Hedlund, 36, met 53-year-old McGraw when they were cast as father and son in Friday Night Lights in 2004. Hedlund was 19 at the time, while McGraw was in his late 30s, and they fell into a father-and-son-like relationship offscreen as well, as Hedlund remembers in a new interview he conducted with McGraw via LeoEdit.com that published on Monday (Feb. 22).
Hedlund admits he’s often said McGraw is “like a father to me,” while the singer jokes, “Even now. I don’t know if it’s quite a son, or maybe I’m like a cool uncle?”
In the wide-ranging conversation, Hedlund admits that as a first-time parent, he’s having trouble letting his son cry himself to sleep.
“I know at a certain point the best thing to do is to let them cry themselves to sleep, but I can’t handle it,” he observes. “I’ll hold him quietly and awake all through the night … but eventually I’m going to have to let him cry himself to sleep.”
McGraw and his wife, Faith Hill, are parents to three girls; 23-year-old Gracie, 22-year-old Maggie and Audrey, who is 19. He tells Hedlund that despite traditional wisdom, they always let their daughters sleep with them in the same room.
“I know there’s rules about, ‘don’t put your kids in bed with you because they’ll never grow up or never leave.’ You know what, for us, it was a beautiful thing,” McGraw shares, adding that the tradition continued for many years during the holiday season.
“Up until the girls left the house, they would come, and they would make paillettes on Christmas Eve night all through high school. Even when Gracie came out here the first couple years after leaving,” he tells Hedlund, who also co-starred with him in Country Strong in 2010. “They would come back, and they would make paillettes in our bedroom, and sleep with us all night in our room. There was never a time they didn’t.”
Elsewhere in the interview, they touch on the influence of growing up in the country, their own fathers’ roles in their lives, how McGraw and Hill decided early on to put their family before their careers and more.
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