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Marisol Nichols: Daughter Rain Actually Loves the Rain!

06/18/2010 at 09:00 AM ET

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Life is wonderfully hectic for Marisol Nichols these days.

Currently filming a new ABC drama, The Gates, in Louisiana, the actress is blissfully raising her first child, daughter Rain India, 20 months, and relishing in her new roles on and off screen.

Though director husband Taron Lexton is at home in Los Angeles working on projects of his own, the pair is making long-distance marriage work (she’ll be home in August!) while watching Rain grow up.

Nichols recently took some time out from shooting The Gates to talk to PEOPLE Moms & Babies about Rain’s recent milestones, definite plans for baby number two and her temporary new Louisiana life.

How is Rain doing?

She’s amazing; she’s such a good girl. She loves it here, she loves the rain, coincidentally, and she loves water. Since it rains here a lot, she gets to play in puddles pretty frequently.

They also have amazing parks here, the best parks I’ve ever seen, so she goes every day. Her body is really, really strong, her height is off the charts, percentile-wise, and I’m amazed at how independent she is at such a young age.

She comes everywhere with me. I couldn’t even concentrate if she was back home!

Where has she traveled to so far?

Los Angeles (where Nichols and Lexton live), Louisiana, Florida and Chicago. That’s it so far. But she’s flown a lot! She’s been flying with me since she was six weeks old. She’s an amazing flyer. I don’t mean to brag, but she’s great!

We do this game during take off, where we ask, ‘Do you want to go up up up?’ And we make sure we’re by a window, so she can watch other planes go ‘up up up.’ We can’t even take her to the airport to pick someone up anymore because she’s jealous she’s not going ‘up up up.’ When we land, she asks, ‘More? More?’ I really lucked out. I remember freaking out in the beginning, wondering how to fly with an infant.

Even though she’s adaptable, it’s still not easy. We bring every single food she could ever want on the flight, and have bottles ready for when we do go up and down for her ears so they don’t pop or clog.

She’ll also play with the on-board magazines in the seat pocket. That’s like a toy for her. So I don’t have to pack a ton of toys for her anymore.

Her favorite thing, though, is Elmo, and we got an iPad, so she can watch full-length features. She likes Elmo, and Up the movie, so we’ll have those ready and waiting if we need them.


Duffimages.com

What’s a typical day for her like?

If I’m going to work, hopefully I have a late call time, and can hang out with Rain and our nanny until we shoot. There’s a science museum about a block away, and I have a membership, so they’ll go there together, then join me when I’m done. It works out really nicely.

My husband is in L.A., so he comes back and forth, and he misses his daughter like crazy. It’s been hard, but we work it out and figure it out as we go.

Has Rain hit any milestones recently?

Instead of saying ‘Yes,’ she’s saying ‘OK.’ I’ll ask her if she wants more of her bottle, and she’ll say, ‘OK!’ But I think we can really communicate now. She got ‘no’ right off the bat, and now with ‘OK,’ we can get answers. It’s very cute, and for us, it means we can give her what she wants.

She’s also cutting molars now, which is not easy. We know it’s a milestone, but not a fun one. But we’ll get through it.

Is she more of a daddy’s girl or a mommy’s girl?

A little of both. When dad is around, because he’s not around all the time these days, she’s a daddy’s girl, but when he’s gone it’s all about mama.

Has the separation from your husband been hard?

It’s really hard to be away from my husband! We make due. We both agreed we’d do this, see how it goes and figure it out — but ideally we’d like to be together. He’s a director, I’m an actress, so it comes with the territory.

There’s been a lot of Skype and iChat. We’re scheduling time when Rain can be in front of the computer, too. We haven’t gone that long — about three weeks was the longest — so it could be worse.

What’s Taron like as a dad?

He’s such a good dad. He loves her so much! There are times I find myself caught in those moments; I stop and just watch. They’ll just be playing, and it’s amazing how much energy he has for her. He’ll pick her up, swing her around — he comes up with that for her.

Do you think Rain could possibly follow the family business someday?

She watches herself in front of a mirror — I must’ve done that when I was a kid — and I’ll say ‘Is that Rain?’ and she’ll start smiling or flirting with herself.

She loves music, and watching videos of herself. We’ll see if she gravitates toward it. Whatever she wants to do, I’ll support.

How do you balance motherhood with your acting?

I can bring Rain with me everywhere I go, but when she’s in school I don’t know what I’ll do. The longest I’ve been away from her is three days, and I cried my eyes out. The first day of school will be so hard.

It’s a balance — I have to work, and I love what I do, and I have to make money and don’t want to give up that part of myself. But I want to find jobs that make me available to her. My job makes me a better mom, and she makes my jobs better, because she makes me happy.

Do you plan to have more children?

I really want to be able to have another one; I want Rain to have a brother or sister. It’ll probably be another year or two, when Rain is older, and can really be a big sister to someone. But who knows. I could get pregnant and say, ‘We’re gonna do it now!’ I have no idea.

Do you find it hard to stick to your routine when you’re not home, especially in a place known for its food?

I found a phenomenal Pilates teacher here! She travels all over the world, and she’s great. I lucked out with that. As far as food goes, I cook a lot, so it hasn’t been that difficult for me to stick to an eating routine. We’re sort of isolated out here.

I do have my wonderful fun cheat days, though. We had an episode where all the girls wore bathing suits, so I was strict until after those bathing suit scenes. Then, I went and found a good cupcake!


Steve Dietl/ABC via Getty

Tell us about your new ABC series, The Gates.

I love it! I’m addicted to it. It’s nice to be in love with your show.

The Gates (which premieres June 20) is about a gated community that looks like Wisteria Lane of Desperate Housewives, but everyone in it has a secret of their own: They’re a vampire, werewolf, witch or some other creature.

Anytime you can play with that supernatural stuff, the darker side of things, it’s fun.

I’m the character who moves with her husband and family from Chicago, and I’m completely unaware of what’s going on around me, and all the secrets my neighbors hide.

My character’s whole goal is to start a new life in The Gates, and make it an amazing place to live for her family. I can relate!

For more on Marisol, check out her official Web site or follow her on Twitter. The Gates premieres Sunday at 10 p.m. on ABC.

– Kate Hogan

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Showing 21 comments

SADIE on

I like the name Rain as a middle name. Very nice!

T on

What a beautiful picture.

Stephanie on

I happen to live in the town where The Gates is being filmed. I’m not sure when this interview took place, but it hasn’t rained here in weeks, so I’m not sure what she is referring to. Also, the science museum is called Sci-Port Discovery Center.

Sabrina Smith Saxon on

I am working on The Gates and it did rain a lot just a week or two ago! …. We have to work our shoots around the rain so we are tracking the weather every day … It not only rained we had a couple of storms! And about Marisol and Rain … beautiful mom and daughter … mucho inside beauty as well as beautiful on the outside … Everyone loves working with Marisol … a genuinely nice person and true professional … !!

soph on

So who’s telling the truth, Stephanie or Sabrina?

CelebBabyLover on

I’m confused. How can Marisol have “no idea” when she wants to try for baby number 2?

CelebBabyLover on

soph- Call me crazy, but my guess is both. Assuming The Gates is filming in a big city (most TV shows and movies seem to shoot in larger cities), it’s possible it rained in the area The Gates filmed, but not in the area Stephanie lives. It’s entirely possible for part of a large city to get rain while the other part is enjoying (or not enjoying, depending on how long it’s last been since it rained!) the sun. Just ask my grandmother and brother.

They live in a big city (well, techincally a suburb in my grandmother’s case), by my estimate, an hour from each other at the absolute most. Well, last year, my brother saw plenty of rain where he lives. My grandmother, on the other hand, was practically cursing because of the LACK of rain where she lives.

The wonders of nature! :)

Leslie on

I hope to clarify the rain (weather) debate…The show is filmed in Shreveport, Louisiana and while we did actually have two small (for us small) storms about two weeks ago-we have not seen any real rain and certainly not enough to stop any of us from doing anything…But we locals dream of a good long soak…(http://www.ktbs.com/weather/23782586/detail.html)
On another note, the majority of us are happy to welcome many film and television productions to our city and do our best to treat them as guests & neighbors, and they seem pleased to avoid the onslaught of obsessed fans and media! Great work Shreveport/Bossier Residents…we rule!

Leslie on

The show is filmed in Shreveport, Louisiana-population about 450,000 between both cities…and here generally, when one gets wet, most of the rest of us do as well!
It’s been a very dry spring/summer-sure we had two small storms about 10 days ago-but neither was much to write home about and didn’t slow any of us down. Here is the documentation site:
http://www.ktbs.com/weather/23782586/detail.html

Shreveport/Bossier City welcomes the media and the film/T.V. industry and does our level best to make them feel right at home…Glad to see that we’re appreciated in return!

Lori on

I have a couple of problems with this lady. First, the whole “We live in La, but my husband lives in L.A.” thing. How she says they try to work it out and figure it out as they go. That is no way to maintain a marriage and raise a child! Shouldn’t they have figured out what they were going to do before she took the job? Just cause you’re a fancy actress doesn’t mean you shouldn’t lead a normal life, like say, living with your husband!

Second, the whole, she is a daddy’s girl when daddy is here thing was stupid! OF COURSE it’s all about mama when daddy is gone. Really, would she have admitted that it is all about the nanny?! So if Daddy isn’t there, she could only possibly be a mommy’s girl.

CelebBabyLover on

Lori- First of all, if the arrangment works for them, who are we to complain? And second of all, who says she can’t be a daddy’s girl even when her dad isn’t there. I was a daddy’s girl growing up (heck, I still am!), and that didn’t change when my dad had to leave for a little while for whatever reason.

To me “daddy’s girl” just means a girl who is super-close to her father. It doesn’t neccesarily have to mean a girl who only wants daddy to do stuff for/with her! :)

Jennifer Miller on

Wow, how did a story about a lovely working mother in Hollywood turn into a debate about weather. I think everyone is missing the point of the story. It is not about who was right or wrong about the frickin weather which, by the way anyone who has lived in the south knows it can rain on one side of the street and not the other, but about a mother who is juggling her career and being a great mom. And as for you “CelebBabyLover” (worst screen name ever BTW) not everyone plans for children,Some like to let nature take its course…… it just happens!!!!!! And its really non of our business when or how she adds to her family.

Jennifer Miller on

Lori, you MUST be a close personal friend to the couple to assume so much about their marriage. I mean, how else could you be sooooooo judgemental about someone unless you actually know them and see the relationship. YOUR IGNORANCE IS EPIC!!! Congrats.

PeopleFan on

Jealous much Lori??

She sounds really down to earth, why not stay in the positive with the comments.

Megan on

Such a beautiful baby! I think it’s easy to not know when you’re going to have more kids. My son is 3 years old and for the past 3 years I’ve been hounded about when I’m going to have another child. I wasn’t sure, just when the time is right I guess. It just so happened I went from unsure to sure almost overnight and we’re currently trying for another little one to add to the family.

Catie on

I also live where The Gates is being filmed…I’m with Stephanie, it hasn’t rained here in weeks-just hot and humid

Stephanie on

In my defense, I was referring to Ms. Nichols’ generalization that “it rains a lot here”. Yes, it did rain for a few days a few weeks ago, but that was it the weeks before those “storms” were also very dry. We’re in a drought right now with 100+ degrees heat index. IF she were interviewed during the “winter” months then yes, the “it rains a lot here” comment would have made more sense.

Diamond on

Nice interview. I normally don’t watch shows about the supernatural but because it’s filmed in my home city, then I will be tuned in every week.

Jessica on

Beautiful little girl! Some people should stop being so judgmental and just keep the posts positive! They are doing what works for THEM no one else! By the way I have lived in the South for all 20 years of my life and I also live in a city with less that 50,000 people in it and it is proven that in some places it may rain but in others it might not! I’m sure that since Shreveport has about 450,000 people living there that many times it will rain one place but not another….it happens a lot in the south actually!

MiB on

To be honest, “a lot” is defined by what you are used to. It probably rains a lot more in Shreveport than it does in L.A., which is what she (and more particularly Rain) is used to. Just last year I remember complaining about the lack of snow when an aquaintance from India came in and expressed her delight with the abundance of snow! Remeber folks, a lot is a very relative thing!

Jennifer on

People need to get a life – arguing about the weather – are you so critical of everyone ? She has a right to her opinion and if she claimed it rained a lot then so be it – does it really matter ? She sounds like a great Mom and also to question her when she says she isn’t sure when she’ll have baby #2 is ridiculous – even carefully laid plans sometimes don’t pan out so she probably hasn’t given it much thought and just isn’t sure ! Let’s support our fellow working Moms instead of being so critical !

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