Allow Us to Take a Moment to Praise Our Favorite Hollywood Dads

Some dads have all the skills. From Dwayne Johnson to Dwyane Wade, we're honoring the celebrity pops who definitely deserve a new tie this Father's Day.

By Sarah Grossbart Jun 20, 2021 1:00 PMTags
Watch: Father's Day Gift Guide: Deals for Real

Mother's Day tends to get most of the hype.

And, if we're being real, we're okay with that. Moms tend to be the ones to actually carry and birth children—a nine-plus-month endeavor that ain't for sissies. (Or, as Dwayne Johnson put it in a social media tribute to wife Lauren Hashian, "As men, it's a miracle we should witness because it'll give you a whole new respect for the strength and beauty of a woman.")  

Should parents choose to breastfeed, that's on Mom, too. And research shows women are still picking up the bulk of the housework and were the ones most likely to quit their jobs during the pandemic when all carefully researched and chosen childcare options were wiped away in one weekend. So, yes, mothers deserve alllllll of the flowers and homemade breakfasts in bed. 

But let's not sleep on dads. 

We're talking about the partners eager to dash out to McDonald's at midnight to satisfy a sudden, inexplicable pregnancy craving for chicken nuggets. 

Stars Celebrate Father's Day 2020

The ones who volunteer to handle diaper blowouts, middle-of-the-night wake-ups and make-believe tea time, who embarrass the crap out of their kids by jumping up and screaming at their dance recitals and spelling bees and get rightfully offended when someone suggests they're babysitting their own children.

They don't accept undue credit simply for being with their kids and doing ordinary acts of fathering (OMG he changed a diaper!) because that s--t is condescending when they're really putting in the work of raising thoughtful, curious, extraordinary tiny humans. 

Getty Images/E! Illustration

In Hollywood, that list is admirably long, far too long for us to honor every dad that deserves mention. But from Dwyane Wade reminding the world his daughter is 100 times braver than he could ever be to Ryan Reynolds setting the example for his girls that it's okay to be vulnerable, on this Father's Day we wanted to highlight some of our faves who totally earned that No. 1 Dad mug. 

Dwyane Wade

When daughter Zaya sat him down and revealed she was transgender, the three-time NBA champ immediately became her biggest cheerleader. "I've been a person in the locker room that has been a part of the conversation that has said the wrong phrases and the wrong words," the father of four, also raising nephew Dahveon, admitted on Good Morning America of his journey. "As I got older and as I watched my daughter grow, I had to go look at myself in the mirror and say, 'Who are you? What are you going to do if your child comes home and says, Dad, I'm not a boy? That I'm a gay boy or that I'm a trans girl. What are you going to do?'"

The answer was to listen, learn, gather as much information as possible ("My wife reached out to everybody on the cast of Pose," Wade shared of Gabrielle Union) and then teach others. Telling fellow NBA retirees Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson that his daughter "has way more" strength and courage than he does, Wade explained why he makes a habit out of swiping back at Internet trolls. 

"When I respond to things socially, I'm not responding to it because you hurt my feelings," he explained on their All the Smoke podcast. "I'm not responding because I even care enough about what you're saying...I'm responding because I understand my platform. I'm responding because I'm speaking for a lot of people who don't have the same voice that I have as a father."

Ryan Reynolds

His joy at being a girl dad is endearing AF ("If I could have nine daughters, I would be thrilled," he raved in a 2016 interview) as is his appreciation for wife Blake Lively's heavy lifting. "The tender grit it takes to be a mother in 2021 is an act of pure strength and heroism," he wrote in a Mother's Day tribute. But it's his recent act of vulnerability that gives the Deadpool actor Super Dad status. 

Explaining his reasoning for opening up about "my lifelong pal, anxiety," he pointed to James, 6, Inez, 4, and Betty, 20 months. "I have three daughters at home," he shared on Entertainment Tonight, "and part of my job as a parent is to model behaviors and model what it's like to be sad and model what it's like to be anxious, or angry. That there's space for all these things."

Chris Hemsworth

When it comes to fatherhood, Thor's star refuses to phone it in. Asked about his goal in parenting India, 9, and 7-year-old twins Sasha and Tristan with wife Elsa Pataky, the actor told The Father Hood, "It's just to be present. It's so easy to be distracted. I feel like when you look around these days every second person's got their head in their phone. Your own kids are saying: 'Dad look at this', and you're like 'Yeah, that's cool,'" he said, miming his screen-staring stance. 

So while he loves his iPhone as much as the next guy, the Aussie tries to limit himself to just a few hours a day. "Because you think they're not paying attention but they do, you have a close look—they look up and they say, oh you're busy again, it must be work. And that breaks my heart," he explained. "My dream would be for them to talk about me as a parent one day and say that he was always there, he played with us, he was present, he listened, he paid attention."

Will Smith

Much is made about the Oscar winner's so-called unconventional parenting style, but his and wife Jada Pinkett Smith's philosophy largely boils down to trusting their kids to make the right decisions for themselves

It was a lesson that smacked the Bad Boys For Life star in the face when then-11-year-old daughter Willow shaved her head in the middle of her Whip My Hair tour after having begged him to let her wrap it up early. An "'Oh s--t'" moment, as he put it to W, "For me, it was that soldier that was pushing and wasn't paying any attention whatsoever to what was going on emotionally with this beautiful little creature in front of me. That was the first part of the collapsing of my father's suit that I was wearing that wasn't mine."

He's since committed himself fully to letting her and sons Trey and Jaden do them. "Jada and I are very serious about finding what they are, and encouraging them to be what they are because you can never be happy being what you're not," he noted to "As a parent, if it's an oak tree, I want it to grow as an oak tree. I'm not going to try to force it to be an apple tree." 

Mark Consuelos

Should Michael Consuelos require a pep talk on the Riverdale set he need only visit the next trailer over. Appearing as the teenage version of his dad's Hiram Lodge on the hit CW series, the 24-year-old is "absolutely amazing," Mark raved during a June 7 visit to E!'s Daily Pop. "I will have to admit, a couple times I did sneak on set to watch his scenes...We do have some scenes together this time around. Michael killed it and I was just so impressed and so blown away."

But as much as the proud pop appreciates watching his son enter the family business, the quality time is even sweeter. He and wife Kelly Ripa have a long-standing tradition of spending Father's Day watching baseball with Michael, Lola, 20, and Joaquin, 18, and with his baby heading to college in the fall, Mark knows the day is going to hit even harder this year. "The times are fleeting now that we have them all together," he noted to People. "Our youngest is going off to school, so I think this one will be a very special one as well."

Daryl Sabara

Wife Meghan Trainor recently sang the actor's praises to E! News, sharing that her husband is all about that new dad life. She knew the Spy Kids alum "was going to be as awesome as he is," she insisted, but since son Riley's February arrival, "He's just done so much extra for me."

While she's juggling hosting the spinoff competition series Top Chef Family Style, prepping for her judging role on E!'s upcoming Clash of the Cover Bands and figuring out the details for an upcoming comedy show with NBC, he's holding it down as "super-dad," she put it. "Anything that comes my way, he's like, 'I'm here for you. What do you need me to do so that your dreams can come true?'" she revealed. "Which, like, not a lot of people have that in their life in general. And to have my partner and my best friend do that for me, it's just, like, the greatest love ever."

Stephen "tWitch" Boss

Though The Ellen DeGeneres Show executive producer insists "there's no formula" to raising kids, we'd like to borrow a little of the chemistry he and wife Allison Holker have cooked up to guide daughters Weslie, 13, and Zaia, 19 months, and son Maddox, 5. 

"There's certain principles," he recently told E! News of their approach, "which are open communication and making sure your kids feels heard and supported. And then we just take it from there." Their brand of parenting involves a heaping helping of together time, a dash of all-family dance parties and a healthy sprinkling of honest, engaging conversations. 

With Weslie in particular, he shared, "We make sure that we try to typically stay away from the generic questions at the dinner table." The standard "How was school today?" is always accompanied by follow-ups, he explained, "and then questions that spur conversation: 'If you could own an apartment anywhere in the world and you could travel there at any time, where would it be and why?' So then we get a peek into where she wants to travel to or where she thinks about living when she's older."

Andy Cohen

Yes, we die for every update the Real Housewives czar gives us about now 2-year-old son Benjamin—particularly when they involve his BFF Wyatt Cooper. But what is truly worthy of applause is the Watch What Happens Live host's fight to make gestational surrogacy legal in all 50 states, starting with his adopted home of New York. 

"It's such an antiquated idea that surrogacy is illegal in New York," he explained to PopSugar of meeting with Governor Andrew Cuomo to talk about the issue. "It's legal in 47 states, and New York is the most progressive state," he continued. "So the idea that we're so backwards that it's not legal here doesn't make sense. I know other gay families who are trying to have kids, and I also know a lot of women who are struggling with infertility who would like to use a surrogate locally and just can't. It makes no sense to me."

And, big shock, the man adept at getting Bravo's ladies to spill every drop of tea was convincing: Cuomo announced New York State's Gestational Surrogacy Law in February.

John Krasinski

Tell us you're a devoted father without telling us you're a devoted father. For the A Quiet Place director, who shares daughter Hazel and Violet with wife Emily Blunt, that meant turning up as host of Saturday Night Live this past January with a special piece of clothing. As stylist Ilaria Urbinati revealed of his "H"- and "V"- etched sweater, "John wanted to have his daughters' initials monogrammed on his shirt."

If he had his way, his girls would always be right by his heart, he admitted to Time. "My character believed that if he could keep his kids physically close to him, he can protect them forever," Krasinski shared of his insanely popular 2018 horror flick. "That's what I feel about my kids—the longer I have with them right next to me, I could do it, I can protect them. And you realize that is not only not possible, but it's also not fair. If you want them to be the greatest human beings that they can be, they must take in the world on their own."

Dwayne Johnson

The 6-foot-5 professional wrestler-turned-action hero is a solid 270ish pounds of absolute mush when it comes to daughters Simone, 19, Jasmine, 5, and Tiana, 3. Man enough to engage in all manners of make believe, he's also their rock, constantly reminding his girls of their strength. 

"Can you say, 'I'm a pretty girl?'" he asked Tiana in a sweet International Women's Day tribute. "Even more importantly than that, can you say, 'I'm an awesome girl. I'm a smart girl. I'm a very smart girl'? And I want you to say, 'I can do anything.'" 

Though, to hear him tell it, they're the ones who leave him feeling invincible. "All my girls have become the great equalizers in my life," he shared on Instagram. "I'm surrounded by estrogen and wouldn't have it any other way."

Eugene Levy

As supportive fathers go, Johnny Rose, sorry, Eugene Levy, is simply the best. While he and son Dan Levy created Schitt's Creek (also starring daughter Sarah Levy) together, the American Pie alum was quick to credit his offspring with its immense success. 

"Certainly putting this show together with Daniel, he proved himself almost right out of the gate in terms of his writing ability and then once we started the show his ability as a producer just kind of blew me away," he gushed to ET Canada. "We started in the beginning kind of together and I always felt I had to mentor him in the beginning and as soon as I knew the best thing you can do is just take a step back and give him a little space and let him do his thing, that was a light bulb moment." 

Though when three-time Emmy winner Dan was tapped to host Saturday Night Live in February, Eugene couldn't help but claim a front-row seat, flying in "to wish you luck tonight," he explained to his son—and make a cameo in the opening monologue.

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