Marlo Thomas, television star, spokesperson for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and role model for many has been on the show over the past month doing segments asking women about marriage, divorce and careers, among other things. Today I caught up with her in her dressing room to ask her about her experiences here and her ongoing work as an independent woman.
Q: What has it been like being on the other side of the camera, asking the questions to these women in the different segments?
Marlo: I think I've brought a lot of curiosity to the stories because I'm genuinely interested in what these women have to say - that's why it's been fun for me. I want to hear what they went through in getting divorced or during marriage, the moment-to-moment feelings. I don't have to come up with questions, because it's all things I really want to know. I think it might be different if I was interviewing sports figures (laughs) but these are real women - it's fun.
Q: What have you learned from these women?
Marlo: I've been surprised by how open they've all been. These women have revealed how they feel: how they miss sex, internet dating, the pain they've faced.
Q: In your generation you were a role model through your character on "That Girl", how do you feel that translates to young women today?
Marlo: I think every generation has those female role models. In "That Girl" I was a woman just trying to find myself - now there is a lot more variation. Mariska Hargitay is a strong presence on the force with men in "Law and Order: SVU," or the women on "ER" or "Grey's Anatomy" who are vying for the top positions in the hospital - women are taking on more as role models.
Q: You do a lot of work with St. Jude's Research Hospital - what has that meant to you in your personal life?
Marlo: I think I have more belief in humanity. These children are so compassionate and willing to have joy in the face of such struggles. We all have that potential - to help someone else even when we are facing a tough situation. They worry about their parents - I had one child say to me, "I'm not feeling well, but don't tell my mom. I don't want her to worry." I mean, that was a six-year-old. It's very encouraging seeing the strength these children have in the face of adversity.