Here’s Why Wilmer Valderrama Loves His Daughter’s Name, Despite the ‘Unbelievable Debate’ It Caused

Lead Photo: Art by Alan López for Remezcla
Art by Alan López for Remezcla
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Actor Wilmer Valderrama (Encanto) is sharing all the things that make being a father one of life’s special gifts.

During a recent interview with People magazine, Valderrama, who has a 19-month-old daughter named Nakano Oceana with fiancée Amanda Pacheco, talked about some of the milestones he’s experienced over the last year and a half.

“It’s been incredible,” Valderrama said. “She mumbles, ‘I love you,’ now. Literally, I can’t leave the house to work unless I hear it.” Valderrama also described fatherhood as “revitalizing and re-energizing” and “everything you thought it would be.”

The NCIS actor even seems to enjoy some of the duties (no pun intended) of being a father that most dads probably wouldn’t put on their list of favorite things to do. “[It’s] a pleasure to change [her] diaper,” he said.

The couple welcomed Nakano into the world the day after Valentine’s Day last year, February 15, 2021. Valderrama revealed that he and Pacheco chose her name after a trip to Japan where they learned about a 19th-century female samurai named Nakano Takeko who fought in a unit of the army known as the Joshitai, or Girls’ Army because she was not allowed to go into battle with male warriors.

“The name was exciting to figure out because everyone is gonna have an opinion,” Valderrama said. “When we said the name, it created an unbelievable debate in our family. Some people thought it was off the wall, and others thought that it was just serendipitous and so beautiful.”

Despite the discussion it created within the family, Wilmer Valderrama said he was ultimately glad he and Pacheco weren’t talked out of choosing a name they loved – a name “that felt strong…unique [and] different.”

“I thought what a cool, fun little conversation topic for our daughter to have as she grows older,” he said. “But also, the respect and the heritage, and the tribute to one of those beautiful moments where my fiancée and I said ‘I love you’ for the first time. To commemorate that trip to Japan with our first labor of love.”