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Jerry O'Connell: My kids 'don't listen to a word I say'

Wonderwall, Monday, July 29, 2013, 5:46pm (PDT)
  • By Katie Mathewson, Reporting by Scott Huver

    Jerry O'Connell didn't know he'd have to spend so much time in a Speedo when he signed on to star in the new CBS comedy "We Are Men," but such is life. Luckily for Jerry, he has his wife -- former Sports Illustrated cover model Rebecca Romjin -- to give him some pointers on how to look good in a swimsuit. Outside of his latest television ventures, the 39-year-old actor is playing Sheriff Lamb in the "Veronica Mars" movie and has his hands full with his daughters, 4-year-old twins Charlie and Dolly. We caught up with Jerry to chat about his Speedo debut, raising his girls, and why he couldn't be a dad without Rebecca by his side ...

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    On the best part of fatherhood:

    "I joke about how crazy my kids are, but they're at that age now where they're talking. They're trying to tell jokes. They're being funny. They're laughing a lot. It's just sort of fun to help these two little munchkins get through. One of my girls came home the other day and said, 'Oh, someone was bothering me at school.' And I said, 'Don't hit back. Don't yell. Just go tell the teacher.' I couldn't believe I was saying it. It just happens overnight. So it's fun being a parent."

    On the hardest part of fatherhood:

    "Other than putting them to sleep? ... My wife went to go do a show called 'King and Maxwell' -- she was in Vancouver for a number of months. I think the biggest challenge is -- and I'm no Dr. Spock here -- but my girls tend to tell me what to do, and my wife is really good at laying down the law. My kids listen to my wife. They don't listen to a word I say."

    On staying in shape (despite having a busy career and a family):

    "When I was young and didn't have kids, I could go to the gym all day. My fitness routine now is -- this is a joke -- but I get a milkshake at the gym, and I sit on a ball for an hour and watch television, and then say I am working on my core. But for this one I'm just trying to keep it together. This was not scripted that I was wearing these Speedos all the time. It came as sort of a shock to me, so I'm just trying to keep it together."

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    On what it's like to have daughters:

    "It's not that I'm a slacker parent. It's just I think it's girls and daddies. If they ask me 15 times for chocolate ice cream at 9:30 at night and mom isn't around to yell 'no' and put them in their room ... I'm going to give them chocolate ice cream. I find myself not being able to say no. And I can't scold them. I have problems scolding them. They're just little girls ... I can't even yell at them. You know, my parents used to hit me. I mean, forget it. The dog leash was out, everything."

    On working on set with his wife, Rebecca Romjin:

    "You come home. You complain about work. You say how much fun work is. You talk about work all the time ... with your significant other, and then for them to come and see what all the hubbub is about, it's sort of fun. ... We're really involved in each other's lives and careers. It's just sort of fun to share that."

    On how he's made his marriage work:

    "As I said before, my wife and I would love to get divorced, but neither one of us want to take our children. ... We laugh a lot. My wife is my best friend. ... I would hope that Rebecca would say the same. We just giggle. It's sort of fun to go through, not only parenthood, but parenthood of twins."

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    On being away from home:

    "I went up [to Vancouver] to visit [Rebecca] a bunch of times. My kids are in school, so I was pretty much at home. You don't want to uproot everything. It was tough. I have girls. I don't know how to do a French braid. I don't know a lot of these things. I'm really happy that Mom's back. My daughters were starting to wear pants all the time and just wearing sneakers like Dad, and wearing a baseball cap sideways. I'm really glad that Mom is back home, and their diet has exponentially gotten better. It was drive-thrus for months."

    On how his twin daughters differ from one another:

    "They're completely different. I have one daughter who's very much into princesses, one who's only into cowboys. I guess the most interesting aspect is the fact that we've raised them exactly the same. People are going to be who they're going to be. They're just sort of wired that way. It's possibly one of the more maturing experiences, is raising kids because you realize you are who you are because you were kind of born that way. It's funny to see."

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    On his role in the new "Veronica Mars" movie:

    "I play the new Sheriff Lamb. It's a fun role. They've asked me to keep it under wraps. I have a lot of backers that I have to appease there. If I was working for a studio I'd tell you right now, but I'm afraid of all those Kickstarter people hitting up my Twitter and email. Rob Thomas is genius. I think fans are going to be really happy with the movie. I think they may even pick up new fans. It was a fun set. Kickstarter movie, man."

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