Donnie Wahlberg is always grateful for his bond with his wife Jenny McCarthy’s 17-year-old son, Evan, but going into the holiday season, the actor is feeling especially thankful.
“Besides the fact that she’s cooked the most amazing Thanksgiving dinner, which I can’t wait to enjoy this year, she’s just been such a great wife and stepmom to my son,” the Blue Bloods actor, 50, told Us Weekly exclusively during a joint interview with McCarthy, 47, as they discussed their partnership with French’s Crispy Fried Onion Rings. “One of the interesting things about us as parents is my son is super intellectual and very reserved. So he’s not the, ‘Hey, dad. Let’s go out and play,’ or, ‘I love you, dad.’ He’s not that type. But he can carry on a great conversation. Where Jenny’s son is super affectionate, will tell you exactly how he feels. He’s not reserved, but he’s not the intellectual type. So we’ve come into each other’s lives and our kids sort of, we connect with our kids in ways that we haven’t connected with our own. So with Evan, Jenny’s son, I get all this amazing ways to connect with him that I don’t get with my son and Jenny now can sit down with my son and talk about …”
McCarthy interjected, “Intellectual conversations.”
“Yeah. Really unique conversations him,” Wahlberg, who shares sons Xavier, 26, and Elijah, 18, with ex-wife Kimberly Fey added. “Besides being the best wife that I could have ever imagined having, she’s also the best step mom and mother. She’s a great partner and to simplify it, having someone to build traditions with my children and it being Jenny is probably the thing I’m most grateful for. Now our kids are seeing through both rusty and single parents and the struggles we had early on and past relationships now to see us building this traditions and building this family together. Now our kids can see what that looks like and pass it onto their kids. So it’s something to truly be grateful.”
McCarthy and Wahlberg tied the knot in 2014 after meeting on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen. The former View host had a similar sentiment to her husband about his bond with Evan.
“There’s no words that actually even come close to the meaning that I feel. I’m most thankful for his unconditional love,” she told Us. “And not only for me though, to my son. Any single mom that knows our story can understand that because I think that’s one of our biggest concerns. Who’s going to love me with me and my child or children. Is there anyone out there, especially with special needs and the fact that this Romeo came along and not only swooped me off my feet, but my son and our combined families love each other. It’s I guess truly family and unconditional love that I’m just so grateful for.”
Later this month, the twosome are looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving in Chicago with their kids.
“We’re in Chicago in our home with our two sons that both live here. And my mom and my stepdad and my sisters,” McCarthy told Us, noting that both sides of their respective families love their French’s Green Bean Casserole. “We got about a 12 count right now. Usually that number goes up because we are the house that are open to stragglers and by stragglers I mean our friends and relatives.”
“To know that our kids feel safe and secure and know that they can feel all this love and happiness at the holiday time, it’s really special. It’s again, it’s passing down traditions. That’s what all this stuff is about. That’s why this partnership with French’s, it works for us,” Wahlberg added. “We’d love green onion casserole.”
Reporting by Marc Lupo
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