Ben Stiller has revealed his 19-year-old daughter doesn’t think he was there for her as much as he should’ve been during her childhood, and the realisation is pretty tough.
In an interview with Esquire, Stiller said the words are “hard to hear” from his daughter, Ella, particularly when they were words he’d been trying to avoid his entire parenting life.
“She’s pretty articulate about it, and sometimes it’s stuff that I don’t want to hear. It’s hard to hear,” Stiller, 56, said. “Because it’s me not being there in the ways that I saw my parents not being there. And I had always thought, ‘Well, I won’t do that.'”
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Stiller says he’s come to realise that while he was pursuing leaps and bounds in his acting career, his daughter was just wanting a present parent.
“I was trying to navigate my own desire to fulfil the hopes and dreams I had, too…What I’ve learned is that your kids are not keeping score on your career. It would be solipsistic to think that my kids actually care about that,” he said.
“They just want a parent who’s emotionally present and supportive of them. That’s probably what they want more than for me to be going off and pushing the bounds of my creativity.”
The Night at the Museum star and wife Christine Taylor share Ella and their 16-year-old son Quinlin. The pair married in Hawaii in 2000 after less than a year of dating, but sadly split in 2017 after 17 years of marriage.
The pair had met while filming a TV pilot called Heat Vision and Jack.
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“With tremendous love and respect for each other, and the 18 years we spent together as a couple, we have made the decision to separate,” they announced at the time. “Our priority will continue to be raising our children as devoted parents and the closest of friends. We kindly ask that the media respect our privacy at this time.”
But Stiller revealed some exciting news for his family to Esquire this week — he and Taylor are back together.
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“We were separated and got back together and we’re happy about that. It’s been really wonderful for all of us,” he said, calling their reunion “unexpected”. “[It was] one of the things that came out of the [COVID-19] pandemic.”
Speaking of the things that initially drew him and his wife apart, Stiller made a curious comparison to his disinterest in horse riding.
“I just don’t really love riding horses. And once you know that, it just saves a lot of energy,” he said, adding “I think we have a respect for the ways that we’re similar and the ways we’re different. And I think accepting that, you can really appreciate someone more because you’re not trying to get them to change for you.”
Celebrity breakups, splits and divorces of 2022