‘NCIS: Los Angeles’: Here’s What Chris O’Donnell Says His Father Taught Him About Being a Dad

by Chase Thomas
(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

How great are dads? Everybody needs a good dad in their life, and everyone’s dad is different. Everyone who becomes a dad wants to become a good dad. Part of that comes from the dads that we had growing up. Redbook interviewed NCIS Los Angeles star Chris O’Donnell and one of the items that was covered with the Hollywood star was being a parent.

What did O’Donnell say about being a dad?

“I think it’s easiest to teach by example. My dad didn’t tell us to work hard; we just saw how hard he worked. I know I have shortcomings — like a short fuse — but I’ve learned you can’t come home from a long day of work and snap at the kids. Caroline is really laid-back, so she’s helped me with that. I’m lucky. I think we balance each other out.”

Can you relate to the longtime actor here? There are two schools of thought on this, and it goes far beyond just parenting. Some learn better by listening, some learn better by watching. O’Donnell watched his father and learned from him. Being an actor is hard work, and it’s nice to see that the former Batman & Robin star understands the importance of being a dad. He really shares a lot here about how his relationship works and what he learned from his father.

Everyone does not learn the same, but what is important for the actor is that you teach by example. That means being cognizant of the shortcomings he laid out. Being a dad is tough work.

On NCIS’s Chris O’Donnell being a family man in Hollywood

It should come as no surprise O’Donnell chose the life he did, even being a Hollywood actor where being a family man is hard.

“I knew when I got into this business I couldn’t have it both ways: I could live the playboy lifestyle, which is not a bad thing to do, or have a traditional family life, which is how I grew up. And that was more important to me.”

The NCIS star is an interesting fella, especially the story of how he met his wife to begin with. Clearly, something is working, though.

You can watch O’Donnell and LL Cool J and the rest of the cast on CBS. NCIS Los Angeles is underway through its thirteenth season. New episodes air at 9:00 PM EST on Sunday nights with other viewing options like FuboTV and Paramount+ also being an option for viewers at home. What’s next for O’Donnell and LL Cool J on NCIS Los Angeles? Tune in Sunday evening for episode 5 of the thirteenth season to find out.