In the family dramedy "Writers," which is at the Toronto International Film Festival, Greg Kinnear plays a father who longs to see his children carry on his legacy as an author.

As for Kinnear himself, the Oscar-nominated star says he does not wish the same thing for his three kids, ages 9, 6 and 3.

"I'm going to do everything I can to make them not be actors, that's my legacy. That's the legacy I'll carry on," Kinnear, 49, said with a smile in an interview on Sunday.

"No, I think as a parent, I suppose the great hat trick is to try and ... get them passionate about something."

Penned and directed by newcomer Josh Boone, "Writers" stars Kinnear as Bill, a novelist who has given his children money since they were young to write in a journal every day and hopefully grow into wordsmiths like himself.

And it works -- daughter Sam (Lily Collins) gets her first novel published when she's just 19, and son Rusty (Nat Wolff) hopes to follow in the footsteps of Stephen King.

Co-stars include Oscar winner Jennifer Connelly as Bill's ex-wife, whom he still loves, and Kristen Bell as his sexual fling.

Kinnear noted Bill is "not like he's one of those Olympic gymnastic moms who is ramming down gymnastics to the children at a young age."

By making them write in a journal, "it ends up sparking something that gives them both a place to run to, and so in a way he ends up hitting the jackpot," added Kinnear, who was up for the best-actor Oscar in '98 for "As Good as It Gets."

"I think the fact that your kids end up being passionate about what you're passionate about is a rare find and I'm not sure if it would be a good thing or a bad thing, I guess it depends on what you do and how you feel about it.

"But at least in this case, I think he's very happy that they are following in the footsteps. It's an honourable profession. "

Acting, on the other hand, is a "very, very competitive and random business," he said.

"I think the danger and the risk of acting is that you can do everything right -- you can do EVERYTHING right -- and it can still lead to you never getting to do really what you want to do," explained Kinnear, star of such beloved films as "Sabrina," "You've Got Mail," and "Little Miss Sunshine."

"I think the skills of acting can be attributed to a lot of great jobs and can be useful in a lot of different vocations and stuff, so I don't think the pursuit of it is necessarily bad.

"But the kid that has a 'Born-to-be-Actor' bumper sticker on his car could end up not finding what they were hoping for. Sorry, that's my grim assessment here in 2012."

Then he added: "Then again, I will say this: Top No. 1 thing, though, find a passion and if that's what it is, then so be it. So I wouldn't dissuade it."