Jordana Brewster Talks Surrogacy, Home-Schooling and Separation During the Time of COVID

Jordana Brewster Talks Surrogacy, Home-Schooling and Separation During the Time of COVID featured image
Dia Dipasupil / Staff / Getty Images

When it comes to family matters, Jordana Brewster is pretty much an open book. From sharing some “full house” social media posts starring her children, Rowan, 4, and Julian, 7, her sister and her parents to discussing her separation from Andrew Form this past year, the 40-year-old keeps it real (major props to our first cover star ever to pose in a beautiful zero-makeup look last year). Up next: F9, the much-anticipated summer installment from a little franchise called Fast & Furious and a partnership with Clearblue on a new, very personal campaign, #Conceivinghood, in which she’s opening up about the difficulties she faced in her past journey to become pregnant.

Why this partnership?

“We talk a lot about motherhood, fatherhood, parenthood, and, when Clearblue approached me with the #Conceivinghood campaign, I was like, ‘Wait, I’ve never heard that before, but that’s really important because that takes into account the full journey, and it can be a long one.’ I had my oldest son, Julian, when I was 32, and I had started trying at 30…with many disappointments along the way. I feel like we really need to talk openly about our journeys and how many failures it takes until you have your baby in your arms—or, likewise, until you decide that you’re going to try a different route to conceive. I think opening the conversation, destigmatizing it and normalizing it is really important. I’m really honored to be a part of it.”

Do your children ever have questions about surrogacy?

“Explaining it to them was something I built up in my head big time. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, how am I going to explain it to them in a perfect way? I’m sure there are going to be all these questions.’ I sat my son down and said, ‘Mommy and daddy created you. I was not able to carry you in my belly. There was someone else who carried you and mommy was there the minute you were born—I was the first one to hold you.’ I personalized it and he was like, ‘Alright,’ and moved on to something else. I thought it was going to be this huge thing! But I really wanted to let him know early on, so that it was always a part of his story—versus it being this huge thing that he had learned about later on.”

Is that the advice you give other families who have similar stories?

“I think that’s so personal. Families differ… some families choose not to share it, then there are some families that choose to share it at a certain point. It was important for me to be really open, but I think it’s really dependent on the family.”

How has your family dynamic changed this past year with being at home with your kids? 

“Well, I’ve also gotten separated—and that happened early on in the pandemic, so there’s been some ‘shifting.’ The kids weren’t going to school, the kids weren’t seeing their friends as much, and now the kids were going to two different homes and to a new environment. There was so much focus on making the transition smooth for the kids and having them know that, despite the shift, that there was love, and despite the shift, they were always going to be with mommy and daddy. It’s not a bad thing…I think now they spend more quality time with me, and more quality time with their dad, because it’s individualized attention. 

The pandemic definitely posed a challenge in terms of things like their school. Teachers are angels. They have so much patience. I was pulling my hair out when I was homeschooling my son because he wouldn’t focus and he would sit there and play Legos. He just did not want to look at a screen! There was also this element of incredible self-consciousness on Zoom, where he just kept turning off his camera. Then, he would type all this inappropriate stuff in the chatroom. I was like, ‘Oh my God, how am I going to do this for seven hours a day?’ It was a real challenge.”

Are you doing anything for wellness and self-care for yourself right now?

“I run the gamut. I have a wonderful therapist, which is great. That’s also very spiritual for me. I run every day in the morning. I make sure I have that time for myself. I have a wonderful and supportive network. Sometimes, when I need a break, my parents step in and take the kids, so I’m very lucky there. I think the one positive thing to happen in the last year is that everyone has realized that there’s so much to be gained from slowing down. As a culture, we like to do more and more and more, but I’m not as efficient or effective when I’m trying to juggle five things at once. I don’t feel good when I’m doing that. I think slowing down has been much better for me and for my family.”

And now that thing are getting ‘back to normal,’ your movie, F9 is coming out. Are you excited to finally have it debut after a year of buildup? 

“There was a huge buildup since the trailer launched—that was the best trailer launched ever—but I hadn’t seen the movie until last week and it’s so good. It’s also kind of the perfect moment for the movie to come out, because everything has been so serious and there has been so many challenges on every front for everyone. To collectively sit in a theater and enjoy a film about family and unity and togetherness is great. There’s also some of the best action scenes and amazing actors, like Charlize and Helen Mirren. I love this movie so much, and I think the world is going to embrace it because it’s exactly what we need right now.”

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