Scottish actress Laura Fraser talks about being a working mom

03/24/2008 at 06:46 PM ET

When she was pregnant, Laura Fraser says she dreamed of never returning to work.  Then — after her daughter Lila, 1, arrived — Laura says she decided to take a one year maternity leave.  But plans changed again when Laura stopped nursing and found herself thinking "I have got to get out of the house. I have got to do something."  So return to work she did, and the 31-year-old actress promptly realized that having it all is almost always an impossibility.

I think every mother feels that the best place for their child is with their mum, but you want things for yourself, too. So, you’re either at work feeling guilty or you are at home feeling frustrated.

Laura can currently be seen as Abigail, the pregnant wife of Caiaphas — the High Priest who condemns Jesus to death — in the BBC miniseries version of The Passion.  The part required Laura to film an "over-the-top" birthing scene that turned into a "screamy, shouty affair."  Fortunately (or not, depending on your perspective!) Laura said she was able to use Lila’s delivery for inspiration.

Mostly I drew on the fear I felt before I gave birth. When I had Lila, I was screaming and shouting through panic and sheer terror rather than pain.  I wasn’t sure what was going on and I was in labor for 36 hours, followed by an emergency C-section.

Click ‘continue reading’ for the remainder of the interview.


An ex gym-fanatic, Laura now stays fit doing pilates and walking.  She cautions against what she perceives as an obsession by others with physical appearances, warning "it cripples people."  She adds,   

I hate to think that Lila will become obsessed by her body image, but it almost feels inevitable if the magazine culture we have now continues.

Lila is the first child together for Laura and her husband Karl Geary, who were married in 2003; Karl also has a son, Billy, who is seven years older than Lila.  Of being a step-mom, Laura says "it is harder to discipline and harder to love a child that is not your own, but we get on very well."  As do, apparently, Lila and Billy.

There’s no direct competition and he adores her.

Source:  Times Online


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Starlet on

I think she is very right about finding a balance. Not sure about her words about “harder to love and discipline a child that is not your own”. I think it depends on so many things.

Elle on

I’ve only seen Laura Fraser in two movies a few years ago, but for some reason I instantly loved her (probably stems from my love of Scottish accents).

I can see what she means, in a way. I’d feel like I couldn’t be too hard on a child that wasn’t my own and as far as love…that could be anything from tensions with the kid’s mother to resentment from the kid him/herself to not wanting to feel too attached to a child you can’t completely claim as your own. I know a lot of people (especially a lot of my friends) are stepparents, but I always thought it’d be hard to know “your place” and what constitutes stepping over the line without being completely hands off and letting everything slip through the cracks.

I think the way it reads, it sounds a little cold, but I took it to mean that it’s a challenge to find a way to love and discipline a child as a parent, but not as “the” mother. Does that make sense?

Ashley on

This is the chick from A Knight’s Tale! Loooove that movie. She dated Paul Bettany for a while too. Guess Paul likes his brunettes! She reminds me a bit of Jennifer C, just not quite as pretty.

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