Penn Badgley Shares Insight Into His "Wild" Fatherhood Journey With 2-Year-Old Son

Penn Badgley, who shares a 2-year-old son with Domino Kirke, offered rare insight into his life as a dad. Scroll on to read a story about the time his toddler briefly spotted him on You.

By Elyse Dupre Mar 15, 2023 3:05 PMTags
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You have to hear Penn Badgley talk about fatherhood.

The You star recently offered a rare glimpse into what his life has been like since he and wife Domino Kirke welcomed their first child together in 2020.

"Well, you know he's a pandemic kid," Penn said about his son, who's reportedly named James, on the March 14 episode of The Tonight Show. "So that is, anybody who has kids [knows], it's a joy, it's an immense—I mean, it's wild. It's lovely. It's great. It's a challenge. Shout-out to all the parents. Keep going! Keeping going, it gets better."

As for whether the 2-year-old knows about Penn playing serial killer Joe Goldberg on the Netflix series, the actor says, "We're gonna have to break that one to him." 

But that's not to say the little one hasn't gotten a glimpse of his dad in action just yet.

"There was recently a day where I was doing something really sweet with him you know like in my lap," Penn shared. "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. And he was like, ‘Daddy!' I started to race around because the next thing he was going to see was something really crazy."

Luckily, he said he was able to turn off the TV just in time.

Gossip Girl Cast: Where Are They Now?

While Penn and Domino tend to keep details about their family—which also includes his 14-year-old stepson Cassius Riley—private, the Gossip Girl alum has offered some insight into the youngest member's major milestones.

"He's talking a lot," Penn told Access Hollywood last month. "He says 'you' instead of 'me.' Like instead of saying like 'I'm hungry' or like '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."

Santiago Felipe/Getty Images

Parenthood continues to play a role in the kind of work Penn takes on. Reflecting on his more than two decades as an actor, the 36-year-old recently explained how his mindset on his career has shifted.

"I did most of that without any kids or spouse, you know? Or any real consideration for family—and now all that's very different," he told Variety in February. "And I didn't do it with anything other than the pipe dreams of being a producer or a director or writer. Now I'm in the DGA, and I'm a producer on the podcast and have the rights to a Sedaris story."

And he's happy with how he's living life today, adding, "If this is how I'm going to exist in a way that for me is sustainable—emotionally and spiritually and psychologically—then this is how I'm gonna do it."

(E!, Access Hollywood and NBC are all part of the NBCUniversal family).

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