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Fatherhood: History vs. Hollywood


Kevin Hart
Born: July 6, 1979
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Matt Logelin
Born: October 25, 1977
Birthplace: Hennepin, Minnesota, USA

Deborah Ayorinde
Born: August 13, 1987
London, England, UK

Liz Logelin
Born: September 17, 1977
Birthplace: Hennepin, Minnesota, USA
Death: March 25, 2008, Los Angeles, California, USA (pulmonary embolism)

Baby Maddy Actress (movie)

Maddy Logelin (baby)
Born: March 24, 2008
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA

Melody Hurd
Born: October 30, 2011

Maddy Logelin (child)
Born: March 24, 2008
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA

Alfre Woodard
Born: November 8, 1952
Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

Candee Goodman
Born: October 1948
Birthplace: Minnesota, USA
Bio: Liz's Mom

Frankie Faison
Born: June 10, 1949
Newport News, Virginia, USA

Tom Goodman
Born: August 31, 1945
Birthplace: Minnesota, USA
Bio: Liz's Dad

DeWanda Wise
Born: May 30, 1984
Jessup, Maryland, USA

Lizzie Molyneux
Birthplace: USA
Bio: Matt's Girlfriend/Future Second Wife

Historical Accuracy (Q&A):

When were the real Matt and Liz married?

The Fatherhood movie true story reveals that the real Matthew and Liz Logelin were married on August 13, 2005. They had met at a gas station back in Minnesota when they both were high school seniors. They maintained a long-distance relationship while Liz attended Scripps College in Claremont, California and Matt studied sociology at St. John's University in Minnesota. The distance persisted after graduation while Matt pursued a master's degree at Chicago's Loyola University. In 2002, instead of pursuing a PhD in sociology, Matt decided to move to California to start a life together with Liz. They married roughly three years later. Matt had popped the question while they were visiting a temple in Nepal. Approximately two years after their 2005 wedding, they discovered they were pregnant.

Matt and Liz Logelin at prom in 1995 while they were both seniors in high school back in Minnesota.

What kind of job did Matt Logelin have in real life?

Prior to his wife's death, Matt had worked for years as a Project Manager for Yahoo! (in the movie, Kevin Hart's character works for a company that makes simulation software). Since he was in charge of their outsourcing program, his job had required him to make trips to India. Matt left Yahoo! in 2009 so that he could focus on writing his memoir Two Kisses for Maddy. As for his wife Liz, she had worked as a manager at Disney prior to her passing.

Was Matt Logelin's wife Liz put on bed rest prior to the birth of their daughter?

Yes. In researching the question, "How much of Fatherhood is based on a true story?" we learned that due to low amniotic fluid, Liz was put on bed rest for five weeks prior to her emergency c-section (Rachel Ray Show). The last two weeks of bed rest were spent in the hospital (AOL). The movie does not show Liz (Deborah Ayorinde) on bed rest.

Liz and Matt Logelin on their wedding day, August 13, 2005. Actors Deborah Ayorinde and Kevin Hart portray the couple in the Netflix Fatherhood movie (right).

Is Kevin Hart's Fatherhood movie based on Matt Logelin's memoir?

Yes. The Fatherhood screenplay by director Paul Weitz and Dana Stevens is based on Matt Logelin's 2011 memoir Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss and Love. The memoir was written following the success of Logelin's blog, Matt, Liz and Madeline: Life and Death, All in a 27-Hour Period, which grew in popularity in 2008 as he struggled to adjust to sudden single parenthood. He had started the blog many years before his wife died, initially titling it and using it as a place to post photos from their travels together. Once Liz was put on hospital bed rest during the pregnancy, the blog became a way for him to keep family and friends in the loop.

"Madeline is here!" he posted on the day of her birth, March 24, 2008, adding, "The proud parents will continue to update everyone on our beautiful baby. Look forward to even more good news." After a tragic turn of events, a post four days later, titled "Liz", was an obituary for his wife. The blog became a place for Matt to chronicle his grief, as well as share the challenges he faced raising a premature daughter as a single parent.

Kevin Hart's Fatherhood movie is based on Matt Logelin's memoir Two Kisses for Maddy.

Did Matt Logelin's wife die the day after giving birth to their daughter?

Yes. The Fatherhood true story confirms that Matt's wife, Liz Logelin, died just 27 hours after giving birth to their daughter, Maddy, at 33 weeks on March 24, 2008. Despite being seven weeks premature and weighing just under 3 lbs 14 oz, Madeline Elizabeth Logelin was born healthy via an emergency caesarean section. Liz, 30, passed away suddenly the following afternoon after suffering a pulmonary embolism as she prepared to go see Maddy in the NICU. Liz had gotten up and walked around the room a little bit and then said, "I feel lightheaded," just prior to losing consciousness and collapsing to the floor. A blood clot in her leg had traveled to her lungs. She had only seen Maddy for several seconds immediately following the c-section and would never get the chance to hold their daughter. -Rachel Ray Show

Liz Logelin sees her daughter Maddy for several seconds after the c-section. It was the only time they met.

How popular did Matt Logelin's blog become?

Initially, in addition to sharing his daily struggles in his personal blog, which he had retitled Matt, Liz and Madeline: Life and Death, All in a 27-Hour Period, he also posted in the online parenting forum of his old hometown's newspaper, the Minnesota Star Tribune. The forum's moderators reached out to him and he soon found himself the subject of a front-page feature in the newspaper. The Star Tribune headline read, "Without Liz, but not alone." The article mentioned his blog, and he quickly saw its traffic spike, with many people returning daily to read his latest posts. Following the front-page story, he found himself and Maddy being recognized by strangers in public, something he found strangely comforting.

More visitors flooded his blog after his story was featured in a number of other newspapers, People Magazine, and on the TV shows of Rachel Ray and Oprah Winfrey. At its height, the blog received more than 40,000 visitors a day, and its success is part of what inspired him to write his memoir. Matt said that the blog will be a way for Maddy to understand how they managed together in the early days. "In many ways, it's a love letter to Madeline and to Liz. Liz will never read it, of course, I want Madeline to know that her dad didn't just curl up in a ball and start drinking heavily. I want her to know I was out there, doing as much as I could for her, and trying to make her as happy as I could." Matt intended to stop posting on the blog after the first year, but he was encouraged by the ongoing influx of new readers who were just discovering it, many of whom were looking for advice themselves. -The Guardian

Matt and Maddy Logelin in real life (left) and as depicted in the Kevin Hart movie (right).

Did Matt Logelin think about suicide?

Logelin says that although he never seriously considered taking his own life, he wondered if dying was the only way he'd be able to escape his grief. "The thought of our child as an orphan turned my stomach, and I hated myself for even thinking something so selfish." -The Guardian

Did Matt Logelin attend a weekly mothers group for help and support?

Yes. A group of 10 new mothers in Matt's neighborhood invited him to meet with them at a local park. They traded spit-up stories and took Matt under their wing, offering him support and advice. After they noticed how thin he was getting, Hannah Maximova, one of the moms in the group, started Operation Feed Matt, taking him things like muffins and French toast. The main character attends a similar support group in the Kevin Hart Fatherhood movie. -People Magazine

The real Matt Logelin attended a weekly new moms group that met at a local park.

Did Matt's family want him to move back to Minnesota so they could help?

Yes. Although the movie depicts Kevin Hart's character as living in Boston, Matt actually lived in Los Angeles. All of Maddy's grandparents were 1,500 miles away in Minnesota. They did what they could to help him, but if he had a bad night, they couldn't take the baby the next morning to give him a break. In real life, Matt's parents were divorced. "I started blogging for Liz's family," Matt told Rachel Ray. "It was for my family too, but I just wanted to give them visual proof that I was succeeding."

Did fans of Matt Logelin's blog send him diapers and other baby supplies?

Yes. Although the blog is not included in the film, the Fatherhood movie true story reveals that readers of Matt's blog sent him formula, boxes of diapers, wipes, onesies, toys, infant nail clippers, hair clips, matching accessories, and a variety of other things. This included items he hadn't realized he needed. Someone sent him dividers to ensure that he was carrying the right doses of powdered formula. He even received beer. Rachel Engebretson set up a separate blog so that people could see what he needed.

Matt Logelin (left) feeds his daughter Maddy in the days after her birth. Kevin Hart (right) depicts the sudden single father in the Netflix Fatherhood movie.

Are Matt's friends in the movie based on real people?

Lil Rel Howery's character, Jordan, doesn't seem to be directly based on any one individual but perhaps most closely resembles Matt's best friend, A.J. Colianni.

Has Matt Logelin remarried?

Yes. In 2011, Matt Logelin began dating Brooke Gullikson, an early blog reader and a volunteer at the Liz Logelin Foundation. The two had met in 2010 at one of the foundation's fundraisers. Matt and Brooke broke up in 2013 after their relationship had been scrutinized by some of his blog's followers. A few months later, it was rumored that he was dating Bob's Burgers writer Lizzie Molyneux. In the movie, Lizzie (DeWanda Wise) is an animator for the fictional cartoon Lucky Jim. The rumor that they were dating was confirmed in 2016 when he and Lizzie attended a comedy show to benefit the foundation. After keeping their relationship under the radar for several years, the pair married in an unannounced ceremony in Palm Springs, California on February 24, 2018.

Maddy Logelin, her father Matt, and his wife Lizzie Molyneux-Logelin, who he married in 2018. Photo: Matt Logelin

Was a charity set up with the help of his loyal blog readers?

Yes. Managed by volunteers, the Liz Logelin Foundation was set up to help those who have suddenly lost a spouse and are faced with the challenge of raising a new child on their own. Through the foundation, Matt gave away the money that had been raised for him and Maddy to the widows and widowers who had reached out to him. He reasoned that many of them didn't have the same network of support that the blog had blessed him with. -The Guardian

Does Matt Logelin's blog still exist?

No. Visiting reveals an empty blog. Matt's old posts are no longer present. In an interview with The Guardian, Matt once said that should Maddy ever tell him to stop the blog, he would. We do know that traffic to the blog declined somewhat in the years that followed (as of April 2011, it was getting approximately 15,000 visitors per day). In a 2016 interview with Us Weekly, Matt revealed that he stopped posting to his blog because he "no longer enjoyed writing it." Matt does have a Twitter account that he updates occasionally.

Matt Logelin and his daughter Maddy are portrayed by Kevin Hart and Melody Hurd in the Netflix Fatherhood movie.

Was Channing Tatum originally supposed to play the father in the movie?

Back in 2015, actor Channing Tatum was originally set to produce and star in the film, portraying Matt Logelin. However, in January 2019, it was announced that Kevin Hart would be playing Logelin with Paul Weitz directing. Early in 2021, it was announced that Netflix would be releasing the film with Barack and Michelle Obama's production company Higher Ground Productions presenting the movie.

What is Matt Logelin doing today?

In researching the Fatherhood true story, we learned that by 2016, he was working as a project manager for the Yellow Pages (US Weekly). Matt Logelin remarried in 2018, tying the knot with Lizzie Molyneux, a writer on the animated series Bob's Burgers. Matt co-authored the 2016 children's book Be Glad Your Dad...(Is Not an Octopus!) with Sara Jensen. He relied heavily on Maddy's input when writing the book. Today, Matt works as a guest-columnist for Glamour Magazine and travels around as a public speaker, sharing his story.

Did Matt Logelin meet actor Kevin Hart?

Yes. Matt and his daughter Maddy visited the movie's set in Montreal on August 7, 2019. Of the visit, Kevin Hart commented, "While facing his darkest moment in his life, he was left with the responsibility of raising his child. Nobody believed in him or his ability to step up to the plate...but he did it. It was hard and grueling, but he found a way to pour all of the love he had into his daughter 'Madeline' because that's what his wife would have wanted him to do." -Kevin Hart Facebook

Maddy Logelin (left) and father Matt Logelin (center) visit their onscreen counterparts, Melody Hurd (bottom) and Kevin Hart (right), on the Fatherhood set in Montreal in 2019. Photo: Kevin Hart Facebook

Matt Logelin Interview & Related Videos

Further expand your knowledge of the true story behind Kevin Hart's Netflix Fatherhood movie by watching the interview with Matt Logelin featured below.

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