After a whirlwind romance, Dixie Chick Natalie Maines and husband-actor Adrian Pasdar prepare for their greatest production (a baby!)
Tummy protruding and cheeks aglow, Natalie Maines, lead singer of the Dixie Chicks, cuddes up on a sofa next to her husband, actor Adrian Pasdar, to talk about the dramatic new twist in her life.
"We are so lucky," says Maines, who is four months pregnant with the couple's first child. "This is one of the most beautiful things that can happen to two people."
Their romance may feel like a fairy tale, but the newlyweds hardly have time for a pregnancy that's by-the-book. Pasdar spends most of his days in Vancouver filming the Pax series Mysterious Ways (Tuesday, 8 P.M./ET), in which he plays a quirky anthropology professor pursuing paranormal events. Maines is touring with the Dixie Chicks and recently taped the group's first concert special, Dixie Chicks: On The Fly, which airs this week on NBC. At the moment, the couple is enjoying rare time together in their rented home in Vancouver.
So far, the pregnancy haven't been too tough physically for the petite singer. "I've had no morning sickness," says Maines, who, true to her Lubbock, Texas, roots, admits to having a craving for Mexican food. But the coming months just may put a crimp in her rompin', stompin' stage show. "I'll be sitting down a lot more," she says with a laugh.
Emotionally, being an expectant mom has been stressful. "I cry for no reason," she says. "You want to tell yourself to stop, but you can't. I went to a doctor and said, 'Can't you give me something for these ups and downs?' And he said, 'Just live through it.'"
Country singers have written many songs about rocky relationships, but it appears as if Maines's will be only about wedded bliss. "I didn't think there could be anyone like Adrian," she gushes. "We're both thrill seekers. And even when he didn't have a job, he was always working, fixing up the house or the car. He was never just sitting around watching TV. I would lose my respect for him if he was living his life through me."
Maines, 25, and Pasdar, 35, were married June 24 of this year in a Las Vegas chapel. Four weeks later, she took a home pregnancy test. "It was only a month after the wedding," Maines says, "but I knew I was going to be bummed if I wasn't [prenant]."
Says Pasdar: "There's no point in getting married without having children. But we didn't really think it would happen like, 'Hello! I'm pregnant!' She went off the pill, and it was like, whammo!"
That word could also describe their whirlwind courtship. The couple met in May 1999 at the wedding of Dixie Chick Emily Robison nee Erwin and singer-songwriter Charlie Robison. After the ceremony, Maines and Pasdar ended up in a swimming pool - and then in bed.
"He stayed all night," says Maines. "But we didn't do anything. Except a lot of kissing. I knew I loved him from the first night."
Pasdar proposed after joining Maines on the road in early June of this year, having asked her father, guitarist Lloyd Maines, for permission to marry his daughter. "He told me, 'Adrian, you are getting a good girl,'" says the actor. (Pasdar's parents, Homayoon, a heart surgeon, and Rosemarie, a travel agent, are divorced and live in Philadelphia.)
Lloyd also recommended that this future son-in-law sign a prenuptial agreement. "He said, 'Adrian, you got to get you a prenuptial there, just to be smart.'" remarks Pasdar. "I think I brought it up first because Natalie had been through a bitter divorce [from musician Michael Tarabay, to whom she was married for 18 months], and it made perfect sense. There were a lot of people in various camps, [like her] handlers, who didn't know who I was, and you have got to make it very clear."
Says Maines, "My parents are so protective." Did they think Adrian was interested in her money? "No, they just thought I had poor judgement from the first [marriage]."
And then there was the actor's Hollywood bad-boy past. Pasdar, a pal of both Mickey Rouke's and Sean Penn's (and whose credits include the TV series Profit and the films "Top Gun" and "Carlito's Way"), was once arrested for taking part in a fight at a bar while at the Cannes Film Festival. Pasdar says he was defending the honor of a female publicist. "This drunk guy started getting rowdy. I told him nicely to leave. I meant to pick him up and move him away, and he tripped and went through a plate-glass table. He got up and started swinging a lamp around. The police came. They took us both to jail. We finally got out and didn't have to pay [damages], but it was one real pickle I got myself into." That phase of his life is over, Pasdar insists. "I was never wild. Just careless."
Now the couple is writing a new life chapter. They're house hunting in Los Angeles and Austin, Texas, where they'll be near fellow Chicks Robison, 27, and her sister Martie Seidel, 31. After the tour ends in December, the group will take a year off. "At some point, all the Dixie Chicks will have little chicks," explains Robison, who says she and her husband are - how do we say this? - trying to make a baby. (Seidel is currently dating Irish schoolteacher Gareth Maguire.)
And Maines is thinking about another gig: acting, perhaps in a TV-movie that Pasdar can direct. "My life has changed," she explains. "It doesn't devalue the Dixie Chicks. But I am a little more distant. It is not my life now. My life is about Adrian and me and the baby. We come first."