Sutton Foster on How Motherhood Helped Her Bond More With 'Younger' Costar Hilary Duff: 'We Got A lot Closer'

Younger star Sutton Foster talks bonding with her costars over parenthood, being in London for the revival of Anything Goes, and safe summer fun.

An image of Sutton Foster.
Photo: Getty Images.

The pandemic is easing, and this cool mom is on the loose! The charismatic star of Younger, Sutton Foster, mom to Emily, 4, just arrived in London, where she's preparing to join the revival of Anything Goes on the West End this summer. She'll play the lead, Reno Sweeney, a role that won Foster her second Tony award in 2011.

The star talks about introducing her daughter to musicals, bonding with her Younger costars over parenthood, and getting out for family fun this summer.

Is that Emily singing in the background? I love it.

Yeah. This morning I was serenaded with "Put On Your Sunday Clothes" from Hello, Dolly! We usually watch the Toy Story movies with Emily. But one day I came home and my husband was showing her West Side Story. I was like, "You must stop before the rumble." But he had just started off showing her the dance at the gym, and then "I Feel Pretty." We went through a big West Side Story phase and now we've switched to Hello, Dolly! And before we came to London, my husband started showing her Oliver. Now she's learning to sing with a Cockney accent. With Anything Goes, I'm so excited for her to go into a theater and see something live on the stage. I have a feeling it's going to blow her mind. I cannot wait.

The finale of Younger just aired. You and your costar, Hilary Duff, are both parents and you became a parent during your time with the series. Were you leaning on each other during those early days of parenthood?

Because my daughter was adopted, I wasn't telling anyone about our process. So many things can happen with adoption. We were keeping it close to the vest. During season three, I had gone through fertility treatments and had confided in Hilary and other coworkers, so everyone knew I went through that. Fertility treatments hadn't worked for us. Then our daughter was born, and I was at the hospital, and I thought, "I should probably let everyone know." So I sent everyone a text with, "Guess what?" and a picture of me holding Emily. Everyone was texting back, "Oh my God! What's going on?"

As for Hilary, she's incredible. She has three kids now and I don't know how she does it. We were always close, but when I became a mom, we got a lot closer. There were a lot of other parents on the show, too. Peter Hermann has three kids, Debi Mazar has two daughters, Miriam Shor has two daughters. There was so much family. And we were like family. We were always showing each other photos and trying to out-cute each other with whatever happened over the weekend.

So now we’ll ask you for some advice. How is traveling with a preschooler these days? How do you get her to wear her mask?

When we started wearing masks, she was like, "Take it off, take it off." But for one of our first big outings, to Target or something, I said, "If you want to come, you have to wear a mask." And instantly the mask became no big deal. Even traveling, I was super impressed with her. Our kids are so resilient. They just go with the flow. I think all the rules and mask-wearing are probably harder for the adults, you know? The kids are like, "This is the world. Okay, cool." And we're like, "Wait, what?"

And the best part of travel is now you get to be somewhere new for the summer!

We're so excited to be in London. I've never worked and lived here before. It's an incredible city. We spend as much time outside as we can, exploring and getting lost. I'm currently partnering with Banana Boat sunscreen and they have this Pedal for Our Planet challenge. I'll do it here in London. We love to bike as a family.

Our question about sunscreen is always, “How do you get it on a little kid?”

Sunscreen has been a part of Emily's life since she was a baby. I wasn't like that as a kid. Back then, you never thought about it until your nose was bright red. But I've always put sunscreen on her and because we've made it part of her routine, it's not a huge issue. Though I do always remind her, "It's non-negotiable." Those are obviously big words for a 4-year-old, but she understands that she can't get out of it. Finally, Banana Boat has this mineral foam sunscreen that comes in colors-blue, for instance, that then rubs in clear. There are different colors and scents and it makes sunscreen more fun.

Everything will be more fun now that Zoom school is over.

Emily had to do Zoom as a 3-year-old which was super weird, because we had never introduced that kind of screentime. That was spring of 2020. Last September, her preschool started in-person class again. We waited a bit and then sent her in and felt fortunate that she was with other kids. Age 4 has just been crazy. She exploded with imagination and creativity and vocabulary. She's like this tiny grown-up who lives in our house, it's so cool. And to experience life through your kid's eyes, seeing things as if for the first time, it's just so pure and innocent and incredible.

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