Actress Garcelle Beauvais is proud mom to three sons: Oliver, 22, and 5-year-old twins Jax and Jaid. The Franklin & Bash star, 46, has penned the new children’s book, I AM MIXED, as part of the I AM series which celebrates diversity and empowers children.
Garcelle opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about her own experiences with racism at a young age, her three sons and the joys of motherhood, and her best advice for peaceful co-parenting.
CBS: Tell us about your children’s book I AM MIXED. How did you get involved with the I AM children’s book series? Why was it important to you to write this book?
GB: “The I AM MIXED book idea came from the need for me to have a book where my kids could see themselves in the characters, and learn to celebrate their diversity and what makes them special.
From there my partner Sebastian Jones and I decided to create the I AM series where we can address other social issues from a child’s perspective.”
CBS: Did your twins Jax and Jaid give any creative input into your book?
GB: “Yes they did. I checked in with them on all the illustration especially when I was putting the character ‘Jay’ together. The were so honest with their ideas that sometimes I wish I hadn’t asked [laugh].”
CBS: Like the book says, have your twins been asked “funny things?”
GB: “Not now but I wanted to prepare the boys for any questions that would arise when I’m not around. Having come to this country from Haiti at and early age and experience being the only black kid in my school in Massachusetts – where kids would touch my skin to see if the color would rub off or ask about my hair – I felt is was necessary to start the conversation at home. [I am preparing them in case] it ever came up with their peers at school about why they have a black mom and a white dad or why they may look different from their classmates.”
CBS: You went through a difficult divorce, can you give advice or tips on how to successfully co-parent?
GB: “My only advice Is to put the kids first! They shouldn’t have to be part of adult drama.
And you’re also showing them that you may not be married anymore to their dad, but we still need to respect what makes us a family.”
CBS: You will star as the First Lady in the film White House Down, set for release in late June. What was it like to play the First Lady?
GB: “Well, I had great inspiration with Michelle Obama — I tried to work out my arms [laughs]. It was a fun character to play.”
CBS: You’re also starting production of the indie drama And Then There Was You. Please tell us about this project.
BG: “I play Natalie, a women who is trying to pick up the pieces of her life after her husband leaves her for a family he had outside the marriage.”
CBS: Tell us about your three children. What are they into?
GB: “Oliver is my oldest, and he has always had a love for music. He is aspiring rapper. My little guys are Jax and Jaid — they’re 5-years-old and just full of energy and so much fun to be with. I’m the happiest when we’re all together.”
CBS: With motherhood, a book and two screen projects, your schedule is pretty full. Do you believe “women having it all” is reaslistic?
GB: “I used to think it was attainable but now I believe we put too much pressure on ourselves. We can have different things at different times.”
CBS: Do you have any fun plans for the summer?
GB: “Yes, I’m taking the boys to New York for their first visit. We’re going to do all the fun touristy things, but I’m sure we’ll end up at FAO Swartz at least more than once.”