Interview with Glenn Morshower on Parenting

by Mary Ann on September 14, 2011

Interview with Glenn Morshower of the FOX Hit “24” – Part I

Glenn Morshower pictures

Glenn Morshower - 24's Aaron Pierce

“In order to have an extraordinary life you must be extraordinary. To be extraordinary you must live by extraordinary means. If you life by typical means you cannot help but have a typical life.”  Glenn Morshower

A couple of months ago I attended an event at which Glenn Morshower spoke. I was riveted by his humor, wisdom and pure joy in living. Later I asked him if he would let me do a short interview to share with you. He said he would be glad to and gave his phone number. I never called.

I thought about calling very often. I would look at his card, smile in remembrance of his exuberance and then put the card down.

Today I didn’t put the card down. I called and left a message on his machine reminding him who I was and what I wanted. I didn’t expect a call back. He is famous after all and a busy man.

The phone rang a short time later. Imagine my surprise to hear “Hi Mary, its Glenn.” It took me a moment to figure out Glenn who. “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe you called me back.” And that was how the following delightful hour began.

Glenn is an amazing individual. He has a zest for life that is infectious. He was fun to talk with and I had to write fast and furiously. (I do not know shorthand) I made every effort to gather as much as I could to share with you. I will be bringing you this interview over the next three weeks. Watch for it the next three Friday’s and enjoy!

picture of glenn morshower in transformers

Morshower in "Transformers"

Question 1 – Is there anything from your parenting which you regret?

Glenn – I can honestly say that I loved it all! It has been the best role I have ever played. Now that my children (ages 29 and 31) are grown I miss holding them and tucking them in.

Here is why I have no regrets in my parenting. I grew up in a painful situation. My parents divorced when I was three and my step father was physically abusive.

I learned early on that there is a purpose to the gifts we are given in life, even those experiences that are painful and are rarely viewed as gifts. My experiences were a gift and taught me character and gave me something to transcend.

I developed an awareness about life that I consider heaven’s gift to me. I became wide awake. I learned compassion and gained understanding and those are the things that I brought to my parenting.

I frequently tell audiences that moaning about a painful past is not helpful and in fact counterproductive. You need to reframe that past. That can be done by realizing that everyone who crosses your path is there to help you even when it is obvious that it is not what they intend.

There are two things that those who cross our path can give to us.

  • There are those give us a clear road map of how to live our life. They model excellent behavior and we should embrace the experience.
  • There are those who will clearly model how not to live life, how not to be. They give us an equally powerful road map of what not to do to others.

My stepfather fell into the second category. Because of his powerful example

  • I never raised a hand to my children.
  • I didn’t try to control the outcome.
  • I concentrated on teaching them that this is a choice/consequence driven world. What are the consequences you want to inherit? Instead of choosing what you want, choose instead the consequences you want. Make consequence based choices. This leads to a healthier, happier life.

As adults we need to be careful not to use “victim speak”. Making excuses for our bad behavior or blaming another person for our bad behavior is a weak way to pardon that behavior. Take the responsibility of making a course correction in your family tree.

Mary Ann – Glenn understood a form a pain that he deliberately chose not to dish out to his children. He chose love and tenderness which he found effortlessly flowed to his children because he decided to give them what he had always wanted but never had. He made a decision.

The most poignant portion of his answer to this question was this: In giving what he had desperately wanted he found personal healing.

And isn’t that what we all really know is true – that what we give we get back in abundance. Glenn gave love instead of hurt.

glenn morshower in extra miles picture

Glenn Morshower in action

Interview with Glenn Morshower Part II coming next week: Glenn Morshower on the best thing he did for his children

Glenn Morshower is regarded as one of the busiest character actors in Hollywood. Best known for his role as Aaron Pierce on the FOX hit series 24, Glenn has a hugely successful acting career spanning 35 years.  He and his high school sweetheart Carolyn married in 1978 and have two grown children.

“The Extra Mile” is a series of performances which are written and performed by Glenn Morshower. The program is a combination of motivational speaking, story telling, dramatic and comedic performance, acting instruction, and life coaching. Thousands, including a good number of celebrities, have attended these events across the US. You can learn more about it here.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Kimberly September 18, 2011 at 9:18 pm

Mary, this is so beautiful and inspiring, thank you for picking up the phone! 🙂

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