Sunday May 12, 2013
Stories by GORDON KHO, MUMTAJ BEGUM and KENNETH CHAW
From fictional characters to real life superheroes, mothers in the entertainment industry inspire us in many ways.
THE image of an “ideal” mother is unmistakable. Clad in a pastel-coloured blouse with hair tied up in a bun, she lovingly packs her child’s lunch box and plants a kiss on his forehead as the school bus honks outside. A soft-spoken, graceful and loving woman, this is the picture of the “perfect” mum many of us have.
However, mums have evolved to meet the needs of our increasingly demanding society. Not only do they have to juggle motherhood and a career, but some have to wear the pants in the family, too, resulting in mothers who are strong, bold and powerful.
In conjunction with Mother’s Day (today!), Star2 looks at various personalities in the entertainment industry to celebrate mothers who are tough as nails – physically, mentally and emotionally.
Dressed for TV success
REVENGE’S Victoria Grayson (played by Madeleine Stowe) leads the charge as the most glamorous and best-dressed mother on television. The philanthropist (as well as full-time schemer), mother of two and Hamptons socialite looks amazing in all her couture outfits, from Roland Mouret to Vera Wang to Valentino.
Don’t even bother asking her to dress in Herve Leger’s iconic bandage dress which s he so favoured in the first season – she had her assistant burn them because that’s so yesterday!
For someone who throws soirees all the time, Victoria has to be fashion forward. Bad has never looked so good.
Queen of duds
IF YOU are going to rule a kingdom, you better do it with style. And no one does it better than the Evil Queen, Regina (Lana Parrilla, Once Upon A Time).
In a kingdom far, far away, she wears elaborate (read: dramatic) gowns with high collars and festooned with jewels and sequins.
Regina, who has an adopted son in present-day Storybrooke, has amazing accessories too – especially her headgears which range from lace caps to eye-catching fascinators.
Philip Treacy would be so proud.
A la mode
JUST because Rayna James (Connie Britton, Nashville) is a country superstar, doesn’t mean she is constantly in designer labels from head to toe.
The mother of two young children favours high street fashion, picking simple tops and jackets (from Forever 21) to pair with skinn y jeans (no “mom jeans” for this mum!).
She leaves the flashy outfits to rival Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere). When the occasion calls for it, like at red carpet events, Rayna dresses in Versace or Prada for added pizzazz.
OUR favourite real estate agent Jules Cobb (Courteney Cox, Cougar Town) not only has a hot body but an array of beautiful clothes too.
Living in Florida means Jules is able to show more skin which is why she opts for sleeveless tops and short dresses. But don’t worry, they are all age-a ppropriate for the 40-something single mother of one.
Her style is often relaxed yet stylish. She loves bodyhugging dresses (Dolce & Gabbana is her favourite) for a night out and gingham shirts or knitted sweaters from Marc Jacobs paired with white jeans for a day out with besties, Ellie and Laurie.
IF WE were to bestow The Best Dressed crown to someone at the law firm of Lockhart/Gardner, it would be the sassy Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) of The Good Wife. But since she’s not a mother (not to our knowledge at least), we pick runner-up Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies).
The mother of two teenagers favours classic pieces in muted colours like grey and black. Alicia’s work uniform, three-piece suits (sometimes pantsuits), are from no-nonsense labels like Armani, Michael Kors and Fendi. And to make sure she gets to court on time, Alicia wears a Cartier gold watch.
She keeps it classy ... after all she’s The Good Wife.
Sensational sing-le mums
Strong Enough for her sons
FOLK-rock singer Sheryl Crow has had it hard. Just months after ending her relationship with now disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong in 2006, Crow was diagnosed with breast cancer. She fought hard, undergoing radiation therapy, and a year following her diagnosis, Crow was cancer free.
But instead of taking things easy, Crow, 45, shifted into high gear and started a family on her own by adopting a baby boy Wyatt (in 2007), and another one in 2010 named Levi.
She brings the kids on tour with her, and tries to keep things “normal” by tucking them into bed and reading them a bedtime story before she has to perform. Now that’s a rock star mum!
Like a Genie In A Bottle
IT’S hard to believe that the once adorable Mickey Mouse Club Mouseketeer Christina Aguilera is now a mother. The singer gave birth to Max in 2008, when she was still married to Jordan Bratman. After their divorce in 2010, the pair share joint custody of their son. Aguilera, 32, was raised by a single mum herself, and is thankful that Bratman has been a dedicated father to Max.
Being a single mum hasn’t stopped Aguilera from furthering her career either. Since having Max, she has starred in her first feature film (Burlesque), become a mentor and judge on the hit reality singing competition The Voice and released a new album (Lotus).
There’s no slowing down this mother.
She’s a Ray Of Light
MADONNA is perhaps the coolest mum anyone could ask for. With an ever-evolving musical style, bad@$$ fashion sense and a body to die for, the 54-year-old singer had her first child Lourdes Leon in 1996.
A few years later, Madonna married British director Guy Ritchie and they had two children together – Rocco and David Banda, whom they adopted from Malawi. After the couple divorced, Madonna adopted another Malawian child, Mercy James.
The pop queen admitted in the British tabloid, The Sun that she felt like her “head is going to explode” from all her responsibilities as a single working mum. However, her children seem to be doing fine and her career is still going strong (she released MDNA last year). This mum is like a machine!
Jenny From The Block is a mum
SULTRY singer, dancer and actress Jennifer Lopez became a single mum after ending her seven-year marriage to Marc Anthony in 2011.
Lopez’s twins Emme and Maximilian have since become her top priority, inspiring her to write One Step At A Time, a ballad about how she wished her kids wouldn’t grow up so quickly.
The gorgeous 42-year-old Latin American not only stays on top of things at home but at work as well. She was a judge for two seasons on American Idol, hosted and produced the TV show Q’Viva, starred in a movie (What To Expect When You’re Expecting) and embarked on a world tour – she performed in Kuala Lumpur recently looking as hot as ever!
This single mum certainly has her family and professional life under control.
Mum’s love, Day And Night
CANTOPOP singer Sandy Lam once said that the joys and pains of her relationship with Taiwanese songwriter and producer Jonathan Lee inspired her to write some of her best songs. The couple married in 1998, but divorced in 2004.
These days, though, it seems like Lam’s biggest inspiration in life is her 15-year-old daughter Li Xi Er.
Lam made the uncharacteristic decision to play the guitar for the first time on stage during the Beijing leg of her MMXII tour last year. She told China Daily that it was her daughter who taught her to play the guitar.
The singer, known for her heartbreak hits such as Scars, said that although they were inspired by painful experiences, thanks to her daughter, she isn’t so sad now when she sings them in her shows.
She shared, “Now I am a mother and I have more fun with my daughter. When I sing those heartbreaking songs now, I feel as if I’m telling someone else’s stories.”
Sharp cookies of the big screen
IN Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) is always prepared when it comes to her son’s safety. She has guns stashed in the middle of nowhere, and she goes the distance even when her own life is put at risk because of it.
Trapped in a high-security asylum? No problem. She knows how to break the guard’s teeth or inject them with cleaning liquid to escape.
Sarah has built her physical strength because she knows something about her son’s future that keeps her on this perpetual high alert – John Connor (Edward Furlong) is destined to be the leader of a generation when artificial intelligence takes over the world.
The problem solver
What do you do when your house is broken into while you’re sleeping? It’s a nightmare nobody should experience. Luckily for Meg Altman (Jodie Foster) and her daughter (Kristen Stewart) in Panic Room, their massive four-storey home has a ... panic room, enclosed in steel and complete with CCTV monitors.
Thinking quickly, Meg gets herself and her daughter into the room, away from the maniacal crooks in her house. Only problem is, there is no way to communicate with anyone else on the outside either. Worse, her daughter is sick and needs medication every couple of hours.
Though terrified, Meg knows she must do everything to keep her daughter safe and alive, even if it means she has to make herself the bait.
Don’t mess with soccer mums, especially one who once was a trained assassin, like Samantha (Geena Davis) in The Long Kiss Goodnight.
One Christmas eve, Samantha, who is suffering from amnesia, discovers she can kill a deer by breaking its neck with her bare hands – which she does after accidentally hitting it with her car and figures it’s a mercy killing – and chop carrots at incredible speed.
Samantha’s quiet life turns upside down when her past returns to haunt her, just as these skills are returning to her. She also has a daughter to protect now, which is something she takes very seriously as the baddies who kidnap her daughter discover a tad too late.
In her hands, a doll becomes a weapon and a frozen pond becomes a war zone.
When Kill Bill’s The Bride (Uma Thurman) learns she’s pregnant, she quits from the “killing people for a living” business. But her boss, Bill (David Carradine), does not allow her to venture too far and tracks her down at the church where she’s getting married.
One bloody mess later, The Bride wakes up from a coma and sets her sights on killing Bill for robbing her of a chance to become a mother. (Spoiler alert!) When she discovers that her daughter is still alive, she is more determined than ever to complete her mission.
Helen Parr’s super flexibility and power in The Incredibles allow her to clean the house and chase after her kids like no other mums can.
Even though this retired superheroine has strict house rules, she understands that her children are doing their best managing their powers.
She knows that when it’s time to put on a suit and fight the baddies, there might be some trepidation, but she trusts her children to protect other members of the family.
Needless to say, this former Elastigirl is the one who wears the spandex in the Parr household.