To follow Busy Philipps on Instagram is to get intimate with her inner thoughts. The former Dawson’s Creek actress uses the app to chronicle what it’s like to raise two daughters, Birdie, 9, and Cricket, 4, with husband Marc Silverstein—and gets unabashedly real about the epic fails that come with motherhood. She uses her feed to seek health advice, to bring fans to the red carpet, to document hospital visits, to campaign for social justice, and even as a place of business (in an interview with The Cut, Philipps explained that she’s unashamed of posting sponsored content because, well, it pays damn well). Does candidness come at a price? Well, she does get sent the occasional dick pic, she says with a laugh.
We caught up with Philipps to discuss what really goes down in her DMs, why rosé-flavored vodka is her new thing, and why her upcoming film, I Feel Pretty, is so relatable.
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You’re very conversational with your fans on social media. Do you get flooded with DMs? I definitely have floods of DMs. You can see the main line, the first two words [of each message]. I don’t look at photos because 90 percent of the time you’re not gonna be excited about what you’re opening. I mean, I did get like, you know, a dick pic. It was so funny too because my friend Ed Droste and I were talking about this and he was like, “You for sure get them.” I was like, “I don’t. I’m telling you I don’t.” And he’s like, “Give me your phone.” And he scrolled through my DMs until he found one. So he did find one but, I mean, I feel like my odds are at this point good. Maybe if you print this they won’t be great; maybe I’ll be flooded.
It’s funny how much intimacy we have with strangers today. I think that’s one of the wonderful things about social media. We all know what it is at its worst, but at its best it’s incredibly unifying and comforting that no matter where you live in this world, you’re experiencing the same types of things as other humans. Everyone is just looking for connection and looking to express what they’re going through. What I’m going through is no different than some woman in London or New York or Ohio.
Do you connect with other moms on social a lot? [My daughter Birdie’s teddy bears] going missing was a big deal because I got a lot of messages of support from so many parents—just that they had either gone through the same thing or that they just felt for me because they know that feeling, that sink-in feeling of, “Oh no, I’ve done something that’s gonna ruin my child’s life.” That was incredibly nice and sweet, all the people reaching out to me.
We’ve been talking recently about the struggle to achieve equal pay. Are there any women in entertainment you admire for fighting that fight? Jessica Chastain, I think, is a real badass and just puts her money where her mouth is. She has proven to be such an advocate and a friend to everyone. She’s just incredible. I’ve known Jessica since before anyone knew Jessica and she’s always been an incredibly thoughtful and cool girl, and she has really used her position to empower others. I commend her for it. I love it. And more people need to do that. It’s special. It’s really awesome.
Do you have any advice for women who aren’t being paid fairly? I don’t know. I’ve never had a real job. I worked at California Pizza Kitchen as a hostess, and then I got Freaks and Geeks. I have no advice. I don’t know how to navigate the work space.
Speaking of work, you partnered with Three Olives Rosé Vodka. Explain the phenomenon of rosé vodka. I love the flavor of rosé, but I can’t commit to the calories of drinking rosé wine, and this is such a nice alternative for me. I think it’s really refreshing and light and it’s cold. You want to drink something cold in the summer, you know? You don’t want to have a red wine, you want something refreshing.
Some celebs shy away from discussing drinking, but you’re open about it. I loved your cocktail photos from your vacation in Hawaii. I prefer mixed cocktails. That’s generally what I always go to, always have. I have a tendency to get a little bit of a headache if I drink too much wine, but I like a glass of red wine with a steak. I like eating a lot, and I like my drinks to complement my food. Listen, there’s definitely people in this world that should not drink and have problems with that. I am not one of them. And I really enjoy it. It complements the foodie in me. When we were in Hawaii, I was drinking a lot of Mai Tais. A Mai Tai is not something I would ever order in Los Angeles, but, like, you’re eating fish with fruit for dinner, you want a Mai Tai. And the rosé vodka, you’re sitting at your pool, it’s summer, it’s perfect.
You’re starring in I Feel Pretty with Amy Schumer, which addresses the issue of confidence. In the trailer, Schumer says, “No matter how many times we hear, ‘It’s what’s on the inside that matters,’ women know deep down it’s what’s on the outside that the whole world judges.” It received backlash from people who claimed the message was not body positivity. What are your thoughts on that? This is complicated. I feel like, sometimes, the pressures of trying to have high self-esteem while living in the world we live in is tricky. First of all, I never judge any movie by a trailer.
What did people say? There was just a little bit of like, “Well, she’s just a white, pretty girl.” That’s not what it’s about. I think it’s incredibly relatable, no matter what you look like or where you are in your life, to have insecurity and to feel less than. I think that’s a very common feeling that deserves acknowledgement because if you can acknowledge it, you can try to move past it and find the confidence to be the person you want to be.
No one wants to hear me bitching about feeling fat or unattractive, but I have those feelings from time to time. I’m not smart enough or not a good enough mom. And it’s valid. I’m allowed to have those feelings, even in my position. Do you know what I mean? It’s about overcoming it. I think the movie ultimately has a really beautiful and empowering message, and I’m super proud to be a part of it.
What do you do to overcome feeling “less than?” Exercise has been a huge thing for me, and it’s something that I’ve started to rely on more and more because I also have anxiety disorder and have struggled from time to time with depression. Exercise has been the one thing where, when I’m feeling bad about myself as a mom, as a person, as a whatever, and I can go and get the endorphins and sweat, I feel so much better afterwards. It’s crazy that it took me legitimately 36 years to figure it out. But it has changed my life.