“He’s somebody that I admire and respect, not only as an amazing father and an amazing husband [but as an] amazing musician and amazing actor,” the Tron: Legacy star, 36, told Kelly Clarkson on Friday, February 19. “I’ve known him for a long time.”
The Minnesota native noted that it has been over 17 years since he starred with the country singer, 53, on Friday Night Lights as a father and son. “I got to first experience him as a father — in that film, somewhat more of an abusive one — but then we did Country Strong together, and we’ve remained such close friends. I’ve seen his children, his daughters, from the time they were 1, 3 and 5,” Hedlund said of Gracie, 23, Maggie, 22, and Audrey, 19, during the Kelly Clarkson Show appearance. “We laugh about it.”
The model and his girlfriend welcomed their baby boy last month. “Thank you 2020 for getting one thing right,” the Unfabulous alum, 30, captioned her infant’s Instagram debut in January. “Our bright light Rhodes Robert Hedlund.”
Earlier this month, Hedlund called the newborn an “angel” while speaking to Extra. “Finding room in my heart to love someone with just the most amazing amount of love and compassion,” he told the outlet. “He’s really a special person.”
Us Weekly broke the news in March 2019 that Hedlund was dating Roberts after her split from her American Horror Story costar Evan Peters. The following year, Us exclusively revealed that the couple were expecting their first child.
The Scream Queens alum confirmed the news in August 2020. “Me … and my two favorite guys,” the New York native captioned baby bump photos via Instagram at the time.
Roberts froze her eggs before conceiving, telling Cosmopolitan in November 2020 that she had previously been diagnosed with endometriosis. “To be honest, I was also terrified,” she explained. “Just the thought of … finding out, perhaps, that I wouldn’t be able to have kids. … It was a difficult process.”
The Nerve star was “getting more and more excited” ahead of her son’s arrival, a source exclusively told Us in January. “Garrett is really looking forward to becoming a dad and feels as though this is something he needed,” the insider said. “He is ready to take on all the daddy duties, and Emma getting pregnant has forced him to become more responsible. He thinks that’s a blessing.”