Amanda de Cadenet on "The Conversation" & The Celeb Moms Baring it All
We all have different backgrounds, different bodies, different stories and different dreams… but our one common thread? We are mothers. I had the chance to chat with renowned photographer and television personality Amanda de Cadenet about her inspirational and intimate new interview series for Lifetime called “The Conversation.” Executive produced by Demi Moore, de Cadenet sits down for one on one heartfelt and honest interviews with some of the most famous women… Jane Fonda, Eva Longoria, Lady Gaga, Gywneth Paltrow… Each share personal anecdotes and thoughts on everything from love, sexuality, body image, career and money to battling with depression.
After speaking with de Cadenet who began her career at the age of 14 and had a baby at the age of 19, I’m certain that this show will offer truth and inspiration… and a few relatable laughs along the way.
Jennifer: I've been reading the episode breakdowns and cannot get over how many influential and amazing women you've sat down with.
Amanda: Me neither!
Jennifer: What sets these conversations apart from the typical Barbara Walters, Oprah Winfrey type interviews?
Amanda: Well there are a few things. One is that it's non promotional. It's not tied in to someone pushing something- there's no tie in to a movie or book or anything, so that changes the focus. It allows someone to come because they want to… For someone to take time out of their day to come and talk about something that is deeply personal, it's because they're excited by the project and they want to contribute in some way and offer solutions to women and telling their stories in a hopeful way. I have to tell you, every single woman who did this did it because they care about women. There's no other reason-- this is an unproven format or show. This started as something I was going to do online.
Jennifer: I'm intrigued to see someone like Sarah Silverman discussing "Love & Loss." She's adorable and funny. Was there a serious side to her that may surprise people?
Amanda: Absolutely. Generally, anyone who is comedic, comes from pain. Comedians are generally not happy campers. Sarah and I met briefly in a hotel lobby years before, and she had been so sweet with my daughter who was 3 at the time and told her this great princess story... I saw how she was and I knew that she was a real woman's woman. She was very honest about her trouble with depression and the things in her life that are most challenging.
Jennifer: Before shooting the interviews, did you have a sense of what you'd ask them based on what you knew about their life experiences?
Amanda: Some of them I did. Someone like Gwyneth, who is one of my good girlfriends, I'd work it out before and say that there were certain things I wanted to talk about. Other people like Jane Fonda, I had never met. Zoe Saldana, I met the day before... Eva Longoria, Kelly Preston... I had never met. There were a lot of people I just didn't know.
Jennifer: Did you find yourself connecting with the women that have had similar life experiences, like being a mom?
Amanda: Yes of course, we have common ground. I was a mom at 19, my whole life at this point. I have a daughter that's older than I was when I had her, and now I have 5 year-old twins. I actually came up with this idea after I had my twins because I had severe post-partum. And I started to think about all the women in the world who need support.
Jennifer: What was it about your experience that made you want to take what you do as a photographer and go a step further?
Amanda: I breastfed my kids for over a year, and I was working as a photographer and trying to maintain a marriage... and I was going crazy. I was sleep deprived and I couldn't function -- and this is how I came up with this idea. Because every day I would sit in my room and cry and wondered how am I going to do this, how am I going to cope? It was so extreme. So I thought, if I feel like this, what about moms that don't have a partner around to help them, what about moms that are working two jobs right now (I'm working one job and there are moms out there working two and I am barely getting any sleep). I needed to get stories out there that are hopeful and offer solutions... This is a rough time, and here are some of the things that have helped me get through it. That was really the inspiration-- from my own challenges and thinking about all the moms that are looking around at the role models out there and saying, "Oh yeah, I lost all my baby weight in 3 weeks!" and "I have sex with my husband all the time!" and "I went back to work!" and "I make 3 meals a day for my kids... and I never lose my temper!" And we go, really? These women-- Who the f**k are they?!
After talking to Amanda, it was refreshing to know that no matter how high profile, famous, or successful she and the women that she interviews are, we all have a story... we all have a voice that needs to be heard. Our journeys are all different but as women we share such strong commonalities... We all hope for love and happiness and as moms, that's what we all want for our children- even at our breaking points- we want this.
Tune in to the series premiere Thursday, April 26 11/10c on Lifetime. This will surely be the "conversation" that you won't want to miss! Watch a preview: