After appearing as Batman’s sidekick Robin in the 1995 film, Chris O’Donnell‘s acting career was on the brink of a major breakthrough.
However, the then 25-year-old quietly stepped away from the spotlight to focus on starting a family.
“I was being offered these huge films that would have taken my career to a different level, and I decided to put on the brakes. I knew if I continued on that track, I probably wouldn’t have gotten married,” O’Donnell reveals in Redbook‘s June issue.
Now celebrating his 13th anniversary with wife Caroline, the couple has welcomed five children — Lily Anne, 10½, Christopher ‘Chip’ Eugene, 9½, Charles McHugh, 6½, Finley, 4, and Maeve Frances, 2.
The NCIS: Los Angeles star is relishing fatherhood — even if neither he nor Caroline rush to tackle the challenges that accompany the job!
“Maeve starts crying at 6:45 a.m. and [we will] start kicking each other under the sheets: ‘Maeve is crying. Get her,’” O’Donnell, 39, laughs.
“Or you’ll do that fake pretend sleep, where as soon as the other person gets up, you’ll say, ‘Oh, are you going to get her? I’ll stay here then. I didn’t even hear her.’”
And while O’Donnell has starred in a handful of other major roles since his days as Robin, his brood always manage to keep those memories alive.
“I used to try to be really low-key on airplanes, with my hat pulled down. Now I pre-announce to the people around us, ‘I want to apologize in advance,’” he jokes.
“When Chip was 3, as soon as we sat down, he said, ‘My dad was Robin in the Batman movie.’ I was like, ‘Oh my God. How are you guys doing?’ I give up.”
– Anya Leon