Over the years, James Marsden has shared glimpses into his life as a dad.
The actor and his ex-wife, Lisa Linde, have a son, Jack, and daughter, Mary James. In 2012, he welcomed another son, William, with former girlfriend Rose Costa. Since becoming a father, he’s spoken about holidays with his kids, failing to impress them with his acting and being a “human jungle gym” in a number of interviews.
In honor of his birthday, we’ve rounded up 10 parenting quotes from Marsden.
On His Advice For New Parents
“Make it through the first year! You’ll get your sleep eventually. You go through those sleep-deprived months where you don’t know who you are or where you are, or what’s happening. But just enjoy every second of it I guess.”
On Being A Dad
“Of all my achievements in life, being a father is the one thing I’m most proud of. It is the most fulfilling. I’m always self-deprecating, but I don’t have a problem saying that I am a great dad.”
On Holiday Magic
“[M]y 10-year-old son is a believer. He hears things from kids at school, but my wife has been really good about that. My wife still believes. She’s said, ‘My father taught me that if you believe in it, it’s there.’ When she grew up, her family would play Christmas songs, and have hot chocolate and there would be a fade-in sound of hearing bells from the distance and a glowing red light in the middle of the forest. Santa really put on a show for her, so we do a lot of that. Our principle is if you believe it, we try and make it as magical of an experience as possible. Santa makes the experience as magical as possible. We believe it. My wife believes, so the kids do. My son came home and said, ‘People at school are telling me that there’s no such thing as Santa Claus.’ And I said, ‘Oh, that’s too bad. Some people don’t believe in it.’”
On Easter With His Kids
“They’re actually pretty good at stopping when they start to feel sick. The Easter Bunny does a good job at mixing it up with candies that they may or may not like.”
On Being A Famous Dad
“They’re proud of me but I’m ‘Dad’ to them and it’s their reality. They act as if they thought every other kid at their school had a dad who was an actor, which kind of is the case.”
On Not Impressing His Kids
“My children are overwhelmingly underwhelmed that I have been in the X-Men series, or maybe they don’t want it to get to my head.”
On Raising Small Children
“[Our house] has become our refuge. We don’t get out as often as we should. I’m their human jungle gym!”
“It’s sad and heartbreaking. I was separating not only from my wife but also my kids and the bonds of home and family. Those are things you’re painfully reminded of every day. It’s like, shit, what lesson is this? What’s to come from this?”
On His Son’s Modeling Career
“He’s slowly dipping his feet in the waters a little bit. He’s testing it out to see what it’s about and what it means and if it feels right for him. He’s taking it very slowly and cautiously. If it’s something that I can help him with, then I will. He’s 16 and figuring out his world and who he is and what his strengths are and what his passions are and what he wants to do. This is something that we’re just sort of testing out. … It would have been crazy for me at 16, but nowadays, this is when people start. It’s nuts. But we’re supporting him. I didn’t know what the hell I wanted to do at that age. I think he’s just trying to figure it out. You don’t think ‘career’ at 16, but if he wants to learn about it, great.”
On What His Kids Think Of ‘Westworld’
“My daughter is still a little young. It might freak her out. My son has seen some of it, but he’s probably right on the border there: He’s 16 so he enjoys it, but some of the bigger themes, he’s still a bit young for. But he’s proud. When they’re younger, my kids are wonderfully underwhelmed with what I do in a great way. But nowadays, Jack, my eldest, is very proud and wants to show up on set and see how it’s all done and everything.”
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