There’s nothing like your first time.
“I’m not going to go into mine,” actress Keri Russell told us last night, referring to the birth of her son, River Russell Deary. (What did you think we were talking about?) She paused, flashed a toothy grin and added: “But it was great.”
Bundled in an oversized jacket and looking much younger than her 31 years, the Felicity star (and Brooklyn resident!) was milling about at the after-party for a special screening of The Business of Being Born at the IFC Center in the Village. Executive-produced by Ricki Lake and directed by Abby Epstein, the documentary, a well-meaning bit of agitprop for natural childbirth, has garnered considerable support from Hollywood bigwigs—like the evening’s absent host, Rosie O’Donnell—since it premiered last spring.
“My [famous] friends in California, they all have c-sections, because there’s no pain—it’s like no big deal,” she told us, before adding that the drugs “pumped through the mother” during birth can be linked to the eventual onset of chemical imbalances and A.D.D. in their child. “I just think the system is set up in a way that everyone wants that experience, and that’s not what everyone wants. I certainly didn’t.”
Ms. Russell—who is about to begin shooting an Adam Shankman-directed film alongside Adam Sandler—said that when she first saw Ms. Epstein’s documentary, at the Tribeca Film Festival last year, she had already arranged to have her baby delivered by a midwife. (Although she denies it adamantly, Ms. Russell has been linked to Scientology, which is anti-pharmaceuticals, to say the least.) The viewing merely confirmed her suspicions and strengthened her resolve.
“I just feel like birth is one of the most powerful things that can happen to a woman. And it’s nice to be reminded that you are built to do this.”