Busy Philipps Is a Work in Progress, and She Wouldn’t Have It Any Other Way

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Busy Philipps is, well, busy. It’s late-Friday afternoon in New York, the holiday is over, the cold is here, and the snow is coming, but she has a long list of things to do before the weekend—and her new movie—hits.

She’s taking this interview in-between appointments, only to swing by her apartment to pick up a package from her mom, all while she’s walking her dog, Gina, around the block.

“Why do moms do this?” the 44-year-old mom-of-two asks with a hint of exasperation. “She just sent a huge box of stuff that I don’t have room for. Where am I going to put all this? But you know one day I’ll be the one sending the huge box of stuff to my kids, so what can I say? Moms are always going to send the huge box of stuff.”

This Friday, Philipps plays another kind of textbook mom—that of Regina George’s “cool mom,” Mrs. George, in the 2024 version of Mean Girls.

“I mean, for me, any time Tina [Fey] calls and asks if I’d like to work with her, the answer is yes,” Philipps says. “I’ve been so lucky in the last several years that I’ve been able to say yes to her a bunch of times. The original movie is, of course, so iconic; I was such a huge fan of it 20 years ago when it came out, and I was a big fan of Mean Girls on Broadway. My older daughter, Birdie, loved it, and we saw it a bunch times.”

Philipps likeness to Renée Rapp (she played Regina on Broadway and continues the role in the movie), is also not stuck in the Reddit-verse.

“When Renée took over the part of Regina, Tina called me and she said, You guys look so much alike. You really could be her mom. Well, you’re probably too young to be her mom, but you guys really look alike.’” Philipps recalls. “Tina had mentioned back then, which was like late-2019, and she told me, ‘Maybe you should consider coming to New York and playing Mrs. George in the Broadway show over the summer.’ Of course, that was 2020 and then everything shut down, so this whole thing is a long time in the making.”

Dress: Alejandra Alonso Rojas; Necklaces: Busy’s Own

What will excite fans the most about this new version of Mean Girls?

Well, I think if the people aren’t familiar with the musical, it’s a whole new world. I think that in and of itself is going to be very surprising to many people. Beyond that, I have heard some questions like, “Oh, is this a remake?” It’s not a remake, because it’s a totally different version of telling that story. I’m excited for people to get into it and see it.

Obviously, we’re in the New Year. We’re into it. What are you excited for in 2024?

I’m super excited for this year. Last year was difficult for me in lots of ways—personally, professionally and in the world. It was really tough, and I’ve decided to choose to be very optimistic about this coming year. Workwise, I’m super excited about Mean Girls and then I’m really excited about GIRLS5EVA, coming out in March on Netflix. I’m just thrilled to continue to figure out what work I’m going to do next.

Are you a resolution person?

I’m not; I look at every day as a new day. It’s a new day to get it right. You know what I mean? I try to move forward with as much compassion for myself as possible, and a lot of times—at least for me in the past—resolutions have made me feel bad. I just always like to look at myself as a work in progress.

I like that. You are active on social media. Is there anything you don’t share? Anything that’s just for you and your family?

There’s actually a lot that I don’t share! There’s a lot that’s just for me and my family and my friends. There’s a lot that’s not out there on social media.

Dress: DoubleJ; Coat: Iceberg

I love your fitness posts. What does your wellness and self-care routine look like now?

It all depends. New York is so different than Los Angeles in that aspect. When I’m in LA, I have a very set schedule, but I think, by nature, it is more difficult to keep that schedule in New York because every new day is a new experience. You sort of never know what the day will bring in New York.

Fitness-wise, I’ll do a class in my apartment by myself; I also have my little trampoline that I use a lot. Sometimes, I’ll do a hot yoga class somewhere if I can get the timing right. It really depends, but the most consistent workout for me is walking. I walk so much in New York. It’s like a cliché, but I do.

That was my next question: What was the transition for you making your home base in New York, as opposed to Los Angeles?

I think everything is easier in LA. If I’m being honest, it just is. I’m still not fully used to living in New York, and I don’t know if it’s going to be a forever thing for me, but it’s definitely been an interesting few years here. I think it’s been great for the kids. It’s given them a whole new different perspective on life.

But LA is its own little beast. A lot of times, Los Angeles can feel like a one-trick town, and the trick is the entertainment industry. New York feels so much bigger than that. That perspective is really nice.

I lived in Los Angeles for years of my adult life—pretty much my whole adult life up until now. I was always surrounded by billboards and TV shows and movies and things that I wasn’t a part of—and a lot were things I wanted to be a part of. You’re literally passing by billboards showing jobs you didn’t get. There was always this level of comparison.

Here, in New York, I don’t even know when the award shows are happening. It’s really freeing not to be consumed with the end product. It is certainly better for my mental health.

Dress: A Potts; Tights + Necklaces: Busy’s Own

You’ve also been open about your relationship with your ex on social. What have you learned and do you have any advice to anyone who’s co-parenting and going through the process?

Giving advice on marriage and divorce is like giving advice on raising children. You can, but everyone is so unique and what works for you may work for someone else, but it might not.

I don’t know…we just did it. We just figured it out through some trial and error. And we really try to be kind to one another and kind to ourselves through this whole process. It’s not always easy. It goes through ebbs and flows, like everything. But it’s obviously worth it. We made a very real commitment to raising these kids together. That doesn’t end because one part of our relationship is different now.

You’ll be 45 this summer. Does that come with any thoughts, getting into this next number?

I had a hard time last year on my birthday. I’ve been having a hard time in the last few years with the passage of time, mainly because of the pandemic and how it sort of feels like we had time that was taken from all of us. It’s a bummer. It’s a bummer for our kids. It’s a bummer for us. It’s bummer for grandparents. We’ve all lost valuable time with people we love. It all feels less about what age I’m turning or whatever, and more about the collected grief of the last several years and the time that none of us will ever be able to recover in our lives. We need that time with the people we love.

Dress: DoubleJ

Busy’s Beauty Essentials

Eye Spy: I’m obsessed with Thrive Cosmetics Liquid Lash Extension Mascara. It’s a tubing mascara, which I have never been a fan of, but this one is literally the greatest tubing mascara of all time. I’m obsessed with it.

Test Run: I actually love a bunch of products from Thrive. I discovered them because they were advertisers on our podcast, and before Casey and I take on any new advertiser, we try the product to make sure that it’s something we’re into and we get behind it and all that. That’s important to both of us. I am so obsessed with this mascara. They are not paying me right now to say that to you. I really, truly, genuinely can say it’s my favorite mascara that I’ve ever used.

Tool Trust: I am a very firm believer in an eyelash curler. Birdie and I were just discussing how our eyelashes just go straight out. We both need to curl our eyelashes.

Luxe Choice: Biologique Recherche products are so good. I’ve been using them for many years now. I always return to the P50.

Lip Love: I love Epicuren’s lip balm. I’ve been using it forever. It has propolis in it and it’s a tiny tube, but it’s amazing.

Hair Care: Love Kérastase—the shampoo, the conditioner, all of it. It’s such a great line.

Dress: A Potts; Tights + Necklaces: Busy’s Own

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