Jan Maxwell: Two-Time Tony Nominee and Really Cool Mom
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"...the amazing Jan Maxwell (is there any role she can't dazzle with?)"
-John Simon, New York Magazine (re: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang)
"...the splendid Jan Maxwell... gives the sinister housekeeper Mrs. Lynch an intriguing frisson of ambivalence..."
-Eric Grode, New York Sun (re: Coram Boy)
"....the divine Jan Maxwell plays her role with the sparkle, bubble, sweetness and bite of a properly chilled champagne..."
-Adam Feldman, Time Out New York (re: The Royal Family)
At Work: Currently (through December 13th) starring on Broadway as Julie Cavendish in Manhattan Theatre Club's critically acclaimed revival of the George S. Kaufman/Edna Ferber comedy based on the Barrymores, The Royal Family. (Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, 261 West 47th Street; 212-239-6200; www.mtc-nyc.org)
At Home: Manhattan. Mother of one son: Will Maxwell-Lunney, 13. Husband: Robert Emmet Lunney, actor/writer.
Q. What is your favorite activity with your son?
JM: Listening to him! He has such a great personality and tells such great stories about himself, his day, or something he has observed in others. I think if a teenager is talking to his parents, well, it's got to be a good thing.
Q. What is the most important lesson you try to impart to your son?
JM: To me, the most important lesson is empathy: putting yourself in others' shoes before reacting or judging; being kind and doing the right thing.
Q. Who was your greatest child-raising influence, and why?
JM: Of course, my parents were great influences on me and I would have to say, so was my older brother, Bill. He has such a wonderful sense of humor and is the most caring person I know. Also, I had some very passionate teachers when I was growing up.
Q. What is your approach to disciplining your child?
JM: This has been a big struggle for me - so many theories out there. I question my methods every day. I do what most parents do, I suppose. I take things away - usually electronics - under the heading "consequences." But, to tell the truth, I don't know if that really works. I've been trying lately to explain to him the "bigger picture" of his behavior, but something tells me that 13-year-olds really don't have a strong sense of the bigger picture. They seem very "in the moment." So I'm always up for suggestions.
Q. What was a memorable family outing?
JM: Going midnight sledding on New Year's Eve and then building a seven-foot snowman together, followed by a long walk through a snowfall and making snow angels all the way down the road.