Chris O'Donnell added that having Kevin Hart play Robin would be "an interesting choice"

By Sara Hammel
Updated September 11, 2015 03:45 PM
Albert L. Ortega/Getty

It’s been 20 years since Batman Forever hit movie screens with Chris O’Donnell playing Robin to Val Kilmer’s caped crusader.

With major buzz surrounding next year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which will feature Ben Affleck as a now-grizzled superhero with no confirmed Robin by his side, O’Donnell can reveal one thing for certain:

“I know it’s not going to be me,” he tells PEOPLE of the Robin role. “I put my time in, I had a great time doing it, I think the first go-round was fantastic. It was fun to be a part of it.”

He’s not quite as firm on who he thinks should play the next Robin alongside Affleck. Given a choice of a few actors, O’Donnell offers, “I think something thinking out of the box [like] Kevin Hart, could be an interesting choice.”

The NCIS: Los Angeles star and family man, now 45, has been reflecting during Life Insurance Awareness Month this September (he’s partnered with John Hancock to spread the word about its Vitality program, which rewards insured members for healthy habits).

It feels like no time has passed since he starred in major and memorable films including The Three Musketeers, Circle of Friends and Scent of a Woman, says the actor.

“It’s crazy – we’ve been in a new house for five years, and I haven’t unpacked my boxes that I’ve carried from place to place. I finally am getting unpacked, boxes of articles my mom and people have saved for me, and it’s hilarious to read these old interviews I’ve done,” says O’Donnell, who has five children with wife Caroline.

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“On one hand it makes me nostalgic; I ve been doing this TV show so long, it makes you want to get back on the road and do films. There was a whole part of my life where I was meeting people and traveling the world it feels like a distant memory, but [at the same time] it doesn’t. It was 20 years ago, [but] I feel like I’m a few years out of college!”

O’Donnell is quick to add how grateful he is to have a television show that keeps him in Los Angeles with his family, though he admits he struggles to fit everything in – including staying healthy for his family.

“I really enjoy yoga, and it’s been helpful for me. I also have a gym in my basement. It’s a matter of trying to find that time. I’m either on my way to work before the kids get up, or I’ll work late and they’re asleep when I get home,” he says. “If I’m out the door because I’m going to work out and I know they’ll be asleep when I come home, I’m missing my window to see my kids. It’s a challenge to see my kids every day.”

But he still manages to keep balance in his life.

“It’s a matter of small choices,” he says. “It’s hard when there’s a craft services table with a bunch of junk food on it. I think, ‘I can walk there, I don’t need a ride.’ I find the time to make healthy decisions. Financially, it’s about taking small steps, paying off debts, don’t let things linger.”

He adds, “Life gets complicated”