What’s been the easiest and hardest part of parenting and marriage?
Nicole: Being a parent is the hardest job ever in life. Raising children uses every bit of your being — your heart, your time, your patience, your foresight, your intuition to protect them, and you have to use all of this while trying to figure out how to discipline them.
It takes its toll on a marriage as well. The time that should be spent with each other after the kids have gone to bed is usually spent face down, in your clothes, on the sofa with the remote control in your hand. It’s exhausting … but we’ve been married for seven years, and I think that the greatest challenge but also the greatest gift, is understanding that I’m way more capable than what I think I am. You have to work hard not to take your partner for granted, even when you are tired. We have a special needs child, so we also have to get up in the middle of the night and check on her. So, I’ve been pushed to the limits that I thought I had, and I’ve gone beyond those … that’s been the greatest gift throughout this journey with my husband.
Boris: As far as our marriage goes, again it’s all about priorities. We make sure that we put in some sexy time, and we go out on date nights and spend quality time together, because we were here first. Everything else is a reflection of that. If she and I are good, then everything else is good. So it’s very important that we put in the time to cherish each other.
Can you describe for us what it was like when you first realized that you loved each other?
Nicole: Boris might have a different version, but from my side there was immediate chemistry, and that’s not necessarily sexual. It was just immediate understanding, flow of conversation, intellect, and an instant trust. “Soul Food” made us make out all the time, so us wanting to kiss each other was handled on set … but that really wasn’t the crux of our relationship. There was an immediate deep trust and love there for me, and I knew that he was going to always be in my life somehow, I just didn’t know how.
The great thing is that we really were friends first. When you’re shooting 14 hours a day on a set, you see a lot. He saw me when my eyebrows weren’t tweezed and when my gray hair came in, and when I was in my pajamas at five in the morning going into the dressing room. So we had no choice but to be really real from the very beginning.