As we so often discuss the juggle faced by mothers, it’s refreshing to also get a father’s perspective on parenthood.
English dancer-turned-actor Will Kemp, who shot to fame as the lead in Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake aged just 18, is not afraid to admit that life as an actor, where his work can take him away for months at a time, can be challenging.
“It’s tough and there is a constant feeling that getting work for ‘daddy’ is a mixed blessing for family life,” says the front man who starred in Van Helsing, opposite Hugh Jackman and Kate Beckinsale, and has just been nominated for a Family Film Award by the World Film Institute.
“When I was on the TV show Reign, I was away filming in Toronto for seven months,” he says. “Luckily it was over the summer holidays so my family were able to join me for a few months and we had so many fun adventures together. But I too sometimes struggle with carving out ‘my’ time, preparation time that other actors without kids and a family will probably take for granted.”
After five happy years in LA, the family, including daughter Thalie and son Indigo, recently moved back to south London where they relish taking their new puppy Elvis to the park and long lunches in the local pubs.
“I enjoy being “the fun dad”,” he says. “My kids would tell you that I can also get a little grumpy at times but I aspire not to be. As they grow up they are understanding of how things work and what has to happen in order for them to live the life they do – going to the school they enjoy and going away on holidays etc. I appreciate their understanding. Nothing we have should be taken for granted. We are a team and we all have to do our bit. I take a lot of inspiration from listening to other actors whose work I admire – family men who juggle a career as well as bringing up and providing for a family.”
Will is now filming a new TV show for a new Warner Bros DC Universal streaming platform and will subsequently shoot a romantic comedy in Belgium. Following that he will film a Netflix TV project in Toronto for the first half of 2019. We wanted to find out how he finds a balance, what he hopes to teach his children and why there is nothing like a good kitchen disco.
Images: Ursula Vari