Girl Talk With Ilene Chaiken

Ilene Chaiken’s not one of those “rich Hollywood folk”. Well, she is, in a way, but The L-Word creator doesn’t like to define herself in such terms. Regardless of how she’d like to be viewed, Chaiken’s undoubtedly one of the movers and shakers in the world of entertainment.

Above you see Chaiken looking quite lipstick as she accepts the GLAAD “Outstanding Drama Series” award for The L-Word, which she also writes and executive produces. Philadelphia-born Chaiken told our editor recently that she didn’t expect the show’s success: “I didn’t think it would happen. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would do something so successful.” Chaiken also shares her thoughts on motherhood, strife with her parents, Hillary Clinton, DOMA, website spin-off OurChart, product placement and what she once looked for in a man – basically everything!

Before you dive into that jump, however, we think it’s important you know that Chaiken sounds very similar to Sally Field: motherly, benign and familiar. Also, this conversation took place at 9:15am Los Angeles time, which Belonsky thought may be early for Chaiken. One never knows with those rich Hollywood folk!

Andrew Belonsky: Hello, is this Ilene?

Ilene Chaiken: Yes it is.

AB: Hi! It’s Andrew from How are you?

IC: I’m well, thanks.

AB: Thanks for taking this early morning call – well, early for you, maybe.

IC: Ha! Not really. Where are you calling from?

AB: New York.

IC: Okay.

AB: What time do you get up?

IC: Usually around 5:30.

AB: Oh, god! Why?

IC: Just because – there are so many reasons. It’s always been my good time: my writing time, my work time and I also have kids, so I have to get them off to school!

AB: Right. I was going to come to that. How old are your kids?

IC: I have twelve year old twin girls.

AB: Oh, gosh. And how did motherhood change you?

IC: Oh, God, in so many ways, I don’t know where to begin. Motherhood changes you in a way that every little thing you do is changed – the everyday experience forces you to reach for qualities you… never knew you had.

AB: And you love it?

IC: Mostly I love it, but it’s very challenging. I love my kids madly. I don’t love everything about mothering.

AB: My sister has two little ones and she always complains about having to deal with their classmates’ parents.

IC: There’s a bit of that, but I like most of the people my kids hang out with and I like their families. I think they’re interesting. My children have always been in schools that are comprised of really diverse populations. They’re not just hanging out with rich Hollywood folks, which I think would be odious. They’re spending time with interesting people whom I wouldn’t know otherwise and I actually like that.

AB: Do you consider yourself one of those rich Hollywood folks?

IC: [Laughs] By some definitions. That’s not how I think of myself, but it wouldn’t be completely outrageous for someone to look at me and define me that way.