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Alfred Molina Fights Tears Saying ‘I Did Disappoint My Dad’ by Being an Actor

Alfred Molina Fights Tears Saying ‘I Did Disappoint My Dad’ by Being an Actor


  • Alfred Molina shares how his father disapproved of his acting career, recalling a pivotal moment of disappointment.
  • Despite feeling like he let his father down, Molina found out his father was actually a proud fan of his work after his passing.
  • Molina reflects on his father’s lack of communication about his career, revealing a suitcase full of clippings acknowledging his success.

Acclaimed actor Alfred Molina recently opened up about his father’s disapproval of his dream of being an actor. Molina sat down with Vanity Fair to do a retrospective on his career, highlighting his biggest roles. During the video, the actors discussed his work on Raiders of the Lost Ark, Boogie Nights, Frida, and Spider-Man 2, among many others.

After sharing memories of past projects, Alfred Molina then talked about his relationship with his late father, who was worried about his financial stability as an actor.

“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. 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 a week.’”

Molina expressed his father’s disapproval at his decision to turn down the management course, as the actor then revealed that the new job would have made him twice as much. His father asked:

“Wait a minute. You’re making 30 or 35 here. Then you go to making 15?”

At that point, Molina’s demeanor changed as he described the disheartening look his father gave him.

“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 actor then began tearing up, and recalled what he said to his father at that moment, before saying he wished his father could see how far his son had come.

“The only thing I could say to him was, ‘This is what I love, Dad.’ He never quite got it. 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.”

Alfred Molina’s Father was a Big Fan of His Work, But Never Told Him

Alfred’s father, Esteban Molina, passed away in 1999, just a few years before his son got his big break in the movie industry. While the actor thought he had disappointed his father because of his career path, at the funeral, Molina discovered his father had admired his work the entire time. Molina said:

“My father and I never really talked about my work. 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 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.”

During his time of grief, Molina said he couldn’t handle keeping his father’s suitcase, saying “My step-mom said, ‘Do you want any of this?’… I said no.” The actor then closed the incredibly emotional interview by stating what he learned from that moment, and how it has shaped him as a father.

“I’ve always tried with my kids. … All you can do is tell them how brilliant you are. That’s all you need to do.”


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Molina’s next movie will see the actor co-star with Zachary Levi in the children’s fantasy flick Harold and the Purple Crayon. Alfred Molina is also currently starring in a Broadway production of Uncle Vanya, alongside The Office star Steve Carell.

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