Leah Remini, The King of Queens
Funny lady Leah Remini
speaks candidly about her friends Tom
, her diet tips, and moving on from CBS' The King of Queens
(Mondays at 9:30 pm/ET).
TV Guide: After playing Carrie Heffernan on The King of Queens for nine seasons, you're coming down to the wire with next month's series finale. How does it feel?
Remini: Awful. It's a cliché, but you just don't know what you have until it's gone. Kevin [James] and I have both had babies on the show. We've lost weight. We've gained weight. Just look at everything we've gone through. Nine years is a big chunk of your life. It's been my first real success, and you can't recreate that. I'm going to miss a lot about it.
TV Guide: Did you and Kevin always get along, or did you bicker like any real-life married couple?
Remini: There have been shows where Kevin and I weren't talking, which actually makes me laugh out loud when I see them. Like, "Oh, my god, I had to lay on top of him and he wasn't talking to me!"
TV Guide: What kind of stuff would you fight about?
Remini: The usual crap that you get in a relationship. You know, "Why do you have an attitude?" "Why do you have an attitude?" When you work with somebody for nine years, you're bound to get on each other's nerves. But we still love each other.
TV Guide: Are you going to take home any mementos from the set?
Remini: I'm gonna take my whole dressing room. I hope you don't print that, because they might come after me. I have a Galaga [video-game] machine the producers bought me. And I'll probably take home a wedding picture of me and Kevin that's been on the piano.
TV Guide: How did becoming a mother to Sofia Bella in 2004 change your attitude toward work?
Remini: It just puts things in perspective. When Kevin had his daughter [Sienna-Marie, in 2005], we lightened up. We used to obsess about the most ridiculous things, like, "Why can't we have sesame bagels?" And since we've had the babies, we appreciate what we have.
TV Guide: You were very open about your difficulty losing the baby weight. Why was it so hard?
Remini: Because I ate like a pig. I just ate like crap. I ate anything and everything. I went back to my childhood. I'd eat a whole box of mac and cheese, McDonald's, French toast. I'd say, "I don't eat it. My baby eats it." But I went on a great diet.
TV Guide: What's your secret?
Remini: It's called the 1st Personal Diet. It's determined by the metabolic rate of your blood, and then they send you a diet on your e-mail. I was trying everything else. I did Jenny Craig and lost 10 pounds, but I couldn't get rid of the other 40. And this did it in six weeks.
TV Guide: You're friends with Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. What do you guys do when you hang out together?
Remini: It's funny because people think this person or that person is not normal because they happen to act. But it's just what you would do at anybody's house. You have dinner, you watch a movie, you play cards, you play games. You enjoy each others' company. We end up talking about marriage, kids, houses, dreams, hopes, fears — normal stuff.
TV Guide: Jennifer Lopez is also one of your pals. What's she like?
Remini: Jennifer and I are very similar. We're from the same place. She's so normal that it would baffle people. She loves to hang out, loves to give advice, loves to be a good friend, loves to be a good stepmother. Cooking and cleaning and taking care of her man and taking care of her family. She just loves to be a girl, so we connect on that level.
TV Guide: You've been involved with Scientology for a long time. Why has it become so controversial in recent years?
Remini: The advice I give people on this is, "If you're interested to know what it is, go buy a book." You don't go to South Park to find out what Scientology is. Make a decision based on what you've read, not what you heard or what somebody's cousin heard. Find out for yourself. Religion's there to help people lead better lives and be better people. So whatever religion that is, god bless ya. If it helps ya, it helps ya. If it doesn't, call it a day.