Hollywood is considered as the place of opportunities, a place where everything comes to life, a dream for many aspiring actors who want to make a name for themselves and reach iconic status. There are those who have started with nearly nothing, who have worked hard to land roles that may not always be major, but there are also those that are more fortunate.
Nepotism babies in Hollywood aren’t uncommon; it’s everywhere, and your favorite actors may just be even one of them, you just have no idea yet. They have been gracing our screens for decades and are often seen as luckier than most because they don’t have to go through the very start of the process as they likely already have the resources available to move forward.
There are lots of actors who have successfully surpassed their parents’ or family’s legacy and have since become a separate identity thanks to their distinct talents and projects. With that, here are just some of the “nepo babies” that are doing it right:
British-American actress Lily Collins jump started her career at the age of two by starring in BBC’s Growing Pains. She is also the daughter of famous English musician Phil Collins, who many may know for his award-winning songs in Disney’s Tarzan that remains iconic.
Collins had her breakthrough performance in The Blind Side as Collins Tuohy, the adoptive sister of Michael “Big Mike” Oher (Quinton Aaron) and the daughter of Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock) and Sean Tuohy (Tim McGraw). The film received praises, even winning an Academy Award. Since then, Collins has starred in many hit films and TV shows, with the latest being Emily in Paris, a rom-com series on Netflix wherein she plays Emily Cooper, a marketing executive who moves to France to work for a French firm. Season 3 of the show will premiere on December 21, 2022, so it won’t be long until you see Emily again.
Maya Hawke is the daughter of actors Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman, so talent really is in the family. Before stepping into acting, Hawke went into modeling for brands like Vogue and AllSaints, much like her mother before starting out. Years later, she takes on the same path as her parents by accepting the role of Jo March in the BBC series Little Women in 2017. She then became more recognized when she joined the Stranger Things family as Robin Buckley, Steve Harrington’s (Joe Keery) friend and co-worker.
Recently, Hawke starred in Do Revenge on Netflix, a dark comedy film as Eleanor, a transfer student in Rosehill Country Day High School and befriends Drea (Camila Mendes), a popular girl who becomes an outcast after her ex-boyfriend Max (Austin Abrams) leaks her video. Hawke is fairly new to the industry, yet she already has an impressive filmography and will probably grow even bigger in the next few years, not just in acting but also in music.
Most of the time, you can point out a nepo baby by their last names or by them starring in a project that their parents may have directed, and Maude Apatow is one of them. The actress is the daughter of comedian, actor, and filmmaker Judd Apatow and actress Leslie Mann. It’s likely you have seen Apatow in films that her father directed like This is 40 and The King of Staten Island, even though they’re usually small roles.
However, Apatow has also starred in projects separate from her family. For instance, Apatow is better known for playing Lexi Howard in HBO’s Euphoria, Rue’s (Zendaya) childhood best friend. The teen drama created by Sam Levinson follows the life of recovering drug addict Rue as she navigates high school and other relationships. She also played Henrietta Castello in Ryan Murphy’s Hollywood, wherein she is Jack’s (David Corenswet) pregnant wife.
For the past couple of years, Zoë Kravitz has been involved in impressive projects, making her acting debut in No Reservations back in 2007. Kravitz is perhaps one of the most known nepo babies out there, with musician Lenny Kravitz and actress Lisa Bonet as her parents. Having them as your parents, it’s no question if you decide to follow their footsteps.
Kravitz has earned many awards and recognition for several of her roles such as Big Little Lies and The Divergent Series. She is also about to make her directorial debut with the film Pussy Island, with details yet to be announced. People may also know her for portraying the iconic Catwoman in the 2022 superhero film The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson as the title character as well as playing Rob Brooks in Hulu’s High Fidelity.
If you have encountered all the “not my Captain America” comments across social media, you know that they’re talking about John Walker played by none other than Wyatt Russell, the son of Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn who are esteemed actors. Russell has been in a lot of projects throughout the years, but some notable ones are playing the mentioned John Walker aka U.S. Agent in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier as well as playing Cooper Redfield in Black Mirror, specifically in the “Playtest” episode.
Russell has been involved in a couple new projects that continue to prove his talent, and we will see him return to the MCU in the upcoming Thunderbolts in 2024.
Looking for someone who can do comedy and horror? Jack Quaid is the person for you.
Jack Quaid, the son of actors Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid, made his debut in The Hunger Games film as Marvel. Despite only having a small role, Quaid made it a learning experience and later took part in several comedy projects. Not long after, the actor landed a role in The Boys, a superhero series that follows a team of vigilantes. Quaid plays Hughie Campbell Jr., a civilian tech specialist and a member of the Boys. The show is a huge hit for both critics and the public, praising it for the humor, dialogue, and overall performance of the people. But besides combating the superpowered, Quaid also starred in the recent installment of the beloved slasher franchise Scream.
Next is Elizabeth Olsen, the younger sister of the famous twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Before reaching her current status, Olsen can be seen in a couple of old projects with her sisters back when they were kids, and it only grew from there.
Most people might know her as Wanda Maximoff aka Scarlet Witch in the MCU. She first appeared in Captain America: The Winter Soldier during the post-credit scene and recently starred in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness as a villain. But besides being a part of such a huge universe, Olsen also takes on smaller films, namely Ingrid Goes West, a black comedy film wherein she plays a social media influencer with a lot of following.
John David Washington
John David Washington started out as a professional football player before transitioning to acting, following his father’s footsteps who is none other than Denzel Washington.
After having minor roles in several films, his career really shifted upon starring in Spike Lee’s BlackKkKlansman, a 2018 film as Ron Stallworth to which he was nominated for a couple of awards. In 2020, he starred alongside Robert Pattinson in Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, an action and time-bending film.
Instead of coming from a family of actors, Zoe Kazan actually has screenwriters for her parents, namely Nicholas Kazan and Robin Swicord, and Kazan has inherited those skills and made a name for herself in the industry, successfully and incredibly at that. Kazan has a lot of impressive screenplays, one of which is Wildlife which she co-wrote with her partner and actor Paul Dano and was critically acclaimed and nominated for awards.
Kazan also has a lot of acting credits. For instance, Kazan starred in The Big Sick, a rom-com wherein she plays Emily Gordon who is based on the real life person. It’s an incredible feat, with critics praising its screenplay, chemistry, and great balance of humor, it even went on to being nominated for an Academy Award.
Margaret Qualley has a lot of impressive projects under her belt, and it only seems to grow by the year. The daughter of actress Andie MacDowell, Qualley made her acting debut by having a small role in the film Palo Alto in 2013 but gained recognition in HBO’s The Leftovers. In 2019, she joined an ensemble cast for Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood which follows an actor navigating the dynamic industry; it was since nominated for 10 nominations at the Academy Awards.
In 2021, she starred in Maid, a Netflix series that further solidified her acting range. She plays a single mother to a little kid Alex who has taken on a job as a maid after leaving her abusive boyfriend. The show was praised for its delicate or sensitive approach to a very heavy subject while at the same time showing the audience what many women have to go through in real life.
Last but not the least is Zoey Deutch, the daughter of Howard Deutch and Lea Thompson who have been in the industry for decades. Deutch started acting early on in her life, having starred in The Suite Life on Deck for a few episodes, gothic romance Beautiful Creatures, and more. She gained more recognition upon playing Beverly in Everybody Wants Some!! In 2016. With these projects, it’s clear that Deutch knows how to act in comedies, and this is further proved when she starred in Netflix’s Set It Up, a rom-com that many loved.
This content was originally published here.