Alfred Molina Reflects on Emotional Struggle with Father Over Acting Dreams

Alfred Molina uncovers hidden pride in his father's legacy

by Zain ul Abedin
Alfred Molina Reflects on Emotional Struggle with Father Over Acting Dreams
© Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Alfred Molina, the seasoned actor celebrated for his roles in cinematic hits like Chocolat, The Da Vinci Code, and Frida, recently shared poignant reflections on his relationship with his father and the early challenges of his acting career.

In a heartfelt interview with Vanity Fair, Molina, now 70, discussed the emotional dissonance that marked his father’s perception of his career choice. Born in London to a Spanish father, Molina's journey into acting was met with skepticism and disappointment from his father, Esteban Molina, who had envisioned a more conventional career path for his son.

During the interview, which was published on YouTube on April 29, Molina vividly recalled an incident from his youth. He shared how his father had once helped him secure a job as a waiter, a role in which he excelled to the extent that he was offered a management training opportunity.

However, Molina chose to pursue his passion for acting instead, a decision that bewildered his father. “When I told him about the acting job I’d taken, which paid half of what I made as a waiter, he just couldn’t understand it,” Molina recounted.

He remembered the look of utter disbelief on his father’s face - a look reserved for "the mad and the lost."

Silent Support Unveiled

Despite his father's inability to grasp his career choice, Molina pursued acting with fervor, eventually achieving widespread acclaim.

He reflected on the bittersweet nature of their relationship, noting that his father passed away in 1999 without ever fully appreciating his son's accomplishments in the arts. Molina's trip to Spain for his father's funeral revealed an unexpected layer to his father's reticence: a suitcase filled with clippings, photos, and letters from fans - evidence that his father had quietly followed his career with pride.

“He kept all this stuff, but he never talked about it,” Molina said, highlighting a complex bond marked by unspoken emotions. The actor also shared insights into his approach to parenting, emphasizing support and pride in his children's endeavors, starkly contrasting with his own experience.

Molina's upcoming film, Harold and the Purple Crayon, featuring Zachary Levi, is set to release on August 2, marking another milestone in his distinguished career.