Star kids strive for and often reach success in Hollywood

April 27th, 2008 - 9:10 am ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Tom Cruise
By Barbara Munker
Los Angeles, April 27 (DPA) Connor Cruise knows movie sets better than anything else. The 13-year-old can thank his parents, movie stars Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, for that. He and his 15-year-old sister, Isabella, both adopted by Cruise and Kidman after they married in 1990, were dragged from movie set to movie set from the time they were small.

Connor wants to follow in the footsteps of his now divorced parents, People magazine reported Tuesday in its online edition. He will make his film debut in the movie “Seven Pounds” expected to be released in December. The movie stars Will Smith, and Cruise will play Smith’s character as a youth.

“Tom is so proud of Connor,” a source told People magazine. “He’s proud of him for really doing this on his own.”

Even with his famous parents, Connor had to audition for the part, though it couldn’t have hurt that Cruise and Smith are close friends.

Acting in movies is routine for Smith’s own children with actress Jada Pinkett Smith. Seven-year-old Willow acted as Smith’s on-screen daughter in “I Am Legend”, and nine-year-old Jaden, played his son in the 2006 movie “The Pursuit of Happyness”.

When the film “I Am Legend” premiered in Berlin early this year, Smith said he thought it was wonderful that his children want to act because he can help them the most with that.

Willow wanted to get into acting after seeing Jaden on the screen, Smith told People. And apparently, there is no stopping their acting careers. In their next film they will play siblings in the fantasy adventure “Amulet”, which is being produced by their father.

Rumor Willis, another child of famous parents, is also following the career of her mother, actress Demi Moore, and father, actor Bruce Willis. According to the movie industry newspaper Variety, the 19-year-old already has signed a contract for the comedy “Wild Cherry”. Another planned comedy, “The Sophomore”, will feature her in the role of a headmaster.

She and her father already have appeared in one film together, “Hostage”.

From family dynasties to nepotism, Hollywood has an example of every imaginable degree of relationship between actors and actresses. Jane Fonda, for example, played alongside her legendary father in the 1981 film “On Golden Pond”.

It was the only time the two-time Oscar winner appeared in a film with her father, who by that time was critically ill. He won an Oscar for the film.

Jane Fonda’s son, Troy Garity, is continuing the family tradition, while her brother, Peter Fonda, passed the talent on to his daughter, Bridget Fonda.

Three generations of Hollywood’s Douglas family - veteran actor Kirk Douglas, son Michael Douglas and his son Cameron Douglas - appeared together in the 2003 dark comedy “It Runs in the Family”. Martin Sheen has watched his sons, Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez, on the silver screen, and Lloyd Bridges can admire the movie careers of his sons Jeff and Beau Bridges.

The list goes on: Drew Barrymore, scion of a famous acting family born in 1975, was sent to auditions as a young child by her marginally successful mother. As a child with a tuft of blonde hair, she became famous overnight as Gertie in Steven Spielberg’s 1982 film “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial”.

But her childhood success had a price: as a teenager she was addicted to drugs and alcohol and fell out with her parents.

Melanie Griffith grew up in the shadow of her famous mother, Tippi Hedron. Alfred Hitchcock, director of “The Birds” starring Hedron, is said to have given Hedron a doll in a wooden box, and Griffith, a child at the time, become upset when she mistook the box for a coffin.

By the age of 18, Griffith stood before the camera in the 1990 thriller “Pacific Heights” together with her mother.

Jamie Lee Curtis also starred with her famous mother, Psycho star Janet Leigh, in the 1998 horror film “Halloween: H20″. Her surname is from her father: Tony Curtis.

Angelina Jolie inherited her pout from her father, Oscar winner John Voigt, but declined to use his surname in her acting career. They appeared together in the 2003 film “Lara Croft”, but have not acted together since.

Goldie Hawn advised her daughter, Kate Hudson, against pursuing a Hollywood career, but she went headlong into acting anyway. At the age of 21 she played a groupie in the 2001 movie “Almost Famous” and earned an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe trophy. She now earns millions in Hollywood as a comedy actress.

Stage actress Blythe Danner recognised acting ability in her daughter, Gwyneth Paltrow, early and gave her acting lessons herself - with success. In 1999, the 25-year-old accepted the Oscar for best actress for “Shakespeare in Love”.

Smith wants to give his children free rein in their careers. Both have unbelievable energy, he told People. However, he sees differences between them.

“Jaden is (like) Johnny Depp,” Smith said in People. “He just wants to do good work … He loves acting, he just wants to make good movies.

“And Willow is Paris Hilton,” Smith said, laughing. “Willow wants to be on TV.”

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