After reading the script for the movie “The Son,” actor Hugh Jackman knew in his “gut” that he needed to play Peter Miller, a father struggling to reconnect with his son who has mental health issues.
Jackman, who has two children of his own, said the role changed the way he parents.
“I learned it’s OK to not know. It’s OK to lead with vulnerability,” said Jackman, whose kids are 22 and 17 years old, which is the age of Miller’s son in the movie.
“As a parent, I will now say things to my kids like, ‘I don’t know. I’m actually not sure. Give me a second,'” Jackman said.
It’s a change from the past, when he said he sought to convey confidence, strength and stability.
Jackman’s performance in “The Son” earned him a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama.
“I think what this movie is doing is starting conversations, saying it’s OK to not know, it’s OK to lean on other people. It’s OK to take a second. It’s OK to say, ‘I’m not sure, give me a moment,’ and to realize it takes a village to raise a child,” Jackman said.
Jackman was filming “The Son” when he lost his own father to complications from COVID-19. He said filming the movie while grieving his father helped him heal.
“When I shot that very emotional scene, I remember thinking I need to lean on everybody here,” he said. “Often in the past when I had a very emotional scene, I would just get into my own world. And I was like ‘Oh no, I need to heal, I need, like, the crew, the camera, the sound, the people, everyone. I needed to rely on them. And I felt my father’s presence.”