Father knows best

Celebrities share the best advice they ever got from dad

By LEANNE ITALIE - • The Associated Press Published: Sunday, June 18, 2017 5:30 a.m. CDT
FILe - In this May 25, 2017 file photo, actor Hugh Jackman poses for photographers during a press conference of his film "Logan" in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File) — Eugene Hoshiko

In time for Father’s Day, a range of artists from film, television and music shared the most valuable lessons from their own dads with The Associated Press:

Perseverance and focus, first of all, because I think that that kind of job of being a fighter pilot is strangely difficult. You’re on your own and you just have to put one foot in front of the other, figuratively speaking, to get things done and to deal with whatever comes up. And that actually comes up. That is very present in my life as a director every day.”

– Patty Jenkins, “Wonder Woman” director, daughter of a Vietnam War veteran

Just to be there for your family. I’ve tried to be as much as possible. If there is a struggle, that’s it, trying to balance family life and life on the road.”

– James Taylor, music legend

My father always said, ‘You belong in that room. No matter what, you can do whatever you want.’”

– Connie Nielsen, Hippolyta actress
in “Wonder Woman”

This one piece of advice really stuck with me. We were on tour and it was toward the end of the tour, so he was definitely not as there, not as with it. So moments of clarity were very noticeable. He looked at me and said, ‘How’s your music going?’ I, joking, said, ‘It’s going well. I am going to be a superstar!’ Very self-deprecatingly. And he got really serious and he said, ‘Be a super person and the superstar will follow.’ That’s Glen wisdom.”

– Ashley Campbell, daughter of Glen Campbell, who is battling Alzheimer’s

I think his positivity and seeing the good in people. He just never said bad words about anyone. I really believe it was that outlook, really honoring people and trying to find out who they really are underneath what they present themselves to be.”

– Bonnie Raitt, daughter of the late Broadway musical star John Raitt

The one that I sort of use every day, I guess, is just a good handshake because in this business, specifically, but I’m sure everybody meets new people on a daily basis, a firm handshake, I think, goes a long way. To this day there’s nothing worse than kind of a half-ass handshake from someone. I think it says a lot about your character.”

– Kate Mara, star of the film “Megan Leavey”

You reflect on being a son, you reflect on being a father, and it’s a good time. For past issues that I’ve had with my father, now he’s passed and you kind of think of things differently. But the joy for me is being so proud of my daughter, who’s now 24 and an actor in her own right, and independent and a freethinking, funny, talented young woman.”

– Bryan Cranston, star of “Wakefield”

My dad said to me very early on, ‘It’s not the disappointments, son. It’s how you get over them.’ And that, that – I’ll pass that onto my son, you know? Yeah. He was 70 (recently) so we kind of celebrated his birthday. He’s a very important man in my life, my dad. Probably the most important.”

– Matt Smith, star of “The Crown” on Netflix

One of the things he said to me was, ‘If you give, you get. But not if you give to get.’ And I love that. And it made you realize that you just have to be the person you want to be just because that’s what you want to be, not because you think there’s going to be a reward at the end.”

– Lucy Davis, Etta actress in “Wonder Woman”

Well we’d go out in the back 40 and, you know, clear some of the brush, slaughter a few hogs and then have a big meal. That’s in the old days, though.”

– Tom Bergeron, host of “Dancing with the Stars”

My father always said luck is when opportunity meets preparation, so always be prepared, which I try to be!”

– Barry Watson, star of “Date my Dad”