.: Holly Marie Combs: "Charming" New Mom :.
By Lynn Barker
Sheís one of the "Charmed Ones", three good Wiccan sisters who battle demons while still trying to lead semi-normal lives.
New mom Holly Marie Combs mirrors her character Piper Halliwell by creating a family although Holly doesnít have a ďWhite LighterĒ for a hubby or two magical boys to raise. She has one boy Finley Arthur Donoho, born last April and a ďnormalĒ hubby David Donoho who was a crew member on her ďCharmedĒ set.
When we visited Paramount Studios earlier this month to celebrate the 150th episode of the series as well as the release of the DVD of the first seasonís episodes, we got to watch pretty Holly showing off Finley in ďmom-modeĒ and as a sexy third of the successful sister trio when she helped fellow actors Alyssa Milano and Rose McGowan cut a huge celebration cake.
After the cake munching, press members got to chat with the cast of ďCharmedĒ on the attic set of their San Francisco manor house. We were warned not to get any cake crumbs in the Book of Shadows as we sat down with Holly, who walked in wearing jeans, black tank and brown jacket and carrying a big vanilla latte which she explained that she needed as the sleep-deprived mom of a 10 month old.
TeenTelevision: What has having a baby done to change you?
Holly: Itís changed just about everything about my life. It definitely puts everything in perspective. Things that were so important to you mean absolutely nothing and the status of his diaper means absolutely everything.
TeenTelevision: What is it like looking back on the season one shows that are on the DVD?
Holly: You know, in some respects, it seems just like yesterday and in other ways it seems like a lifetime ago. I remembered all my dialogue and now there have been so many shows, I look back and I go, ďI have no idea what Iím going to do next. I have no idea what Iím going to say next.Ē Iím like wow, that was a long time ago. But itís a testament to the show itself. Itís been fun and itís flown by.
TeenTelevision: Is it a different dynamic today with Rose instead of Shannen?
Holly:I don't know. It kind of seems the same kind of dynamic. We were three women thrust into this atmosphere where we kind of have to band together and get through the day and I think we still do the same thing , although I have a few less wrinkles in that picture (on the DVD cover).
TeenTelevision: You said you got up at 4:00 AM? How do you do it, get up at 4 to take care of the baby?
Holly: Letís see. Last night I went to bed about midnight, baby woke up at 2:30, my husband got home at 3:30, baby woke up again at 4:30 and I got up for good at five. So thereís no telling what Iím going to say today because I really donít have all my faculties.
TeenTelevision: How do you work?
Holly:Itís weird. When you become a mom you just learn how to function sleep deprived and you do get used to it. I came back to work when he was three months old and the first few months were rough. And then somehow you learn to exist on no sleep. And now when he does upon occasion sleep through the night, which is like a full six hours, youíre pretty sure heís suffocating. So you donít sleep anyway.
TeenTelevision: Do the other girls feel like aunties?
Holly: They do. Iím sure you saw a little bit of them fighting over whoís going to hold him. And somehow he always comes back to me with lipstick all over him. So heís either going to be very in love with women when he grows up or heís going to be gay. Heís going to be a cross dresser.
TeenTelevision: So Alyssa and Rose play with him?
Holly: They take him in the makeup trailer and do bad things to his hair. The girls gave him a mohawk the other day. So I canít let him out of my sight for very long.
TeenTelevision: Do you take him with you pretty much everywhere?
Holly: I do because, thank God, heís such a good traveler. He adapts so well. He can pretty much sleep anywhere. I was very, very worried about him having a normal kind of life and being comfortable and not carted around everywhere, but heís so good. We went on location in Las Vegas with my husband and weíd go out to the casino and he thinks thereís just a lot of people in the living room. Like, wow, itís kind of loud and thereís a lot of people here today.
TeenTelevision: Can you see yourself just being a full time mom?
Holly: My son is my number one job but I don't know if I could ever stop doing my day job. My husband and I have actually talked about me retiring. Iím like Ďwhoa, Iím 31, letís not say the R wordí. But I don't think I could. If I wasnít working here, Iíd probably be working somewhere else.
TeenTelevision: Was is a help that your character Piper has kids on the show?
Holly: Well, I kind of got to experiment and learn how to do things with my TV babies. And thank God I could hand them off at the end of the day when they got cranky, you know, so I wasnít terribly comfortable with kids before I had to work with our babies because I just had never been around them. I didnít have any younger baby sisters or brothers. So they were my guinea pigs and they were very patient with me and they were very good to me and thankfully Iím very adept at mothering now. Iíve got my TV babies and my real baby and Iím just surrounded by babies all day long.
TeenTelevision: You also have pets at home. Who takes care of them?
Holly: Well, that was part of the problem last night. I actually got home at 10 but I didnít get in bed Ďtil 12 because I fed animals for about two hours last night.
TeenTelevision: How many?
Holly: my goodness. I have five dogs, two of them are my husbandís so I donít take account of them. I only have three personally myself but we have joint custody of the other two. Letís see, three cats, four rabbits, I had to get rid of the turtle when we had the baby, you know the salmonella thing, so he went to a nice big pond in my friendís backyard. Four horses and two birds. I think thatís everything.
TeenTelevision: Any idea why the show has lasted so long?
Holly: You know, it surprises me every day but at the same time, I think if it ended tomorrow, Iíd be just as surprised. Itís been part of my life for so long and Iíve kind of grown up on the show. Itís been an emotional roller coaster for me, itís been a professional roller coaster. On the show I met my husband, I got married, I had a baby. And it was a major part of my 20s.
TeenTelevision: How long could you play the same character?
Holly: Thatís not difficult for me to do. I think my characterís changed very much from the beginning and has kind of compressed into a whole new person, just like normal people on a day to day basis go through life changes. Characters do too. I don't think you should ever get in a rut because no person is the same every day.
TeenTelevision: You and husband Leo on the show have had a rocky relationship.
Holly:Yeah, I think sheís been dumped by Leo more times than any character on television. Iím really beginning to take it personally. That relationship has been so complicated and so up and down, I canít say that I can relate to it myself, so I canít really think of an outcome. But I know that the audience and our fan base very much wants Piper and Leo to be together, so depending on how long we have with the show, we will map out the course of that relationship accordingly and I think we have to give the audience what it wants.
TeenTelevision: Will the show still have name bands playing at your club P3?
Holly: Yes, but thatís another thing that got too expensive. We do. The bands are kind of something that happen if we have money left over, and we donít always have money left over.
TeenTelevision: Have you learned anything from your character Piper?
Holly: I don't know. The character and I both went kind of through emotional up and downs together, and a lot of her dealing with Prueís death was me dealing with Shannenís departure and weíre very similar. Itís tough to keep the line between your character and yourself very clear and distinct sometimes, especially when youíve been doing it for seven years. Iím very proud of my character, the way that sheís matured and where she came from and she was a very hyperactive, worrisome, very unsure of herself woman and sheís matured into this self confident mother that is very suddenly headstrong. And sheís evolved a little bit to be more like Prue which was kind of by design, when I became the oldest sister, and sheíll most likely end up some version of Prue.
TeenTelevision: What can we expect from the 150th episode?
Holly: Gosh, I have two words. Julian McMahon. I keep telling people heís coming to give me hell. Which I appreciate very much and weíll be very happy to see him. He adds an energy to the set that is just unlike anybody else. Heís so much fun to work with.
TeenTelevision: Did they ask you to do a commentary for the DVD?
Holly: You know, they didnít ask us to do one. I think we would have gladly done one because itís so far removed from our memory banks, if we sat down and actually watched it, weíd be like, ďOh my God.Ē
TeenTelevision: What has been your favorite episode?
Holly: A scene from Holly's favourite episode.
What did we call my Camelot episode? ďSword in the CityĒ, which I liked very much because I got to do a lot of the swordplay and stuff like that. I didnít get to do as much as I liked because it was just about the time of that episode that I found out I was pregnant. So they had to be a little careful with me, although they did stab me. We had a great guest star, Edward Atterton. When we have guest stars like that, it just makes our jobs 1,000 percent easier because theyíre so wonderful.