Poppy Montgomery Talks About Her Son, Her New Red Hair And New Show “Unforgettable”
HollywoodNews.com: Former Without a Trace star Poppy Mongomery returns to television this fall with Unforgettable. She plays Carrie Wells, a woman who can remember every day of her life in full detail. The police find her skills helpful for solving mysteries, and Marilu Henner, who has the condition in real life, is a consultant on the show.
Montgomery, now sporting hot red hair, met the Television Critics Association today to discuss the show. After the presentation, we caught up with her and got to talking about motherhood, her new show and how she looks so great! Unforgettable airs on CBS this fall.
Q: How good is your memory?
PM: Depends on what day. Today it’s a little foggy. We flew last night on the redeye because we’re shooting right now so we just flew in. It’s not as good today. Some days it’s really good. If I eat right and I sleep right, it’s good. It’s not as good as Marilu Henner’s. There’s no question there.
Q: So she’s been a good resource?
PM: She’s fantastic and she’s got so much energy and bubbly and she’s bright and interesting. I think I drilled her so much on memory she was exhausted at the end of it I would think.
Q: Do you wish you had this ability?
PM: I would like to try it for a day and see how I did. I’m one of those people who if my boyfriend told me I didn’t look good in my dress and I could never forget it, it would probably not be good for our relationship. So I’m thinking maybe I’d like to test it out first.
Q: What do you love about Carrie?
PM: I just think she’s very vulnerable. She’s got a great sense of humor. She’s tough but she’s in love with Al but she doesn’t know how to have a relationship because of this memory that she has. I like that she’s a badass but she’s really very vulnerable underneath it. And I like seeing a girl who kicks some butt on TV. It’s cool.
Q: Are you training for that?
PM: Yeah, I’ve been training with my trainer to strengthen up because we do have a lot of stunts. I was like, “Yeah, what do I get to do this week?” I have a trainer who tells me what to do because I literally can’t fathom how it all works. So she’s like, “Do 20 pushups” and I’m like, “Okay.” It works like that and it’s pretty basic. It’s weights and cardio and some yoga.
Q: Have you gotten hurt at all?
PM: No, not really. We have a really good stunt coordinator who helps me with that. In the pilot we had a really good scene. I was like yeah, I get to beat this guy up. I’m working out my aggression issues apparently in my stunts. But it’s basically just training, staying in shape for it so I’m not panting at the end of it.
Q: Can you eat what you want?
PM: No, I can’t eat what I want. Oh my God, it’s torture. I have to eat like nuts and string cheese and apples. I just can’t eat carbs and all I want is a burger. I could eat 12 donuts in a sitting from Winchell’s, glazed donuts without thinking. I love junky junk food. I like that cake from Wal-Mart. It’s like $9.99 for a cake the size of that coffee table. It’s really sweet with frosting on top. I love that. I love junk food.
Q: After taking time off to enjoy being a mom, did you keep in shape for the camera?
PM: Oh my God, it totally went away and I gained like 30 pounds. With my pregnancy I gained 80. I was 200 pounds when I gave birth. I was like, “My baby must weight at least 120.”
Q: Have you been on any extreme diets?
PM: Not extreme, not really. I just cut out all the stuff that I shouldn’t be eating like two pints of Haagen Dazs before 11 a.m. I was like, “It’s just cream, milk and sugar. It can’t be bad.” I just get simple about it. I just eat nothing that I really enjoy is the whole rule. Protein shakes, raw almonds, apples. I eat every three hours like clockwork or I turn into a monster.
Q: Is it more fun being a redhead or a blonde?
PM: Oh my God, I think a redhead. Just because it’s so red. I don’t know, it’s like fire. I like it better. It’s a lot of maintenance though. As much as I’d like to say it’s my natural [color], it’s once a week at the hair salon making it. Suddenly I’m blonde. I wake up, I’m like, “What happened to the red?”
Q: Do your fans still recognize you?
PM: They didn’t. And now that the show’s started airing promos, people are realizing that it’s the same girl.
Q: Does your son like it?
PM: He doesn’t notice. He’s so blonde, he’s so used to me looking different moment to moment. The hair’s pretty startling. People either like red hair or they don’t like red hair. There’s not much in between. My boyfriend’s like, “Wow, it’s bright.” In the sunlight it’s bright but I love it.
Q: Did you decide not to work while your son was little?
PM: I’d done Without a Trace for so long. I worked a little bi but I didn’t work a lot. I did a movie. Prior to that I really didn’t do anything. I took a little time which was good because I’ve been away from Jackson so much this year.
Q: How does Jackson adjust?
PM: He doesn’t. I’m like, “Don’t you care at all?” I call and I want to talk to him on the phone, he’s like, “I’m rewaxing.” I’m like, “You’re three. What three-year-old rewaxes? What are you doing, getting a pedicure?” I don’t even know what that means.
Q: Does he sound like an American or Aussie?
PM: He’s got some really bizarre accent. We don’t know what it is. He can’t say his Ls. He sounds like he’s from the Bronx, I don’t know what his accent is.
Q: Did you like not working?
PM: No, I hated not working. I liked it for a little while and then I started to get antsy and ready to go back to work. But I wanted to get him into preschool and settled into that routine. That was good and his dad’s an actor too so we can kind of trade off which is good. His dad’s being Mr. Mom and I’m in New York which is tough. It’s not easy to be away.
Q: Was it a big decision to move to New York for this show?
PM: I did have to move to New York. Well, Jackson hasn’t moved yet. His dad and him are staying here until the show airs essentially and we see how it goes, because he’s in pre-school, he thinks he’s Spider-Man and he’s not ready for New York yet. So as soon as the show airs and we get a read on it, then he’ll be so I’m back and forth a little bit, which is an adjustment.
Q: What is the tattoo on your arm?
PM: Creativity, union and grace, I think. Although someone told me actually it means something completely different. So now it’s just decorative. I don’t actually know what it means.
Q: Will Carrie have it?
PM: You know, we’ve been covering it up but I’m trying to work it in there. I think it’d be kinda cool but I don’t know if we can clear it.
Q: Have you taken Jackson to Australia?
PM: Yeah, a couple times.
Q: How does he like it?
PM: He loves it because my mom has a farm in Ariba on the Central Coast. She got him a little horse, like a miniature pony called Dundee. I was like, “Yeah, but no. I don’t really…” she was like, “He’ll be fine!” as he’s off into the distance but he loves it there. He loves that there’s wide open space.
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