OMG, Gossip Girl's Matthew Settle is a father! And while raising wayward teens on TV is pure drama, real-life parenthood is bliss

By Liza Hamm
April 13, 2009 12:00 PM

Aven Angelica Settle

Born: March 5, 2009

Weight: 8 lbs. 11 oz.

For Matthew Settle, Gossip Girl is much more than just hookups, breakups and high fashion. Playing cool dad Rufus on the teen drama helped prep him for first-time fatherhood. “I had a think tank of people helping me figure out what it’s like to be a father,” the 39-year-old actor says of his day job as a TV parent. “Nothing is ever too big a deal for Rufus. That made me strive for that.”

But when Settle first held daughter Aven Angelica after his wife, actress Naama Nativ, gave birth, he realized there was no need for dress rehearsals. “I felt this intense love pour throughout my body,” says Settle. “All the things you worry about just melt away.” Now the family is happily nesting in their Manhattan apartment. While Nativ, 25, mostly handles diaper duty, Settle takes pride in being a Baby Whisperer. “When I get my Dad time, it quiets her immediately,” he says. “I sing and play guitar.”

It’s no surprise that those lullabies—often Beatles tunes—are hits with Aven. Her parents made a point of introducing her to music throughout Nativ’s pregnancy. “We had a belly list,” says Settle. “We took her to the opera, the symphony, to hear blues and jazz, so she could feel things we love.” Thanks to Aven, the couple have swapped late nights on the town for late-night feedings at home. And when they’re finally ready for a parents’ night out, their daughter can look forward to some very cool caretakers: Settle’s Gossip Girl costars. “They’re all in line to babysit,” says Settle. First up is Penn Badgley, Settle’s onscreen son. “Penn is more mature than I am, so any time of day, anywhere!”