"It's all about reinventing. It's a business of reinventing and keeping relationships and that's difficult when you don't live in L.A. But right now what is most important to me is my family, and it's very fleeting, right? They were only babies once — but how many years of trick or treating did we have? I'm aware of that, and I have to take that in right now. Luckily, I worked a lot in my twenties and thirties, even though I was having babies and starting a family," the 47-year-old exclusively tells Morning Honey while talking about her partnership with World Vision.
"My forties have been for my family. I only have another seven years of that and then my three boys are out of the house. I have only four more years until my youngest is driving and then he won't need me anymore. Now I am picky about what work I want to do because I don't want it to take me away for too long," the actress, who shares sons Mason, Braydon and Tucker with husband Mark Wilkerson, continues. "It has to be worth it. It has to move the needle on the career or the bank account in some way!"
The blonde beauty is also grateful her career has continued to flourish after all these years. "As you age as an actress, you're always told, 'Oh, you're not going to be able to work much after 30, 40 or 50.' But then you see Helen Mirren and Sandra Bullock doing a movie with Channing Tatum and Ryan Reynolds! Sandra has all these younger costars," she says.
But going forward, the Nashville transplant is open for more opportunities. "I love being a storyteller, and I am much more of a storyteller when I am directing. I enjoy the process. I am still building my directing career. It's much more satisfying for me to direct, but I love going back and forth between acting and directing. I love doing these Lifetime true crime movies. I have also stepped into stand-up. I did a stand-up show with Caroline Rhea around Halloween, and we're starting to book some dates next year. I love stepping into different shoes and trying different things. I did The Masked Singer last year, and I've never sang on stage before! It was terrifying but fun. I love finding new things to challenge me."
Along the way, the Sabrina the Teenage Witch alum has learned to not "plan" anything in this business. "I am like, 'Let's just see what happens!' I am producing a ton of stuff next year right now since the strike ended. I've got a lot of things in the works — a few Christmas movies to produce, direct and star in. I've got some true crime stuff I am working on, an animated series, a sitcom I am pitching — there's a lot of balls in the air. You throw it all against a wall and see what sticks. I might have a new sitcom, I might have a talk show, I might be a movie director, but I am trying it all. We'll see what happens," she quips.
"I can't be bored!" she adds.
In the meantime, the mom-of-three is thrilled to be partnering with World Vision, specifically talking about the World Vision Gift Catalog which features more than 100 lifesaving gifts ranging from $16 to $50,000.
"I've loved working with World Vision. It's been a partnership since 2019 when we got to sponsor three girls to match our three boys that have in our family. We decided to sponsor three girls in Zambia, Africa, and we were really lucky to be able to take a trip over there with World Vision and have them show us the programs and how these children live and survive," she explains. "We got to go back again this year. We decided to take this trip for me and my husband's 20th anniversary. Last time, we took our eldest child, but this time, we were able to take all three and meet their sponsor sisters, as we call them, and just see the difference in their lives after being sponsored for four years."
The Melissa & Joey lead said the last time they saw the girls, things were different. This time around, the family seems to be thriving, and the experience was especially eye-opening for her boys. "We've taken them on rescue missions and to food banks, but this was vastly different," she notes of the trip. "You're far out from civilization and they don't always speak English, as they speak tribal languages in the rural areas. All we can do is lead by example and guide them and show them these things."
Whether it's sponsoring a child or ordering Joan Hart's bracelet, which is handcrafted by artisans, the star urges others to help, especially during the holiday season. "When you get this bracelet, not only are you giving back to a teacher or someone, but you're supporting artisans and supporting World Vision," she says. "You can go into the World Vision Gift Catalog and find anything! You can get nativity animals, backpacks for children, medical supplies, etc. It's a wonderful way to start the season, especially after Giving Tuesday."
For more information on World Vision, click here.