Sarah Chalke on Women who give her Strength and Confidence
Sarah Chalke has a wildly impressive, decades-spanning career with iconic television roles such as Becky Conner (Second Becky, if you will) on Roseanne to Dr. Elliot Reid on Scrubs, but now the actress is taking on one of her most anticipated parts yet: the mother to a daughter.
Chalke, who is welcoming her second child in a few weeks, tells Smart Girls that she can’t wait to raise a daughter and wants for her to “have a strong sense of self and feel like she can do whatever she wants.”
The Mother’s Day (how fitting!) star says that she hopes to “take the strength and confidence” she got from her own mother and impart that to her daughter. In fact, Chalke acknowledges she was lucky enough to grow up with women on and off-stage who made her the person she is today.
“My grandmother was always an [inspiration],” she tells us. “She escaped Germany after the second World War and had to start her life over again so many times… which is the definition of grit.”
Armed with the determination and inspiration from the generations before her, Chalke began her acting career at a young age. She urges that any young woman pursue her dreams, no matter what the field. “Whatever it is that you love, go out there and do it. Don’t wait for anything or anyone,” she says.
Landing her breakthrough role on Roseanne at just 16-years-old, Chalke calls her time on the series “an incredible learning experience.” While the actress admits she was “very nervous” working on Roseanne, she got a front row-seat of watching comedians like Roseanne Barr,Laurie Metcalf, and Sarah Gilbert work their magic.
Fittingly enough, it seems whenever Chalke has played women learning who they are and their place in the world, it has echoed where she is in her personal life. For instance, she recalls her work on Scrubs, in which she transitioned from playing an eccentric intern to a headstrong doctor, Chalke says her time on that series allowed her to “gain a lot more confidence” in herself, too.
Chalke says she continues to be inspired and challenged in her industry, whether she’s working on the “collaborative, warm, fun” female-centric set of Mother’s Day, which included the likes ofKate Hudson and Margo Martindale, or simply in awe of all those around her.
“I’m not just saying this because I’m talking to you guys, but Amy Poehler [inspires me],” she says with a laugh. “Amy Poehler and Tina Fey are, in terms of the comedy world, are who I look up to.” Chalke also cites fellow funny ladies like Amy Schumer and Lena Dunham, stating they are “Such strong voices right now. They are empowering young women to do what they want to do, be who they want to be, and say what they want to say.”
Of course, Chalke has some wise words of her own to share with the young women, who she admires in their own right. “It’s such an exciting time for girls to be growing up. This next generation of women… what they’re going to be able to do in this world is exciting.”
Chalke (who defines herself as someone who was an “optimistic, but very serious kid”) hopes to impart the wisdom to young women that she wish she’d had when she was starting out: “Don’t take everything so seriously… Enjoy the ride and enjoy the journey.”
Sounds like she’s had the role of Smart Girl down pat for quite some time now.
Mother’s Day opens in theaters on April 29.
Image courtesy of the production