Penn Badgley Just Shared A Rare Update About His 2-Year-Old Son James

The You actor finds his chatty toddler “very funny.”

by Kaitlin Kimont

Penn Badgley is having a much different go at new fatherhood than his character Joe Goldberg on Netflix’s hit psychological thriller You. As the actor put it in a recent interview — Note: Spoilers for You Season 3 are ahead — instead of being a totally obsessive stalker and serial killer, he’s actually raising his 2-year-old James and is there to see him hit some adorable milestones. You know, being a dad.

“Our experiences with fatherhood are very different. For instance, my son is still with me. It’s very sad. Yeah, I haven’t abandoned him,” Badgley said with a laugh while chatting with Access Hollywood ahead of the premiere of You Season 4 on Feb. 9. (If you’re in need of a refresher, Joe murders his wife Love at the end of You Season 3 by injecting her with poison. He then decides to give their son Henry to a friend in the neighborhood before starting a new life with a whole new identity in Europe.)

In Badgley’s real life, however, the actor’s experience with fatherhood is far more relatable. Indeed, his 2-year-old son James with wife Domino Kirke is apparently chatting up a storm these days.

“He’s talking a lot,” Badgley told Access Hollywood. “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.”

Badgley and Kirke welcomed their son James, the couple’s first child together, in August 2020. Badgley is also a stepfather; Kirke shares 14-year-old son Cassius Riley with her ex, musician Morgan O’Kane. The Gossip Girl alum hasn’t posted about his little boy on social media and has only shared a few updates about his life as a dad, but when he has, it’s very sweet.

Speaking to SiriusXM in 2021, for instance, Badgley admitted that juggling parenthood during the pandemic was “a lot” for him and Kirke, but that it was also a “joyful” time in their lives as well. “I think the great bounty that we got out of it is ... I have a stepson who’s 12 and his experience was, in a sense, different. ‘Cause they’re so social at that age,” Badgley said at the time. “But our baby, he’s chilling. He’s only been with us. He loves it. He’s very happy. He’s very, very joyful. And we had an opportunity to be with him in a way that we wouldn’t have. So that is a strange blessing in it all.”

Sounds like little James is one happy and chatty toddler with a dad who loves to savor all these sweet moments. We can only hope Henry is doing just as well without Joe around...