15 Celebs Who Picked Careers Their Families Disapproved Of

A lot of people in today’s day and age look up to their favorite celebrities, worship them, and want to emulate certain aspects of their lives. Due to the social media boom, we now know more than ever about our favorite celebrities, and many celebs love posting pics and info too, sharing snippets of their lives to their followers and adoring fans. It makes us think that they have an idyllic life – the high life filled with fame, fortune, glitz, glamour, and plenty of adulation – so it is a very skewed perception in that sense, because very few have gotten into their chosen careers and become successful without facing some trials and tribulations.

I’m sure what everyone wants, more than the money and everything that comes along with it, is the love and support of those closest to them, their friends and family. To do this, plenty of people just go along with what their parents and families want them to do. In some cultures, your career path is already pretty much mapped out for you the minute you’re born, and then all you have to do is go along with it – if you want to keep your family happy, that is. This is the same within a lot of family dynamics, celebrity or otherwise. Parents want their kids to follow a specific path, but of course, it doesn’t always pan out like that. You grow up, develop your own interests, your own passions, and want to do your own thing, even if that does result in your family's disapproval of your choices. That’s what these celebs have encountered; they picked careers their families disapproved of. It's just as well they did and went against convention, because their lives would have probably turned out to be very different than they are today!

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15 Katy Perry

Katy Perry’s probably the person on this list that rebelled the most against her parent’s wishes. Her parents, and most of her family for that matter, seriously disapproved of the industry she got into, and what’s more, what Katy has gone on to do in that industry.

Katy Perry has always been a bit of a wild girl – she takes after both of her parents on that front. But her parents shunned their wild ways and turned to Christianity; they’re both born again Christians, and so Katy was raised as an evangelical Christian. Just from knowing this information, you can probably guess why Katy’s parents disapproved of her career choice; they must have had a fit when learning about some of their daughter’s antics – the "I Kissed a Girl" single for example must have rendered them apoplectic!

Even now, after everything she’s achieved, her parents still disapprove of her career choice. Come on guys, give her a break!

14 Robert Zemeckis


Robert Zemeckis is a world-famous filmmaker and screenwriter who’s responsible for some of the biggest films in history, including Forrest Gump and the Back to the Future movies. It’s amazing to think that if his parents had their wish, these films wouldn’t have been made, and the world wouldn’t have had one of the greatest filmmakers of all time.

Robert had a very blue-collar upbringing, and his parents had conservative attitudes. So there wasn’t much to do in the Zemeckis household other than watch TV, which suited Robert because he was an obsessive TV watcher. He’d watch everything, and this made him think he could get into it himself and make a career out of TV and films. He wanted to go to film school, but his parents weren’t too happy with the idea. But he applied anyway, got accepted to USC’s film school, but then waited some time before telling his parents. They still tried to persuade him against going, saying the idea of him becoming a movie director was a pipe dream, that it just didn’t happen to people with his type of family background. Thankfully, Robert  went anyway, and proved them wrong.

13 Ariel Winter


There’s been a lot of conflicting info on Ariel Winter, her family dynamic, and what went on when she was a youngster. Some sources say that her mom didn’t really want her to go into acting at such a young age – she amazingly started out acting at the tender age of four – but Ariel really wanted to be on TV and so her mom gave in. Other sources say it was her mom who pushed her into the industry, and that Ariel – now age 19 – has just been cooking up stories to get more people interested in her and possibly further her career. One thing’s for sure, Ariel’s mom, Crystal, certainly hasn’t approved of a lot of her daughter’s decisions of late.

Ariel hasn’t had the best of times with her mom. She was removed from her mom’s guardianship when she was younger and went to live with her sister, who also went through the same ordeal of alleged physical and emotional abuse when she was younger.

12 Steve Martin


Imagine having a dad that not only disapproves of what you’re doing, but actually writes scathing reviews about your work, and actively says that what you’re doing is a load of nonsense. That’s what actor, comedian, writer, producer, and musician, Steve Martin had to contend with when he started out as a comedian way back in the 60s.

Apparently, Steve’s dad was a hard taskmaster, was strict, stern, and wasn’t very involved with his son on an emotional level. He was also very critical – no wonder they had a pretty strained relationship, right up until his dad’s passing in 1997.

When Steve first forayed into comedy and started making appearances on TV, his dad actually wrote a bad review about him which he published in his local newsletter. He was very uncomplimentary about Steve’s comedy and was even said to be embarrassed by his son. It’s amazing to see how Steve has succeed despite having such a father figure – if you can call his dad that.

11 Jennifer Lawrence


The 26-year-old star of The Hunger Games series is one of the richest actresses in the world, and is regarded to be one of the most influential people on the planet. It’s a testimony to Jennifer’s desire and hunger to reach the top, which she’s managed to do despite her mom wanting her to go down a different route. In fact, both her parents were dead set against her going into acting. Part of the reason was because she was from Kentucky – not really a place that’s renowned for churning out high-profile actors and actresses. But when she announced, at the age of 14, that she wanted to pursue acting and move to New York to try and make her dream happen, her decision was met with resistance. So, Jennifer saved up her own cash and went on her own accord. Even then, her mom would still say that she wished Jennifer would fail, so she could leave New York and come back home, but that never happened.

10 Roseanne Barr

Roseanne Barr, actress, comedian, writer, and television producer (and also politician), hasn’t had the best of relationships with her family, notably her parents and her siblings.

She was raised in a strict Jewish household, and had to contend with a number of serious health concerns at a young age, which changed her personality dramatically. Apparently, it made her turn into a different person and caused her to have a more rebellious streak which everyone found hard to cope with. After a car accident had left her with a serious brain injury, Roseanne got over the worst and decided she wanted to be on stage and on screen and work as an actress. But she knew that her strict parents would disapprove of her career choice, so she packed her bags, told her parents she was going to stay with a friend for a bit, but never returned. She began doing comedy gigs in Colorado and then began getting acting roles, gradually rising through the ranks to become an established star in the entertainment industry.

9 Courtney Love


The punk-rock singer and actress Courtney Love has had a pretty screwed up family life. She has used everything she’s gone through as fuel to keep that fire burning bright and make a success of herself against all odds.

Courtney’s parents just didn’t really give a damn. Her mom, Linda, is an heiress and rather ironically, a family therapist; it seems as if she focused on other people’s problems and forgot about her own daughter. Her mom didn’t approve when Courtney began her music projects, but having said that, she didn’t really approve of anything her daughter did, full stop. As a kid, Courtney would flit between boarding schools and reform facilities, because her mom just didn’t want to know, and was always more interested in her latest love interest.

Her dad, Hank Harrison, didn’t care about what his daughter was doing either. Apparently, he began giving her drugs when she was a teenager – horrible to think what Courtney must have gone through.

8 La Toya Jackson


La Toya Jackson is the fifth member of the world-renowned Jackson family, and probably one of its least famous members, although she has enjoyed plenty of major successes throughout her career in entertainment.

The Jackson’s dad was a strict disciplinarian named Joe Jackson. He was a stern man, and ensured they were at the top of their game when they were performing. He acted as their manager too. A number of the Jackson siblings have come out and said that he was a seriously bad father – he was abusive and a womanizer, among many other things. But many also forgave him because they recognized that without him, there wouldn’t have been a Jackson 5 in the first place.

When she was growing up, La Toya was making preparations to pursue a career in business and law. She was putting things in place to make it her profession, but her dad quickly nipped everything in the bud. He wanted her to get on stage and perform with her siblings and he basically forced her to do so – something she really didn’t want to do at that stage. But La Toya eventually began to love performing and everything it entailed and recognizes that he was integral to their success, but can’t forgive him for his past indiscretions.

7 Oprah Winfrey


This is a true rags to riches story, about a woman who came from literally having nothing, to becoming one of the richest women in America, and the world, for that matter.

Oprah Winfrey had to contend with a ton of stuff when she was younger. As well as being dirt-poor and having to steal just to keep going, she was also molested by not one, but three family members, and her mom, who tried to raise her, didn’t really give a damn. She became pregnant as a teenager, had a stillborn, and was then sent off to live with her dad and stepmom, and their living situation was just as bad.

Her dad initially disapproved of her getting into the media industry, because he was obsessed with Oprah getting a decent education. Her mom just didn’t want to know whatever she was doing.

Both disapproved of her, but then – shock! – began to voice their approval when she started becoming recognized and began raking in the dough.

6 Eminem


Anyone who’s seen the movie 8 Mile will know the kind of upbringing Marshall Mathers, also known as Eminem, had. That movie’s not a biographical account of his life, but he’s said it was pretty close. It’s the kind of life that people in that area of Detroit, Michigan had to contend with.

At 18 months old, Marshall was abandoned by his dad, and his mom, who was struggling as it is, was left to care for him. He grew up without a permanent address, was constantly being bullied, was fighting with his mom, and was just always in some kind of trouble.

His mom just didn’t have a clue what was going on and the rapper was basically left to fend for himself. She disapproved of him dropping out of school, and disapproved of him rapping, preferring that he continued working so that he could help pay the bills, which he did too. Their relationship was pretty bad for a large part of Marshall’s career, but before she died, they buried the hatchet, and Marshall seems to have left it all in the past.

5 Amir Khan


Pro boxer Amir King Khan rose to fame boxing at the 2004 Olympic Games for Great Britain, and from that moment on, he’s achieved legendary status in the UK. It wasn’t long before he made the leap to the professional ranks, started wowing people with his lightning speed, and was winning world titles, decimating opponents in spectacular fashion. He was once – and still is by some – regarded to be one of the best welterweight fighters in the world, although his career’s taken a nosedive as of late. Aside from being a celeb just because he’s a boxer, he’s also regarded to be somewhat of a media personality. He regularly appears on TV shows, and in addition to boxing, he’s an MMA promoter and philanthropist.

For those of you who know a thing or two about boxing, it might surprise you that Amir Khan is on this list. His fights are a real family affair; his uncle’s involved in the promoting side of things, his cousins are always there showing their support, and his dad’s always around by his side as his manager. It was his dad who actually got him into boxing, because Amir was seriously restless as a child. But his dear mom absolutely hates him boxing and didn’t want him to start the sport, let alone make it his profession. She covers her face every time he fights and whispers prayers to protect him from getting damaged in the ring, which haven’t always worked.

4 Emma Roberts


Emma Roberts, daughter of actor Eric Roberts and actress Kelly Cunningham, stepdaughter of Eliza Roberts, stepdaughter of musician Kelly Nickels, granddaughter of acting coach Betty Lou Bredemus, and niece of actresses Julia Roberts and Lisa Roberts, was only going to be one thing – an actress. It was inevitable that she was going to follow in the majority of her family's footsteps and pursue acting. It was actually while she was growing up and spending a lot of time on her aunt – and arguably the most famous Roberts of them all – Julia’s film sets, that she really thought seriously about becoming an actress.

But amazingly, her mom was dead set against her getting into the film industry. She really wanted Emma to lead the life a lot of her family and the Roberts’ clan actually craved: a normal life. But growing up in a family of acting stars, Emma was always going to follow suit, and now her acting career’s steadily gaining momentum. It was the logical choice to get into acting with her connections, and her decision has definitely been vindicated.

3 Jennifer Lopez


Jennifer Lopez is regarded to be a hugely influential singer, actress, and businesswoman. JLo’s an inspiration to millions of people, and has a huge following, particularly in the Hispanic community, because hers is certainly an inspirational story. She has helped to tear down racial barriers, which is pretty good going considering the fact that she's Latino was one of the major reasons her parents disapproved of her getting into the entertainment industry. They just thought that racial prejudices would hold her back, and that no Latinos had gone in that direction and had made a success of things. They thought the idea of her becoming a movie star was ridiculous, and tried to dissuade her from pursuing acting further.

Her parents actually sparked her interest in becoming an actress. They encouraged her and her friends to act and perform for them in an effort to keep them off the streets and out of trouble. Little did they realize that she’d take to acting and performing seriously as a result of those performances and make it her career. She went to college to get an education, which is what her parents wanted, but left after a couple of months, went against her parent’s wishes, and embarked on a journey to movie and music stardom.

2 Heather Graham


Actress, film producer, writer, and model, Heather Graham, has put together quite a filmography, although it very nearly didn’t happen. Can you imagine if we never got to see this woman with a huge amount of sex appeal and acting prowess, a woman who’s been voted as one of the hottest women alive, on our screens? It doesn’t bear thinking about, but that was very close to being the case.

As a kid, Heather was shifted about quite a bit and didn’t really have anywhere to call home until she was nine years old. At that age, her and her family settled in California, she joined a local school in Agoura Hills, and that’s when she got the acting bug. She began acting in school productions and began to think seriously about making it into a career. But her parents really wanted her to get a degree, so after high school, she enrolled in an English course at UCLA, and did a bit of acting after classes. But she just couldn’t suppress that desire to act full-time, so she gave up her studies in an effort to make her dream happen, which she did. Her parents really objected at that stage and were very unhappy with her career choice, but it definitely – and I’m sure her parents would now agree – was the right decision.

1 Dwayne Johnson


Anything Dwayne Johnson tries his hand at, he makes a success. Actually, scrap that, because saying he’s made a success of things would be the understatement of the century. He has climbed to the top of two industries: he’s regarded to be one of – if not the – greatest wrestler of all time, and is currently killing it in Hollywood as one of the best and highest paid, most in-demand actors around.

It was his wrestling, though, that propelled him into the limelight. But before he even stepped in the ring and followed in his dad’s – Rocky Johnson – footsteps, he was trying to make a go of things as a football player. That didn’t really go according to plan, so he shifted his focus to becoming a pro wrestler. His dad, at that point, was already a prominent name in the wrestling industry. Rocky knew what wrestling entailed, the grueling schedule, the training, endless time spent on the road, and so perhaps that’s why he wanted Dwayne to steer clear from wrestling. He disapproved of his son wanting to step into the ring, but eventually gave in and trained him, and actually wrestled side by side with his son a few times too. The power of persuasion, Dwayne has that too, and if he didn’t persuade his dad, he may not be where he is today!

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