There is something about Christine Taylor. She’s got it. You don’t quite know what it is, but you really want to.
Petite, prolific and percolating, boy, can she make you laugh! It isn’t easy to be funny, and she is hysterical. A great comedic actress, Taylor is well known for her roles in blockbuster comedies like Zoolander and The Brady Bunch Movie, where she starred as Marcia Brady, and leading roles in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, The Wedding Singer, A Very Brady Sequel and Tropic Thunder. She is also the brand ambassador for Nourish, a 100 percent USDA-certified organic beauty and personal care brand.
“At a time in my life and my family’s life when when we were making significant changes in our diets and attempting to go greener, I got the call,” she says. “The line is 100 percent chemical free, and it’s good for the environment. For all the time I spent watching what I was putting in my body, I wasn’t really focusing on what I put on my body. They helped me connect the dots.”
Taylor and her husband, Ben Stiller, were already well on their way to a healthier lifestyle. “For years, Ben and I were healthy eaters and careful about what we ate,” she continues. Like so many parents, they were influenced by their children, Ella, 11, and Quin, 7, to turn off the faucets and recycle. “If I run the water and walk away from the sink, I am called on it so quickly by my kids,” she laughs.
The real changes in their diet were initiated by Ella, when she said, ‘I don’t think I can eat chicken.’ In fact, Taylor felt the same way. “In my 30s, the cravings for meat went away.” The couple was vegan for a while, but it didn’t take. Now the family is vegetarian, though Stiller occasionally eats fish, and he is gluten-free. (Sorry, Ben, you are about to be barraged by every gluten-free product company out there!)
Taylor seems to have one of those charmed careers, where roles keep falling into her lap. “When I was eight or nine, I saw a musical in the town I grew up in, and I thought, ‘that’s what I want to do when I grow up.’ She was involved in musical theater in high school, and, in her junior year, was asked to come to New York City from her native Pennsylvania to audition for— “ironically!,” she says—a Burger King commercial. And she got it. That opened the door to other commercial work in New York. Taylor went to NYU and auditioned for Hey Dude, a Nickelodeon series. And she got that one, too. “I thought, ‘maybe I should go to LA,’ and I ended up staying there for 20 years.”
The Brady Bunch Movie was “my big break,” Taylor says. It is also how she met her husband, when she auditioned for a part in a TV pilot he was producing/directing, starring Jack Black and Owen Wilson. According to Taylor, Stiller did not want to hire her because The Brady Bunch had just come out, “but the studio forced him to hire me and he got stuck with me,” she laughs. “I got the
guy, and I got the part!”
The family moved back to the East Coast from LA two years ago and, for the last five years, Taylor has been focused on her role as mom. Stiller works—and travels—a lot, and the couple agrees that one of them needs to be with the kids. But Taylor keeps working, too, with memorable roles on Curb Your Enthusiasm, Arrested Development, Seinfeld, Friends, My Name is Earl, Party Girl and Hannah Montana. “When I was asked to do a couple of episodes of Hannah Montana, my daughter was seven, and I was a rock star in my house,” she laughs.
Now that the kids are both in school full time, Taylor has a heavier work schedule. She appears in The First Time, a coming of age romance that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and will be distributed by Sony Pictures; has a cameo in Burning Love; and will be back in her acclaimed role as Sally Sitwell in the return of Arrested Development.
Taylor also serves as a spokesperson for 10 and Under Tennis (10andundertennis.com), dedicated to teaching children the sport she loves, and serves on the board of Project A.L.S. (projectals.org).
She works closely with her husband on the Stiller Foundation (thestillerfoundation.org), which provides relief and educational opportunities for children in Haiti, and is on the board of Artists for Haiti (artistsforhaiti.org).
The Stiller Family Green Drink Recipe
When Taylor and Stiller were vegan, a nutritionist they worked with turned them on to a “green drink” and told them—“even if you don’t do anything else, drink this every morning.” So they invested in a Vitamix, according to Taylor, and that is what they do.
Here is the recipe: Put romaine lettuce, kale, spinach, ginger, celery, sprig of cilantro and parsley, and lemon juice in the Vitamix. Add a few cups of water. Sweeten with stevia. Enjoy!
Not surprisingly, the kids are “grossed out” by the green drink. But that could change. “Learning by example is one of my goals for them,” she says. “Part of the goal for Ben and I is that the kids see healthy food in our house, the shift has started to happen, and that shift will happen for them, eventually, by themselves. You get a little older and wiser, and it’s nice to connect the dots.”