick's life forever. Playing Tzeitel in an eighth-grade production of Fiddler on the Roof sealed her fate as an actress. "I knew then there was nothing else I wanted to do," she has said. The other part came in 1988, when she played opposite Kevin Bacon in a TV production of the Lanford Wilson play Lemon Sky. Sedgwick was 22; Bacon was 29. They fell in love and several months later got married.

As a kid I never felt like I had a real home," says Sedgwick, who has three older brothers and two older sisters. "My parents split when I was 3. My mother remarried when I was 6 and when I moved into my stepfather's house it always felt like it was their place, not mine. When I met Kevin I thought, This feels like home. "I don't know how at 22 I went, 'Yeah, that's the guy,' and was actually right about it," she continues. "Usually you pick someone who has all the worst qualities of your father or something. Someone was watching over me when I picked Kevin, because I couldn't have been that smart."

After they had their first child, in 1989, she and Bacon made a pact: One of them would stay home with the baby while the other one worked. Though Sedgwick signed on for the occasional high-profile film -- 1995's Something to Talk About with Dennis Quaid and Julia Roberts and 1996's Phenomenon with John Travolta -- Hollywood quickly took a backseat to motherhood. She reveled in being home when her kids came back from school. She was hands-on for those last-minute, late-night homework sessions. And on the weekends she organized family hikes at their farmhouse in Connecticut.

"I remember the first time I went away after having my children," she says. "It was to the Sundance writers and directors lab in Utah. The first few days I was incapable of even taking three steps in front of me. I had forgotten what it felt like to be by myself. But after about a week there was a little shift and I remember thinking, Oh yeah, I'm not just defined by my family. I do have a self."

These days she tries to focus on the upside of being a working mom. For one thing, her schedule has helped Sosie and Bacon forge a unique bond. "My primary relationship was always with my mother and I think it's that way for most girls," says Sedgwick. "This has forced a situation where my daughter is having a great relationship with her father. It's beautiful to see."

During her rare downtime Sedgwick likes to work out -- practicing yoga, surfing, hiking near her Santa Monica home -- and her toned, athletic figure shows it. "I want to be a good role model for my daughter and to embrace my body at this age, not to be obsessed with looking younger."

Unlike many Hollywood couples, she and Bacon keep a low profile and rarely end up in the tabloids. The exception was late last year when they made headlines because they had invested some money with Bernie Madoff. "The fact that someone blew the whistle on Madoff three times and nobody did anything about it? It was hideous," says Sedgwick. She won't reveal how much she and Bacon lost. "But I think the economy has forced a lot of people to look inward and go, What really fulfills me so I don't have to go out and buy? Getting back to simple pleasures is a good thing."

She downs the last of her iced tea and returns to the subject of her kids as the interview wraps up. "There are moments when I ask the universe, 'Is this the right thing to be doing right now?'" she says. "The older you get the more you realize that the time you have with your children is short. But I trust that I wouldn't be here if I wasn't supposed to be. I don't have any regrets."

Continued on page 3:  Earth Mother

 

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