My wife Melora Hardin and I made "You" with our family. Rory and Piper, our children, are both in it. My parents-in-law (both professional actors), our nanny, our friends... Those friends who don't act helped by giving us locations, pulling cable on set and, most importantly, bringing their signature dishes at lunch and dinner to feed the ravenous cast and crew. The making of this movie was a family adventure. And we quickly found that this was the way we needed to look at it -- and the way we needed to sell it to our family!
We are very involved parents but for the 18 days of shooting our lives were taken over by the movie. Rory and Piper got a different taste of family life for that time with 40 people in our house most days and Mom and Dad not able to play CandyLand or read "Curious George" at every request. It was like we were on board a magnificent ship once we had set sail and the first "action!" was called. Then, it was hoisting the mainsail and pumping the bilges, and our needs and desires had to fall in line. Making a film is a wonderful, rigorous, all consuming, intense, frenetic, thrilling voyage and as I look back what made our trip even more wonderful was that we were sailing together as a family. I feel like it was a true gift to our kids to have had this family adventure.
Rory and Piper now know that they can set sail, weather the storm, reach their destination and return home. Individually, and as a family. I am proud of this gift. As I am proud of the movie. And now, of course, our kids will always have "You" -- our movie -- to watch, to show their friends as they grow up, to remember what it was like when our family set sail on the high seas.
In general being an actor is pretty wonderful job from the point of view of raising children. That is, of course, assuming that you are a working actor and, luckily, my wife is. I don't work as much as she does, but from the family perspective this is a great thing. I get to spend a lot of time with the kids. And, actually, so does Melora even when she's working; she has a trailer and regularly brings the kids to the set. On "The Office," she had a fantastic part but doesn't have to be on set every day, so she is able to be with the kids a lot of the time. Also, actors get paid well so we are fortunate enough to be able to afford a nanny when we both need to be doing other things. I think our lives as actors dovetail very well with our lives as parents.
When we made our movie "You," we changed the rules a little bit by putting on more hats. As filmmakers -- Melora directed, acted in and produced the movie, I wrote, co-produced and act in it -- it was a much more intense and difficult juggle when it came to raising our family at the same time.
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