Chris O'Donnell had no idea he was in for a major wake-up call when he teamed up with John Hancock and Vitality to encourage consumers to make small steps to achieving healthier lives. The "NCIS: Los Angeles" star dished on his big revelation while chatting with Wonderwall.com following his visit to John Hancock Vitality Village in New York City last week. Keep reading to see what he told us about the biggest challenge to his health and fitness, how he juggles his busy work schedule with his family life, his thoughts on his kids' pursuing careers in entertainment and more!
Chris O'Donnell on his struggle to make healthy lifestyle choices in his everyday life: "It's funny. I struggle with it based on the number of hours I work at my job. I'm filming 14 hours a day, and I have five kids at home. So I'm always trying to find time and trying to make healthy choices as far as my diet and what I eat. I'm an active person. I play a lot of beach volleyball. I do yoga and play golf. I'm chasing five kids around on the weekends. But it's hard to maintain that. Part of being a parent is setting a good example and knowing that you need to take care of yourself because you need to stick around for a while to raise your children."
On John Hancock's Vitality Age Calculator: "John Hancock wants to reward people who are taking care of themselves and making small steps to improve themselves. They've come up with this Vitality Age Calculator. On average, an American is actually five years older than their real age -- that's their Vitality Age. The good news is that you can improve it by making small changes to your diet and lifestyle. So I've got some room to improve. I'm 44, but my vitality age was calculated at 49, so I've got some work to do in that department."
On his reaction to his Vitality Age: "It's not meant to be a compliment. It's meant to be kind of a reality check for you. It's a good thing because it's kind of in the back of your head like, 'Geez, maybe I do need to skip the craft service table today,' or 'I know I'm tired, but maybe I ought to go put 30 minutes in on the treadmill.' It makes sense -- especially if you're someone like myself who has a big family at home that I need to take care of."
On why this time of year is particularly difficult for him: "I find this time of year is tougher for me than the rest of the year because we're filming episode 21 out of 24 [of 'NCIS: Los Angeles'] right now, and the cumulative exhaustion that you pick up over the course of a season tends to drag you down a little bit. So I just gotta watch it. Summer vacation is just around the corner."
On his summer vacation plans: "We spend most of the summer in Maine. We have a house up in Maine, which is a great change from Los Angeles. I'll get back to Chicago a little bit. It's never as long as you want, but I'm lucky to get any sort of a break. Some people don't get nearly as much vacation."
On his favorite physical activities to do with his kids: "Golf has always been my favorite thing, and two of my boys have really gotten into it recently. We're all buzzing at the house right now because it's Masters week, and it's really the start of the golf season. Fortunately in Los Angeles with the beautiful weather, we get to play most of the year. So that takes up a lot of our weekends. Unfortunately, I'm not playing -- it's me caddying because my sons are playing in tournaments now. So I'm out there carrying the bags and supporting them. I love it. We also spend a lot of time at the beach. We play a lot of beach volleyball. The kids like to get down there and boogie board and that sort of thing. You've got to take advantage of the weather in L.A."
On juggling his busy work life with his family: "I'm living through the rush hour of my life when your personal and your professional life are peaking. Everyone on the set knows that I'm there to work. I'm not someone who comes in and wants to screw around and dilly-dally. I show up; I want to work and I want to go home. I love our crew. I love our cast. But I've got a family at home. I've got things I want to do. For me, it's all work. My partner, LL Cool J, has the same attitude. I think that's part of what makes it such a well-oiled machine."
On his kids' interest in Hollywood: "I'm not so sure if it's a real interest or they're just kind of enamored by the lifestyle. But Lily and Chip, my two oldest, are right around the age when I got started in the business, so if that was something they decided they wanted to do, I would support that so long as they agreed to finish their education and go to college and make their own choices at that point."
On what's coming up this season on "NCIS: Los Angeles": "We've got some exciting storylines coming up. We're exploring a lot of Callen's backstory. There's also a new love interest we're about to meet for Callen -- someone who has a connection [to his past], someone he's known for a long time. But it's a new person in his life."
On recently receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: "I was actually a little bit nervous. I normally don't get nervous at those sort of events, but I looked out at the crowd, and my entire family flew in for the event, all my children were there, my cast and the writers, a lot of fans. It's great, and it's a rally nice recognition. It makes you think back on all the experiences you've had in this business. I've been doing it for 25+ years. Paul Brickman, who directed my first film ['Men Don't Leave'], spoke -- as did LL Cool J. So it was the guy I started with and the guy I'm with right now. That made it for a really special day. There's definitely a sense of permanence to it. It's pretty special. I've walked up and down Hollywood boulevard many times and looked at all the names. To think that my name is there, it's like, 'What is that doing there?' But it's all right! It's very special."
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