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Kreg Franco for Fatherly

Thomas Sadoski Is a Gloriously No Bullshit Guy

The actor and star of "Life in Pieces", talks fatherhood, raising daughters, and his marriage to Amanda Seyfried.

Amanda Seyfried, she of the golden hair and piercing baby blues and the ability to predict the weather with her breasts in Mean Girls, is one tough, outspoken, droll lady in person. Tell that to her husband, actor Thomas Sadoski, and you can feel him beaming over the phone.

It’s all the reasons I fell in love with her, too. She’s the real deal, a person of tremendous integrity,” he says. “I don’t know I’ve ever met anyone with more. She is exactly who she says she is.”

The same can be said about Sadoski, a Tony-winning actor who’s currently appearing on stage in the new play White Noise and also costars on the CBS sitcom Life in Pieces. He’s forthright, candid, and doesn’t suffer fools, in Hollywood or otherwise. 

“I have a low tolerance for bullshit in myself and the world around me,” says the 

Sadoski spends much of his time raising money for the charity War Child and speaking out on behalf of ISIS victims or those whose prison sentences are inversely proportional to their crimes. But somehow, he manages to do it in a non gag-inducing way. Sadoski, who goes by Tommy, is the same guy who, on Instagram, searingly defended actress Jessica Walters when she recounted, in a New York Times interview, being verbally harassed on the set of Arrested Development. “I worked in shitty greasy-spoon kitchens growing up: it wasn’t acceptable behavior THERE and most of us were on HEAVY DRUGS. It certainly isn’t acceptable for some man-baby millionaire to do on a cozy ass tv show set,” he wrote on Instagram

Because Sadoski has empathy and compassion and a broader view of the world, he’s raising his and Seyfried’s kid to be the same. His daughter will always be aware that not every child grows up on a lush, dreamy farm in the Catskills surrounded by horses, chickens, dogs, and a hell of lot of nature. She’ll have perspective, thanks to parents who are in the trenches with her, instead of outsourcing childcare so they can shoot films in distant lands. Ask Sadoski, 42, about fatherhood, and he turns into a melting pile of vanilla ice cream covered with chocolate sprinkles. And yet, the Texan “chokes up” every time his daughter sees something new and yells “wow.” Says her dad: “I’m a total softie. It’s that moment of discovery.”

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First off, your new play has gotten insanely great reviews. Congrats. 

Thank you! I frankly and I know this sounds pretentious — the experience has been so important artistically, to be part of telling this story. Everyone can have a flurry of opinions. That’s what it’s there to do. 

How does it feel up there on stage?

This is the stuff I was put here to do. If such a thing exists. It’s the place I feel the most connected and at home, being on stage in New York City. Completely invigorated, exhausted, terrified.

How the hell do you manage to do this many shows every week with a wife and kid at home? 

I have the tremendous fortune of having an incredible wife who is dedicated to helping out in every possible conceivable way. Amanda’s mom lives with us as our live-in nanny. We have a multi-generational home. That’s a life saver for everyone involved.

That’s pretty great.

My daughter is always surrounded by a loving family member or two or three. On two-show days it’s difficult. I go into work, I come home with a sandwich, I eat with her, we laugh and talk and play, I lay down for 20 minutes. FaceTime is a life saver too. Those three hours apart — as a parent, they feel like the best part of you is missing.

What’s been the coolest part of fatherhood for you?

When my daughter discovers something new. That’s the coolest thing in the world. That chokes me up every time she does it. The world is not jaded for her. I start to see the world differently too. I’m making time for that.

As far as raising your daughter, how do you teach her that she can achieve whatever she wants? 

I don’t tell my daughter that she can be anything she wants to be. The thought has not entered her head that she can be limited. I don’t want to introduce that idea. She exists within limitless possibilities. Nobody has told her otherwise. I won’t be the person to introduce that idea. That doesn’t have to be her truth. My intention that I hope to bring to fruition is for her to be a human being who owns the importance of her own voice and her own truth.

That’s so hard to do, though.

This world at every fucking point is looking to limit you and tell you you’re not enough. You need to own your own your stories. I want her to own that and understand that. The things people are trying to put on her are stories. What I want our daughter to know that she doesn’t have to take those stories on. Her opinion and her worth is the truth that she carries. I won’t be a helicopter parent telling her she’s perfect. I’ve seen enough of that shit in Hollywood, of kids who grew up with that sort of entitlement. I want my daughter to embrace her imperfections. Own that shit. That’s you. That’s yours. All I can do is with love be there and tell her the imperfections is where the beauty lies.

Your defense of Jessica Walter made major headlines. Where does all that outspokenness come from? 

I was raised by a grandmother. My grandmother is my hero. She’s the person I looked up to the most. She never let an opportunity to do good pass her by. She operated in the world with a quiet grace and dignity. It came from a well of empathy. I grew up watching that. She passed that on to me. I feel like that’s part of my job. My job is not just to entertain. You have to have an opinion. My activism and any ethics that I have, at this point, are hard earned, from years of amoral and lost behavior. For many years, I was an active drug addict and an alcoholic. I have come to a place now where having gone to the other side, I now exist on the flip side of it. I’ve earned my shit by facing my shit. And sitting with it and owning it. I don’t give a quarter with myself.

Still, we all live privileged lives. How do we teach kids to appreciate what they have, and to understand that others aren’t as fortunate? 

It is real life. It’s their real life. How do you communicate to your kids that their real experience is not the real experience of other people? How do you explain that to a kid? The same way you try to explain everything else as a parent. With openness and empathy and readiness to answer any questions. When she asks me shit I don’t know, I’ll say I don’t know, but let’s go find out. Or you go find out and you tell me. I hear you. I truly do. How do we communicate to her that this is how the world really operates? I struggle with that daily.