You know, that balance we're told holds the key to a happy, healthy life. That perfect equilibrium, where we make enough time for our kids, our spouses, our careers, our homes, our friends, and, oh yes, ourselves. Balance is supposed to be the kinder, gentler alternative to "having it all," but Thurman doesn't buy it.
When Katie Couric joined CBS Evening News as its anchor and managing
editor last September after a 15-year run as co-anchor of NBC's Today
show, she famously became the first woman to hold that solo anchor position.
Behind the scenes, she also became a driving force behind CBS's newly enhanced
health and medical coverage.
"I told [my producers], 'We must have a strong medical unit,'"
Couric says. In response, they've "really beefed it up, and I think we're
getting ready to beef it up even...
"The idea of balance itself is kind of an assault on reason," says Thurman, 42, best known for playing the vengeful, blood-spattered Bride in the Kill Bill films and the slinky gangster's wife in Pulp Fiction. Now she's in her first significant TV role as a famous scene-stealing actor who tries her hand at musical theater in the buzziest show of the season, NBC's Smash.
"Both your family and your career require full-time commitments to really do well," she says. "It's somewhat impossible to give all your attention to two things or four things."
So what do you do? "You have to pick one [commitment] that you know you can't live with yourself if you screw up," Thurman says. "I couldn't live with myself if I screwed up my kids."
Thurman on Working Motherhood
That's why Thurman took a four-year hiatus in the late 1990s, doing only a few small, low-budget projects after giving birth to daughter Maya, who is 14 this July. Son Levon, now 10, was born the year before Kill Bill hit the multiplexes. Fortunately for Thurman, director Quentin Tarantino had written the part of The Bride for her and refused to recast the role, delaying production for months while she was pregnant.
"I probably very much shortchanged my career when I did that, but it was worth it," she says. "Still, it's not easy. I have a wonderful relationship with my children, and they're the most important thing to me, but one does wish to have a creative, independent life as a person, too. It's hard to be a self-sufficient provider and parent and have a foot in both worlds."
Another break in the action may be coming soon -- Thurman revealed in February that she is pregnant with her third child, a girl, due in late summer. Dad is her boyfriend, financier Arpad "Arki" Busson, who also has two children from a previous marriage.