Hugh Jackman gets candid about being a father

Hugh Jackman says his latest film made him rethink his approach to parenting. Source: Getty

When it comes to raising kids, Hugh Jackman and his wife Deborra-Lee Furness had “very different” ideas on what that looked like.

During a recent interview with Radio Timesthe 54-year-old Aussie actor explained how he thought having a solid relationship with his wife meant a smooth transition into becoming a parent.

“You fall in love with someone and you work out your relationship, it’s great! All of a sudden, we had kids.

“The way I was parented, the way she was parented… all of a sudden… whoosh!  And it wasn’t just Deb and I, it was somehow our pasts coming together,” he said.

“We had really different ideas about being a parent. And we never really pre-discussed it. We just assumed: we love each other, we don’t argue, that’s going to be fine!”

 

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However, 26 years and two kids later, Jackman is still trying to find his feet as a father.

Appearing on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Jackman explained how filming his latest movie The Son made him reflect on his approach to parenting.

“I think I’m a different parent now because of it,” the actor said.

“I think I’m more open to being vulnerable with them saying things like ‘I’m not sure,’ or realising that sometimes I may be preoccupied by something going on with me.

“Like I’m preoccupied about the opening of The Music Man, for example, and then realizing that they may think they’ve done something and just me not communicating because I’m thinking, ‘I don’t want to burden them with that,’ doesn’t help. 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’s nothing to do with you.’”

Jackman went on to say he thinks his kids, 22-year-old Oscar and 17-year-old Ava, appreciate his open communication.

“Just because you’re the father — you don’t have to know, you don’t have to know what to do or what the best thing is, and it’s okay to say that.”

 

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Jackman also revealed that the death of his father affected the way he’s raising his kids.

“I think I was just confronting a lot of things as a parent, fears that you have, and I just wasn’t sleeping very well,” he said.

“I found myself thinking a lot and in a lot [of] emotional turmoil. And I think it was just part of giving over … giving over to the story, and I just sort of went with it.”

As of late, Jackman has done a lot of self-reflection, having recently opened up about going to therapy to deal with “traumatic” childhood abandonment issues.

Telling Who magazine therapy has “helped him a lot,” saying that sometimes “you need a friend you can unload everything. [Also] having someone really smart, who’s a little a bit removed from your world can be really helpful.”

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