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Kyra Sedgwick on Work, Family, and Empty Nests

The actress opens up about her long marriage, life as a working mom, and her new movie, 'The Possession.'

Balancing Mothering and Work continued...

That's a child's birthright, Sedgwick says. "They should have their parents there all the time, but that's not the way the world works. Like Freud said, we need love and work." She believes the family separations required for doing The Closer taught her how to handle that. "Before I left to start filming the show, someone told me to keep my heart where my feet were. I tried to do that. My heart was really at home, of course, but I wanted to show up and really be present for this."

Now she's focused on the upcoming release of The Possession, which represents a bit of a departure for her. "It's cool, man," she says. "Ole [director Ole Bornedal] is like the Martin Scorsese of Denmark. I'd never done a movie like this before, and I don't think it reinvents the genre, but it's really good. I play a mom who's splitting up with her husband and the divorce is affecting the children. The movie is a metaphor about what happens when something evil gets into a family that loves each other, and how they have to come together. And there's this little girl in it, Natasha Calis, who's like the next Jodie Foster."

Kyra Sedgwick's Turbulent Childhood

With her rather dramatic family history, Sedgwick's cards might have predicted a much less sunny personal life. Her father is one of the New England Sedgwicks, an old-money and old-drama family in which mental illness, drug addiction, and suicide figured along with judgeships and names on the Declaration of Independence. One of her cousins was the model Edie Sedgwick, who became famous as artist Andy Warhol's muse in the 1960s and died of a drug overdose in the early 1970s.

Kyra was just 6 when her parents split, and says it wasn't until well after she and Bacon had married that she truly understood the impact of that trauma. "I was so young when I got married. I felt like Kev was this raft I clung to. I suddenly felt at home and safe for the first time in my whole life when I met him," she says.

"But it took years later until I let myself have the feelings and know how deeply I was affected by the divorce of my parents. When I did realize it, I thought, 'I will never do that! I'm so grateful this will never happen to my kids.'  I don't think I would have stayed in a desperately unhappy marriage, but divorce was something I would have avoided at almost all costs. But I didn't have to. It was easy. I'm lucky. I couldn't be happier, really."

"When I first had my kids, I thought, 'I really wish I was the person who could be happy and fulfilled only being a mom.' But that's not me," she says.

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