On special occasions such as Mother's Day or Father's Day, we talk about how parents are total superheroes. There are so many things that moms and dads do every day that are truly amazing. They run to their kids' school with a change of clothing at a moment's notice, they make heart-shaped pancakes just because, and they're their children's biggest cheerleaders.
In the Marvel movies, we get to watch awe-inspiring stories about actual superheroes. There's Thor, the God of Thunder, and Iron Man, and Ant-Man, and so many more. Every movie that is part of the MCU seems to do better than the last one, and the most recent one, Avengers: Endgame, has just made $2.5 billion globally. We definitely love going to the movies and watching heroes protect the people that they love (and, oftentimes, the world around them).
What about the people who play these beloved characters? As it turns out, many of them are parents in real life, and they're putting in the work every day to be strong and supportive of their little ones.
Here are 20 Marvel heroes who are actually parents IRL. We love their characters and we would love to hear more about their parenting.
20 Paul Rudd Is Ant-Man In The Marvel Movies And A Dad Of Two
Who doesn't love Paul Rudd, whom many of us watched as Cher's stepbrother Josh in Clueless and loved immediately? These days, Paul Rudd is known for playing Scott Lang/Ant-Man in several Marvel movies: Ant-Man, Avengers: Endgame, Captain America: Civil War, and Ant-Man and the Wasp.
Paul Rudd is also a parent IRL: he has a 9-year-old daughter named Darby and a 13-year-old son named Jack. We think it's really cool that he's in the MCU so we would think that his kids would be super psyched, too. As it turns out, according to Buzzfeed, Paul Rudd shared a funny story about what Jack said about the role: he said, "What? Ant-Man?" and then "I can't wait to see how stupid that'll be."
Kids say the darndest things...
19 To Us Robert Downey Jr. Is Iron Man... To His Three Little Ones, He's Dad
Robert Downey Jr. played Iron Man in the 2008 movie and many times since. He's definitely a big part of the MCU.
While he's Tony Stark/Iron Man to the rest of us, he's dad to three little ones: 25-year-old son Indio, seven-year-old son Exton, and four-year-old daughter Avri. In a 2012 interview with Esquire, he said, “Does any new parent, even if you’re not a first-time parent, ever really know what to do? Only thing you have to do, the only requirement, if you can hack it, is to not transfer your own discomfort in the moment to this fresh soul, right?”
That's a really interesting way to describe being a dad. We bet that his kids are really excited to watch him as Iron Man.
18 Mark Ruffalo's The Hulk And Also A Strong Father To Three Kiddos (And He's Too Sweet Holding Hands With His Daughter)
Talk about two different worlds. On the left, we see Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk, his character in the Marvel movies, who is, of course, incredibly strong. And on the right, we see a sweet picture of Mark with one of his daughters (who is wearing one amazing coat).
Mark Ruffalo is another hero in the Marvel movies who is a parent IRL. He's dad to 14-year-old daughter Bella, 11-year-old daughter Odette, and 17-year-old son Keen.
As the actor told Us Weekly, his children totally put him in his place sometimes: "They're like, 'You're not that cool.' Why do you keep saying no to me?' 'Why don't I get my computer all the time?'"
17 Even Thor Has Three Kids, Too: Here's Chris Hemsworth In His Everyday Role Of Doting Father
Chris Hemsworth has become famous on another level after becoming a Marvel superhero. Ever since the first movie came out in 2011, he's beloved as the character Thor.
Three seems to be a popular number for actors who have played Marvel heroes: many of them have three kiddos, and so does Chris Hemsworth. His kids are five-year-old son Tristan, seven-year-old daughter India, and five-year-old daughter Sascha. We love this picture of him as a family man with his wife, Elsa Pataky, and their adorable kids.
While Paul Rudd's son might not be jumping for joy that his dad is Ant-Man, it's a different story with Chris Hemsworth: according to News.com.au, his wife Elsa said, “They don’t know who is Thor and who is papa." Awww.
16 Hawkeye Is A Big Part Of The MCU, And Jeremy Renner's An IRL Dad Of Daughter Ava (Who Is So Stylish)
Hawkeye is an interesting character in the Marvel movies. Some people don't like him as much as some of the others, and as someone posted on Quora, he's a "family man" and "good guy."
Jeremy Renner, who plays Hawkeye in five films including Thor and Avengers: Endgame, is a "family man" IRL. He and his ex-wife, Sonni Pacheco, have a daughter named Ava who is six years old.
A few years ago, when his daughter was younger, Jeremy Renner was interviewed by Men's Journal and he told them, “I’d like to have eight [kids] running around. A gaggle, a little clan. But at this point, that’s not in my future."
15 Chris Pratt's Definitely A Famous Dad, And When He's Not Hanging With Son Jack, He's Playing Star-Lord In The MCU
Of all the famous parents on this list, it's safe to say that Chris Pratt is the most famous. He was beloved as a really funny actor years before he started starring in the Marvel movies, but once he got the role of Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy, he was suddenly everywhere.
Even if we haven't seen Chris Pratt in a Marvel film, we definitely know him as dad to Jack, whom he shares with his ex-wife Anna Faris. Jack is now six years old.
Chris and Katherine Schwarzenegger are getting married, so perhaps more kids are in their future? According to People, a source said, “Katherine is like a big kid and loves doing activities with Jack. She loves that Chris is a dad."
14 Scarlett Johansson Is The Best Black Widow There Could Be, And Also Mom To Rarely Seen Daughter Rose
We love watching Scarlett Johansson in the Marvel movies since she kicks some serious butt as Black Widow. She's been a staple of the Avengers films, starting in 2011, and is getting her own stand-alone film (which Imdb.com says is in pre-production).
Fans might not know that she is actually a parent IRL. She has a daughter named Rose but since she is so rarely seen around, it would make sense if we haven't heard about this.
We're always interested in hearing what these Marvel stars' children have to say about their heroic roles. According to Entertainment Tonight Canada, she said, “I was going to the office, not even going to the set, she asked me, ‘Who are you fighting?'” That's so cute.
13 Aaron Taylor-Johnson Is Quicksilver And A Total Hero To Daughters Romy And Wylda
We can be certain that Aaron Taylor-Johnson's daughters see him as a total hero. After all, the best dads are, and he literally plays one in the Marvel movies. The actor who plays Quicksilver has two daughters: eight-year-old Wylda and seven-year-old Romy.
While fans love seeing him in the MCU, it sounds like he loves fatherhood so much that it's more attractive to him than starring in movies. In an interview with The New York Post, he said, “I much prefer being a parent to working. Doesn’t everybody? The best time I have is with my kids, experiencing their growth and their life with them. I think it’s important to have time to enjoy that.”
12 Paul Bettany's Another Familiar Face As A Superhero, And IRL He's A Family Man (And Married To Jennifer Connelly)
Paul Bettany is another Marvel hero who is a parent IRL. Along with his wife Jennifer Connelly, he has 15-year-old son Stellan and seven-year-old daughter Agnes. It's definitely cool to see the contrast between these two universes: in the photo on the left, he's in his Marvel suit, and in the photo on the right, he's a father out with his family and having a nice day.
Back in 2009, Paul told People magazine that Stellan is super impressed with his work in the MCU: he said, “Yeah, that was annoying how cool he thought that was. Everything else I’ve done, but ‘Dad, you were the voice of Iron Man!’"
11 IRL, Don Cheadle's A Father Of Two Daughters, And In The MCU, He's James Rhodes/War Machine
Don Cheadle is another familiar face in the MCU: he plays James Rhodes/War Machine. IRL, he's a father of two daughters: 24-year-old Ayana and 22-year-old Imani. It's cool to see him in his suit and then see him walking around with his family.
The actor was interviewed by NPR and had some really fascinating insights about marriage and raising kids. He talked about "that third entity, which is the two of you" and said, "So that's a lot of work to figure that thing out. And you bring kids into it - I can understand why people don't, quote-unquote, make it. But if you do, the rewards are amazing and it's worth it."
10 It's Sweet To See Benedict Cumberbatch (aka Doctor Strange) With One Of His Two Sons
Benedict Cumberbatch is totally a household name by now, and he has had many beloved roles, although of course his most popular is Doctor Strange in the 2016 movie (and subsequent Avengers movies, too).
He's another Marvel hero who is a parent IRL: He and his wife Sophie Hunter have two sons, two-year-old Hal and three-year-old Christopher. In September 2018, it was announced that Sophie was pregnant with their third kiddo. We wonder when they'll show their little ones the Marvel movies? We bet they'll be as big fans as everyone else (and it'll be so much fun for them to see their dad in them).
9 Evangeline Lilly Is The Wasp And IRL, The Buzz Is About Her As A Mom To Two Babies
There are some amazing actresses in the MCU, too, and one of them is Evangeline Lilly. Many of us will remember her as Kate on Lost and we totally cheered upon learning that she would play The Wasp in several Marvel movies.
She's totally awesome as that character, and IRL, she's got two children: seven-year-old son Kahekili and a daughter born in 2015 whose name she hasn't shared publicly.
The actress shared with Us Weekly that her little one visited her while filming. She said, “I felt so incredibly proud that any little boy was pretending to be a female superhero, let alone my son, pretending to be me. Usually ‘mom’ is the least cool person ever.” Isn't that the sweetest?!
8 Krysten Ritter's About To Become A Mama For The First Time, And She Kicks Butt As Jessica Jones
Krysten Ritter is the talented actress who plays Jessica Jones in the Netflix show, and she's getting prepped to be a mom to her first kid. We saw that she was preggo when she was on the red carpet at the Oscars in the spring of 2019. She looks equally cool in her Jessica Jones black outfit in the photo on the left and in her cute polka-dot dress, jean jacket, and boots in the photo on the right.
We're confident that once her kid is old enough to watch her Netflix show, they're going to be super amazed and impressed by her role.
7 Zoe Saldana Is Gamora And Also A Mom Of Three Kiddos
Zoe Saldana's amazing role as the green-skinned Gamora might be the most striking of any of the Marvel stars on this list. In the photo on the left, she's playing her Marvel character, who looks incredibly cool. In the photo on the right, she and her husband, Marco Perego, have twins: sons Bowie and Cy who are now four years old. Zoe and her husband have a third child named Zen who is two years old.
People love Gamora so much that there has even been a meme: according to Mashable, "The video of Saldana applying her Gamora-green lipstick in the mirror is only about 20 seconds long, but once some hilarious context is added it transforms into the sassiest of memes." One person made a meme that said, "Spinach getting ready to expire on my way home from the grocery store."
6 Clark Gregg's A Dad To Stella, And Agent Coulson To The Rest Of Us
Agent Coulson is another character who is a staple of the Marvel movies and Clark Gregg is the beloved actor who plays him. IRL, he's the father of daughter Stella who is 17 years old. The photo on the right of him and Stella (who is smiling so big) is just too great.
It sounds like Clark Gregg is as big a fan of Marvel as the rest of us are: as he told Uproxx.com in March 2019, "It’s one thing that they’ve had a batting average like this, doing great films, but to do this one giant story that all connects, I think is amazing."
5 Vin Diesel Voices The Adorable Groot And He's Also A Loving Father
It's not every day that we would say that a character in an action movie is super adorable, but that's exactly what everyone says about Groot. Vin Diesel voices this beloved character and IRL he's a father of three children.
The 11-year-old Hania, nine-year-old Vincent, and four-year-old Pauline call Vin "dad." According to Today.com, the actor says that his pal and Fast and Furious co-star, the late Paul Walker, was a big influence on him having a family. He said, "Paul was very, very instrumental for me in my segue into fatherhood. He was the one that told me to go to the hospital. ... He's the one that told me to cut the umbilical cord! He was the only that knew, in California, that I was about to have a child."
4 Daredevil Charlie Cox Took On The Challenge Of Parenthood As Well With His Wife Samantha Thomas
Daredevil is a Marvel show that started streaming on Netflix in 2015 and lasted for three seasons. Charlie Cox played the main character, and he's another Marvel star who's a real-life parent. He and his wife, Samantha Thomas, have a child together (but there are no details about their child's name).
Parents know that it's the best thing but also a big challenge, and we know that a Marvel star would totally be up to the challenge. He told The Guardian in 2016 that his mom let him know whenever people were critical of being Daredevil: “I didn’t read the critics last year. I was very, very nervous – when I was cast there was a lot of, ‘This guy doesn’t look right.’ But my mum finds those comments rather amusing and forwards them to me. Good for her. It makes me take it all less seriously.”
3 We Love Cobie Smulders In The MCU (And From 'How I Met Your Mother') And IRL, She's A Proud Mama Of Two
Cobie Smulders was so popular as Robin on the sitcom How I Met Your Mother, and now she's a mother herself. She has a four-year-old daughter named Janita and a nine-year-old daughter named Shaelyn with her husband Taran Killam (who is starring in his own hilarious and sweet sitcom about parenthood).
IndieWire interviewed the actress in 2015 and she shared that she was interested in being in the movie Unexpected because of "the attempt to be a good mom, and have a job that you’re successful at, and the amount of work, and the amount of balance that that takes.”
It's cool to see Cobie play the strong character Maria Hill in many of the Marvel movies, and it's equally awesome to see her with her cute daughters.
2 Jon Bernthal's The Star Of A Netflix Show, And Also A Father IRL (He's Here With His Little One Adaline)
The Netflix series The Punisher is another Marvel entry, and Jon Bernthal stars as the title character. The actor is another IRL hero as he's a father to four-year-old daughter Adaline, four-year-old son Billy, and seven-year-old son Henry. Unfortunately, Jon and his wife, Erin Angle, have been going through a lot as Adaline has had some health issues (but there is good news as she is recovered).
Of being an actor, Jon told Men's Health, "Above all, I have a responsibility to take care of my family, but it’s hard because it takes me away from the people I love. . . . If I’m going to be away from my kids, I want one day for them to look at it and say, ‘Well, Dad was gone, but he was giving everything he had.’” We bet that they'll be more than thrilled to watch his Netflix show (once they're old enough, of course).
1 Michael Douglas Played Ant-Man, And We Know Him As Husband To Catherine Zeta-Jones (And They've Got Three Kids)
Everyone knows and loves Michael Douglas, and he's also in the Marvel movies as the first Ant-Man. When he gets older, he trains Paul Rudd's character.
Micheal and his wife, famous actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, have two children: 18-year-old Dylan and 16-year-old Carys. Michael has an older son, Cameron, who is 40, from his previous marriage to Diandra Luker.
In an interview with Radio Times, the actor said about his kids, “At last I have some movies on my resumé that they can see. I remember after the first Ant-Man, my son looked at me very philosophically and said, ‘Dad... You should think about doing a sequel.’ He was right!”
Sources: Forbes.com, Buzzfeed.com, Huffpost.com, News.com.au, Quora.com, People.com, ETcanada.com, Nypost.com, Usmagazine.com, Npr.com, Indiewire.com, Menshealth.com, Today.com, Theguardian.com, Mashable.com, Radiotimes.com.