If you caught John Leguizamo‘s Tony-nominated solo show Sexaholix, you may have learned about his relationship with his kids Allegra Sky, 10, and Ryder Lee, 9, and how he handled the adjustment when they were born. One of the scenes in the show, which was on Broadway in 2001-2002, was derived from an instance wife Justine Maurer knew that John needed one and one bonding time with the kids, so she left them home alone together.
“[My wife] was smart enough to know that I needed to bond [with the baby] and the best way to bond is to just be with the kids, and do the diapering, do all that stuff and be with them… It’s true,” he says. “There’s no bonding like when you actually have to do things with them.” John wasn’t about to try to get out of diapering duties either because “you don’t have that luxury anymore.”
John, 45, jokes that when Allegra arrived, “I looked her in the eyes and said ‘I’m going to screw you up in ways you can’t even imagine,'” a line showcased in Sexaholix. “You know we’re gonna f-ck ’em up somehow. I already know. And I’m so guilt-ridden about that. I read tons of books about parenting, about siblings. I’m so obsessed with doing it the right way. But I still catch myself doing crazy things. Doing things my parents did,” shares John. The actor did not initially read parenting books but started when the kids began to get older.
Getting serious, John says that “nothing prepared” him for parenthood and how much he would enjoy it. “I never knew that I could love something outside of myself so much like I love my kids,” he explains. “The amount of pain and suffering that comes with that. I used to live such a carefree life!”
Fatherhood “makes you care about the world in a way that I never did before,” notes the actor and comedian. “It’s interesting how that love for your kids just bleeds out into so many other things.”