Penn Badgley Shares How Having a Family Has Changed His Life

Photo from Penn Badgely’s Instagram

Penn Badgley Shares How Having a Family Has Changed His Life

By Movieguide® Contributor

Penn Badgley has been acting for years, but he recently opened up about how becoming a father changed his career. 

Badgley and his wife, Domino Kirke, welcomed a son named James in 2020. The actor is also stepfather to Kirke’s son from a previous relationship, 14 year-old Cassius. 

Having a son has changed the way Badgley has approached his career, which spans over two decades.

“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 said of his work as an actor. “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 [David] Sedaris story.”

Badgley and Kirke are pretty dedicated to keeping their son’s life private, but the YOU star did share a few details about their 2 year-old. 

“He’s talking a lot,” Badgley said. “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.”

Movieguide® previously reported on Badgley’s work on YOU and his refusal to film as many explicit sex scenes in the most recent season out of respect for his wife:

Actor Pen Badgely, known for his role as the central character of the Netflix hit series YOU, recently opened up about his request to not do intimate scenes on set.

Badgley said that before the start of Season 4 of the show, he told the director that he found the sex scenes from previous seasons of YOU, “disturbing” and wanted “zero” in the new season.

Despite fan backlash, Badgely doubled-down on his stance, noting that his decision also comes from his desire to honor his wife, Domino Kirke-Badgley.

“It’s not a place where I’ve blurred lines,” Badgley, 36, told PEOPLE in a recent interview. “There’s almost nothing I could say with more consecration. That aspect of Hollywood has always been very disturbing to me — and that aspect of the job, that mercurial boundary — has always been something that I actually don’t want to play with at all.”

“It’s important to me in my real life to not have them,” Badgely added, noting that he wants to honor his wife and their 2-year-old son, James.

“My fidelity in my relationship. It’s important to me,” he explained. “And actually, it was one of the reasons that I initially wanted to turn the role down. I didn’t tell anybody that. But that is why.”

The TV-MA series follows a writer, who obsessively stalks those that peak his interest.

While the fourth season still contains sex scenes, PEOPLE reported that there is no nudity and a much smaller amount of sexual scenes compared to previous seasons.

“Netflix’s You returned with the first five episodes of its fourth season on Feb. 9. While there are sex scenes included, all of them are performed while fully clothed. There’s also far less than in previous seasons,” PEOPLE wrote.

“I asked Sera Gamble, [the] creator, ‘Can I just do no more intimacy scenes?’ This was actually a decision I had made before I took the show,” he said on a recent episode of the Stitcher Studios’ Podcrushed podcast. “I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it publicly, but one of the main things is, ‘Do I want to put myself back on a career path where I’m always [the] romantic lead?’”

“Fidelity in every relationship — especially in a marriage — is important to me,” he added. “It got to a point where [I thought], ‘I don’t want to do that,’ so I said to Sera, like, ‘My desire would be zero [intimate scenes], to go from 100 to zero.’”