Timothy Hutton on the 'Push and Pull' of Working Fatherhood

11/28/2008 at 07:00 PM ET
Jason Gemnich/WireImage

Oscar winner Timothy Hutton recently made the switch to the small screen, when he signed on to star in the TNT series Leverage. It didn’t come without a price, however, for Timothy had to leave his 7-year-old son Milo and wife Aurore Giscard d’Estaing behind in Paris in order to film the show. "That was certainly a push-pull for me," Timothy, 48, tells Parade — but not entirely unprecedented.

Noah, Timothy’s 21-year-old son with ex-wife Debra Winger, learned to deal with dad’s sporadic absences as well, and sometimes during "monumental events" in his young life. His elder son was the captain of the varsity basketball team and Timothy admits that he missed several championship games because his job as an actor. While he couldn’t be present, he was at the very least listening in! Says Timothy,

"I would have my friend go and hold up a cell phone and do a play-by-play. It was kind of heartbreaking being represented by a cell phone, but fortunately for me it didn’t happen often."

Leverage premieres December 7 at 10 p.m. on TNT.

Source: Parade

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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mslewis on

It really pains me when an actor/father is so flip about living his child behind while he pursues his career. How can you leave a 7 year old an ocean away? To say nothing of a wife!! That’s why I admire Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. Some people may not agree but I think it’s amazing that they are never apart from their children. That to me is stability!!

Manon on

I totally agree, MsLewis.

SY on

I totally disagree… sometimes parents have to leave their children. I don’t think he’s being flip, but merely accepting the facts. My father traveled for months at a time overseas and at first we went with him, but the older we got the harder it became. If he was gone for more than 4 months we joined him for part of the time and it was usually summer. Once I was in high school it all changed and he made it a priority to work out of the U.S. more. I have to say that although he was gone a lot, I also remember him being very present when he was in the U.S. and I distinctly remember him at school programs, etc. There is no right answer, I worked for a French company and with my first I dragged him all over, his first trip to Europe was at 3 months. Is it better to leave a child with the stability and familiarity of home or to “drag” them around to fit the parents’ needs. I say we do the best we can and it’s the quality of time we spend with our kids that matters. I now work from home and have the flexibilty I need, but recently my husband had to go on a trip for over one month, wasn’t fun, but had to be done. The kids had a rough time for the first few days, but were fine after that.

rory on

His wife’s last name is spelled Giscard D’Estaing (not D’Estraing) – same as Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, her uncle, the former President of France.

Natasha on

A lot of parents travel for their jobs, it’s nothing new.

Natasha on

And also, not every parent has the luxury of millions of dollars along with private jets, million dollar villas & whatnot to ship their children all over the world.

Beth on

SY, Did you mean to type that your father made it a priority to work outside of the US when you were in high school?

Anais on

I agree with you SY – tons of dads work ‘outside’ of the family, like dads who drive big rigs and what not. This is nothing new. For all we know, Tim’s wife is going to move to LA soon, or whatnot. Either way, I adore Timothy Hutton to bits and pieces, to me he is still the young man in ‘Ordinary People’.

mslewis on

SY, I’m not talking about one month or three month. Hutton will be in the U.S. for at least NINE months of each year filming the TV series. That’s a long time away from a kid. Money has nothing to do with whether or not you take your children with you. Hutton has to live somewhere. Why can’t his son and wife live where he is? (Of course, it will be a moot point if the show is canceled!!!)

Whatever . . . I’ll keep my opinion that children need to be with their parents, no matter where that parent is. That’s stability!!

Sarita on

I agree with mslewis. Especially if you know the job you are taking is a long term commitment you think of your children first. Visiting them, even if it is every week is ot the same as being there for them every day, even if it is only at the breakfast table and half an hour before bed.