up-all-night

Being a mom makes Christina Applegate a better actress

Nov. 7, 2011 at 9:48 AM ET

Christina Applegate was an Emmy-winning actress long before she became a mother, but the “Up All Night” star credits parenthood with improving her performance.

During a Monday morning visit to TODAY, Applegate explained the bond she shares with her on-screen partner Will Arnett, and how they both put their personal roles as parents to good use on their family sitcom.

“I felt like, from the beginning, Will and I could sort of finish each other’s sentences,” Applegate told TODAY's Ann Curry. “We have some of the same sensibilities, same sense of humor.”

And they also share the same off-screen routines that keep them up all night in real life, as Applegate, Arnett and co-star Maya Rudolf each have a child under the age of one at home.

“We understand each other,” she said. “We understand when someone says, ‘Oh, God, this one was up all night sick.’” (We respond) ‘Hey, I’m so sorry.’ Everyone really tries to help each other out, which is nice because we know how tired the other one is.”

For Applegate, that translates to also understanding her character in a way she never could have before becoming a mother, and she feels that reflects in her performance.

“I’ve played a parent before in my life, but never did I understand what it’s like to love that hard, to be that afraid for their safety, to just love that much,” the actress revealed. “So I think that really comes across with Will and myself.... These two babies there — we know what it’s like to just want everything else to stop and only want to be with them.”

“Up All Night” airs Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

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