I had an opportunity to interview Heidi Klum a few weeks ago and you can read my interview below.
Heidi Klum’s new TV show called Seriously Funny kids airs on Lifetime TV on Monday evenings, and it is life unscripted with kids and Heidi is tasked to get kids to “seriously funny”, and this mother of four says with kids, life is never not funny. Heidi has a great sense of humor, and she sounded like a mom who has rules for her kids (every day outdoor play, craft time and not too much TV for example) but who knows how to have fun with the kids and be a involved parent, even in Beverly Hills, where her children go to private school, and have craft time with a tutor-like craft instructor. You can read more about the show and watch full episodes at MyLifetime.com
Interview with Heidi Klum
What Heidi said about working with kids…
There is a saying in Hollywood that you should never work with children or animals, and now you chose to work with children. Is it difficult?
I have to say it’s true. It is very very hard. I have to say that into going into this I thought it was going to much easier. Mainly because I have four kids of my own. I thougt I was ready, but they are my children, and they know me and they know the tones of my voices etc. and these children don’t know my “voice” and I can’t teach them manners, they are not my kids. And it takes me a while to figure out who they are and what’s their story. And I want to know them before the show so we know what’s going on.
I interview 12-13 children a day, sometimes I can talk with a kid for an hour an half and nothing funny happens. Sometimes when we pre-interview them and, you know, we do a little chat with them, they’re really fun and outgoing and they really can’t stop talking. And then all of a sudden, they’re on my set with the lights and they totally clam up and they don’t say anything. With kids you have to be open minded and you need to go with the flow.
So you never really know what you’re going to get, but it’s kind of the challenge because you go in there. They’re not actors, I’m not an actress, I’m not a comedian.; I’m a mom, and, yes, I have done a little bit of television, but I’m not a professional. So I chat with them as a grownup and I ask them questions that might interest children, but also grownups because really it is a show for grownups.
How does your show differ from the Kids Say the Darnest Things with Bill Cosby?
We have same producers, and Bill Cosby is an actor, and a professional host and a TV person. I came intot this via Project Runway, and this is not what I do for living. There is an audience, people are clapping, it’s something new and different, and I’m new to it. Also the children have changed so much in the past 10-15 years ago, and they speak differently today than back then. Kids are still innocent, but they do speak differently. They talk back more. Thinking back when I was a kid, I was a quiet as a mouse, I wouldn’t have talked abck like the kids do today. If I would have been on television I wouldn’t have talked back the way some kids talk back to me. Kids were so well behaved and proper, and it has defenately changed. They are good and well behaved kids now too.
More what Heidi said about children…
What else are you learning about how kids see the world these days?
Kids are honest. They’ll talk about their parents. They say they’re on their ‘machines’ as they call them. Like their blackberry or their phone or their computer. Being a parent, myself, it’s hard to kind of do it all. You are so expected now to have an e-mail and return it within the day, or within the next 20 minutes. Sometimes I get a call of ‘I e-mailed you 20 minutes ago, why haven’t you replied?’ and I’m like, maybe because I’m sitting down with my kids, or I was driving them to school in the morning. The kids, they’re like, ‘why are you always looking into that computer?’ or ‘why are you not talking to me?’ So I hear those complaints a lot.
You just talk to the kids, and they will answer you. Sometimes they’ll lie, but those lies are quite funny. Or they’ll lie about silly things. About how they saw the tooth fairy, or that when they were in a plane they saw angels in the clouds. But all in all, they’re innocent and not polluted with all the madness that are in the adult world.
Parenting advice from Heidi..
One piece of advice for parents? How to be a better parent?
Before you have children and family you have to know that your life is changing and your life is goung to change and that you are going to step back and you have to understand before going into. When you have children my advice is try to see it from the kids’ side. Soemtimes you have a busy day and you come home and you feel like saying “not now” but you have to undertand from their point of way and stop working and focus on your children. And just get used to the fact that sometimes as a parent you just get puked on.
What Heidi said about her own family…
Tell us about your own children and what kind of family time or traditions you have.
I try to understand where kids are coming from and I try to use humor and we have fun together as a family. I like to be the mom who says yeah, come to our house. They do fashion shows at our house all the time.
I love fun work books, we watch a lot of movies on plane, and we do arts and crafts. Kids go to out a lot and they have to go outside every day. I like that they are active and I don’t want them to sit on the computer and work. They just go to karate, sometimes the boys want to do ballet, we have an art teacher who brings us a lot of craft ideas and they always do wonderful projects. We make giagantic welcome signs when daddy or I go out of the town, and we try to make a memory of everything.
Heidi talks about the most embarrassing things in her childhood
Are things different for your children than what your childhood was like?
Yes, it’s very different. My daughter wears uniforms to school and we had a long discussion about the uniforms, I never wore an uniform to school when I was growing up. We didn’t have much money when I was growing up, and everyone else was wearing Lacoste, but we couldn’t afford it. One time my parents went on vacation to Thailand, and bought a bag of Lacoste crocodiles and my mom sewed them on my T-shirts and sweaters so I could feel like I fit in.
Did you ever do anything seriously funny or embarrassing as a child?
The funniest things was probably snail races, we had a lot of snails, and we did snail races. We didn’t have as much toys as our kids have today. We were always outside. While I never stuck anything up in my nose, I would pee in my pants a lot. That was always very embarrassing. I never loved going to the bathroom at school so I would hold it in all day – which is the worst thing to do. Then my Mom couldn’t get to the door in time and I would be ringing the door bell and pee in my pants.
What Heidi said about Seal and romance
How do you keep the romance up in your marriage?
Key number one – you have to marry someone who you really think is hot and sexy. I still look at Seal, and I think he is hot and sexy and I get the butterflies. You have to work to keep yourself hot and sexy too. Sure I workout and keep my body fit for my job, but also for my husband. You should keep yourself healthy, and I want to look good for my husband. For my work too, but I want to do it for my husband.
How do make time for your marriage?
You just have to make time for it. It’s same with spring cleaning or eating right – you have to just do it. We have four kids and love our kids, but we just have to do it – get time just for us. You have to talk about grown up things, you can’t always talk about children. I know everyone can’t have nanny but grandparents are so important – they teach children so much, but it’s great to go out with your husband and have grandparents to take care of the kids.
But is Heidi teaching her children to live life to the fullest?
You are a career woman and a super mom and truly live life to the fullest on every aspect, how are you teaching your children to live life to the fullest too?
No, I don’t because I don’t think my kids should worry about making money and jobs or anything like that. I want them to be kids.
So you think you need money to live life to the fullest and be happy?
Yes. I like to travel around the world, and that to me is living life to the fullest. I love going to India, and seeing new cultures, and I guess you could travel without much money too, but I couldn’t.