She’s been in the public eye for three decades, as a model, movie star, TV actress, Broadway performer, and children’s-book author (her latest is It’s the Best Day Ever, Dad!). And after chronicling her postpartum depression in Down Came the Rain, Brooke landed at the heart of an important women’s-health issue.
Now eight years into her marriage with writer and producer Chris Henchy, the couple is raising two daughters, Rowan, 6, and Grier, 3. Read on to find out how she balances her crazy-busy life, and what else happened the day the world’s most famous movie star popped by to apologize.
Q: You devote a lot of time to charities, especially Tupperware’s Chain of Confidence campaign. Why are you so passionate about that and the SMART Girls program that Tupperware sponsors?
A: What Tupperware has stood for all these years is the independence of women, allowing women to work from home, earn a livingand that’s what this Boys & Girls Clubs of America program, the SMART Girls program, is about. You just get these young women who don’t necessarily have a healthy family life, or they’re being raised by their grandmother, and this is a place they can go to and they can get power. That’s what you want for these little people when they go out as young women.
Q: Is it true you had a sun scare?
A: Yeah, this [Brooke touches a patch on her upper left lip] keeps coming back. I’ve had it for a while, but a year ago my doctor froze it off and it turned out it was precancerous. I was panicked. I thought, Of course! Everything’s started to be in place, and now I have to get that? When everything is going well, my Catholic guilt rears its ugly head and says, “No, you’re not allowed to be that happy. We’re gonna give you cancer now!”
Q: Is that why you’re now working with Coppertone’s NutraShield campaign?
A: I was from the generation of sitting out with oil and tin foil over your schoolbook [to reflect more sun]. It wasn’t until I had kids that I started being more concerned. We need to protect our skin and our kids’ skin, and we need to do it now. I put it on before [my makeup]. It’s easier to use sunblock as a moisturizer and then call it a day. I incorporate it into my morning, and keep it in the daily tooth-care area so that it seems like a daily routine.
Q: You’ve been married eight years. What’s the best marriage advice you’ve ever heard?
A: Someone wrote on a card at my shower, “Don’t ever go to bed angry.” It’s one of the oldest ones in the book, but it’s so interesting what happens when you do. It’s toxic. Your dreams are affected, and then in the morning, you’ve already been damaged. We’ll resolve at least to disagree. And then, I just find I sleep so much better.
Q: What’s most rewardingand challengingabout raising two girls?
A: Their vulnerability is the best and worst thing. The baby will hold my face and say, “I just love you so much, Mommy.” And it’s like, Oh, ohhh, I don’t know if I can live up to this! And, yet, it’s the best. They’ll make you crazy, but they’ll also make you so happy that you’re crazy.