Updated: Dec 8, 2019
By Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino
Before we talk more about Jennifer Siebel Newsom, new mom, actress, director and The First Lady of San Francisco, we’d first like you to actually meet the second lady of San Francisco, newborn Montana Tessa Siebel Newsom. Not to steal the light which is shining so brightly these days on her parents – Mayor Gavin Newsom and movie director Jennifer Siebel Newsom – but we think Montana, born Sept 18, 2009, is just, well….. really cute.
“The love we both have for her is the biggest eye-opener yet,” says the admittedly sleep-deprived mom. Baby Montana has a nursery inspired by Jennifer’s love for Africa. “The baby nursery still needs a rug and is a mix and match of things, but overall it is a safari theme with earth tones, browns & greens, and everything to appreciate the outdoors,” says Jennifer.
While baby Montana was taking a nap, we stole a few hours from Jennifer’s day to talk with her about her life, motherhood, career and Gavin’s “love” of changing diapers.
Jennifer is new to motherhood, and still figuring out how to balance it all. “I’ve learned I’m not one to really want to be away from my baby much, so for me, we’ve hired in-home care and Montana travels with me when I need to go,” she says. She also has a home office, so even when she’s working, her daughter isn’t far away.
Jennifer has a lot of places to go with her new film “Miss Representation”. As the writer/director/producer, Jennifer’s film seeks to call attention to women’s underrepresentation in positions of power and influence in America by challenging the limited portrayal of women as encouraged by the mainstream media.
“I have a desire to make a difference and to enact social change. I’m challenging the status quo. The film is non-profit and fairly investigative in nature,” says Jennifer. You can read more about the project at www.missrepresentation.org.
On empowering women, Jennifer says, “Young girls – and all women, for that matter – can acquire confidence to be leaders in their own right and choose to do whatever they aspire to do. There should be no limitations or anything held back. My documentary challenges women to become more involved and challenges the media to put out positive images and support women.”
Jennifer graduated with honors from both Stanford University and Stanford Business School. She worked in Africa, Latin America, and Europe on assignments with Conservation International, a global environmental organization. Upon graduation from business school, she moved to Los Angeles to act and produce.
More recently she has performed in numerous studio and independent films. Several of these films have screened at Cannes and Toronto film festivals, among others, and the majority have been winning awards on the international film festival circuit.
Our conversation drifts back to parenthood, as between all of us on the phone, we are parents of 8 children ranging from newborn to 14. Ryan wants to know if Gavin changes diapers. “Yes and No,” says Jennifer, “We were on a plane a bit ago and Montana had a blowout and Gavin just looked at me….It was pretty hilarious. Gavin is a very hands-on dad and figuring out his role, “ Jennifer adds, “and I think that is important because I think girls learn how a man is supposed to treat them based on their dad.”
I wanted to know if Jennifer can fit back into her skinny jeans, “Yes and No. I can, but things have changed. Even Gavin gained weight during the pregnancy. I craved ice cream bars and pizza and he ate them right with me,” admits Jennifer.