Owen Wilson Reveals Father's Alzheimer's Diagnosis: 'It's a Rough Thing'

by Raphael Chestang 11:59 AM PDT, August 24, 2015
Photo: Getty Images

Owen Wilson is opening up for the first time about his father's Alzheimer's diagnosis.

"It's a rough thing," the 46-year-old actor said in an interview with Guide Live. "It's one of those things where if somebody had said 10 years ago, when my dad and I were joking around, having a putting match, that this is the position your dad's going to be in, where he basically needs 24-hour care, you'd think, 'Gosh, I won't be able to handle that. That's just not possible.'"

"But it does happen. Such things just happen in life. You just have to do your best to deal with it. You've got no choice but to accept it," he added. "And then, you sort of still look for the things to be grateful for. He is at home, taken care of, and he has people around that love him."

Owen is the father of two boys, Robert, 4, and Finn, 1, and he revealed that when he was his sons' ages, his dad, longtime Dallas executive Robert "Bob" Wilson, was his biggest role model. Now, he and his two brothers, Andrew, 51, and Luke, 43, are adjusting to caring for the man who was so protective of them growing up.

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"For me and my brothers, there just wasn't a bigger influence on us," Owen shared. "Maybe it sounds trite or something, but I really believe that his spirit gets carried on through me, the way I like to joke around."

Owen reportedly splits his time between homes in Maui and Los Angeles, but enjoys his trips back to Dallas for its "sense of community."

"You really see that when you have to deal with some bad luck, like what's happened with my dad," he said. "People have supported my mother and done stuff and that's so valuable. The great thing about feeling you're a part of a community is how it sustains you."

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In his upcoming movie, No Escape, opening Aug. 26, Owen drew from memories of his dad to play the role of an American father trying to protect his family when they get caught in a war zone overseas.

"It's about a father trying to protect his kids and doing everything he can. That was very relatable, something I could imagine," Owen said. "There's a lot of stress inherent in being a parent, and worrying about your children and wanting them to be OK. When they're born, you feel this love you've never felt before. If they were in danger, you'd just do anything that you could to help them."