Teri Hatcher: I’m a Mother First

It’s hard to imagine Desperate Housewives without Teri Hatcher, which may be why her role as Susan Mayer has earned her a Golden Globe and SAG Award as well as an Emmy nomination.

Now Hatcher is getting the chance to fulfill her dream of being in an animated film. She provides the voices of the mothers – from real to evil – in the 3D version of Coraline, based on the award-winning horror novella and directed by Henry Selick [ The Nightmare Before Christmas].

Q: All of the mothers in Coraline have their faults. How would you rate yourself as a mother?

A: I think I’m really good. I’ve made a lot of career sacrifices and relationship sacrifices in order to make my daughter a priority — to be there to be able to give her what I think she needs and what we need together. I will never be sorry for that a day in my life. That’s the most important thing I’ve ever done and the most important thing I ever will do.

Q: So was playing the witchy mom the biggest challenge?

A: Actually, the hardest one for me was the real mother who was sort of letting other things get in the way of relating to her daughter because that’s not a place I often let myself go. Henry Selick used to say to me, ‘I know why this is the hardest role for you because you’re a hugger.’ Coraline’s mom is not a hugger.

Q: What was your life like growing up?

A: It was probably more like Coraline’s. I had a little tiny closet, and I would go in there when I got home from school and I would sit on a towel and pretend I was in the North Pole and I would take like one little cracker and imagine it was the last thing there ever was to eat. Most of my games dealt with survival. I don’t really want to go into my personal history which I’ve talked about before, but I think there was probably some psychological reasons that I explored the idea of surviving in my imagination.

Q: Are you hopeful that you’ll find someone to share your daughter with in a relationship?

A: I think there is a part of you that hopes, as you get older, that your experience allows you to mature past the pain that some past situations have sucked you into. I think there is the child-like part of wanting to be in love and romanced and trying to understand the complicated relationships and dynamics and signals between men and women that probably never goes away.

Q: So what do you do for fun?

A: Nothing too glamorous. I always think all the hoopla and the gowns and the fancy bags and the trip to the fancy place is great, but when you can sit at home with your friends and play Monopoly and listen to music from the 70s, that’s good too. So if you’ve got that, then no one can take anything away from you. I have very old cars, most of my cars are 15 years or older, and I like to drive them around. So you don’t see me at a lot of Hollywood-y things. I define myself as a mother first.

Q: Are you strict about TV watching and video games?

A: I’ve created a space for my daughter to have a very imaginative life by removing television and video games. It’s not like I banned them, we just never watched television when she was growing up. It left a space to fill with running around the yard pretending to be Peter Pan and making poison soup that you feed to the witch, just whatever crazy idea you want to come up with that ultimately, I think, lets children work out issues of their own growth and their own timely experience. I think that’s what dreams are about. That’s what imagination is about.

Q: Have you heard anything from Gale Harold who was in a hot relationship with your character on Desperate Housewives before his motorcycle accident?

A: As far as I know, he’s totally healthy. We’ve exchanged a few e-mails in which he seemed ready to go. I keep expecting him to be back. I think maybe what’s going on is that the storyline sort of got derailed and they’re probably trying to figure out how to bring him back.

Q: You’ve taken some hard knocks on that show.

A: I’ve broken ribs. I’ve broken fingers. I got a skin infection in a scene where Ian and Susan fell into a lake. We were shooting in this completely filthy water and they showed me bacteria reports on it to try to convince me it was OK. I was like, ‘But there’s ducks pooping in there right now.’ So I only have myself to blame for getting sick. But I am the ‘go for it’ girl. I’m the first person to throw myself down a set of stairs and I have fun doing it.

By Hayley on February 04, 2009 under Teri Hatcher3 comments


Jeff Atkinson said:

I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

February 4th, 2009



odo said:

Teri your words are correct …

March 7th, 2009



huangmin said:

Hi Teri,
I am a chinese mechanical engineer.I love the show desperate housewives, especially the role you played.
It’s said you majored in engineer in college and I wonder how you got into the world of movies.
I have another question for you:is the word get used as frequently in American daily life as in desperate housewives?
thank you soooo much!

June 21st, 2009


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