As the host of Entertainment Tonight and mom of a 4-year-old, Nancy O'Dell was the perfect pick to be Parents' new Hollywood correspondent. Each month, she'll interview our fave celeb parents, and this time, she snagged three: Johnny Depp, Nick Cannon, and Sylvester Stallone! Check out what they had to say.
The Up All Night costar shares stories about raising a set of 9-month-old twins with wife Mariah Carey.
What's the best thing about being a dad so far?
"Everything! You don't really think about all the time you're putting in. It's just the joy of seeing children who look like you and are excited to see you every second of the day. The best thing so far is the recognition: when you come into the room and they light up...or they hear your voice and they start looking all around for you."
And what do they do when you get home?
"Poop! [laughs] My son [Moroccan] loves when I read to him. It's the weirdest thing...I started reading baby books, and every time I finish, he starts to cry...so I read about 12 books a day."
How has fatherhood changed you?
"It's probably made me value my time even more. Before I was always so on the go. I'm still on the go, but now there are precious moments and you think, 'Aw, I just want to sit here in this one spot with them forever.' Your mind-set changes, and you just value time differently."
How is Mariah liking motherhood?
"Oh, she's loving it! She has such a nurturing spirit already, so to see her with her children is awesome. She loves singing to the kids...and being in the water with them. They're already just like her—mermaids all swimming around!"
What does she sing to them?
"Everything from her songs to Stevie Wonder to lullabies. Just a lot of singing going on."
What's the thing that you look most forward to as far as parenthood?
"So many things! With my son, obviously sports and hanging out. Two guys. Then my daughter...instilling the proper values, so it's just waiting for [her] to get a little older."
Except for dating and your daughter! As soon as we had our baby girl, my husband said I don't want her to date till she's at least 25!
"Yeah, shotguns. I'm getting them already."
What's the best piece of parenting advice that you've gotten?
"Speaking of dating, I got some advice from Howie Mandel. He said, 'Just don't potty train your daughter and [then] you don't have to worry about her dating at all!'"
The busy father-of-two's next big role is the movie remake of the '60s TV show Dark Shadows. Get the scoop from the hot dad himself.
Is it important to know, as part of a movie, that you can take [Lily, 13 years, and Jack, 10 years] along?
"Most definitely. It's almost impossible to be away from them for too long a period—you start to go a little sideways."
I say about four days is all I can handle!
"I've done three weeks, man. Three weeks is like you're really spinning out."'
"I love the fact that you take your kids to school every day."
"It's one of the greatest things that I get to do as a dad—to see that transformation from your kid to independent kid. It used to be 'Walk me in, walk me in! And now it's: 'No, no, stay at the car. Stay at the car! Don't let anybody see! Here's your hug. Scoot, Dad. Get out!'"
They got the coolest dad on the planet...they just don't know, huh?
"Aw, I don't know. Thank you...that's very sweet."
Do they have a lot of input on the movies you do? You actually told me at the Golden Globes one year that your daughter played a part in Willy Wonka's voice.
"Yeah...we were playing Barbies at the time, and I tested the voice out on her. And she went, 'What was that, what was that!?'"
So do you want them to be able to see your movies?
Of course, yeah. I mean, The Rum Diary...Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas...these are things they probably have to wait a few years before they can see. [But] it's nice to include them in the process. With Dark Shadows, they were with me for about four months; they were there on the set every day.
The legendary action star talks about life with his three tween to teenage daughters.
Look at your muscles! You are not supposed to look like that. That's not fair!
"I have to tell you it's my wife and my daughters who keep me, literally, pumped up and...underweight because I'm constantly chasing them."
Is it hard living in the household full of women? Your wife and all your daughters [Sophia, 16, Sistine, 14, and Scarlet, 9]?
"It is hard. Everything is feminine! Everything. The dogs. The girls. Constantly bickering."
The house needs some testosterone!
"It doesn't work. Testosterone will always be swamped by estrogen. That's a fact. I just hope I live long enough to meet their boyfriends because that's going to get me in really good shape. Dad's going to be in good shape!"
When the guys come over [for dates], it must be a little intimidating that Sylvester Stallone is the dad of the girl they want to go out with.
"I'm going to come to the door with a bow and arrow and my headband, my boxing gloves. I'll just wear something from each film. And I'll look like a walking tank. It will be beautiful!"
If I were a guy, I would be running.
"It may work. It better. I hope."
What's the best advice anybody has given to you about being a dad for all these girls?
"The best advice is: 'Thank God [that] they're yours.'"
TUNE IN! Catch Nancy O'Dell in action on Entertainment Tonight weeknights. Check local listings at etonline.com.
Originally published in the February 2012 issue of Parents magazine.