Penn Badgley Says Being a Stepdad Is ‘Different’ From Being a Dad

Penn Badgley
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Penn Badgley is opening up about the unique combination of being a stepdad while also raising a child of his own.

The You actor,  37, candidly discussed his relationship with his 15-year-old stepson, Cassius, and his 2-year-old biological son, James, while appearing on the Wednesday, March 27, episode of the “Modern Love” podcast.

“I have an interesting situation where I have a biological son and a stepson … so I have two different kind of parental roles,” Badgley explained of his blended family with wife Domino Kirke.

Kirke, 40, welcomed her eldest child with musician Morgan O’Kane in 2009. Cassius’ father is “very much in his life,” Badgley noted, adding, “So his father is his father, and I’m something else.”

When it comes to bonding with Cassius, Badgley revealed that the pair connected while watching the 2017 film Edge of Tomorrow starring Emily Blunt and Tom Cruise.

“I just knew it was important,” he recounted. “It was like the stars had aligned so that my wife and my youngest son were asleep, and I was just like, ‘This is a good time to do this! You’re not going to play video games now. We’re going to do this!’ He loved it.”

Kirke previously praised Badgley’s skills as a stepfather, gushing over how her husband adapted to the family dynamic. “He’s a really good stepdad,” she exclusively told Us Weekly in October 2019. “He doesn’t have to be ‘dad’ so he can have more fun with him. It’s really nice. The stepparent thing is definitely uncharted territory for me ’cause I didn’t grow up with one, but … he takes care of him really well.”

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Badgley tied the knot with Kirke in 2017. Three years later, the couple announced that they were expecting their first baby together following multiple miscarriages.

“On the road again,” Kirke wrote via Instagram at the time. “Pregnancy after loss is a whole other thing. After two miscarriages in a row, we were ready to call it. I stopped trusting my body and started to accept the fact that I was done. As a birth attendant, I’ve seen and heard it all. It takes everything I’ve got to detach lovingly from the losses I’ve been present for and be in my own experience.”

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The pair confirmed that Kirke gave birth to James in a sweet social media post, which featured a red painting of a uterus alongside the caption, “His heart shaped home ❣️ #40dayspostpartum.”

Despite his father’s fame, James doesn’t quite know what a fixture Badgley is in the world of entertainment — at least not yet. While appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in March 2023, the actor shared that he hasn’t broken the news to his son that he plays a serial killer on the Netflix series You.

“There was recently a day where I was doing something really sweet with him, you know, like, in my lap,” he 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.”

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