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.”