Jaime Pressly on the 'Brilliant' Way 'Mom' Covered Up Her Pregnancy (Exclusive)
By Jennifer Drysdale
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Having to put on a fat suit and prosthetics while pregnant with twins might not be every expectant mom's dream, but Jaime Pressly was "all in."
The 40-year-old actress gave birth to twin sons Leo and Lenon in October, just as Mom was getting ready to kick off its fifth season. But instead of using odd props to cover up her pregnancy, the writers decided to work weight gain (of a different kind) into her character's storyline, giving Jill an eating disorder and shipping her off on a wellness retreat during Pressly's maternity leave.
"We have the best group of writers. I mean, that was such a brilliant way to cover the pregnancy," Pressly told ET over the phone on Wednesday. "I had no idea they were going to come up with that. I was flabbergasted when they told me the idea."
The actress initially thought writers might use her pregnancy in the show, after Jill's miscarriage one season earlier. "But when they told me about the prosthetic fat face and neck, and the fat suit and the whole eating disorder, I was all in," she insisted. "I thought it was brilliant."
Pressly's character returned to Mom earlier this month with a newly svelte bod -- but as viewers saw on last week's episode, getting healthy will be a bigger deal than meets the eye. Kristin Chenoweth guest starred as Jill's "inner strength coach," but when Jill tried to apply her eating in moderation to drinking in moderation, she quickly fell off the wagon.
"Jill's going to have a really hard time staying sober," Pressly teased of how Jill's storyline will continue on Thursday, noting that writers also left it open for Chenoweth's return. "Jill's had a hard time being able to do anything in moderation... but I think Christy (Anna Faris) was the one who said, 'We're not a moderation group of women,' so she had to learn that the hard way."
"In this episode, she really struggles to stay sober, and it takes her good friends and her support group, these awesome women that she has in her life, to help her realize that no matter how long it takes, they're going to stick by her no matter what," she continued. "She's going to be OK, and she won't give up as long as she's got her friends next to her."
Like her character, Pressly's got a great support system on Mom, and is just as close to the cast as they appear onscreen. "We're all very understanding of each other, and what it's like to be a woman in general, because we're 40 and over. We've all been through the ringer at some point," she said, noting that Allison Janney's recent Oscar win "was just kind of icing on the cake for everybody."
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Watch Allison Janney Celebrate Her Oscar Win With the Cast and Crew of 'Mom' (Exclusive)
"She deserved every bit of that Oscar, and we were happy to accommodate whatever we needed to, as far as scheduling goes. Being an Oscar nominee is like campaigning to be president," she continued. "Nothing has changed there except the title, what you say before her name, Academy Award-winning actress Allison Janney."
The show was also very accommodating of Pressly's pregnancy, but as she told ET, she couldn't wait to get back on set after giving birth.
"I worked up until the week before the boys were born, and came back when they were two and a half months old, so I came back really early," she shared, before laughing at her real motivation for returning to set: "I've got three boys at home! I love coming to work!"
"But everybody has just been [supportive], whether it's been throughout the pregnancy, or me coming back, just being tired and having mom anxiety," she said. "The women in the show are the characters in the show, so it's nice to come to work."
Mom airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. See more on Mom in the video below.