According to TV Guide, Emile Hirsch’s career is taking off: he’ll be playing Clyde Barrow in a miniseries on Lifetime, and playing John Belushi in an indie biopic. And his life is about to change now that he has a baby boy named Valor.
The article features a photo of Hirsch cuddling his son Valor. I can’t tell if Hirsch is “excited and happy” as he claims, or if he is thinking, “Just when my career was starting to take off…” I got the latter impression because of the candid information included in the article, which read as though it had been written by Hirsch’s disapproving mother. The mother of the child is described as an “’unnamed former flame’ of Hirsch’s whom he met at an Oscar after-party earlier this year and had a brief fling with, according to E!.” You don’t usually find that kind of candor in birth-announcement articles.
Despite the fact that Valor means “courage and boldness” a personality trait like valor doesn’t make a good name for a human being any more than courage, empathy, beauty or frugality would. Valor also reminds me of “Prince Valiant,” a comic strip created by Hal Foster, way back in 1937. The first things that comes to mind about Prince Val are his nickname and his page-boy hairdo.
Because Valor isn’t a common name, it doesn’t come with a handy nickname for a little baby that you can use to calm him down when he’s crying, or when you’re trying to get him back to sleep. I wonder what Hirsch will call his son when he tucks Valor into bed at night: Val? Valley? Valery? Valium? I suspect Hirsch didn’t give the question a moment’s thought when he picked the name. Another reason why he may be thinking, “Just when my career was starting to take off…”