Michael Sheen opened up about his 2002 separation from Kate Beckinsale, admitting he was forced to return to Britain while she remained in the United States with their daughter.
The Welsh actor, 51, and Kate, 47, born in London, separated after seven years together, but the split was all the more complicated as they had only recently moved to the United States with their daughter Lily, now 21.
Speaking on the Changes podcast with Annie Macmanus, he said, “Going through this experience of a broken relationship and having a young child, and then because my daughter and her mother live in another country, have to living in a new place while going through all this experience which is difficult enough.
Painful memories: Michael Sheen opened up about his 2002 split from Kate Beckinsale. Photographed together in 2001
“I didn’t have a work visa to stay in America, so every time I left I had to go back to Britain. I never knew if I would be allowed to return.
“So I ended up having to find work in Britain because I couldn’t really find a job in America. It really made me question some things about myself.
Michael’s fears were thankfully never realized, as he pursued an extremely successful career on both sides of the Atlantic.
The actor, whose exes include Rachel McAdams and Sarah Silverman, is also a dad again, after welcoming daughter Lyra with partner Anna Lundberg, 26, in September 2019.
Complicated: Speaking during an appearance on the Changes podcast With Annie Macmanus, the star revealed the additional complications of their relationship breakdown
Devoted Dad: Although he first had to return to Britain to work, the actor has remained close to his daughter Lily and Kate. Photographed together in 2009
Michael and Kate met in 1995 on a touring production of The Seagull and four years later, in 1999, the actress gave birth to their daughter, Lily.
The following year, Sheen punched her co-star Jeremy Northam after he apparently yelled at her on the set of the drama The Golden Bowl.
Recalling the shocking incident, Kate said, “Jeremy and I disagreed on something. Michael came down to the set to pick up Lily and saw this man yelling at me.
“So naturally he got upset and that’s it.” The truth is he has never hit anyone before in his life and it was quite shocking.
Friendly: Despite their separation, Michael and Kate have remained on good terms. Photographed in 2011
Recreating moments: In 2016, Kate and Michael recreated an old photo with their daughter, with the actress posting the adorable results on Instagram
The couple split in 2002 after seven years together. She then married American director Len Wiseman, but they separated after 11 years.
Michael and Kate are still close friends, and she said of him, “I really love him and I really love him and we make each other laugh. “
Indeed, the exes have even popped up on social media feeds in recent years, as they hang out with their daughter, who follows in their acting footsteps.
Listen to Michael Sheen’s full interview on Changes with Annie Macmanus, out now.
Romance: Michael is now in a relationship with actress Anna Lundberg, 26, with whom he welcomed daughter Lyra in September 2019. Photographed together in January