Celebrity offspring: can they ever live up to their parents' legacy?
At the weekend, news broke that tennis ace Andy Murray had become a father for the third time.
He and wife Kim, who already have two daughters, welcomed a boy to their brood. Shortly afterwards, the obvious happened: their week-old infant was given 500/1 odds on winning Wimbledon. No pressure, little fella.
OK, it may be seen as merely a fun fact, or a bit of trivia, but the pressure that children of famous faces must feel to emulate their parents must be crippling at times — particularly if you’re in your early 20s and just want to have a bit of a laugh. Just ask Brooklyn Beckham. While he’s not attempting to be a world-class footballer like his dad, David, or a fashion designer/‘singer’ like his mum Victoria, they all share a surname and, therefore, anything he does reflects on Brand Beckham.
Reports have been circulating that the 20-year-old photographer (he’s released a book of pictures and everything) has a taste for the ladies, having being linked to a number of names in quick succession. Since splitting with his first high-profile girlfriend, Chloe Grace Moretz, in 2017, he’s allegedly enjoyed trysts with women ten years his senior (Lexy Panterra), as well as singers (Tallia Storm and Rita Ora), models (Kate Moss’s younger sister, Lottie) and had that infamous bust-up with Hana Cross.
In the last month alone, Brooklyn has reportedly enjoyed the company of several women, including actresses Phoebe Torrance, Natalie Ganzhorn, and Nicola Peltz. You could say “hey, he’s a young lad having fun with consenting adults”, however, by all accounts his parents are less than thrilled.
A family source recently said: “They’ve spoken to him about his behaviour and warned him he can’t get away with certain things now he’s in the public eye. They are genuinely concerned about his reputation and have compared some of his antics to those of Calum Best.” Yikes. That, dear readers, is a story for another day.
The source added “If Brooklyn is going to be taken seriously as a professional photographer then this sort of behaviour isn’t exactly helpful” — providing just a glimpse of the pressure on those with famous parents. Yes, they’re afforded more privilege than most of us will ever experience, but there are also certain boundaries which can’t be breached.
And should they choose to follow in their parent’s professional footsteps they will further invoke a lifetime of being compared to their father or their mother (or, in Jamie Lee Curtis and Ben Stiller’s case, both).
Despite this, there are a growing number of names who are quietly carving careers for themselves. Below are but a few:
He’s the frontman of a four-piece band hailing from Dublin, who got together while in school. One could say that’s where the comparisons end, only it isn’t.
The 20-year-old also has a magnetic stage present and a bono vox (that being a ‘good voice’ to the non Latin-speakers), while Inhaler’s sound also has echoes of early Bunnymen, which must make Bono grin considering the two bands were continuously compared in the early ’80s.
Would Inhaler be getting as much radio play if they didn’t have the U2 connection? Yes. One of the main bridges into the mainstream and therefore increasing radio play is via Dermot & Dave’s Homegrown Hero regular radio segment on TodayFM. They played Inhaler without making reference to Hewson’s parentage and let the music speak on its own merit.
Now the band have been playing gigs and festivals all across Europe, as well as supporting Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.
This 32-year-old Danish international goalkeeper just happens to be the son of a Danish international goalkeeper by the name of Peter Schmeichel.
It’s not all comparable, however; one plays for Leicester City, while the other enjoyed the best days of his career at Manchester United. There is one other thing the father and son have in common: they both loathe fans trying to play them off one another.
During an interview three years ago, Kasper recounted yet another time someone felt the need to compare their skills: “We were out for dinner a couple of weeks ago and some guy came over and shook his (Peter’s) hand and said, ‘You’re a legend, mate. Your son’s doing well but he’ll never be as good as you’. My dad looked at him and said, ‘Just go. You’re going to come here and insult my son and think you’re going to get away with it?’
“If you’re going to talk to me, talk to me. Don’t come and try and have a laugh and try and half-insult me.”
Mamie & Grace Gummer
As professions go, acting has to be one of the most cut-throat and competitive. And now imagine your mum is Meryl Streep.
Sure, it’s going to open doors, but it’s also going to draw eye-watering comparisons. Two of Meryl’s children have ventured into the world of acting, with 36-year-old Mamie starring in TV shows The Good Wife, Off The Map and John Adams, as well as films including Evening and Side Effects.
Younger sibling Grace, meanwhile, has had turns in shows such as The Newsroom, Mr. Robot and American Horror Story: Freak Show. Speaking of what it’s like being constantly referred to as Meryl Streep’s daughter, Grace said: “It used to bother me... I try not to think about it, or it could really get to me.”
With parents like Vanessa Paradis and Johnny Depp, chances are you’re going to be genetically blessed. Enter Lily-Rose Depp, who has been earning a crust for herself acting since the age of 15.
In addition to appearing in 2014 movie Tusk, she then landed roles in period dramas such as The Dancer, Planetarium, The King, and The Faithful Man. Her latest film, Dreamland, will be released in 2020 and sees her star alongside Gary Oldman, while she’s also due to appear with Colin Farrell in upcoming sci-fi thriller Voyagers. And that’s only the tip of the proverbial berg. We haven’t even addressed her extensive modelling career.
While it’s easy to assume having a famous parent is all sunshine and lollipops, the reality is usually far different. 31-year-old actress Lily Collins (daughter of Phil), who has huge body of TV and movie work under her belt, wrote a book filled with personal essays, an excerpt of which reads:
“I forgive you for not always being there when I needed and for not being the dad I expected. I forgive the mistakes you made. And although it may seem like it’s too late, it’s not.”
Her mother, Lisa-Marie Presley, mostly lived her life as “Elvis’s daughter”, and now it seems her 30-year-old child with fellow musician Danny Keough is trying to wriggle out from under the Presley shadow.
Discussing her grandfather, the actress once said: “People always ask, ‘How crazy is it that your grandpa was Elvis and your stepdad was Michael Jackson?’ I make them happy and say, ‘Yeah, it’s soooo crazy!’” Not as crazy as having Elvis fanatic Nicolas Cage as another stepdad at one point. She has appeared in Magic Mike, Mad Max: Fury Road, and Dixieland.
The 33-year-old model/actor has been quietly plugging away at roles in innumerable movies — Suicide Squad, Texas Chainsaw, Invictus, and (fittingly) Gran Torino. So keen is he to not piggyback off his father Clint’s name, Scott is often credited for his roles as Scott Reeves.
Speaking of growing up as the son of Dirty Harry, Scott said: “Dad punched me, it was old school... As a younger kid there was kind of an aura of greatness. Like, he’s my hero. Now, I think every opportunity is an opportunity to hear another good story.
“The guy’s like a vault of stories. I try to pry as many stories as I can out of him. All of a sudden, you’ll get to a topic and you’ll be like, ‘Whoa, you and Frank Sinatra did what together?’”
Not only does this 31-year-old Pulitzer-prize-winning journalist — who was instrumental in uncovering the (alleged) antics of Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer — has to contend with having Mia Farrow and Woody Allen as parents, he also has to constantly dodge questions regarding his alleged biological father. His birth cert may state director Allen is his father, but Ronan’s face suggests otherwise.
As for who that might be? Frank Sinatra. With all that baggage, it’s all kinds of amazing that Ronan has also managed to release a bestseller Catch and Kill: Women’s stories at the heart of the #MeToo movement, and also plans to devote his life to truth, recently declaring: “I’ll go to my grave ranting about how important fact-checkers are.”