Mary Stuart Masterson discovered how to love, how to cook and how to be married. Rosario Dawson learned how to talk—really talk—to another person. Naomi Wolf got courage when she needed it most. And you should hear what their mothers have to say! O, The Oprah Magazine brings together five mother-daughter pairs to discuss the good, the bad and the let's-not-even-go-there.
Carlin Glynn & Mary Stuart Masterson Actress and teacher; actress, producer and director
What have you learned from each other? Mary Stuart: How to love. How to cook. How to be married—that you each have to give 70 percent and take 30 percent. And how to be an artist and a working person and a mother, all at the same time. Carlin: How to let go. Part of it was not telling her how to do anything professionally. She grew up in a house filled with cinema and theater, but I had to learn early on that her journey was not mine to manipulate.
What's the hardest thing you've been through together? Rosario: Last year. I'm a late-bloomer, and I just went through a lot of teenage angst. I've always been responsible; I started working at 15 and moved out at 16. Now I'm like, 'Damn, I missed my chance to be a kid.' It happened late in the game—I don't think my mom expected it. Isabel: I'm 40, and all I've ever wanted to be is a mom. But the dynamic has changed. She gave me some tough love recently, saying, 'Mom, you haven't done anything with your life.' I said, 'You are my life. I did you.' She said, 'Now it's time to do for you.'
Eleanor McCoy & Sanaa Lathan Artistic consultant, teacher and Broadway actress; actress
What have you learned from each other? Sanaa: I have friends in the business whose parents look at the arts as if it's a strange profession. My mother taught me that acting is something worthwhile to pursue. That's been a huge thing. You're going on lots of auditions, and there are so many rejections, especially in the beginning, and she's always been there coaching and helping me. Eleanor: I've learned so much from how secure she is. I had to work very hard to be comfortable within myself. That's the greatest thing.
Jacqueline Mcquarn & Tracey Edmonds CEO, Aztec Entertainment; Producer and CEO, Edmonds Entertainment Group
What have you learned from each other? Jacqueline: Calmness. Tracey always seems to handle things and get them taken care of. She's involved in five companies and a parent of two children. Sometimes when I get stressed, I look at her and realize that I'm just doing one thing while she's doing a multitude, and I manage to keep my composure. Tracey: My mom is a strong-willed lady. She taught me to believe in myself no matter what anybody else said. We started a real estate company with no money and had some lean times, but she believed in what we were doing. She was always optimistic; she gave me my entrepreneurial spirit.
Naomi & Deborah Wolf Author of 7 books, including The Beauty Myth; Spiritual Psychotherapist
What's the hardest thing you've been through together? Deborah: It's always hard when somebody you love and understand gets attacked for things that aren't true. When Naomi's first book, The Beauty Myth, came out, that happened to her. She was criticized. It was hard to watch that and not be able to protect her. Naomi: Gee, adolescence comes to mind! She was this mature, fabulous, beautiful woman, wearing all these incredible, wild, gypsy clothes. Like a lot of girls, I felt I really had to separate from her. It was tough for both of us.