Next week ,she's back in theaters, co-starring in CBS Films' "Extraordinary Measures."
The film is inspired by the true story of John Crowley, a man who defied conventional wisdom and great odds, and risked his family's future to pursue a cure for his children's life threatening disease.
"I watched the movie yesterday. It's beautiful," said Early Show co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez.
Russell plays a mom with three kids, two of whom have Pompe disease, a form of muscular dystrophy.
"It's such an incredible, everyday hero story," Russell said.
This was Russell's first role playing a mom since becoming one. She has a 2-1/2-year-old son named River.
Having the opportunity to meet Aileen and John Crowley and their children, Megan and Patrick, whom the movie is based on, really made the connection for Russell.
"It's such a testament to their marriage and who they are as partners," she said. "They're so self-deprecating and funny, and have a sense of humor about it all. So, amidst all the hospital visits and surgeries and all this very emotional stuff, they really have a sense of humor and they keep things light. And I think that's what saved them."
Russell's husband in the movie is played by Brendan Fraser, who seeks out a scientist (Dr. Robert Stonehill) played by Harrison Ford because he may have a potential treatment or cure for the disease.
In "Extraordinary Measures," Russell delivers some thought-provoking lines, TO which many parents can relate.
"Do we just accept our fate and do what we're told by all the well-meaning doctors and wait for the worst to happen, or do we fight it?" Russell's character asks in the film.
"It's like something in you as a parent snaps and says, 'I can sit here and do nothing or I could get this ball rolling,'" Rodriguez said.
Although the Crowleys were constantly told "I'm so sorry. I wish we had medicine for them," they didn't take "no" for an answer.
"For this man to leave everything, his job, which, by the way, was health insurance, which gave these kids medicine and medical treatment, and risk everything to go after the scientist to create -- maybe, a drug that might work and in time for the kids -- it's an incredible, incredible story," Russell said.
Acting alongside Ford and Fraser was also extraordinary for Russell.
"They're OK," Russell joked. "I think Harrison thinks, if he keeps at it, he might have a career ahead of him. They're overrated!"
Kidding aside, Russell said "It's amazing. He's Harrison Ford. He flies a plane, for God's sake! They're really great."
Having the Crowleys on set really helped the cast members get into their roles.
"They're an incredible story. An incredible family. They have such a good connection with each other. And I think that's just what's special. It's not this really sad sob story. It's the exact opposite of who they are. They're survivors, they're funny. And I think it's a really great story, especially right now, to see."
Next week, Russell's co-stars, Ford and Fraser, will visit "The Early Show."
"Extraordinary Measures," the first release from CBS Films, will be in theaters Friday Sept. 22.