Thursday, June 25, 2015







LOS ANGELES—Jon Voight, who stars with Liev Schreiber in the crime drama series “Ray Donovan,” talked about the role he relishes these days—being a doting grandpa to his daughter Angelina Jolie’s kids. “I have Angie’s six and they are quite a crew,” said the actor of Angelina’s children with Brad Pitt: Maddox, 13; Pax, 11; Zahara, 10; Shiloh, 9; Vivienne, 6; and Knox, 6.

“They’re an amazing bunch of energy,” continued the Oscar and Golden Globe Award winner in this chat at the Four Seasons Hotel in LA. “Some of them are getting into that teenage era that Liev (who has two kids with Naomi Watts) is so frightened of. That teenage era can get into another set of things but I think they (Angelina’s kids) are going to do pretty well. As they grow up, those times will be good for us with this crew."

“And yet, with all the children that are in your family, you still miss having the babies. Although now you have little kids—you can talk to them. They have opinions and it becomes exciting. It’s a nice time.”

Jon opened up about being a father to Angelina and James; his second marriage to their late mom, actress Marcheline Bertrand, which ended in a divorce (like his marriage with first wife, Lauri Peters); and his own personal and professional struggles.

“In some ways, I was trying to be around more than I was,” said the actor, now 76, whose many memorable films include “Midnight Cowboy,” “Coming Home,” “Runaway Train” and “The Champ.”

“I did make mistakes with my kids,” admitted Jon, “Whew—I went through a lot of drama, as you know. You have seen me through that. But surely, I always loved my children dearly.

“I love my grandchildren. The thing is, you don’t have the responsibility and it’s not a 24-hour thing. When you are with your children for 24 hours, you have to have a different pace. And you have to find private time to do this and do that balance. Yet, you are available to them every second.

“As a grandfather, you can’t wait to see them (grandkids) because you are not spending that much time with them. You want to get as much out of them as you can. You don’t want to leave them for a second. It’s a different kind of feeling. You want to get to know them. If you have six of them, you spend a little time with them for a day or so. You want to find special time with each of them, to make that contact. It’s exciting.”

Jon claimed that he noticed his daughter’s humanitarian nature early on. “Angie gave indication of it when she was young that she would fight for others’ rights and defend people who were picked on. She had that ingredient. I see the work that she’s done with the United Nations. She’s a lovely person with kids. She cares for other people, taking their side and stuff. She’s got that, for sure.”

Jon is also proud of Angelina’s achievements as a director. “I was very impressed with her direction of ‘Unbroken.’ As an actor, a filmmaker and an audience member, I don’t know how anyone could have told that story better. It’s a brilliant piece of direction. I know the things that she fought for with the casting. I am very proud of her.”

Although he appears to have smooth relationships with Angelina and James now, Jon elaborated on his lessons as a dad who had volatile relationships with his children, “I learned the basics. I was distracted when I started out. I was a little confused. This is a very tricky terrain. I don’t know how much to say about this. Sometimes you get a little off. I was a very young person. I had a lot of things. I was exploring in life.”

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