You totally crushed on him in School Ties and Scent of a Woman back in the day, but now Chris O’Donnell is a dad of five and starring in “NCIS: Los Angeles” as special agent G. Callen. He’s also a spokesman for Fluzone Intradermal, a flu shot with a much smaller needle. He took some time to answer our questions about his big family, his fear of blood, and the crazy thing that happened at the birth of his first child.
With five kids, is there ever a full night of sleep at your house?
Yes! [My wife] Caroline was very strict about bedtimes when our kids were young and as a result they are great sleepers. Our youngest may sneak out every once in a while but since she is our last it is kind of fun.
Why did you and your wife want a big family?
I come from seven, she comes from four. I guess it is just what we are used to. I feel like we are as close as we could be with each and every one of them and the relationships they have with their siblings is priceless.
You work on "NCIS: Los Angeles"…but you’re squeamish about needles?
Right! I play a tough guy on TV but the truth is, I’m not a big fan of needles. That’s why the Fluzone Intradermal vaccine was the best option for me. The device has a 90 percent smaller needle, which to put it in context for you is smaller than a grain of rice, which for me, made a big difference.
What’s worse: getting a shot or seeing your kids get one?
My kids seem to be braver than me, they must get that from my wife Caroline…they get the regular flu shot and do just fine. They are actually a little jealous that I was able to get the “short shot,” as I like to call it, this year.
Is it true you passed out during one of your kids’ births?
Yes, it is true I fainted during our oldest child’s birth. As you can see, needles aren’t the only things that can make my knees buckle.
You’ve been married for 15 years. What advice do you have for busy parents trying to keep their marriage strong?
Never go to bed angry. If something is bothering you, get it out.
Do you have a parenting superpower – something you are especially good at, maybe even better than your wife?
Caroline is much more consistent than I am, I have been known to cave on certain issues if the kids push the right buttons, but I feel like we are a good team. We really balance each other out with our strengths and weaknesses. We are not perfect but we are doing the best we can.
Are you good cop or bad cop?
Depends on what we are talking about. Bedtime is Caroline, but when you get into more serious issues, I tend to become the bad cop.
Which movie of yours do your kids like best?
They have only seen a few. The boys loved the Batman films. The older ones are now all hooked on “NCIS: Los Angeles.”
What do your kids think of Daddy being on TV?
They love it, I think. It's fun for them to visit me on set. I think the only down side they would say is when I have to miss an important event because of my filming schedule.
What's the best piece of parenting advice you ever got?
Tomorrow is another day.