Belfast Telegraph

Judd Apatow stays steady for kids

Judd Apatow was put on guard emotionally by the way his mother handled her divorce from his father.

The 47-year-old star had a difficult upbringing because of his parents' relationship. They separated, got back together and then split again, finally divorcing when he was 12. It was a very unsettling period for the star, but it also gave him the drive to make changes in his life.

"When I was a kid, I wanted to move to California - I wanted to get out [of Long Island]. Whatever was difficult in my childhood, it was my motivation to get a job and work hard," he told Billboard magazine. "I never hear my kids say, 'I gotta get the f**k out of Brentwood!' or, 'The parking at Brentwood Country Mart is awful!' So I don't know if making their lives stable is helping them or de-motivating them."

While Judd's sister went to live with their mother and his brother chose to reside with their grandparents, Judd spent his time with their father. This didn't go down well with his mother, and it's something they never managed to reconcile.

"My mom made me feel like just living with my dad was a betrayal... There was a lot of energy from her, like, 'How can you talk to him?' And she never took it back," he recalled. "In modern times, people say terrible things and then that night they say, 'I'm sorry, I got upset, this is a really hard situation.' My mom never said that, my whole childhood, after going on a run of hurt. That puts you on guard - emotionally, it shuts you down."

Judd recently found a poem he wrote during this period, which detailed the hurt he was feeling. It also included lines about how he'd improve his life by becoming a star, with much of it trying to make light of the situation. He's amazed that this is actually how he's built his career - by trying to poke fun at difficult things.

"I was trying to figure out how to express all this stuff," he explained. "[Another page] is [called] Funny Stuff About Divorce. I tried to list what's funny about it, but a lot of these things are really dark. It says 'charging stuff', because my mother would charge stuff on my dad's credit card without permission."

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From Belfast Telegraph