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Who Is Pedro Coen?

Everything We Know About Frances McDormand and Joel Coen's Son, Pedro

(L-R) US actress Frances McDormand, Pedro McDormand Coen, and US director Joel Coen arrive for an interview with an audience during the Rome Film Fest, on October 16, 2015 in Rome. AFP PHOTO/ TIZIANA FABI        (Photo credit should read TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)

Frances McDormand just took home her second Academy Award for her heartbreaking and powerful performance in the critically acclaimed Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. In her acceptance speech, she thanked her husband, Joel Coen, and their son, Pedro, saying, "These two stalwart individuals were well raised by their feminist mothers. They value themselves, each other, and those around them. I know you are proud of me, and that fills me with everlasting joy." Pedro's childhood experiences — believe it or not — actually helped her prepare for her role as the grieving and enraged mother wreaking havoc on a town for the unsolved investigation of her daughter's murder.

We may not know much about McDormand's son, but the way in which his mother talks about him and her own experiences in motherhood strike a chord in all of us.

  1. Pedro is the adopted son of McDormand and Coen. When he was just 6 months old, McDormand — who also came from an adoptive family — and Coen adopted Pedro in 1995 from Paraguay. In fact, adopting him had her considering penning a book on adoption, given her own experiences of being adopted by a Disciples of Christ minister and his wife.
  2. McDormand has been known to be very protective of her son. In a 2003 New York Times profile, McDormand said she disliked when people would come up to her for pictures and autographs when she was with Pedro because they completely ignored him in the process. She also tried to take on a lesser workload by limiting herself to a movie and play per year so she could focus more on raising her son.
  3. Pedro is a personal trainer and massage therapist. While his parents are hotshots in Hollywood, their son decided to go another route. According to Woman's World, he's a certified massage therapist and trainer.
  4. Pedro became a major inspiration for McDormand in preparing for Three Billboards. In an interview with Belfast Telegraph, McDormand explained that Mildred's anger as a mother resonated with her because "as a parent, you also come to see how the worry and the anxiety that goes along with protecting someone who you give yourself to in that way — that you surrender to — can become degenerative." She went on to elaborate on how holding her son for the first time made her realize how high the stakes were in keeping him alive, and she tapped into that fierce sense of protection for her character.
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