Supermodel/Project Runway Host Heidi Klum is trading whiny, sometimes witty designers for whiny, routinely witty kiddos in her new show Seriously Funny Kids, premiering Feb. 1 on Lifetime. The show is reminiscent of Bill Cosby’s Kids Say the Darndest Things and is in fact executive produced by one of the men behind Cosby’s show.
I had a chance to take part in a conference call with Heidi in which she very candidly talked about the show, mommyhood and her “hot and sexy” husband, Seal.
There’s an old saying: Never work with children or animals … how would you modify that statement?
Heidi: It is true. Someone was very wise by saying that. It is very, very hard. Going into this I thought it was going to be much easier, mainly because I have four children myself. They have their days when they all have a breakdown at the same time, and it’s stressful, but at the end of the day I know them and if I change my tone of voice they know, “Uh oh, we better listen to mommy or we might not get popcorn at the movies!” I can’t do that with the kids on this show, so you just have to be open minded and just go with the flow.
A lot of people remember the Bill Cosby show Kids Say the Darndest Things: How is your show different?
Heidi: The contact with the children is similar. In terms of it being different, Bill Cosby is a professional, an actor, comedian, someone who grew up with it and I’m not. Even with Project Runway, I hosted it, but I’m not a professional host; this is not what I’ve learned to do. So to go out there and be in front of an audience and have to be funny and tell jokes, it’s a little nerve wracking.
What are you learning about how kids see the world these days?
Heidi: Just talk to the kids and they’ll answer you. They’re honest. You ask them questions like, “What is the most annoying thing about adults?” and they say “They’re on their ‘machines’ all the time.” They’re talking about their computer or their Blackberry. And I do it too; you know we live in a world where people get mad when you don’t respond to an email in 20 minutes and it’s just ridiculous! Kids notice that stuff.
What has been your favorite moment captured from the show?
Heidi: I have to say there’s a lot of them obviously. We would do pranks, hidden camera bits and I love the hidden camera bits. There are so many kids that want to be actors or want to be on TV, and when they’re not on camera, they act so different. Like sometimes we’ll be talking on set, and I’m like “Are you talking to me or are you talking to the audience?” So, it’s very funny to see how different they act when they think no one is watching.
What’s the most embarrassing thing you did as a kid that you think is funny now?
Heidi: My parents once took a video of myself where they filmed me while I was sleeping and were talking to me and I was responding in my sleep. They would play it all the time, and it was pretty embarrassing. Also, I would pee in my pants a lot. You know, I didn’t like to go at school, and I would hold it in all day. And I would walk home and just have to go so bad by the time I reached the front door that I usually didn’t make it.
What’s one of the funniest thing one of your kids has said?
Heidi: Leni [Daughter Helene, 6] a few months ago said, “Who’s older? Are you older or is Oma?” Oma being my mom. It didn’t even occur to her to actually look at our ages, it just seemed like a matter of fact question!
You and your husband [singer Seal] are obviously still very into each other. How do you keep your marriage so hot?
Heidi: Number one: You have to marry someone who you think is really hot and sexy. We’ve been married for seven years, and I still look at him and think he’s hot and sexy. You also need to put time aside for yourselves, to have conversations about something other than the kids. Talk about more than the new tooth that so-and-so has coming in, stay interested in each other’s lives.
(Image courtesy of Lifetime)