On-screen, Dani Kind plays Anne Carlson, an unapologetic mom, friend and psychiatrist whose wit is as sharp as her tongue. In real life, the Workin’ Mom of two boys says there’s a bit of every woman in the cast of characters within her — and most of the women she knows — which is why the show is such a hit with not only Canadians but with audiences worldwide.
We sat down with Kind to talk about being Anne, Season 6 and the authenticity of Workin’ Moms.
By Rachel Naud
We have to say, Workin’ Moms is truly a laugh-out-loud show.
It makes me laugh out loud too. It’s funny because when I read it on the page, I’m like ‘is that funny? Is what we’re doing funny?’ We’re in the bubble shooting it and every year, I’m just like ‘I don’t know.’ And then when I see it cut together, I think ‘this is so good.’
How has your character, Anne, evolved throughout the series?
I think she comes off as angry or aggressive or whatever, and I feel like with anybody in life, whatever works for you, works for you until it doesn’t. I think this season she takes a look at that for her. I think she has gotten away with a lot of things in her life because she’s Anne and that’s how she is. Like, the things she has said in Mommy and Me and the way she has addressed other women. I think emotionally she’s going to have to take a look at herself this year in a way that she hasn’t in any of the previous years.
What is Anne in for this season?
She’s back in Toronto and has to start from ground zero again. She doesn’t have any clients anymore. She has done this before, but this is post-Cochrane. She is discombobulated. She was all messed up. So, this year of her starting over again is almost starting from the most vulnerable place. She’s by herself because her husband is in Cochrane, and she still has a teenage daughter and a toddler and she’s in it.
How would you describe Anne’s Workin’ Mom parenting style with Dani’s Workin’ Mom parenting style?
I mean, I would never jump out of a bush and tell my kid to punch me in the dick. Like I would never do that. But I’m so close to that. I definitely talk to my kids like they’re adults. I don’t talk to them like they’re babies. I never have. I feel like any character I play, I have to go so deep inside myself to see what the thread is between me and her, and I think that half the people in my life are ‘Omg you’re so Anne’ and the other half are like ‘you couldn’t be further from her,’ which I find really interesting because those are the people that know me the most. She’s based on me, but she’s also based on women that are really close to me. It’s kind of a combined effort. I’d say we’re pretty close. Of all the characters, I’m definitely closest to her.
Show going into Season 6, why do you think this show resonates with its audience?
It’s like we’re in this time where it feels like women have had a big movement, and at the same time, it feels like nothing has happened. And I feel like mothers, in particular, have been portrayed as super virginal and just maternal or just a mess and there’s no in-between. We all know that if you have kids or not, that’s not any woman that I know. We are so much more complicated than that, and I think the show between all the characters – if you combine them all into one woman — that’s everyone I know.
Throughout the show, we see how the women navigate their friendships. Why do you think it’s important for women to invest and take care of their friendships during this time of life when they’re so busy with work and family?
Oh my god, it would be a dream to think that you can get everything you need from your partner but that’s not realistic. A lot of the friendships I’ve had, I had before my partner. They know me in a different way and long before my partner. They’re more like family to me. I think it takes a lot of effort to juggle so many things in life but it’s the consistency of friendships that push you. This season takes a look at this as well. The people that know you the most are pushing you up the mountain when you don’t have the energy to. Also, there’s nothing like female friendships. They are lifelines.
Speaking of relationships, what is Anne’s dynamic with her teen daughter, Alice, this season?
I think they have gone through it together. Especially that book cover reveal in the last season. I think that Anne stood up for Alice and Alice saw that in a different way, and I think that connected them to take them into this next season. It’s not perfect, shit still goes down because she’s her and Alice is Alice and there’s friction there because of their personalities.
Why do you love playing Anne?
I have never played comedy before. I was never considered for comedic roles in our country before this show. Being on a comedy set is like nothing else – it’s so fun. Anne is the closest to a real woman that I have ever played in terms of how we speak to each other and the emotions that I feel as her. And I feel so connected to her now because it’s been so long. Because we shoot in Toronto, I’ve driven by Anne’s house so many times and, I know this sounds crazy, but I get confused if it’s Anne’s memory or my memory because she feels so much a part of me. I just love her. I don’t ever want to stop playing her.
How do you think the city of Toronto almost plays its own character in the show?
I think Catherine (Reitman) spoke about this in the beginning that she wanted to shoot Toronto for her experience of Toronto. This is a really cool city. It’s vibrant. It’s multicultural. And she wanted to highlight it. I think they’ve done a good job based on what locations they choose to shoot in. Showing that visually has really brought Toronto to life in a different way. Especially, since most shows pretend like we’re somewhere else. But they don’t beat it over the head with it and make it really Canadian or some cliché version of Canada. It’s just women living in the city!
Workin’ Moms Season Six premieres on CBC on Tuesday, January 4 at 9/9:30NT.