Actor Kelsey Grammer related to aspects of his character's troubled daddy-daughter relationship in new movie Like Father because he was previously estranged from his second child.

The Netflix film follows a reunited father and daughter, played by Kelsey and Kristen Bell, who embark on a cruise vacation together after he shows up unexpectedly at her wedding, just as she's left at the altar.

The Frasier star admits part of the storyline struck a chord with him because he has some personal experience with estrangement, although he and 26-year-old actress Greer Grammer, his daughter with hairstylist Barrie Buckner, now enjoy a good relationship.

"My daughter Greer was actually 10 years out of my life," he told breakfast show Today, "and then when she was 16 we kinda got back together again."

Like Father was directed by Lauren Miller Rogen, and she made the film a family affair by recruiting her husband, Canadian-born comedy star Seth Rogen, to join the cast - although he didn't have to try too hard.

Joking that Seth "needed the work", she said, "I did not make him audition, I was actually looking for other actors and then came up with the idea that he can play a funny Canadian, and he was like, 'Oh man, I wanna make these Canadian jokes!' and that's how I got him to do it."

The movie was filmed on a real-life cruise ship with actual tourists, and some of them actually ended up on camera in the background of scenes - although they were disappointed at not actually having proper roles to play.

"There were people onboard (during filming)," Kelsey explained on Good Morning America. "There were people who were told, 'If you want to be in the movie, you can be,' so they'd volunteer and they'd sit there on set for (a couple of hours) and were like, 'Is that it? Have we done anything yet...?'"

"Their hopes about being stars in the film died very quickly!" he laughed.