In an exclusive interview with Closer Weekly, actor James Brolin reveals his devotion to his family led him to his latest project, Hallmark Channel’s Royal Hearts, which he created, is acting in, and directing! James, 77, admits to Closer that the double duty of acting and directing is rewarding but so exhausting.

“There is no time to sleep. I get four hours of sleep a night for a month or two.” He adds, “I crash the day after I finish. Barbra and I just stay in bed for a week!” James’ wife, Barbra Streisand, 75, understands the ups and downs of wearing both hats for a film, especially when the subject matter hits close to home.

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Royal Hearts is about a father and daughter, and I have a daughter. We get along pretty darn good,” James says, explaining that the special bond he shares with Molly, 30, often influences his decision to tackle father-daughter themes in his work.

“I know my wife lost her dad when she was 18 months old and fathers are a big deal with women,” he adds, “so I have a bit of a fetish about that relationship.” James, who also stars on CBS’ sitcom Life in Pieces, is equally as inspired by sons Josh Brolin, 50, and Jess Brolin, 46. “We all get along and I love them to death, but I don’t stifle them,” he insists. “I give all my kids a chance to branch out on their own.”

For more on James Brolin, pick up the latest issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now — and be sure to sign up for our newsletter for exclusive news!