If you grew up with a brother or a sister, you know that while of course you wish them the best, there’s always going to be a tiny bit of competition between the two of you. Your parents would never admit it, but they’ve always had a slight favorite, and it’s kind of impossible not to compare your accomplishments (or failures) to each other’s. But imagine being in the already super competitive world of show business and having to live up to your famous sibling’s success? That’s a little more pressure.
Making it in show business isn’t easy for anyone, and most people who set out to do it never become the level of famous that most of the celebrities on this list have. On one hand, it would be nice to have a sibling in the business who already has connections and can vouch for you, but on the other hand, one of you is bound to be a little more successful than the other.
Sibling rivalries for celebrities is even more extreme, because not only will it be their families scrutinizing their every move, but the entire world will have that urge to compare them to their sibling as well. Here are 10 celebrities who will probably never get out from under their famous sibling’s shadow.
10. Maggie Gyllenhaal
Although both Maggie and Jake Gyllenhaal made their splash in Hollywood in the indie film, Donnie Darko, it was Jake who got most of the attention. He became a Hollywood heartthrob and although Maggie’s work has been praised by critics (she recently won a Golden Globe for her role in the TV miniseries An Honorable Woman), she’s never quite made it to A-list status.
While both Jake and Maggie have received critical acclaim for their roles, Jake seems to be the one that stands out more, in part because of the extreme physical transformations he goes through for his roles.
9. Casey Affleck
It must be hard to live up to an older brother who has a couple of Oscars under his belt, but Casey Affleck is actually pretty talented, too. He starred in Ben‘s critically-acclaimed directing debut, Gone Baby Gone, and he got an Oscar nomination for his role in The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford. Even though his acting was praised in both films, a lot of critics gave Ben the credit for being a good director, and bringing out the best in his brother.
Casey went on to direct his own mockumentary, I’m Not Here, in 2010, which got mixed reviews. He’s also a writer and a producer, so it’s hard for people not to compare his career to the extreme success of his older brother’s.
8. Frankie Grande
Frankie Grande is the older half-brother of the latest pop sensation, Ariana Grande. He appeared on Broadway in shows like Mamma Mia!, and had a pretty impressive following on YouTube before becoming a houseguest in the 16th season of Big Brother. He tried to hide his famous family at first, but ended up revealing the truth and using it to his advantage. He made it to week 12 before getting evicted.
Since his reality show debut, he has gone back to Broadway with a role in Rock of Ages. While Frankie does have his fan base, and he considers himself a social media expert, he’ll probably never reach the level of fame that Ariana has already.
7. Kylie Jenner
Even if you leave out her uber-famous Kardashian half siblings, Kylie Jenner still doesn’t come out on top in terms of most famous. Her older sister, Kendall, is a model on the rise with magazine spreads in GQ and Vogue, runway appearances for top designers like Alexander Wang, Marc Jacobs, and Chanel, and in ad campaigns for Calvin Klein and Fendi. Kendall is a huge part of the new fashion movement dubbed “Social Media Modelling” and her career is just getting started.
Kylie on the other hand wouldn’t be anywhere if it wasn’t for Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Most of her business ventures are in partnership with Kendall, and her Instagram feed is little more than a bunch of selfies. She is only 17 though, so maybe she’ll find her niche in time.
6. Luke Wilson
While Luke is arguably the better looking Wilson brother, he still doesn’t have the comedy cred his older brother Owen has thanks to movies like Wedding Crashers and Zoolander. Owen has also been nominated for an Academy Award alongside Ben Stiller for writing The Royal Tennenbaums (which Luke had a role in).
Luke is known more for his romantic comedy roles, like Home Fries and Legally Blonde. He’s also got a couple cult classics under his belt like Idiocracy and Old School. At least he’s more well known that the oldest Wilson brother, Andrew, who surprisingly is also an actor and director.
5. Ashlee Simpson
Jessica Simpson started her music career when she was signed to Columbia Records at 16. She’s known for her strong vocal range, with music being her first love, but she’s made most of her fortune from her fashion label. Her younger sister, Ashlee, tried to follow in Jessica’s footsteps, but with more of a punk edge to her sound. She also had a reality show that followed her journey recording her first album, Autobiography.
Ashlee was named one of Entertainment Weekly‘s breakout stars of 2004, and her music career was off to a strong start. But after she was caught lip syncing on Saturday Night Live, she became a bit of a joke in the music industry. Now she’s married to Diana’s Ross‘ son Evan, and hoping to release a fourth studio album. But somehow, she always seems to be the second most recognizable Simpson sister.
4. Elle Fanning
No doubt about it, both Fanning sisters are beautiful and destined to be huge stars. But Dakota has been in the spotlight since she was seven with big roles in movies like Man on Fire and I Am Sam. Unlike a lot of child stars, she’s grown up gracefully into a mature adult actor, and she seems to have a long career ahead of her.
Elle Fanning is only 17, and she started out by playing younger versions of her sister’s characters. She’s also been in big blockbusters like Super 8 and Maleficent. At least Elle will have the benefit of her older sister’s experience and hopefully she’ll be able to transition into more adult roles as flawlessly as Dakota has.
3. Dave Franco
James Franco is the type of guy who will try anything once. In addition to being a film and television actor, he’s also a published author, poet, an artist, a director, and a Broadway performer. While he’s taken some criticism for some of his ventures (like his Academy Awards hosting gig), he’s also been praised (he won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of James Dean), so you can never count him out.
Dave Franco is seven years younger than James and has just recently started popping up in films like 21 Jump Street and Neighbours. He first started acting in TV with roles in 7th Heaven and Scrubs. While he hasn’t quite had the success his older brother has had, he definitely has the connections, so who knows what he’ll do next.
2. Jamie-Lynn Spears
Following in the footsteps of pop superstar Britney Spears can’t be easy, so Jamie Lynn definitely had her work cut out for her. She started out acting in Nickelodeon shows All That and Zoey 101, before she got pregnant and gave birth to a daughter at the age of 17. Having a child derailed her career a little bit, but she’s still managed to release a country EP in 2014 entitled The Journey.
Both Spears sisters have had their ups and downs, and even Britney’s downs have overshadowed her little sister’s – not that marrying an anonymous backup dancer, shaving your head, and going through psychological issues is anything to aspire to. Britney has still accomplished a lot, and she has her own Vegas show, so it’s unlikely Jamie Lynn will ever reach the same level of success with her music.
1. Solange Knowles
When your older sister is one half of a hip-hop power couple, was a member of an iconic R&B girl group, and has a nickname like “Queen Bey”, it’s probably best to make peace with the fact you aren’t ever going to be as famous as her. Solange Knowles is five years younger than Beyonce, and she is a singer-songwriter. She has always called songwriting her first love, and she even wrote a couple of songs for Destiny’s Child.
She is working on her third studio album, and despite comparisons to her sister, she’s always insisted that her sound is more Motown-inspired, and she has different aspirations for her career than Beyonce. In an interview with the Daily Mail, Solange said, “People think there should be this great rivalry between us, but there’s never been any competition. There’s a big age gap and we are two very different characters.”