Penn Badgley Gave Rare Insight Into His Family Life As He Recalled Initially Struggling To Bond With His 15-Year-Old Stepson

“I have an interesting situation where I have a biological son and a stepson. And my stepson is — his father is very much in his life, so his father is his father, and I’m something else.”

Penn Badgley is getting candid about parenthood.

Penn Badgley seated, wearing a long-sleeve shirt, looking attentive

For those who don't know, Penn married Domino Kirke in 2017, and three years later, they welcomed their first child together: a baby boy named James.

The couple standing together at a media event, he in a sweater and she in a textured coat with a scarf, both smiling

Domino also has a 15-year-old son, Cassius, with her ex Morgan O'Kane, and in a new interview, Penn opened up about his "different" roles as a dad and a stepdad.

Appearing on the New York Times' Modern Love podcast, Penn said, "I have an interesting situation where I have a biological son and a stepson. And my stepson is — his father is very much in his life, so his father is his father, and I'm something else."

Penn holding a microphone, wearing a buttoned shirt, sitting at a panel

"So I have two different kinds of parental roles," he explained, highlighting the 12-year age gap between the boys.

Penn then touched on the importance of showing his son “vulnerability” as he gets older.

Penn with beard and curly hair wearing a blazer over a T-shirt, seated and looking at the camera

"My biological son is only 3?. So that's a very different thing too. I need to be able to more consciously show him my vulnerability as he gets older in those years," he shared.

Penn in a black coat and gray trousers walking on a sidewalk

And Penn later went on to address his relationship with Cassius.

Penn Badgley in a blue shirt at an event, looking to the side

Penn admitted that he initially struggled to bond with Cassius, noting that being a teenager, he "doesn't want to spend that much time with us anyway." However, he recalled how watching the 2014 sci-fi/action film Edge of Tomorrow changed things one night.

Penn Badgley seated with a microphone, wearing a buttoned shirt and jacket, at a speaking event

"I just knew it was important," Penn said of his decision to watch the Tom Cruise film with Cassius. "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!'"

Penn in a black shirt looking at the camera

Adding that Cassius "loved" the movie night, Penn said, "You want to talk about modern love? One of the ways you gotta do that is watch things with people."

Penn speaking into a microphone, gesturing with his hands, wearing a casual jacket

You can listen to Penn's full comments on the Modern Love podcast here.

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