Kyra Sedgwick is a well-meaning helicopter mom in ABC’s ‘Call Your Mother’
Kyra Sedgwick never flew halfway across the country because her kids didn’t return her calls, but she understands that empty-nest feeling.
The New York native has returned to ABC in “Call Your Mother” as Jean Raines, a devoted mom of two who uproots her life and moves from Iowa to Los Angeles to stay in their lives — literally and figuratively.
The sitcom, which premiered Wednesday, balances Jean’s neuroses with her affection: Everything she does is out of love, no matter how annoying and overbearing it is.
“They’re constantly at battle with each other,” Sedgwick, 55, told the Daily News. “She knows that she shouldn’t fix things, but she wants to make it better. She knows that she can’t fix things, but that won’t stop her from trying.”
Jean’s adult kids, Jackie (Rachel Sennott) and Freddie (Joey Bragg), need a little guidance, not a permanent babysitter — but the line can be thin. Sedgwick, the real-life mother of 31-year-old Travis and 28-year-old Sosie with husband Kevin Bacon, knows all about that boundary struggle.
“Even as someone who worked during both pregnancies and worked the whole rearing of my children, I still had the feeling, when they moved out and onward, that I was getting fired from the job that I felt was all-consuming — the thing I thought about from the minute I woke up in the morning and the minute I went to sleep,” she told The News.
“If you’ve done your job well, they leave,” she said.
Sedgwick learned the lesson. Her “Call Your Mother” character, Jean, didn’t.
Jean follows her children to Los Angeles, rents an Airbnb and befriends the neighbor’s dog. But, Sedgwick promised, she also starts to build her own life — including a flirtation with the owner of her neighbor dog.
“Both the mother and the kids are in the same stage of ‘what’s happening with my life,’” Sedgwick told The News. “Things are untethered.”
Sedgwick hopes a story familiar in her own life will feel that way for viewers too.
During the pandemic, she said, people found themselves “pushed up” against their families, trapped at home together with no end in sight.
“Whether we like it or not, something like being in a pandemic, really facing your mortality, makes you more understanding,” she told The News.
“Even if we have to fight through (expletive), we’re not bailing. How many people in my life really give a (expletive) about me? Ten, maybe, who really really really care, and most of them are my family.”
That’s the point of “Call Your Mother:” how much family cares. They may be aggravating and nosy, but most of them just care. Or are trying to care.
“It’s not science fiction or superheroes,” Sedgwick told The News. “It’s just regular people bumbling about trying to figure it out.”
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