There’s one sure fire way to get your foot in the door in Hollywood and that’s to have a man on the inside. Having a friend or family member who already has a successful career and is well known throughout the industry definitely doesn’t hurt when you’re on the rise and trying to make your mark in the biz called show. Want that role in the latest Sci-fi movie? Well, daddy’s the director so all you have to do is ask. But, believe it or not, there are some super famous celebs that chose a different route. They didn’t want to ride the coat tails of their famous predecessors. There are those who wish to make their own mark, to build a name without the association of their well known relatives. Often it’s to prove to themselves that they can do it on their own merit, and to gain a fan base that loves them for who they are and not just their family name. Check out this list of celebrities you didn’t know had famous relatives and see for yourself.
10. Elle King & Rob Schneider
If you haven’t heard of Elle King by now, then you’ve been living under that metaphorical rock everyone talks about. Elle is the latest country-rock sensation to hit the music scene and fans absolutely adore her soulful, raspy voice and kick-butt attitude. But what most people don’t know is that Elle is the daughter of comedian Rob Schneider and super model London King. Elle learned a lot from her father’s success but she wanted to pave her own way. At the age of 18, Elle took her less famous parent’s name and blasted onto the music scene.
9. Rip Torn & Sissy Spacek
In addition to having awesomely unique names, Rip Torn and Sissy Spacek are also cousins! Both sport quite an impressive list of accomplishments and career moves, but everyone has to get their start somewhere. Rip Torn had already broken out onto the scene in his very early acting days, but younger cousin Sissy wanted to try and do it on her own. Insisting on helping in some way, Rip helped Sissy enroll in Strasberg’s Actors Studio in New York where she learned everything she knows. Although, she probably got a tip or two from her famous cousin. With that little budge in the right direction, Sissy got her big break in the original Carrie film and kept going from there.
8. Jake Gyllenhaal & Peter Sarsgaard
Jake Gyllenhaal and his sister Maggie are both successful actors and it’s no secret that they’re related. But the two don’t use it to their advantage no more than they use their parent’s careers. Jake and Maggie’s parents are both directors and screen play writers, but that little fact makes no difference to the sibling’s success. In the same light, Maggie is married to actor Peter Sarsgaard, known for his roles in The Man in the Iron Mask and Dead Man Walking. In result, Jake and Peter are brother in-laws and besties. The two never use the other’s success to further their own careers, but the two can be seen starring together in the movie Jarhead.
7. Emma Roberts & Julia Roberts
Everyone on the entire planet Earth knows who Julia Roberts is. It’s highly unlikely that you’ve yet to see a movie which she starred in. She’s beautiful, charismatic, and wickedly talented. So, if you were her niece, wouldn’t you jump on that ride? It would be an easy ticket to stardom, having an ultra-famous aunt like Julia. But that’s not what young Emma Roberts did. Nope. Emma paved her own road, slowly but surely, and is now a top contender in young Hollywood. She chooses her roles carefully and is building a name for herself after roles in movies like Blow, Meet the Millers, and even the popular TV series American Horror Story. She could have gone the Disney route, or used her famous aunt’s connections, but Emma is doing just fine on her own.
6. Melissa McCarthy & Jenny McCarthy
The funny bone definitely runs in this family! Jenny, while better known for her days as a Playboy Playmate, is also known for being absolutely hilarious. She cracks up interviewers and fans totally adore her on The View where she brings a lighter side to the panel. But, as comical as Jenny is, she’s no match for her ultra-famous cousin Melissa McCarthy. Melissa is known worldwide for her role as Sookie St. James on Gilmore Girls. After the show wrapped up, Melissa moved on to even bigger roles, including The Heat and Bridesmaids. As famous as the two lovelies are, not once have they ever ridden on one another’s fame train.
5. Jason Schwartzman & Nicholas Cage
Super famous action movie star, Nicholas Cage is extremely well known for his roles in Gone in 60 Seconds, Con Air, and Ghost Rider. But what most people have no clue about is that Nick is related to Jason Schwartzman. The less famous, but equally talented, actor is Cage’s cousin and chose to go in the opposite direction as his relative in term of genre. While Nicholas Cage sticks with Hollywood action blockbusters, Schwartzman opts for the more indie and creative roles. You can catch some of his work in movies like The Grand Budapest Hotel, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, and TV series Parks and Recreation. In terms of similarities, the only thing these two have in common is the blood which runs in their veins.
4. Alexander Skarsgard & Bill Skarsgard
Surely, you watched the True Blood phenomenon explode the bodacious Alexander Skarsgard into Hollywood stardom. Thanks to his killer role as Viking vampire Eric Northman, Alexander Skarsgard is now a household name and the object of many girls’ fantasies. But Alexander didn’t get his break with True Blood. The actor has been around for years, acting in minor roles throughout dozens of films. He was even in the original Zoolander movie. Bet you didn’t know that! Even though the road to stardom was long, Alexander never used his family’s success to his advantage. Although a name like Skarsgard isn’t hard to forget, Alexander still insisted on paving his own way. And it looks like little brother Bill Skarsgard is learning by example. Bill easily could have jumped on the success of True Blood, but he chose his roles wisely and broke out onto the scene with his work in the indie TV series Hemlock Grove.
3. Rashida Jones & Quincy Jones
When you think of Blues and the soft velvety rhythms of Jazz, you can’t help but think of Quincy Jones. The music mogul helped pave the way for the musical genre and has helped dozens of artists build their careers. But that can’t be said for his super talented and funny daughter, actress Rashida Jones. Rashida could have name dropped her father all over the place and landed herself tons of great opportunities. But she chose to walk the path alone and it really paid off. Now, the world loves Rashida Jones and the hilarious characters she plays. You can find her movies like I Love You Man and Our Idiot Brother, both alongside actor Paul Rudd. But she’s better known for her role on Parks and Recreation as Anne, bestie to the effervescent Leslie Knopes.
2. Jessica Capshaw & Steven Spielberg
Grey’s Anatomy. Yeah, even if you won’t admit that you’ve watched the major hit TV show, you’ve definitely heard of it and its now all star cast. The popular medical drama series skyrocketed dozens of actors to Hollywood stardom including Jessica Capshaw whose role as gay doctor Arizona Robbins has broken through so many barriers and stereotypes, paving the way for more LBGT roles on television. But Jessica got to where she is on her own merit, winning the hearts of fans, and proving her talent with every episode so far. So you’d probably be surprised to find out that Jessica’s stepfather is none other than director Steven Spielberg! Obviously, with this connection, Jessica could have easily used Spielberg’s name to land major movie roles, but she seems to be doing just fine with Shonda Rhimes.
1. Gwyneth Paltrow & Blythe Danner
She always plays the sweet mom role in movies, but Blythe Danner is best known for her role in the Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers movies. She plays mother-in-law to Gaylord Focker (Ben Stiller) and does a darn good job of it. But her stellar skills in acting as a mom may be because she’s an awesome mother in real life, you just don’t’ know it. Blythe is the real mother to mega actress Gwyneth Paltrow! The two blonde beauties both have reputable careers in Hollywood, but never boast about the relation. Maybe someday we’ll see the ladies in a mother-daughter role together!