Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Catherine Bell

Please give a warm welcome to our newest celebrity blogger, Catherine Bell! The actress — mom to son Ronan, 9 months, and daughter Gemma, 8, with husband Adam Beason — stars on Army Wives and can next be seen in the TV movie Last Man Standing, premiering on Lifetime June 6 at 8 p.m.

Catherine Bell, 42, can also be found online on Facebook and @reallycb on Twitter. In her first blog, the actress introduces you to her family and talks about life at home in Charleston, S.C.

Hello!! I’m so excited to talk with you about my favorite thing: babies and mommy-hood! Looking forward to sharing stories and experiences and hearing from you guys.

I can’t believe my baby is already 9 months old! Where did the time go?! And my other “baby” just turned 8 … wow! Let me back up a minute here and actually introduce you to the family:

ME: Well, I’m a mom! That’s my most important and most rewarding job! I’m also a wife, of course. And an actress. :)

These days I’m on Army Wives on Lifetime and we film in Charleston, S.C. where my husband and I decided to relocate to full time (even though we only film 6-7 months out of the year). Mainly to give our daughter the stability and consistency of her school and friends — and it’s a great place to raise a family!

The show is an ensemble cast, which means I’m fortunate enough to have 1-2 days off a week while other characters film their work … so I get lots of time being a mom and I love that!

Shortly before her daughter Gemma was born, Catherine Bell and her husband, Adam Beason, made room for baby—by paring down their motorcycle collection from nine bikes to three and bidding farewell to the days of bungee-jumping with their ankles tied together. Now, as the family settles into their temporary hometown of Charleston, S.C., where Bell shoots the hit Lifetime series Army Wives, things move at a decidedly slower pace. These days the pair of reformed thrill-seekers get their biggest kicks from the high octane sport of ... golf. Gemma, now 5, even tags along—bringing her very own set of Barbie clubs. "Someone had given her a little lesson," recalls Bell, 39, "and she said, 'Mommy, you're not supposed to bring the club up past your shoulder. That's why you're not hitting the ball so good.'" The budding Michelle Wie has also embraced her status as a local celebrity, signing autographs for Mom's fans at a local golf tournament before extending her arm and hollering, "Enough pictures!" at a persistent photographer. "I would never say that," Bell says, "but I would agree that it was enough."

That low-key scene is about as close to the paparazzi as Bell wants to get these days. Raised in Los Angeles, she started in show business as a toddler, acting in TV commercials. After a stint studying microbiology at UCLA, Bell moved to Japan to model and segued into bit parts in movies and television. Then, in her 20s, Bell discovered Scientology—a religion she credits with helping her overcome her "fears and anxieties" and pave the way to big-time success as Marine officer Sarah MacKenzie on the popular CBS drama JAG.

Along the way, Bell wed Beason, 38, a screenwriter she first met on the set of the 1992 film Death Becomes Her. On Army Wives, she's found a role—Denise Sherwood, a nurse and mother whose husband is away in combat—that allows her to balance work and family. Being part of an ensemble cast means Bell has a refreshingly relaxed schedule. "I have every Thursday off," she says. "I really enjoy picking Gemma up from school and taking her to swim lessons. In L.A., you have to drive 45 minutes to get anywhere. Here, my time off is my time."

Bell has even grown accustomed to southern cooking. "I knew you could fry okra, but I didn't know you could fry pickles," she quips. Unique cuisine aside, Bell's family is savoring their time in the South. "When people are on the plane [back to Charleston], they are smiling and happy," she says. "We feel like we're headed home."

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