Keri Russell, star of ‘Extraordinary Measures,’ on raising kids in NYC, her favorite Brooklyn spots.
Q. After living in California for so many years, why did you make the move to Manhattan?
A. I just wanted a break for a little bit. I wanted to change. I’m so glad I did because, for the first time, really, because I was working, I got to be with girlfriends. I got to go to birthday parties and go out dancing, and just read books all day. I did not work, and I did not have to read scripts. I just acted like a kid.
Q. Now that you’re living in Brooklyn and have a son of your own, River, what are your favorite spots around town?
A. We go to the park, we go to the farmers’ market in Brooklyn. I love having BAM right here. BAM just had this retrospective on “Sesame Street,” and we saw it, like, on a full movie screen. It was River’s first movie.
Q. In “Extraordinary Measures,” which premieres Friday (see related story on p. 14), you play a mother who fights to find a cure for her children’s disease. As a mom, too, did you feel more connected to the role?
A.Yeah. Rosie O’Donnell has this great quote. She said something like, “Before you have kids, your life is black and white, and then it’s in color.” It’s just a whole new set of feelings that aren’t as accessible to you before you have kids. So you see something sad happening to any kid, and you just instantly access, “Oh my God, what if that happened to my kid?” Everyone just sort of becomes your kid.
Q. Did you and your husband, Shane Deary, have any reservations about raising children in the Big Apple?
A. Shane and I grew up with a lot of nature around. I grew up in Colorado, and he grew up on Martha’s Vineyard. So there are tradeoffs. You get all this city culture. We walk to go see Cate Blanchett in “A Streetcar Named Desire,” and we walk to go to this retrospective on Cary Grant, and it was so cool. But when [you see] the schools have asphalt playgrounds, you’re like, “Oh, right. That’s how the city kids do it.”