Melissa Rivers spent years mercilessly critiquing celebrities on the red-carpet with legendary comedienne mom, Joan, but asking A-listers what they’re wearing isn’t all she does. Melissa is also author of new book, Red-Carpet Ready: Secrets for Making the Most of Any Moment in the Spotlight, which she assures me actually “has nothing to do with the red carpet.” But perhaps her most important role is that of mom to her son Cooper, 9, whom she calls her “biggest priority.” We caught up with the chatty entertainer to discuss airport meltdowns, McDonald’s Big Macs, and one very interesting parenting philosophy. – Andrea Zimmerman
How do you stay sane as a mom in Hollywood?
I’m flattered you think I’m sane. Being a mom makes me very good at boundaries. There are very few times I actually have to let work dip into his time.
What’s one lesson you want your son to learn?
Never have a sense of entitlement.
What shocked you the most about parenting?
That there are certain days when all I do is say is “No,” “Don’t,” “Stop,” “I’m not in the mood for this,” “Put that down.”
How do you handle a public tantrum?
Nobody forgets their first official public throwdown. Ours was in the Salt Lake City airport just past security. There was something he wanted in the store, something he already had. I [told him no], and he threw himself down in the middle of the concourse. I stood there, put one foot on either side of him so nobody would step on him, and people walked by, saying, “Oh, you too?”
What’s off-limits in your house?
Nobody’s allowed to play in the living room. And dragging their hands along the wall. Wash your hands!
What’s your son’s favorite meal?
Buttered noodles. And Big Macs from McDonald’s. He pulls out the inside of the bread.
What’s been your biggest challenge as a parent?
I’m a single parent or “co-parent,” that horrible term they use, so talking with my ex-husband about things we have different opinions on and staying consistent with rules for [Cooper].
If you could be any TV or movie parent, who would you be?
Mrs. Partridge, because they had that cool bus.
What’s your parenting philosophy?