How Amanda Peet Chose Molly June’s Name

05/10/2010 at 12:00 PM ET
Donna Ward/Getty

When David Benioff made plans to travel to Malta, he never imagined a natural disaster would almost keep him from witnessing the birth of his second child with wife Amanda Peet!

“I got in a taxi three days before [I delivered] and saw the scrolls saying, ‘Volcanic ash cloud, all U.K. airports closed,” the actress said during a Friday visit to the Late Show with David Letterman.

“I started to panic as I was already dilated and there were signs that I was going to go into labor sooner [rather] than later.”

Fortunately, Benioff managed to catch a plane from Rome and arrived back in New York on Saturday night — just in time for Molly June‘s big arrival.

“My water broke on Sunday, she was very considerate,” laughs Peet of the ordeal.

However, drama ensued when it came time to leave the hospital and neither Peet nor Benioff could decide on a name.

“We were fighting about it a lot and you can’t leave the hospital until you sign the paper with the name so we got right up to the point where the nurse was trying to usher us to leave,” Peet, 38, reveals.

“We still couldn’t choose between Maya June and Molly June. So finally David … tore off two little pieces of paper, wrote the names on each paper and put them behind his back.”

But when Peet picked Maya June, she couldn’t hide her disappointment! “I chose one of them and it was Maya and then I got really upset, so…” she says.

As for big sister Frances Pen, 3, the proud mama raves her firstborn is welcoming the new addition with open arms — and a bit of an attitude.

“She’s a little more moody than usual, but it’s not really directed at the baby,” the Please Give star shares. “It’s more like, ‘Frankie, eat your broccoli,’ and she starts screaming. She wants to have a baby in her belly and she wants to breastfeed.”

FILED UNDER: Babies , News , Parenting , Video

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Showing 58 comments

MariefromFrance on

AWWW, the video is too cute for words! I love Amanda, congratulations to her and her husband!

Allie-Rose on

Well, I much prefer Maya over Molly, but I still thing Molly June flows better than Maya June

Cara on

Cutest video ever! She’s hungry but it looks like kisses…so precious! I love being a baby nurse. Congrats Amanda!

Romy on

so cute, love how she figured out the right name for them. I like both names, but I like Molly better

tracy on

I thought you couldn’t fly in your last trimester. She was lucky, almost an ‘air birth’.

Karen on

How precious!!

Pennie on

tracy-her husband was overseas, not her

T on

Tracy – she wasn’t the one on the plane, her husband was. Cute baby. Congrats!

melanie on

Tracy, she wasn’t flying…her husband was.

Love the name molly june..fits right in with her big sister! Congrats!

Lake on

Of course you can leave the hospital without choosing a name! Good grief, this isn’t a police state! my son’s birth certificate had a last name and just “Baby” for his first name. We wanted to think about it a while. It’s not a big deal, you just fill in the name later and submit it and get a birth certificate. Native Americans waited a year to name their babies. I think it’s nice to see the personality and appearance before labeling.

TJ on

Love it…congrats! !hat a great, sweet video to share, those moments are so precious and so fleeting…!

Crystal on

That video is ADORABLE!! What a sweet baby!! While I like the name Maya better than Molly, Molly fits little baby Benioff to a T! I didn’t like the name Molly when it was first announced that that was the name they chose for their baby girl. Now that it’s been a little while I love the name! It just goes. CONGRATULATIONS!

Lorus on

Here in BC you can leave without registering a name. The nurses give you the forms to take home and mail off once you’ve decided. It took awhile for use to register our first and then get her medical card so she was referred to as “NBF (Last name)” which stood for newborn female.

jessicad on

That’s the cutest video I have ever seen!!! I love how they try to suckle on everything, so cute and makes me want another:)

Rebecca on

I agree with Lake, I’m tired of the whole “We couldn’t leave the hospital before we named the baby”… uh, yes you could!

chrissy on


Brooklyn on

πŸ™‚ Glad they went with Molly. I like it a lot better than Maya!

nichole on

I’m six months pregnant and that video darn-near made me cry! πŸ™‚

ab on

I don’t understand how people are still undecided about their baby’s name when they are getting ready to leave the hospital. I mean you have about 9 months to come up with a name!

Jim on

Congratulations! Beautiful video and baby!

Michelle on


As a Choctaw I can assure you that not all American Indians wait a year to name their children. And we prefer not to all be lumped together, “American Indians do this or that.” We didn’t all live in tee pees, we didn’t all wear feathers, etc.

Wouldn’t it be silly if I said, “all white people name their children names from the Bible!”? Certainly many do, but it isn’t true for everyone, by any means.

Bonnie on

That is so cute!! i like the name Molly better than Maya. Im glad her husband got home for little Mollys birth πŸ™‚

Jaedyn on

oh my… so cute!!! i would have prefered maya over molly, but i think amanda, frankie and molly all are just beautiful! congrats!

Sue on

flying home right before the birth! Why do these people not know you are NOT supposed to fly past 6 months! It’s dangerous for you and the baby – DUH!!!!!!!!

Gabby on

Tracy, Amanda wasn’t traveling. It was her husband who was in Europe during the Volcanic ash and she was worried he wouldn’t make it home for the birth.

Lola Monroe on

That video is by far one the cutest things I have ever seen!!! While I prefer Maya….Molly seems to flow better with their family, soooo adorable!!!

noam on

some hospitals DO require you to name your baby before you leave. the hospital where my sister gave birth wouldn’t let her leave until the birth certificate was entirely (baby name included) filled out. they told her it she had sixty days to change the name, but there had to be something. she had a few names she liked, but wanted to get to know the baby better. so he left the hospital named ambrose, and a few weeks later, they changed it to edison, which suits him better…

susie williams on

She looks amazing without makeup, very happy and what a cute baby?

Lauren on

I prefer Maya to Molly, but Molly June Benoiff flows a little better I think. Definitely the cutest celebrity baby name recently, I think, and that video is precious. Amanda introducte it on the show saying that Molly is in the stage where she think everything is a boob, at which point Letterman just stared at her. It was a really funny interview.
And as someone who missed vacations to Greece and Nice/Monaco because of the volcano, the fact that David made it back to the States is amazing. Looks like minor case of life imitating art for Amanda after doing 2012 πŸ˜‰

Samy on

Some states require that your child have a name before you leave the hospital. I gave birth to my daughter in March 2009 in North Carolina and we could not leave until she had a name and we filed for her birth certificate.

I think the name Molly is adorable!

Lola Monroe on

Sue…take a breather sweetheart…whoa!! Try reading…before you comment…might be a bit easier on you & your fingers while slamming down those exclamation points…ya know!!!!!!!!!!!

ab on

I don’t understand how people still can’t decide on a name until they are about to leave the hospital. I mean they had about 9 months to discuss it before the baby arrived!

Kaylyn on

For those who obviously quick read…she didn’t fly..her hubby did and arrived home just the evening before her water broke….GEEZ! READ! Her name is beautiful..and so is she! Congrats Amanda!!!

DS on

Uh, there’s no law that says you have to name your baby before you leave the hospital. Sure they prefer that, but there’s no rush. Don’t be pressured!

KC on

ab – I can completely relate to how they came down to the last minute to name their little one. She basically just described what we had to do to name our 2nd baby – a little boy in March….we talked about it during the entire pregnancy but could never just decide and/or agree on anything….so it is possible. Its a huge responsiblity coming up with a name that will stick for the rest of the kids life. Molly June is an adorable name – congrats to the family!

Sam & Freya's mum on

Cute! I also prefer Maya to Molly (we had Mia or Maya on our list at one stage, Mia while preg first time with son and Maya the 2nd time around) but think Molly’s also cute. Nicer than Frances, IMO. Lovely that they have two healthy girls & that dad was able to be there for Molly’s birth!

LuckyLou on

Lake, I agree with you. When my daughter was born, I didn’t have a name for her picked out either (I was convinced I was going to have a boy!) and the nurse told me that I had a year. I didn’t wait that long of course, but you don’t have to name your baby before you leave the hospital.

Liliana on

For those thinking Amanda was misinformed, naming requirements actually varies by state and, in some cases, hospital.

As for those saying she had nine months to choose a name, while this is true, it’s not that easy for some. I decided on my first son’s name about a week before he was born. With my second, all the names I had as possibilities didn’t fit him once I actually saw what he looked like. It took me three additional days and another look through a name book before I settled on his name.

Some people can choose a name six weeks after conception and stick with it throughout the entire pregnancy. I wasn’t one of those individuals but in the end, everything worked out fine.

Molly is adorable! Loved the video.

Kari on

It’s just a cute story to tell people. Why does everyone take it so factual and literal? Haters!

amsjll on

Even though I know she’s just hungry the vid is very cute! We almost changed our second daughter’s name. We named her one thing and then as we got to know her personality we realized it didnt fit at all. She has an old fashioned feminine name and though its not our style, she should have had something far more playful. She’s almost 2 and we still throw out names that we SHOULD have named her, for fun. She’ll grow into it or make it her own but I think naming a baby is one of the hardest things you ever have to do and people just dont take it seriously enough sometimes. This is the name they will apply to jobs and colleges with, the name they will try to get a date with, the name that will partly define who they are- forever. We all know BAD names, and though there are different tastes, Molly is definitely a good one!

Luna on

For us, it was different with each child. The first, we picked a name at about seven months. The twins, we had things picked out but didn’t have two set names for the girls until we saw them. Our next daughter we named her at the hospital. Our fifth, we thought we were having a girl, but he turned out to be a boy, so we had to name him in the next week. I love Molly June, although I love Maya without June. Congrats to Amanda, David, and Frankie on Molly, not Maya, June. πŸ™‚

Amanda on

What a cute video!!!

Jean on

You ALWAYS have the right to take YOUR baby home without a name. The baby doesn’t belong the the hospital! Our twins came home without them. Some of us like to meet our children before we name them. Sure there’s 9 months and we had a list but it took a few weeks to see what fit. We also don’t seriously talk until we know sex at birth.

Thank goodness my second child was a homebirth and there was no hassle about not having a name at all. The hospital was only an issue with the twins (#3 and 4) because they didn’t know how to file without names. They figured it out.

Diana on

aaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!!!! thats so cute!!!!!!!!!!

Stephanie on

It is possible to not agree on a name people. I personally would have went with Maya – it’s my own daughter’s name πŸ™‚

NoName on

Actually, my folks could not decide on a name and HAD to put a name on the birth certificate. They just did a legal name change later. Congratulations on the BEAUTIFUL baby Amanda and David!

babycachet on

Saw her video on Letterman. So cute! Plus Amand had the giggle bug – too funny! Wish her and her baby the best!

Anne on

It is so irritating to read comment after comment assuming that Ms. Peet was somehow swindled into thinking that she coudln’t leave without naming her child. Laws vary, people! Here in Ohio, you have to have a birth certificate filled out entirely; the hopsital files it for you.

CelebBabyLover on

AWWW! Molly is so cute! πŸ™‚

A Lot Like Me on

My sister’s best friend and her husband left the hospital without a name and without a discharge order. They didn’t want to reveal a name (not for religious reasons, they are heavy atheists or cultural or ethnic reasons either) until a certain time. In the state in which they live (and I can’t remember where, it was a few years back) it is required. So, they cut the baby’s ankle bracelet and walked out. They were arrested on kidnapping charges which I know is going to send some people into a tizzy on here, but think about it, the baby’s bracelet was off, there’s were off, for the baby’s sake under the circumstances it wasn’t that extreme. The charges were dropped but in the end they said they should just have put Jane Lane or something on her birth certificate and legally changed it later as not only were the court costs more (they also were ordered to repay the local police department for the extra man-power called in to locate the child) but they had to have social service visits every month for the next two years. All because they didn’t want to tell anyone the name they chose. So, here’s an idea, find out the laws in your state, your city, etc and the policies at the hospital where you are going to give birth way ahead of time and be prepared. Go ahead and ask, if a name is not picked out, what happens.

Natasha on

After watching a video as sweet as that and people can only nit-pick on hospital laws, airplane safety, home births and why people shouldnt have a name picked out by birth!?!?!?! wow…
I wish I had caught my kids on camera at birth giving me sweet “kisses”. Just so precious! Its such an honour to have anyone, let alone a celebrity, share such an amazing moment with the public. I guess with all the complaining and criticizing that some like to do these private moments will be far and few between. Get a grip people.

Allie-Rose on

I’m not American, but I suppose the law must vary depending on each state. Some may require that you chose a name for your child before you leave the hospital, others may not.
Here in France, you have 3 days (unless the child is born abroad, in which case, it’s 2 weeks). And if I remember my law classes well, if you don’t give a name within those 3 days, the hospital chooses one for you and then you have to go to court if you want it changed.

MiB on

I for one love the name Molly June and I think it flows much better that Maya June. This is actually the first of this years babies, where I could totally see myself having a child with that name.

My name was Anna until the minute I was born and my parents changed their minds (which I am grateful for, not because I don’t like the name, but my own name suits me better). My brother had a name from the moment I was told I was going to have a little brother or sister; I immediately went out and announced I was going to have a little brother named Martin. It stuck.

CraazzyMom on

Here you DO have to have a name before you leave the hospital. It definitely varies by state (as many previous posters have mentioned) and I think its ridiculous that some people are insisting that just because THEY weren’t required to that no one is.

Sarah on

I thought Amanda was hilarious on Letterman. He seemed a bit annoyed that she kept laughing, but she had me in tears because I was laughing right with her. You could tell she was exhausted, but instead of being cranky and quiet…she was laughing and smiling. You can tell Amanda is a really good Mom and congrats on the 2nd baby!!

Jeanne on

I can’t help but notice that every time there’s a post about an interview with Amanda Peet, whatever it is she’s talking about gets criticized. I mean really. That’s one of the most adorable videos ever posted here and all most of you are doing is unfairly picking on her. Laws about baby naming vary from state to state, everyone has a different naming process, and she wasn’t the one flying. Honestly.

Mariana on

That’s one of the most adorable videos ever posted here and all most of you are doing is unfairly picking on her. Laws about baby naming vary from state to state, everyone has a different naming process, and she wasn’t the one flying. Honestly. [2]

Totally agree with you, Jeannie.

This video just made my heart melt.
I love the name Molly June, it actually sounds better than Maya June. Maya goes great with Ray, for example – as in Uma Thurman’s daughter’s name. (In my opinion, of course).
And plus, Molly June and Frances Penn are lovely names for sisters. And I think they both go okay with ‘Benioff’.

Sarah M. on

My grandmother name on her birth certificate is ‘No Name Surname’. Her parents didn’t have a name picked out by the time they had to leave the hospital, and they couldn’t take her home without one. So they put ‘No Name’ and changed it to ‘Iola Marguerrite’ later. Every has different tastes when it comes to names. Their own tastes can change over time, and they can often differ from that of another person. Do what’s best for YOUR family and let OTHER families do what’s best for them.

I’m sure Molly is just as georgous as Amanda and Frankie are! All the best to the whole family!!