June 04, 2014 03:15 PM

Taylor Hill/Filmmagic

Breaking up is hard to do — except when you find a happy medium ground like Josh Lucas and Jessica Ciencin Henriquez, who split in January.

“We’re just basically now at a point where we’re co-parenting in a way that’s thoroughly and amazingly enjoyable,” the Sweet Home Alabama star, who has a son, Noah Rev, with Henriquez, tells PEOPLE.

The actor looks for the positive when it comes to his split, as in the divorce portrayed in his new NBC series, The Mysteries of Laura with Debra Messing, which premieres this fall.

“The challenge of The Mysteries of Laura is that we are presenting the divorce that they’re going through — which is actually quite painful and troubling — as comedic and funny as possible,” Lucas, 42, says. “It’s finding that inside of it all. For me and Jess, we worked really hard to find that — to find that friendship.”

Since Henriquez, 28, filed for divorce in January, the estranged couple has been spotted with Noah everywhere from Colombia, South America, where they visited her family in February, to a Manhattan dog park in April.

Lucas, who spoke to PEOPLE while launching the My Reel Summer contest, says he loves spending time with Noah, who turns 2 this month.

“I am mesmerized and amazed every day by him,” he says. “I’m amazed by his amazement. People say your job as a parent is to give children the best opportunities, but I really believe in my heart that I learn more from this child every day than he does from me.”

He adds, “He’s just got this magical, happy spirit and extremely positive personality. He wakes up and goes to sleep laughing or smiling. And he’s a kid who really doesn’t know how to have a tantrum. When he has a tantrum, he doesn’t do it very well. You can see he’s totally confused by it.”

In between shooting his upcoming series and hanging out with Noah, Lucas partnered with the IHG Rewards Club and the Coca-Cola Company to launch the My Reel Summer Contest.

Future Hollywood movers and shakers can record a 15-second “Reel Summer Movie Moment” for the chance to win a trip to meet him for lunch (perhaps on the set of The Mysteries of Laura, he says) and get his inside tips on how to make it in the movie business.

“My hope is that someone here will have that sort of first moment that launches a career and then we’ll find somebody who is the next Marlon Brando or next Martin Scorsese. You never know,” he says.

Now through Sept. 2, contestants can upload their clip to Instagram with the hashtag #reelsummercontest. Approved submissions will be showcased online, where fans can vote for their favorite video. The 25 videos with the most votes will be shared with a Hollywood casting director who will choose the ultimate winner.

What if Noah has that “first moment” one day and wants to follow in his famous dad’s footsteps?

“I would support him the same way that my parents supported me,” says Lucas. “People look at this job sometimes as glamour-filled and it’s absolutely not so. I would be very clear about its highs and the lows. It’s life.”

— K.C. Baker

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