Alfred Molina Says 'I Did Disappoint My Dad' With Acting Career

Alfred Molina struggled to hold back tears as he shared a story about his late father, who never vocally expressed his support for his acting career.

The actor opened up about his relationship with his father while looking back at his acting career during a recent interview with Vanity Fair.

The Spider-Man 2 star recalled turning down the chance to become a manager at a restaurant with a higher salary to pursue his passion for acting — a decision he said his dad didn’t understand.

“When I was very young, my dad got me a job as a waiter in the restaurant where he was working. If I say so myself, I was a good waiter to the point where the management offered me the chance to do a two-week management training course,” Molina said. “I turned it down because I got an acting job. My father says, ‘This acting job, how much are they paying you?’ I said, ‘I’m getting union wage, so 15 pounds a week.’”

When his father learned that he would have been making double that at the restaurant, Molina said, “He looked at me and he had the look on his face that you reserve for the mad and the lost. He stared at me like he didn’t recognize me. The only thing I could say to him was, ‘This is what I love, Dad.’ He never quite got it.”

The Boogie Nights actor added, “I did disappoint my dad. Yeah. If my dad had lived a little longer, he’d hopefully would have realized I hadn’t wasted my time.”

In the video, Molina then took a moment while trying to fight back tears as he thought about their relationship. It wasn’t until later, after his father’s death, that he learned his dad actually kept up-to-date on his acting career.

“My father and I never really talked about my work,” the Frida actor explained. “He wasn’t phoning me up saying, ‘So what are you up to? What’s going on?’ We didn’t have that kind of relationship. When he passed away, I went to Spain for the funeral and I was with his widow, my stepmom, and she drags out this suitcase and it’s full of clippings and photos and bits from magazines and letters from people that wrote to him saying they saw me. He kept all this stuff, but he never talked about it.”

He continued, “My stepmom said, ‘Do you want any of this?’ And I couldn’t handle it. I said no. So I’ve always tried with my kids. … All you can do is tell them how brilliant they are. That’s all you need to do.”

Molina not only went on to star in dozens of beloved projects but has also been nominated for Tony, BAFTA and Emmy Awards for his performances.

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