Cybill Shepherd Dishes on 'The Client List' and Her Hot Male Co-Stars

'The Client List' star talks about everything from being a proud mom to what she really thought of her male co-stars and what she’d like to tell her 25 year old self

by Leslie Van Buskirk
cybill shepherd photo
Photograph: MyLifetime.com

More: Have your kids sort of followed your lead, in their careers or their politics? I know Clementine is an actress—you appeared on The L Word together, but what about the other two?
CS: They are very individual. My daughter Ariel is a playwright. She has her first production in Los Angeles this Sunday and then it will be in New York at the Manhattan Theatre Repertory Festival. My son Cyrus starts teaching in the L.A. County Schools next year through Teach America. He’s devoting 2 years of his life to service as a teacher. He’s a history major and he graduates from the University of Pennsylvania in a couple weeks. I’m so proud of him, of all of them.

More: You worked off and on when your kids were growing up. Did you feel torn or guilty at all? How did you handle it?
CS: In my case, I’ve loved the work I’ve done, and I don’t think my children were deprived. Yes, there were games or things I missed, but for everything that I could do, I was there. And I think that that sets a great example for young women and men—that you can work and you can have a family. It’s a huge luxury for a woman to stay home with their kids. Most women can’t afford to do that. They don’t have the choice, they have to keep working.

More: This has been in the news lately, regarding Mitt Romney’s wife—
CS: There was a big kerfuffle about this. I have a great feminist friend, [Democratic pundit and lobbyist] Hilary Rosen, and she said that Ann Romney has never worked a day in her life and there was a lot of talk about that, and Ann acted like “it wasn’t easy raising five boys!” and, of course it’s not easy raising five boys. But it’s a hell of a lot easier if you don’t have to work. You can’t judge anyone if they don’t stay home with their children. The minute we say that women have to stay home with their children until they’re 2-years old and we start to try to legislate that, it’s stupid. Is the state going to pay for those first two years? I don’t think so.

More: This brings up something that a lot of us have experienced: that women can be harder on other women. Have you found that to be true?
CS: Yes, that’s true, but I wouldn’t say it’s true in my career, because I’ve had a lot of men that were really pretty horrible to me. (Laughs) And on my very first movie [The Last Picture Show], I worked with Ellen Burstyn and Cloris Leachman—these incredible actors! And they were like my mentors. I had never acted before, but they were so supportive. It was a great way to start a career. The great thing about The Client List is that it’s a girls’ club. Moonlighting was a boys’ club.

More: Which seems so odd because it was really built around you—you were the star.
CS: Yeah of course it was my show, but it was also Bruce Willis’ show and Glenn Gordon Caron’s, the creator. There was a point where I disagreed with him. He had my character, Maddie, who was pregnant, marry a guy she had met 3 days before on a train—some kind of wimpy guy. And I disagreed with that, and Glenn Gordon Caron made sure I knew that I was not a producer.

More: Off the top of your head, what’s your proudest professional moment?
CS: That’s a hard question. Because I’ve had such a long career, I’ve had a lot of moments that I’m very proud of. I’m very fortunate to have the career I have, to still be working at 62. No matter what we want to say it’s still a man’s world and Hollywood is still a men’s club, so you get to a certain age as a woman and if you’re still working, it’s incredible because there’s not that many jobs.

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