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Thomas Haden Church says daughter settled him down

SheKnows chats with We Bought a Zoo star Thomas Haden Church about the film and fatherhood.

For We Bought a Zoo star Thomas Haden Church, thrill-seeking activities are a thing of the past.

“In my younger years, I really went after trying to live and experience some extreme things more than [what] was careful and conservative,” Church told SheKnows. “Every now and then I would get a memo saying, ‘Stop jumping out of airplanes, and stop racing cars. Stop riding a motorcycle without a helmet.'”

Thomas Hayden Church at the We Bought A Zoo movie premiere

safety first

Thomas Haden Church says that his wild times are a thing of the past.

Much like his character in We Bought A Zoo, Thomas is now more cautious in life. He credits his 7-year-old daughter for that.

Read more: Matt Damon says his risk-taking days are over too >>

“I didn’t really think I could be that responsible,” said Thomas. “When she came along… it definitely calmed me down.”

Though intense activities may be behind him, Thomas still has to be supervised in the safety department, and his chief enforcer is his little one.

We Bought a Zoo movie review: Yes, Matt Damon, we’d clean animals for you! >>

“I mountain bike and just recently she was like ‘I know you have a helmet at the ranch. Do you wear your helmet when you’re riding your bike?'” Thomas told us. “I sheepishly had to admit that I didn’t wear it as much as I was supposed to.”

Church resides at his spacious ranch in San Antonio. Although he says his daughter absolutely loves it there, there’s one way he could make it cooler.

“All we have are cattle, which she loves feeding, and she likes to drive around and see the wildlife,” said Church. “But if I had giraffes, and zebras, and lions and peacocks, I think she would dig that.”

Catch Thomas Haden Church and all those animals in We Bought a Zoo in theaters today!

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Director Cameron Crowe gives SheKnows insight to his casting choices. See here. >>

Photo Credit: Amanda Schwab/

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