On paper, Jill Kargman is so easy to typecast. The daughter of the former chairman of Chanel grew up on the tony Upper East Side of Manhattan and attended Yale. Enough said, right? But in person, the kinetic, raven-haired author-actress and all around anti-socialite is refreshingly outspoken and pretty hilarious about everything—from rich people to her funereal style. The star of Bravo’s scripted show Odd Mom Out, which is based on one of her 12 books, inspires us to shred the rules and play life for laughs.
Odd Mom Out is a breakout hit, which makes you a breakout star—sans formal acting training. How does that feel?
While I've never worked professionally, I'm actually a trained theater actress and was always in plays through college so it feels like a return in a way since I was acting before I was even writing; I just knew I couldn't ever pursue it as a career because I felt like way prettier girls than me at Yale weren't working after college and I thought I'd have to bang gross casting directors and pound the pavement for years while hostess-ing and waiting for auditions which I wasn't willing to do.
Did you secretly hope that Momzillas - published almost 10 years ago—would one day become a TV show?
Yes! Not secretly! NBC optioned it right away and I was so excited and then it languished in development hell and they eventually just chucked in their big peacock vault so I was delighted to be able to rehab the concept and mine the world for comedy.
Tell us about the biggest risk you have taken in your career.
This might not sound like a risk but I actually didn't want to shit out another novel—I'm done with fiction!—so rather than do something I didn't want, I took a job writing maxi pad ads at Ogilvy, which was great money but didn't seem like it would propel my career in any way, but ironically that's when my bosses Tim Piper and Daniel Rosenberg said I should do TV and they introduced me to Andy Cohen. So the non-strategic route sometimes can be a camouflaged stepping stone.
How do you overcome an utterly crappy day?
When do you feel most like your best self?
Walking with my kids through the streets of New York.
Describe your go-to look, from head to toe.
Hair in a George Washington or Pebbled pony, blouse and skirt or black dress, black leather jacket and high-heel booties.
What’s your philosophy on aging?
My mom is my role model—she does nothing—no fillers, no face-lifts, nada. BUT she is a much healthier eater than I am and is so thin which I think makes you look young no matter what. She also doesn't go in the sun and drinks lots of water. I am trying to be better but the crow’s feet are still marching across my eye sockets.
How are your 40s, so far, better than your 30s?
I feel like I don't give a shit at all about what people think because I'm so crystallized in my sense of self and my life, whereas I have no clue how people are on TV during formative years while searching for a spouse or real friends. I'm so lucky I'm old because I already had my life and now this is just fun, but I know it's not real. Which is why praise for the show doesn't go to my head and comments saying I look like Marilyn Manson don't upset me. :)
How do you celebrate your birthday?
My 42nd birthday was yesterday! I had a girls lunch with 4 friends and then my friend Natasha de Mallemann threw a dinner party at Loulou's which was so much fun! I wish we had a supper club like that in New York! It was so much fun.
Finish this sentence, "Ha! I no longer care about..."
Name a vice you may never give up - and why so.
My red wine! It calms me down every day and my doctor says I don't have to give it up, so YAY!
What's on your life to-do list?
Be the kind of hands-on grandma my mom is and shower my grandbabies with love and affection. But not too soon!