Maxine Bahns is one tough mama. An accomplished actress and triathlete, (Maxine has even competed in the Hawaii Ironman World Championship!), the very pregnant Maxine spoke exclusively with Celebrity Parents Magazine about her show, The Mentalist, her love of languages, and being an Iron Mommy-to-be.
It’s so impressive that you competed in Ironman! Were you always athletic?
Not at all! I grew up in East Hampton, NY, and my dad owned a landscaping company. The most athletic thing I did was trimming hedges with him! I was tall, though, so I became a model for Elite. I was skinny but not toned. When I moved to L.A. and would go on castings, all the women there had major definition. Everyone was cut, and I knew I couldn’t compete. I went to the gym and started getting into it. One day, I just happened to see Ironman on TV and I thought, “Well, if they can do it, so can I!”
What did you do to prepare for the Ironman?
Well, for Ironman, you have to be able to run, ride a bike and swim. I didn’t know how to swim, so it took me one year to learn how to swim well enough to compete. For my first triathlon, I doggie-paddled the whole distance!
How many competitions have you been in?
I competed in my first Ironman in 2001 and I’ve done four 1/2 Ironman competitions. I’ve done a bunch of sprints and olympic distances as well. It’s grueling, but I am used to it now. The day after my first Ironman, I went snorkeling with my dad! And I’m going to compete in another 1/2 Ironman in July.
What was the experience like of competing in Ironman?
Amazing. It’s the training that really helps. I spent 8 months training for it. I would ride 120 miles on my bike for 7 hours and the next day run 17 miles. I knew that I couldn’t quit, so I went into it focused, trained well, and I did well for someone who had no athletic base. When you’re competing, especially in the swimming part, people are smacking into you, there are arms and legs everywhere, and people’s toenails are ripping into your skin.
Sounds like fun.
It really is! It’s so exciting, and awesome to push your body to the limit.
Since you are so physically fit, how have you been preparing for Baby?
I’ve been doing a lot of prenatal yoga. It’s been incredible to watch how my body has changed. The pregnancy has been wonderful. I have no complaints at all. I gained 24 pounds; it’s all in my belly! I have no veins, no swelling, and no pregnancy mask. It’s been the perfect pregnancy!
Has the pregnancy conflicted with your work on CBS’ The Mentalist?
I found out that I was pregnant in June, and we starting shooting in September. I shot three episodes while I was pregnant. I wasn’t really showing so it was easy to film my scenes. I have to see if I’m going to resume filming in the spring; it all depends on the writers. My character is apparently the driving force behind why Simon Baker’s character Patrick Jane does what he does.
Let’s talk about another important Patrick; your husband Patrick Watson. How did you two meet?
We officially met at a photo shoot but he says that we met a year before at a party. He says that he can’t believe that I don’t remember this!
Anyway, we were both shooting the cover of Max Sports & Fitness, since we were both duathletes/triathletes. Patrick is a cyclist, and we started talking at the shoot. We had a date that Sunday, and sat and talked for six hours straight. We have been together ever since.
You were once quoted as saying: “My husband is the first man I’ve ever met that I truly felt I wanted to have a child with.” That’s a lovely statement.
It’s true. I dated men long-term, but I could never visualize having a baby with them. At one point, I thought I might have to do it alone. But then along came Patrick, and I instantly knew.
We are both so excited about this baby. We are planning on naming her Madison Rose, but I am already calling her Maddie. We just installed the car seat in our car. It’s surreal, going from a sports car to a hybrid with a baby car seat in the back!
Do you have the nursery ready?
Yes, although it has a grown up feel. Chocolate brown linens with a few hints of pink, dark baby furniture, a swing, lots of Baby Einstein toys, 3 Buddhas and a rain/ocean sound machine. Perfect for a Pisces Zen baby.
What plans do you have after Madison Rose arrives?
My manager just said to me, “Where’s your baby? Is she here yet?” Two weeks after the baby comes, I’m going to start working again. I finished a film, The Lost Tribe, which is coming out in March. I’m also doing a film called Karmic; it’s an action movie where I play a DEA agent. And of course I will start training for the ½ IM.
You’ve also been modeling during the pregnancy.
Yes, I did a runway show for a maternity line. And I just completed a photo shoot for Similac. That was a lot of fun.
Do you think you will model with Maddie?
Definitely! It’s a fun thing to do. The great thing about my job is that I’ve traveled a lot and I’ve lived a lot. It was always a dream of mine to live abroad, so I moved to France for two years. I love languages, and I love traveling, and I want to share all of this with my daughter. I would love for her to go to French school, and travel with her. I have a feeling she’ll be on the road with me a lot. And I’m really looking forward to that.