That work ethic is something I’m sure you’ve been trying to instill in your kids, now that you’re a father of two.
My parents taught me that anything is possible if you work hard enough and you want it bad enough. To give both of those principles to my kids is really important.
Fatherhood is a big theme in Alex Cross. There’s a point in the movie where Cross, as good a person as he tries to be, turns into some vigilante, doing whatever it takes to protect his family. You think all dads have that switch in them that’s flipped when their kids are endangered?
[Fox’s eyes well up a bit, and he remains quiet before taking a deep breath and answering...] You know how much you love your children and how much you would do anything for them. It’s hard as a parent to see your kid upset when someone at school says some shit about them. It’s hard not to go to the school, find that kid who said it, and pull him by the hair and smack him around a little bit. But you’ve gotta let your kids fight their own battles sometimes. I can’t even imagine, when it comes to their lives being at risk, what kind of instinct takes over. Plus, I’m also married to one of the fiercest Italian women in the universe.
So if your kids were being messed with, she’d take care of it?
Dude... [She’s] awesome. Awesome. Whenever Fox talks about his wife, Margherita, her name rolls off his tongue almost poetically. Fox met the former model when they both attended Columbia University, and for the past 25 years she’s been with him every step of the way: from Hawaii to Oregon and everywhere in between. Once Lost ended, Fox and family packed up for Bend, OR, to live closer to his mother and two brothers. But once there, Fox fell in love with all the fit opportunities that come with living in the Pacific Northwest.
Oregon is America’s best-kept secret. It has a lot of beauty, a lot of change in climate and terrain, lakes and rivers. You’ve got skiing and snow- boarding in Mount Bachelor, which is 20 minutes from our house. Bike trails that branch out into the wilder- ness. Oregon is an amazing place for mountain biking. I can speak from experience because I haven’t been driving lately. And five minutes outside of Bend, I’m in the middle of nowhere, and I feel right back at home.
Of course you must not have been home much to enjoy all that. You have three movies out in the next year.
I worked really hard the last year and a half. At one point, my wife and I calculated that, out of a 15-month period, we were together for only three months.
Is that the secret to a lasting marriage?
Oh no, she comes and visits tons. But we’ve changed our whole philosophy on that. If a project comes up in 2013 that we’re all really excited about, we’re all gonna go, dude. Enough of this shit. That’s been the hardest part for me. In the end, the most difficult part was being halfway around the world and being away from my family. For me, whether or not I work again is always gonna depend upon the quality of the opportunities that I get. And if I don’t get quality opportunities, you probably won’t see much of me. I’ll probably be doing something else.
And what would that be?
Spending time with my family. Playing a lot of music. Listening to a lot of music. Flying a lot.
The “feeling of freedom and complete control” you mentioned about flying must be the main draw.
Yes, absolutely. To be up thereby yourself, and it’s all up to you whether it’s gonna be an amazing flight or it’s not gonna go as beautiful[ly]. I feel like I’m hyper-prepared when I fly. There is so much you don’t have control over. I’m talking all the way from the woman in Cleveland claiming I hit her to the media picking it up and making a story out of it. From waiting in a trailer for four hours when you were ready for the shot three hours before all the way to the woman who is constantly in your face fixing makeup and wardrobe. And that, at times, is almost unbearable for me. Unbearable!
And then you’re thinking, When can I get back in the sky?
[Grins] Yeah, pretty much. MF