Hoping to get your kids into showbiz? Barbara Alyn Woods, most recently known for her role of Deb Scott on One Tree Hill, has some firsthand experience and advice! She and husband John Lind – who produced the recent hit Soul Surfer – are parents to three up-and-coming stars: Natalie, 11, Emily, 9, and Alyvia, 4. The mom-of-three opened up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about their family that “never stops,” and how to create a “stable and nurturing environment” for child actors.
CBS: Tell us about your three daughters Natalie, Emily and Alyvia.
BAW: “Our family never stops! It’s so important to us that we do achieve a balanced life, so I make sure we put as much effort into having “fun” as we do into school and work. Recently, work has been taking over a bit. Lately, at least two of the five Linds are working on any given day but the good news is that we all enjoy “working” immensely! It’s a great life when you love your job.
Alyvia is about to turn 4, and she has been ready for this business for 2 years. She “writes” her own movies, then casts them, directs them and shoots them herself! She usually plays the lead. When she was only 2-years old, she would sit and listen to her sisters (and me) rehearse our lines, and she would walk away knowing them word-for-word. John and I realized very early on that we had created another one! She absolutely loves to work on scripts. It’s kind of cliche to say that it’s in her blood…but I don’t have any other way to explain it. When other kids want to ride their bikes, she wants to make movies.”
CBS: All three of your girls are becoming stars of their own. How are you safeguarding them from the crazy world of Tinseltown?
BAW: “I, for one, have never considered Tinseltown that crazy. I find it exhilarating. My kids love the fast pace. We work out of town so often in such diverse locations, though, that we’re all able to taste many different life styles and cultures. It helps to keep all of us grounded.
Natalie, Emily and Aly focus a lot of their attention and love on their maltipoo puppy, Georgie. She’s their traveling companion when they work out of town…a little “taste of home” when they spend weeks at a time on location.
They love gymnastics, and take hip hop class. Aly’s recently started ballet. We’re all movie buffs so we spend our weekends watching classics. We challenge anyone to find a scary movie we haven’t seen!”
CBS: Your husband is a producer – is he planning to work with the girls in a film soon?
BAW: “John is a producer and would love to find a project for all four of us. At least it would keep us all in the same city! We would have so much fun playing “a family.” Actually, Emily has written a few scripts with roles for each of us. It would be fantastic for an 8-year old screenwriter to get her film produced, wouldn’t it?!”
CBS: What’s your best advice for parents who want to get their kids into showbiz?
BAW: “My best advice when parents ask about getting their kids involved in acting is, “Be sure that this is what they want to do." When you’re successful at it, you have to love it so much that you’re willing to give up a lot. You have to be sure that this is their dream, not yours. I am constantly giving the girls an out if they want one. I always tell them that the minute they’re not enjoying this, we’ll find something else that they do enjoy. And although, your children need to know to take their work very seriously, they should never feel the pressure of getting work. This is their activity – just like other kids join soccer or basketball teams.”
CBS: Why do you think so many child stars are troubled in their adult years?
BAW: “John and I hold the enormous responsibility of providing the girls with a stable and nurturing environment. Wherever we may be working – whatever hotel we’re living in, whatever city we’re in – one thing never changes: Family. When Natalie was 5-years old and had already been uprooted several times for our work, she said to me one day (when I expressed concern that we shouldn’t move around so much), “Home is where we are.” Now, every time one of us is lucky enough to get another job, and we’re all packing our bags for another adventure, we all say in unison, “Home is where we are!” ”
CBS: What’s up next for all of you?
BAW: “Literally, at this very moment I have five suitcases waiting to be packed. Natalie and I are heading to New York this weekend to read for a Rob Reiner project. Emily leaves in a couple days to shoot her new movie Still I Rise, playing Maggie Gyllenhaal‘s daughter. Aly and John stay here in Los Angeles for Aly’s callback, then meet us in Pittsburgh in a week (with puppy Georgie in tow). Next month, Natalie goes to Shreveport to shoot her next film while John flies back to LA to work on a documentary. It’s a little crazy. I call us “the circus family.” But ya know what, life NEVER gets boring!”