Photos courtesy of Getty Images and Lily Collins on Instagram. Collage made by creativemaniac.net.
If you’ve been on the Internet over the past few months, I’m sure you’ve heard about the great nepo baby debate. If you haven’t, today’s your lucky day. I’m going to break down the hype surrounding nepo babies, what nepo babies are, and the nepo babies we can’t help but love. Let’s get into this.
The big question: what is a nepo baby? A nepotism or nepo baby is the child of someone who has achieved success in film, television, music, and other creative avenues. The hype surround nepo babies started when Vulture posted an article on their website in late December of 2022 surrounding everything related to nepo babies. This article started a debate on whether or not nepo babies deserve their success considering they were able to make a name for themselves because they’re related to someone who has already made a name for themselves.
As I became engulfed in the controversy, I didn’t understand why it was blowing up and why people were making such a big deal out of it. Yes, it’s unfair that celebrities are able to become famous just because of their parents or their siblings because it takes away opportunities from other artists who are in the business that they’re in.
Here are some nepo babies that deserve their success.
1. Drew Barrymore
Drew Barrymore’s acting career has spanned multiple decades. Her role as Gertie in E.T. the Extra Terrestrial (1982) jumpstarted her career and she became one of the most famous child actors during that time. Her parents, paternal great-grandparents, and paternal grandparents were all actors. So, basically she was born into an acting family.
Barrymore has starred in a number of films over the years such as The Wedding Singer, Never Been Kissed, Ever After (1998), He’s Just Not That Into You (2009), and Blended (2014). She started her own production company, Flower Films, to which her directorial debut titled Whip It (2009) is attached.
At the moment, Barrymore is hosting her own talk show The Drew Barrymore Show where she talks to celebrity guests, shares human interest stories, and more. She’s known for her energetic and authentic personality.
2. Mariska Hargitay
Mariska Hargitay’s acting career took off when she first graced our screens as Olivia Benson on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (Law and Order: SVU) in 1999. Hargitay has portrayed Olivia Benson for over 2 decades. Olivia Benson is the longest running female character in a TV drama. Hargitay is one of the highest paid TV actresses with her earning between $400,000 and $500,000 per episode in the summer of 2012.
Hargitay is the daughter of actress Jayne Mansfield and actor Mickey Hargitay.
Her time on SVU inspired her to create the Joyful Heart Foundation which provides support to survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse.
She met her husband Peter Hermann on SVU and two got married in 2004. They have 3 children, two sons and a daughter.
3. Zoë Kravitz
Zoë Kravitz is the daughter of musician Lenny Kravitz and actress Lisa Bonet. Her acting career took off when she starred as Christina in the Divergent film series. She’d go onto portray Leta Lestrange in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016), a Harry Potter spin-off film. In the late 2010s, Kravitz starred in the HBO drama Big Little Lies and received nominations for her performance.
Most recently, she starred as Selina Kyle aka Catwoman in Matt Reeves’ Batman (2022) and a sequel is heading to theaters in 2025. Her performance received critical acclaim and the film made $700 million internationally.
In 2021, Kravitz started a relationship with actor Channing Tatum.
4. Maya Hawke
Maya Hawke’s acting career began with her debut in BBC’s adaptation of Little Women with Hawke portraying Jo March respectively. She started receiving recognition when she showed up on our screens as Robin Buckley in Stranger Things. She’d go onto to star in Once Upon a Time In Hollywood (2019) and Fear Street Part One: 1994 (2021). Most recently, she starred in Do Revenge (2022) with Camila Mendes.
She’s the daughter of actor Ethan Hawke and actress Uma Thurman.
Hawke has dabbled in music as well, releasing two albums in the last 3 years. She describes her music to be folk and is inspired by artists like Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan.
5. Zoey Deutch
Zoey Deutch’s acting career started with her role as Maya on The Suite Life on Deck and received a Teen Choice nomination for her role as Rose in Vampire Academy (2014). She went onto star in a number of films such as Before I Fall (2017), the comedy series The Politician, Zombieland: Double Tap (2019), and the romantic comedy Set It Up (2018).
Most recently, Deutch has starred in Quinn Shephard’s satire film Not Okay (2022) as Danni Sanders and Something From Tiffany’s as Rachel Meyer.
Deutch’s parents are director Howard Deutch and actress Lea Thompson. She’s Jewish and even had a bat mitzvah.
6. Maude Apatow
Maude Apatow is the daughter of director-screenwriter-producer Judd Apatow and actress Leslie Mann. Her acting career got started by playing the daughter of her mother’s characters in her father’s films such as Knocked Up (2007), Funny People (2009), and This Is 40 (2012). Apatow gained recognition for Assassination Nation (2018), the miniseries Hollywood (2021), and The King of Staten Island (2020).
Her career took off when she graced our screens as Lexi Howard on the acclaimed HBO teen drama Euphoria.
7. Lily Collins
Lily Collins is the daughter of English musician Phil Collins. Collins is British and American. Her acting career began in the early 1990s but her breakthrough didn’t come until 2009 with her performance as Collins Tuohy in The Blind Side. The actress would go onto star in a number of films such as Mirror, Mirror, Stuck In Love, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, Love, Rosie, and To the Bone.
More recently, she can be found portraying Emily Cooper in the Netflix comedy series Emily In Paris.
She’s married to film director and writer Charlie McDowell who happens to be the son of actress Mary Steenburgen.
8. Kate Hudson
Kate Hudson acting career took of when she portrayed Penny Lane in Almost Famous (2000). She won the Golden Globe award for Best Supporting Actress and was even nominated for an Oscar.
In the 2000s, Hudson starred in a number of romantic comedies such as How to Lose a Guy In 10 Days, Fool’s Gold, and Bride Wars.
More recently, she appears in the Netflix film Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022).
She’s the daughter of actress Goldie Hawn and was raised by her mom’s longtime partner, actor Kurt Russell.
9. Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus got her start in acting with her iconic role as Miley Stewart and Hannah Montana on the hit Disney Channel series Hannah Montana. Her solo music career began with the releases of Meet Miley Cyrus and Breakout. Her eighth studio album, Endless Summer Vacation, is set to be released on March 10, 2023. Her lead single, Flowers, broke tons of streaming records and peaked at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Cyrus is the daughter of musician Billy Ray Cyrus and manager Tish Cyrus. Her mother has been managing her career since it began.
She’s been in a number of films such as Bolt (2008), Hannah Montana: The Movie (2009), The Last Song (2010), and LOL (2012).
10. Margaret Qualley
Margaret Qualley is the daughter of actress Andie MacDowell.
Her acting debut was in the drama film Palo Alto (2013) and received critical acclaim for her performance in the miniseries Fosse/Vernon. She went onto star in The Nice Guys (2016) and Once Upon a Time In Hollywood (2019).
Most recently, she starred in the acclaimed miniseries Maid (2021) which earned her nominations for an Emmy and a Golden Globe award.
We’ve Reached the End
Well, that’s it. I hope you enjoyed this piece because I had a blast writing it.
What’s your take on the nepo baby debate? DM me on Instagram.
Thank you so much for reading!