By peoplestaff225
Updated October 20, 2009 04:00 PM

For his latest film Where the Wild Things Are, Forest Whitaker had an advantage when it came to preparing for his role; He reveals that the children’s book has been a favorite in his house for generations.

“It’s sort of been handed down in my family because it was read to me when I was a kid,” he tells PARADE. “I read it to all my kids and now they read it on their own.”

The extra bit of studying certainly paid off! “The grunts and stuff I’ve done at home with my kids,” the Academy Award-winning actor shares.

And while he may have perfected his character Ira’s quirks, Forest admits his bark is far worse than his bite when it comes to his own kids. “I’m not a tough love guy,” he says.

Instead, he gladly turns over that responsibility to his “much stronger” wife, Keisha Whitaker. “They come to me when they’re trying to slip something by,” he muses.

Together Forest and Keisha have daughters True Isabella Summer, 11, and Sonnet Noel, 13, while Keisha has daughter Autumn, 18, and Forest has son Ocean, 19, from previous relationships. Where the Wild Things Are is now in theaters.

Source: PARADE

— Anya