Ashley Williams Clears Up the Inspiration Behind Her Son’s Name

10/22/2015 at 10:00 AM ET

The challenge of picking a moniker for her first child wasn’t lost on Ashley Williams.

“Naming is hard; that name is forever,” the actress, 36, tells Mini magazine.

Luckily, after months of scrolling through a growing list of options on her phone, Williams and husband Neal Dodson were able to settle on the perfect designation for their baby boy: Gus.

“It’s not short for anything and it’s not a family name. It’s not for the fat mouse in Cinderella, though he’s amazing,” she jokes. “We just loved it from the start.”

Ashley Williams son Gus nursery
Courtesy Mini Magazine

Williams says they imagined Gus, who just celebrated his first birthday, as a “grown man” in a variety of social situations — including the tot’s future wedding — to ensure the name would be a good fit.

“We kept saying ‘Who doesn’t love a guy name Gus?’ ‘He sounds like he’s such a good guy,’ ” she shares.

A friend even made a special onesie adorned with the phrase for their baby boy.

Williams admits motherhood has left her “a walking smile,” and that she’s “pinching herself” daily.

Ashley Williams son Gus nursery
Courtesy Mini Magazine

But she had a little preparation for the big adventure in parenting: The Jim Gaffigan Show star is — on top of her day job — a certified doula.

“I’ve always wanted to have a baby,” she explains. “When my siblings and friends started having kids, my husband and I just weren’t ready yet. I think some part of me felt like doula work would tide me over.”

She adds, “Also, sometimes as an actor, you start to think that work is the most important thing. But once I started attending births and seeing women at their strongest and most vulnerable, I realized that acting is a passion and an art — and sometimes my job.”

Ashley Williams son Gus nursery
Courtesy Mini Magazine

The star still loves shooting a TV show, but believes educating expectant moms and their partners has become a “deep passion” — and something that kept her “really relaxed” during her own pregnancy.

That relaxation vibe was something Williams carried into Gus’ nursery, which is designed to “feel like a magical forest.”

“We went with mahogany furniture and added these fun tree shadow decals for the walls, complete with a little secret bird in the corner that I point out to Gus every day,” she says. “One whole wall is entirely books which are currently one of the most important aspects of Gus’ life. We want him to value books.”

Ashley Williams son Gus nursery
Courtesy Mini Magazine

Her favorite aspect of the sweet spot? The hanging tree branch that doubles as a closet, which Williams says “grounds the room conceptually.”

Will the couple be making room for a big brother or sister in Gus’ special room? Not just yet. The actress insists she’s not good at “juggling” her new, more hectic life quite yet and fears she’d “stress out” her children.

“I would love to have another child — in a bit, don’t rush me — but I think I’d stop at two,” she shares.

Ashley Williams son Gus nursery
Courtesy Mini Magazine

– Lindsay Kimble

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DaisyMoon on

Gus?…poor kid.

I do like her show though.
Not as great as “Impastor” which airs right after, but very good nonetheless, especially the drunk episode (Daniel’s dad comes to town)…seriously hilarious from beginning to end!

Can’t wait for season 2.

DaisyMoon on

PS…If you’re going to have a weird branch hanging in your kid’s room, this is the way to do it…looks fabulous in this room, unlike Cacee Cobb’s nursery (featured here last month).

Julia on

I love the name Gus!! I like her too. She was cute in something borrowed.

Cici on

My grandfather’s name was Gus. Good Greek name. 🙂

Anonymous on

They can’t “make room for a big brother or sister” unless they plan on adopting an older child. Gus would be the big brother. No editors on duty today?

Robin on

Like the name Gus and I like the tree that doubles as his closet. Very cute.

Anonymous on

So everyone hated the tree branch-as-clothes-hanger in Cacee Cobb’s nursery but loves the one in this one? Okay then!

Anyway, fantastic nursery!

Anonymous on

Love the tree branch (and Cacee’s as well!), btw. I’m a HUGE fan of repurposing old and/or “found” stuff! 🙂

megan on

The room is cute, but I hate the tree clothes line. CaCee Cobb had the same ugly thing in her baby’s nursery, too. Celebrities, a clothes line of trees is not cute; it just looks like a hobo camp!

Ala Lemon on

Unless you grandfather was Greek and his nickname was Gus, I’m sorry to inform you that Gus is not a Greek name, but a Latin one.

Anonymous on

My OCD cannot stop staring at the wrinkled clothes on that branch. They need 20 seconds in a hot dryer 😦

Angelika on

Like the name Gus, it’s an adorable name.

Anonymous on

Gus is a very strong name… I think I like it lol

Pinky on

@ Anonymous, I though the same thing, lol! for a real closet yes wrinkled clothes are normal. For a photo shoot, where is the steamer?

Anonymous on

Um the nursery room looks so cute.

Rae on

Anyone else notice how creepy her foot looks in the first picture? I think the clothes are wrinkled because they were probably and hung up just for this shoot. I so dislike seeing children’s nurserys when they are geared more towards the adults and not the kids. I just can’t see a kid playing in that room.

karen on

The wrinkled clothes really bothered me too.

Marti on

If Gus is a year old and those are the only clothes in his “closet” the poor boy is in serious need of a shopping spree.

Julie on

I love Ashley. Gus is an old name.

Barbara on

My 24 year old son is named Gus, still love his name!