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Morgan Spurlock gets his 'Freakonomics' on



Morgan Spurlock has taken on McDonald’s (“Super Size Me”) and terrorism (“Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?”). Now, in the adaptation of the best-seller “Freakonomics,” he’s tackling baby names.

Spurlock, who has a 3-year-old son named Laken, spoke with amNewYork about the film, out now.

Why baby names?
I had just had my son a year and a half before, and there were so many discussions that his mom and I had about names and the importance of names and [laughs] the ability for somebody to make fun of you because of your name. Any time we would talk about any name, she and I would literally start figuring out ways kids could make fun of it.

How did you settle on Laken?
Laken, the name we chose, was my great-great-uncle’s name. The middle name, James, is his grandfather’s name. We thought that was a pretty safe bet.

Do you think a name can shape someone’s life?
I grew up in West Virginia, and if you hear of someone named Bobby Joe, you think “Bobby Joe, not that smart. He’s got two names, probably a bit country, maybe a redneck, maybe not the sharpest knife in the drawer.” Robert Joseph would be very different from Bobby Joe.

What are the best baby names you heard making the movie?
We found a guy in Georgia who named his kid Possum. … Then there was somebody who named their kid Marlboro.

After “Super Size Me,” is McDonald’s verboten in your household?
Verboten. We drive down the road and Laken sees [McDonald’s] out the window and he goes, “Daddy, there’s the yucky place.” And I’m like, “Yes, it is. That’s right.”


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