Hugh Jackman says he’s a different parent after filming Florian Zeller’s The Son.
The actor explained that since working on the project, he’s become more open with his children about what’s going on in his life or why he may seem more distracted at some times than others.
“I’m a different parent now because of it,” Jackman told Stephen Colbert on The Late Show. “I think I’m more open to being vulnerable with them, saying things like ‘I’m not sure’ or realizing that sometimes I may be preoccupied by something going on with me.”
The Son follows Peter (Jackman), whose hectic life with a new infant and partner (Vanessa Kirby) is upended when his ex-wife, Kate (Laura Dern), shows up at his door to discuss their son Nicholas’ (Zen McGrath) mental health. struggles.
The film’s story inspired Jackman to be more up-front with his children because he doesn’t want them to ever think they did something that upset or unnerved him.
“Just me not communicating ‘cause I’m thinking, ‘Oh, I don’t wanna burden them with that,’” he explained to the late night host. “That doesn’t help, and so now I find myself saying, ‘Hey, guys, sorry if I feel distant. I’m really nervous about this thing, and, if I’ve gone off my head, it has nothing to do with you.’”
The actor went on to say that he thinks his 17- and 22-year-old kids appreciate him communicating with them more. “Just ’cause you’re the father, you don’t have to know what to do, or what the best thing is, and it’s OK to say that,” he added.
Earlier in the conversation, Jackman also got candid about why he was “a hot mess” while working on Zeller’s project, explaining that his father passed away while filming, and the film forced him to see aspects of parenting he hadn’t yet.
“Every scene is this terrifying fear as a parent where you don’t know what to do. You don’t know how to help. You’re doing your best. Everything seems to not work,” Jackman said. “My father passed away during filming, and I think I was just confronting a lot of things as a parent, fears that you have.”
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