Hugh Jackman opened about the death of his father and relationship with his children in an emotional chat.
The actor, 54, is starring in The Son, a powerful drama about fatherhood in which his character Peter Miller’s past mistakes with his teenage son Nicholas (Zen McGrath) come back to haunt him and he and his ex-wife struggle to help him.
Appearing on the Graham Norton show, he revealed that his own father Christopher, whose cause of death has not been revealed, died during the production of the film, which he described as a ‘very emotional time.’
He added: ‘I am so grateful to every member of the cast and crew. When you are going through something like that, and you are doing a film that is so intense you just can’t do it alone and you have to lean on people.’
During the episode, he also revealed that playing the role, in which the son appears to be going through a mental health crisis, had a profound impact on his parenting style.
Raw and honest: Hugh Jackman opened up about the death of his father and relationship with his children in an emotional chat on The Graham Norton show about new drama The Son
Difficult: Appearing on the Graham Norton show, he revealed his own father Christopher (pictured together) died during film production, which he described as a ‘very emotional time’
The star, who shares adopted children Oscar, 22, and Ava, 17, with wife Deborra-Lee Furness, 67, said: ‘It changed me as a parent.
‘One beautiful line in the script is ‘Love isn’t always enough,’ which is one of the most difficult things for a parent to hear.
‘I realised it is okay to say to my own children, ‘I don’t know’ and to be open and vulnerable. I used to think they wanted surety and strength from me, but I now share with them things I wouldn’t have before.
‘Hopefully I’m not boring dad doing it and that they appreciate it.’
He appeared on the show with Judi Dench, Michael B. Jordan, Eugene Levy, Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas and Pink.
The actor also revealed that his new movie is connected to The Father, a previous psychological drama about a woman’s struggles with her dad’s dementia.
Hugh added: ‘It is spiritually and thematically connected. It is about a family facing a crisis and I hope it’s a film that will start conversations around mental health.
‘It is beautifully written, beautifully produced, and will, I think touch everyone.’
Star-studded group: He appeared on the show with Judi Dench, Michael B. Jordan, Eugene Levy, Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas and Pink (pictured)
Changes: During the episode, he also revealed that playing the role, in which the son appears to be going through a mental health crisis, had a profound impact on his parenting style
New outlook: The star, who shares adopted children Oscar, 22, and Ava, 17, with wife Deborra-Lee Furness, 67, said: ‘It changed me as a parent’ (pictured with his family in 2012)
The star previously opened up about his father’s death in 2022, revealing that he died on Father’s Day 2021.
Speaking to Variety about working on The Father, Hugh explained why he didn’t take time off to grieve over his family tragedy.
He said: ‘My father never missed a day of work. I could feel him.
I knew if he could talk to me, he’d be like, ‘You’ve got to go to work! What are you talking about?’ I felt his presence on the set.’
The Broadway star went on to share more personal details about his dad’s death, revealing he knew was ‘nearing the end’.
‘He was ostensibly gone, mentally,’ Hugh said. ‘He would still smile a bit. I didn’t know he was going to physically pass away, but I knew it was kind of a goodbye.’
In the aftermath of his father’s death, the Oscar nominee found himself dealing with traumatic subject matter while filming The Son.
He ‘just started weeping’ during one particularly emotional scene, he said.
The film employed psychologists on the set to provide support for cast and crew.
‘The subject matter was really hard,’ Hugh said. ‘Many days, crew members would say, ‘I need help.’ Some of them would leave for a few hours.’
Links: The actor also revealed his new movie is connected to The Father, a previous film (pictured arriving at BBC Radio 2 on Friday)
Similarities: Hugh added: ‘It is spiritually and thematically connected (to the Father). (pictured arriving at Radio 2 on Friday)
Touching: The star said he thinks the movie will touch people as he spoke about the poignant subject matter (pictured arriving at Radio 2 on Friday)
Beautiful: Hugh described his new film as ‘beautifully written’ and produced (pictured signing autographs for fans outside BBC Radio 2 on Friday)
Hugh first shared news of his father Christopher’s passing in September 2021. It’s believed the British-born accountant was 84 years old when he died.
‘In the early hours of Father’s Day, my dad peacefully passed away,’ the X-Men star wrote on Instagram.
‘And while there is deep sadness, I am filled with such gratitude and love. My dad was, in a word, extraordinary. He devoted his life to his family, his work and his faith. I pray he is now at peace with God.’
Christopher raised Hugh and his brothers Ian and Ralph as a single father in Sydney after his wife Grace McNeil moved back to the UK with their daughters Zoe and Sonya.
Hugh was just eight years old at the time.
Sad: Hugh first shared news of his father Christopher’s passing in September 2021. It’s believed the British-born accountant was 84 years old when he died (pictured together)
Happy couple: Hugh revealed that his father would often ask him how his wife was (pictured together) and described him as his ‘rock’
Hugh, who married wife Deborra-Lee in 1996, often paid tribute to his father throughout his career, describing him as his ‘rock’ in an interview with 60 Minutes in 2012.
‘It’s always, “How’s Deb?” It’s not about work and I think that’s him living with, probably, some of his regrets and feelings of maybe he… at the wrong time put too much into his career and he doesn’t want me to make that mistake,’ he said of the advice his father had given him.
‘And so, in his gentle way, he always reminds me that this is the most important thing.’
In an Instagram post from 2020, Hugh wrote: ‘My father taught me to always keep my promises … Even if it turns out that there’s a better option or something that will benefit me more. Be true to your word.’