Michael Douglas tells ITV Lorraine's Ross King about his dad's review of his first acting performance

By Michael Miller
Updated September 07, 2016 06:15 PM
Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty

Kirk Douglas never wanted his son, Michael, to go into acting – and after watching his son’s first performance, he was sure Michael had dodged a bullet.

“I remember the first show I did, he came back and he said, ‘Michael you were absolutely terrible,’ ” the younger Douglas recently told ITV Lorraine’s Ross King. “And he was so relieved because he thought, ‘I don’t have to worry about my son becoming an actor, he was so bad.’ ”

Despite the harsh review from his famous dad, Douglas said he never gave up his dream. “I kind of stayed with it and kept working with it and a few shows later he came back and said, ‘Not bad.’ ”

Elaborating on his relationship with his father, who turns 100 this year, Douglas added, “As the years go on for me, I get more and more of an appreciation for what he has accomplished and for some of the roles he has done.”

Douglas also spoke about his own experience growing older, and how his battle with cancer affected his life. “Well, I don’t know if it’s everything that happened, but certainly you get older. And if you’ve had a cancer bout, you don’t take time for granted. You kind of choose more selectively how you are going to spend your time.”

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As for whether there was a moment he thought he would never act again, Douglas said, “When you are waiting to find out if you are cancer-free or not, you go through your chemo, your radiation, and you’ve lost a dramatic amount of weight. And once this is all processed, once this is all done, there is that moment you go back in to be tested and all that to find out whether you’re in good shape or not. So sure. there is always a moment.”

Douglas also addressed the impact his celebrity had on raising his children, comparing their experience to his own childhood. (Has a 37-year-old son, Dylan, with ex-wife Diandra, and two children, Dylan, 16, and Carys, 13, with wife Catherin Zeta-Jones.)

“I think they get a sense of that in the same way I was brought up with my father and you just see that as part of the process. One of the beauties of our business is that your children can actually see what you do.”

He added, “Acting is make-believe, Dylan, my kid, when he was young he said, ‘I do that in the park everyday.’ I mean it’s just like childlike and you are only responsible for thinking about yourself. Whereas producing is the adult part of watching a whole production. That’s why I don’t like doing them together at the same time, as they conflict. But otherwise it keeps me honest.”