Ireland Baldwin, Lily-Rose Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow and more have recently joined the conversation about being “nepotism babies” in Hollywood.
While many of the stars acknowledge the privilege that comes along with having famous parents, some are also quick to point out that their accomplishments required hard work.
Brand expert Dave Quast of Red Banyan explained the “built-in” advantage of having parents whose friends include successful producers and directors.
“Obviously, if someone can audition for producers or directors during dinner parties with family friends – rather than trudging all over Hollywood with a headshot and a resume trying to find agents and auditions – they’re going to have a built-in advantage over people who don’t have that luxury,” he told Fox News Digital.
He also emphasized that despite the easy introduction, these children of celebrities are expected to perform “quality” work.
“Connections are no substitute for talent. At the end of the day, content is king, and content producers have every incentive to hire people based on the quality of their work rather than nepotism.”
Here are seven celebrity kids who have recently spoken out about finding work in Hollywood.
Johnny Depp’s daughter with Vanessa Paradis, Lily-Rose Depp, raised the subject during a recent interview with Elle magazine.
“The internet seems to care a lot about that kind of stuff,” she told the outlet. “People are going to have preconceived ideas about you or how you got there, and I can definitely say that nothing is going to get you the part except for being right for the part.”
“The internet cares a lot more about who your family is than the people who are casting you in things. Maybe you get your foot in the door, but you still just have your foot in the door. There’s a lot of work that comes after that.”
Lily-Rose went on to liken the situation to a family of doctors, although the model noted she wasn’t directly comparing the two professions.
“It’s weird to me to reduce somebody to the idea that they’re only there because it’s a generational thing. It just doesn’t make any sense. If somebody’s mom or dad is a doctor, and then the kid becomes a doctor, you’re not going to be like, ‘Well, you’re only a doctor because your parent is a doctor.’ It’s like, ‘No, I went to medical school and trained.’”
She clarified, “I just hear it a lot more about women, and I don’t think that it’s a coincidence.”
Ireland Baldwin reflected on the comments made by Lily-Rose Depp in a TikTok video. She also noted her own privilege as the daughter of Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger.
“In anything that I pursue and anything that I do in my life, people are always going to say [that] I have what I have because of my parents, which is true,” Ireland said in the clip. “I wouldn’t be where I am, I wouldn’t have gotten where I am and been able to do what I can do if it weren’t for my parents, and I think really where you go wrong is denying that.”
“You can continue to work hard and be your own person,” she added. “And either you’re talented, either you’re capable or you’re not.”
Ireland also touched on wanting to be defined by her own work instead of who her parents are.
“I do think you get [to] a place where you get really tired of answering questions about your parents because you so desperately want to be someone separate from all of that,” she said. “Especially when you choose a career in the public eye.”
Ireland began her career in modeling and has dabbled in acting. Most recently, she revealed she’s starting a business with her boyfriend.
Lily Collins is the daughter of famed musician Phil Collins. However, she wanted to make a name for herself.
“It was out of the question that people would think that I use a free pass thanks to my name,” Collins told Vogue France (via Entertainment Tonight Canada). “I’m proud of my dad, but I wanted to be me, not just his daughter. For that, I was ready to wait to break through.”
Collins noted that her “failed castings” taught her to see acting as her “job.”
“By dint of failed castings, I learned to focus more on my work, and I managed to make acting my job,” she said. “But I’m not resting on my laurels; this environment is very competitive and places are expensive.”
Although she does sing, much like her father, the “Emily in Paris” actress explained that she didn’t want to follow in Phil’s footsteps.
“I love to sing. But as I wanted to make my own way, far from the paternal genius, I preferred to be an actress,” Collins said.
She continued, “I played in a few musicals because it’s the only setting in which I allow myself to sing. Frankly, I would be too afraid of comparisons.”
Gwyneth Paltrow is the daughter of Blythe Danner and Bruce Paltrow. Danner is an Emmy-award winning actress who appeared in movies and on Broadway. She married Bruce, a producer and director known for “Duets” and “Fargo.” Bruce passed away in 2002.
Despite her successful career, Paltrow has been quick to acknowledge her familial ties to the industry.
“As the child of somebody, you get access other people don’t have, so the playing field is not level in that way,” Paltrow previously said during an appearance on Hailey Bieber’s YouTube show. “However, I really do feel that once your foot is in the door, which you unfairly got in, then you almost have to work twice as hard and be twice as good.”
“Because people are ready to pull you down and say you don’t belong there or [that] you’re only there because of your dad or your mom or whatever the case may be.”
Paltrow proved to have a successful acting career. She landed the best actress Oscar for her role in “Shakespeare in Love” at the 1999 Academy Awards. After her acting career, Paltrow chose to create her own wellness company, Goop.
Leni Klum, daughter of Heidi Klum and Flavio Briatore, has also addressed the idea of nepotism.
“It’s just a fact. My parents are famous,” Leni told People magazine. “I did get help starting off, and I know that people would dream to start off with what I had. I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to take what was gifted to me by my mom.”
“But I am doing the work and putting in the time,” she said. “Now, I’m working on my own, traveling alone, going to school. My mom and I just have the same love for the same thing.”
Since beginning her modeling career, Leni has opened for Berlin Fashion Week and graced the cover of Vogue Germany.
Sailor Brinkley-Cook is the daughter of supermodel Christie Brinkley. She followed in her mother’s footsteps and launched a successful modeling career of her own, but she doesn’t want to be seen as a “nepotism baby.”
Christie made sure to warn Sailor that although “doors are opened” for her by her famous mother, she would need to put in the work.
“I really did,” she said while speaking to People magazine. “Every room that I walked into, I tried to be the most gracious. I tried to be the most kind. I really got to know everyone on-set.”
Sailor revealed that her mother advised her that she’s just a part of the “massive machine” that goes into a modeling photo shoot.
“I tried to really learn as much as I could from the producers, the makeup artists, the hair people, the photographers, the casting directors,” Sailor continued. “Everyone that works in this industry is so smart and so talented. My mom reminded me that a model is just one part of it all.”
Zoë Kravitz is the daughter of Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz. Bonet is known for her roles on “The Cosby Show” and “High Fidelity” while her father is a big name in the music industry.
The “Batman” actress recently revealed that she’s had a “deep insecurity” about being a part of the entertainment industry since her teenage years. However, she defended following in her parents’ footsteps.
“It’s completely normal for people to be in the family business,” she explained to GQ. “It’s literally where last names came from. You were a blacksmith if your family was, like, the Black family.”
Lourdes Leon, Madonna’s daughter with actor Carlos Leon, acknowledged the “undeniable privilege” that came with her family name in a recent interview with The Cut.
“I want to feel like I deserve things and not just like I’ve been given things,” Lourdes told the outlet. “And, yes, there’s undeniable privilege that I’d be stupid to not realize. Nepotism babies are pretty awful usually, and my mom and my father raised me to be so much smarter than that.”
Lourdes began her professional career in the modeling industry, but she recently added musician to her resume. Her first single, “Lock&Key,” dropped in August.