Josh Lucas: ‘Becoming a Father Has Changed Everything’

03/10/2014 at 06:00 PM ET

Josh Lucas SXSW Fatherhood Hal Horowitz/Invision/AP

For Josh Lucas, becoming a father to 20-month-old son Noah Rev has not only changed his personal life, but it is changing his career.

Lucas — whose movie The Mend premiered Sunday at SXSW — plays Mat, a guy who has fractured relationships with his family and friends, in a dark comedy directed by John Magary.

Though the role was “fun to play,” Lucas, 42, admits his character serves as a “personal warning” for his own life.

“The thing that was so fun to play — but was a personal warning — is that this is a guy who has let go,” Lucas tells PEOPLE. “He is justifying the fact that his life has failed and he’s saying, ‘This is the way it is.'”

For Lucas — who split from wife Jessica Ciencin Henriquez in January — thinking about what would bring out the good in life for his son, Noah, is driving his choices as he considers future roles.

“My becoming a father has changed absolutely everything in my life, period,” he says. “I am more and more wanting to be a part of things that [are] playful and more the things I see my son really responding to and enjoying.”

Lucas and Henriquez became engaged just six weeks after meeting and went through her cancer diagnosis together. The former couple are now working hard to remain friends.

“We have been through a divorce and divorce isn’t something I would wish on my worst enemy, even when in our case we have managed to do it amicably,” Lucas says. “We will be connected forever. Fully. We have both worked hard to be great friends, particularly because we have a young child that we both truly love. We are the most connected broken family I have ever seen.”

After several past trips to SXSW, Lucas says that the festival has a different feel than others.

“I love this festival,” he says. “It’s fun. And it’s alive in a way. And it’s not just about the insular thing that happens in film festivals sometimes where it is just Hollywood planted on the street — it’s a good, wild fun city.”

— Alicia C. Dennis

FILED UNDER: Exclusive , Josh Lucas , News , Parenting

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Showing 24 comments

Emily on

He’s a great actor… Much love and respect

Mommy on

Look up the mountain lion story… it’s how he decided Jessica was the girl for him. It’s sort of a funny story. XOXO to Josh Lucas.

Kate on

I just love him. Never could understand why he didn’t make the leap to stardom after “Sweet Home Alabama.” He has “it.” Congratulations on having great priorities… go out there and make another movie that makes me wish that you were my redneck or fill-in-the-blank husband!

Taylor Girl on


Niki on

Well when you get engaged and married so quickly what do you expect? Add on top of it she had cancer and I’m sure he felt like her hero. File under DUH.

Sandy on

just shows you why you don’t get engaged after only six weeks!

Cynthia on

Man up, take your lumps like a big boy. You had a beautiful family and you squandered it by not bearing down in hard times to make it work, now you have to deal with the divorce. You’ll regret losing this one.

Carrow on

I didn’t realize the gap in their ages.

Taylor on

To Sandy and Nicole – DH and I got engaged within 6 wks and married within 5 mos. We’ve been married 6 1/2 years. Time really doesn’t mean much.

sable senegal on

Hope everything works out for him his ex wife &their son.divorce really is a rough patch for children.

Anonymous on

Loser!!!!!! He acts as if he lost something fab and no he didn’t try losing a child you loser actor, then we will talk

Kari on

Met my husband in December. Engaged by March. Married that October. Had two kids by our second anniversary. Been married 10years and still strong (and have had two more kiddos to boot!!) Not saying it has not had its difficult moments, but all marriages are work. We didn’t hit our first real rough patch until 4 1/2 years in.

Anyway, it can be done. Just sayin’!

Lakeside on

My parents married six weeks after meeting and we married for 38 years until my mother died. He married again a year after my mother and was married for 20 years, until he died. Time doesn’t matter if you have gotten to know that a certain person is for you. And both times, he and his chosen made it work. Marriage is not a cakewalk but if you work at it and make the right time for it, you will have something wonderful!

Jean on

Hey people, what’s with all the mean comments? Sometimes marriages just don’t work. Couples who have known one another for years before they get married wind up getting divorced too.

Marky on

Anonymous, how can you assume you loss is greater than his, because it was yours? It can be devastating to lose your marriage and know your child will grow up without an intact family. Your loss is devastating to you, and that is understandable, but that doesn’t mean his is not, to him! Sad that their marriage broke up; sorry they didn’t choose to work hard to save it.

suzy diamond on


dudley doright on

this guy used to be such a player

Nancy on

I’m sorry Josh but you aren’t even allowed to comment on marriage; you were married for 5 minutes. LOL. You have no idea what marriage is about. I was married for 24 years. Two children were involved. When you’ve experienced more than 5 minutes of marriage then you may have a clue.

Lacey on

It’s all friendly until someone gets remarried…

Marky on

Nancy, I have a friend who had been married for 6 weeks when she found out her husband was cheating on her; she had no clue and was totally devastated. Her heart was broken and though I thought, “What a bum, good riddance!”, that’s not how she felt. Her experience was HER experience, and that should be respected. Why is it reasonable to say to someone else, “My experience was a bigger deal to me, so screw you, I don’t think yours counts!”. Isn’t it just a fact that his heartbreak is valid to him? Doesn’t seem fair to say, “ha ha! No big deal! Who cares?”, because that’s how it feels to the person who hears what you said…….

guest on

I don’t understand why so many of these celebrities can not construct a sentence! Did they not learn English in school?! This is so badly worded…”Even when in our case we have managed to do it not only amicably but as — hopefully in the end — great friends, particularly because we have a young child that we both truly love” What???!!! I think he meant to say: We have been through a divorce and divorce isn’t something I would wish upon my worst enemy. Even when it’s done amicably–as was our case– it’s still tough. Hopefully we’ll be great friends because we have a young child who we both truly love. It drives me nuts when celebrities can’t express a thought. I mean after all these people are being interviewed by a reporter, they should be prepared to answer questions that make sense to the public!!! If this man can’t speak, then forget getting a thought out of Biebers.

BAD fan on

I met my now EX hubby when I was 22 and we dated for 6 years before marriage and ended up divorced after 2 years. Some relationships just aren’t meant to be no matter how hard you try.

jessicad on

Man, some extremely negative comments here, at least he’s trying to keep it amicable and not bashing her, and the way he talked about his son was very sweet. There are many more divorces from people who dated for years before, so I don’t put too blame in the 6 week thing, it happens for many different reasons. Wish them the best!!

I’m still friends with my ex, simply for the sake of my daughter, we even take trips together, it can be done if you both put your child first!

Anonymous on

Lacey- Not neccesarily! Just look at Bruce and Demi. They continued to be friends (and to go on outings together and take trips together) after they both got remarried (heck, they even attended each other’s weddings!). It’s rare for that to happen, yes, but it’s definitely not impossible. 🙂