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Liev Schreiber on Fatherhood: 'It Came Naturally to Me'

06/24/2009 at 06:00 PM ET

Ronn Torossian, 5W PR

Only a few short years ago, if anyone had asked Liev Schreiber if he would be willing to exchange his carefree lifestyle for one that would come complete with diaper bags, strollers, and sippy cups, the answer would have most likely been short and sweet: no. And now? The 41-year-old actor can’t imagine life without Naomi Watts and their two baby boys, Alexander ‘Sasha’ Pete, 23 months, and Samuel Kai, 6 months.

“But then [fatherhood] happened and you realize of course, how could I do anything else?”

The moment of truth for Liev came in conjunction with baby’s first cry and after meeting his sons for the first time, the doting dad admits there was no turning back. “The minute that they show up and you hear that first scream, it’s a pretty profound feeling,” he tells Hamptons magazine. “You know that you’re in for it — you’re in for the best thing that ever happened to you and the hardest work you’ll ever do.”

As for any first-time father jitters he may have experienced, they too were taken care of seconds after the birth. “There’s just no questioning what you’ll do for your child. You’re not sure of that until your child is born and looking you in the eye and needing something, and then it just sort of happens,” he muses. Fortunately for Liev, fatherhood seems to be second nature for the family man.

“I had no idea that it would be so easy, but it’s just something … you take for granted that you have the ability to do. I think it came naturally to me.”

While things may be smooth sailing, with two boys under two, there is no doubt that both Liev and Naomi are most certainly suffering from a lack of sleep! That said, the exhaustion is easily offset by their introduction into the world of play through the eyes of a child. “There’s also been a significant amount of play, which wasn’t really a part of our lives before because of work,” he says. “And now you’re sort of forced to take the time to play, which has been a real blessing and a lot more fun.”

Nothing that he and Naomi — who coordinate their work schedules to ensure at least one parent is able to spend time with the boys — are blessed their careers “afford us the opportunity to travel and do some great things,” the proud parents are determined to make Sasha and Kai’s playground reach far beyond the traditional swing set. “Sasha just got his first swim in the ocean in Sydney, which I know meant a lot to Naomi,” Liev shares.

As the foursome look forward to the upcoming summer months, which will include weekend jaunts to their Long Island home, Liev jokes that the planned vacation spot is a hit with the whole family — especially when it comes to Sasha and his sand! “I think probably one of my most vivid memories of time spent in the Hamptons would have to be Sasha’s insatiable appetite for sand,” he laughs. “I remember the first time we took him to the beach in Amagansett, he couldn’t get enough of that stuff.”

Joking aside, the serene beach setting serves as an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. “Just being able to have those quiet walks early in the morning — particularly off-season, when you’re on the beach early and nobody else is there,” he reveals.

“Sasha’s on the ground, running around the beach with his dog, having the time of his life.”

Source: Hamptons Magazine

– Anya

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PEOPLE.com reserves the right to remove comments at their discretion.

Showing 6 comments

Andrea_momof2 on

Liev makes me melt. He sounds like such a great dad!

martina on

Liev and Sasha are beautiful together.

crimpe on

Does anyone have any information about Liev’s necklace? I’ve noticed it in other photos. Doesn’t he seem like a great dad?

Bugs on

I like him and he’s fabulous but i think parenthood comes naturally because it’s something natural, that is, we don’t take classes for that. It’s within our nature. I don’t know. It’s like saying, i drink water because i’m thirsty.

L on

Hi Bug,
Sorry to burst your bubble but I must say, parenting does not necessarily come naturally. My dad has fathered four kids and hasn’t been a dad to any of us. He has been in and out of my life since I can remember. Regardless of anything he is my father. I don’t hold anything against him. It would only burden me. But, that is why I can appreciate someone like Liev that much more. I am glad Naomi found such a good man. They are far and few in between now a days.

Sharon on

cute family he seems to be enjoying fatherhood

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