Paul Bettany discusses his late father Thane in a candid new interview with People.
The “WandaVision” actor tells the mag, “Marriage and children changed my life.”
Bettany married Jennifer Connelly in 2003, with the pair sharing three kids together: sons Kai, 23, and Stellan, 17, and daughter Agnes, 9.
He adds, “It really altered who I was and what I saw as my goals.”
Bettany shares how his father, who passed away in 2015, divorced Paul’s mom and had a 20-year relationship with another man before his death.
“The terrible thing for my father is that, in the end, he went back in the closet, which was awful to watch, really,” Bettany says. “And that really speaks to the power of his Catholicism, which sort of led him to a place of shame and inability to mourn his partner in a real way. I really want my children, and I want everybody, to just live authentically as the person they are, and however hard that is, it’s absolutely better than pretending to be something other than you are.”
The star also talks about his family’s world being turned upside down when he was 16 after his brother Matthew died in a tragic accident when he fell off a roof at age 8.
Admitting he dealt with his grief by drinking and partying, Bettany reveals, “I think that you start [healing] slowly, and very much at a snail’s pace. I thought I’d be dead on a couch by 25. But you grow up. There are some things where you go, ‘I feel exactly the same as I did at 16.’ And there are some things where you feel ancient. Not sage but ancient. I just think if I didn’t believe in change, I’d book a ticket out of here.”
He says he continues to find strength “in not being judgmental, and I think my children have that, too.”
“Having been through a thousand years of therapy, there’s real power in getting to know yourself… and I have so many things to be grateful for.”