Penn Badgley gives rare update on fatherhood with two-year-old son

The ‘You’ actor shares his two-year-old son with wife Domino Kirke

Meredith Clark
New York
Wednesday 15 March 2023 21:31 GMT
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Penn Badgley has given fans a rare glimpse into his life with his two-year-old son, James.

The You star recently appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where he gave an update on how fatherhood has treated him since welcoming his son with wife Domino Kirke in 2020.

“Well, you know he’s a pandemic kid,” Badgley told Fallon on Tuesday. “Anybody who has kids, it’s a joy, it’s an immense – I mean, it’s wild. It’s lovely. It’s great. It’s a challenge. Shoutout to all the parents. Keep going! Keep going, it gets better.”

When asked whether his toddler knows that his father plays serial killer Joe Goldberg in the Netflix drama series You, Badgley explained that James isn’t entirely aware about his psycho character, but he has seen his dad on screen before.

“We’re gonna have to break that one to him,” he jokingly replied.

“There was recently a day where I was doing something really sweet with him, you know, like in my lap,” Badgley added. “And then I sat on the remote and … it just went right to Netflix on the TV, and my face was right on the TV. He was like, ‘Daddy!’”.

“I started to race around because the next thing he was going to see was something really crazy.”

Badgley and his wife Kirke, who works as a doula, have been together since 2014. In 2017, the two were married at a New York City courthouse and welcomed their first child together two years later, after Kirke had suffered from two miscarriages. She also shares 13-year-old son Cassius Riley with former partner and musician Morgan O’Kane.

Although the Gossip Girl alum tends to keep details about his personal life private, Badgley did reveal in an interview with Access Hollywood last month that his two-year-old son is now “talking a lot.”

“He says ‘you’ instead of ‘me.’ Like, instead of saying, ‘I’m hungry’ or, ‘I’m finished,’ he’ll be like, ‘Are you all finished?’ And I’ll be like, ‘Are you all finished?’ And he’ll be like, ‘Yeah!’ It’s very funny.”

The Easy A actor has also been open about how his past health struggles have impacted how he looks at his son, James. Badgley, who was born two months premature, said on the HypocondriActor podcast with Will and Grace actor Sean Hayes and Dr Priyanka Wali that he had to be resuscitated by his mother “multiple times a day” during the first year of his life.

From his wife’s career, Badgley has also “learned a lot” about prenatal and postpartum conditions. Looking at their two-year-old son, Badgley said that his childhood health scares may have had a bigger impact on him than he previously thought.

“If my son, who I now know so well, was the first year of his life flatlining multiple times a day, the idea that that wouldn’t influence him is ridiculous,” he shared. “Thinking of my toddler now, I’m realising it actually did affect me. It affected my sense of what life is like, what life is not like.”

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