LOS ANGELES—This Father’s Day, we salute men who are mentors, coaches, spiritual guides, sources of inspiration and guidance or simply friends in young people’s lives. May they continue to spare time to make a difference in their kids’ future.
We pay tribute to dads and father figures in today’s column.
Henry Cavill, who has two dads in “Man of Steel”—Jor-El (Russell Crowe) and Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner)—talked about which one was more like his father, Colin Cavill, in real life: “They are like two facets of my father’s personality. That’s why I enjoyed working with them so much. I have one side which said, ‘Look after yourself; don’t take your own safety for granted.’ Then there’s the other side which said, ‘Go out there and do your thing. Be proud of who you are.’ Those are two facets of my father’s character and my own personality.”
Is he the ideal son? “You should ask my mother and father,” he said and added, laughing, “They may choose to argue.”
The actor stressed, “Every member of my family is my hero—mother, father, four brothers. They have shaped and molded me with care and love, sometimes very tough love. I am thankful for all of it.”
As “Man of Steel” soars at the box office and his fame grows, Henry is bound to seek refuge from it all in the company of his family. “There’s something about family and being exposed in this kind of world that, when you go home, it doesn’t matter what mood you are in,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what you say. They know who you are. There’s something very special and comforting about that. I could be in the worst mood and in my worst behavior but…they know that I am a good, h
onest person. No judgment that will come from them. That’s a very refreshing and quiet place to be.”
Russell expressed gratitude to many people in his life who were father figures to him—especially his uncle, the late David Crowe, his grandfather Stan Wemyss and father, Alex Crowe—when he won the Oscar for Best Actor in 2000 for “Gladiator.”
“The people who stick in my mind as heroes are those who make themselves available to you when [they don’t] necessarily have to,” Russell pointed out. “I had a great relationship with my Uncle David. When I was growing up, he was the principal family member who was supportive of me having these sort of ‘unreasonable’ dreams and expectations in life. That list [of people who are my heroes] would be quite a long one. There’s a lot of people from sports and various arts whom I consider my heroes. I believe in mentors and in aspirations.”
On playing Jor-El, dad to Superman, Russell said: “As a dad, I find intriguing the things that Jor-El was faced with, particularly in the beginning—the ultimate sacrifice he has to do for his son.”
A human being
Bradley Cooper saluted his father, Charles Cooper, who died in 2011 after a long illness: “I’m grateful that my father taught me many things in his failures and victories. If they were only victories and he was the perfect father, I think that would have been a huge strain on who you may be. I saw my father as a human being [who was] himself vulnerable.”
Singer Katy Perry, who voices Smurfette once more in “The Smurfs 2,” told us that her dad, Keith Hudson, inspired her humorous personality and style: “My father is a character. He’s where I get my sense of humor from. And my sense of style. He used to wake me up [at] 7 o’clock in the morning to go to estate or garage sales with him. He would give me a dollar. I would buy things for a quarter or 50 cents. That was how I started cultivating my own style.”
Speaking of humor, here’s Zach Galifianakis talking about his pa, Harry: “My father is a very emotional Greek who cries at the drop of a hat. He showers us with love. I think I was a pretty good son. I think I still am. I gave my dad $2 the other day.”
(E-mail the columnist at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at http://twitter.com/nepalesruben.)