Growing up surrounded by the movie industry can stimulate an appetite for movies. Some members of Hollywood’s elite honed their craft by learning best practices from their parents. Entertainment titans like David Lynch passed on her cinematic magic to her daughter, and she brought Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story live.
It’s common for kids to follow in their parents’ footsteps when choosing a career, but there’s added pressure when the career path is filmmaking. The degree of difficulty is increased as a child fights the pressure exerted by the parent’s shadow. The successful Hollywood heirs rose to the challenge and shone while trailing in the shadow of their parents.
Mario Van Peebles
Melvin Van Peebles created forays into the genre of blaxploitation and shattered glass ceilings for black filmmakers. His work as an independent director made him a tough act to follow, but his son Mario Van Peebles accepted the stick. Melvin’s most notable film, Baadassss song by Sweet Sweetback was a family affair and featured Melvin and Mario in acting roles.
Mario honored his father’s 1971 classic and directed the 2003 biographical drama Baadassss!. The film is a love letter to his father and chronicles Melvin’s problems filming and distributing his project. Mario literally walked a mile in his dad’s shoes as he portrayed a younger version of his dad in the photo.
Max Landis is the successor of the famous costume designer Deborah Nadoolman Landis and renowned comedy director John Landis. By following his parents at a young age, Max got a cheat sheet on how to have a successful career in Hollywood.
Max was cast in John Landis Blue Brothers 2000, The Stupids and burke and hare. At 18, Max sold his first screenplay after teaming up with his father to write an episode of Deer Woman. Since then, Max has found his footing in genres that were John’s old stomping grounds. The pair have had success directing music videos. John Landis occupied the director’s chair for michael jackson‘s”Thriller” and Max sat behind the camera for Ariana Grande‘s”One last time“. Finally, it was announced that Max was going to direct a remake of his father’s 1981 horror comedy. An American werewolf in London.
Spike Lee keeps it all in the family and has frequently collaborated with relatives on productions. Spike’s siblings Joy, David, and Cinque were cast in his films, and Spike also teamed up with his father. William James Edward Lee III during his early work.
Spike and Bill studied arts at Morehouse College in Atlanta and with their alma mater, the two also share credits on the same films. Spike followed his father’s lead when Bill composed the original music for the first four Spike Lee Joints. The influence of jazz in She must have it, School amazement, do the right thing and Mo’ Better Blues are a product of the father and son duo.
Bryce Dallas Howard
Tinsel-town is a rite of passage for the Howard family which includes sibling actors Bryce Dallas and Paigetheir grandparents Rancid and Jeanstheir uncle Clintand finally, their Oscar-winning father, Ron Howard.
Bryce’s first four acting roles were as an extra in his father’s films. When it comes to directing, Bryce mirrored in his father’s footsteps. Ron Howard was enlisted to reshoot 70% of Solo: A Star Wars Story halfway through production. Like father, like daughter, Bryce tied herself to a Star Wars property and directed two episodes of The Mandalorian and an episode of Boba Fett’s Book.
Oscar-winning director David Lynch is known for its stunning visuals. Her daughter, Jennifer Lynchhas modeled his profession on that of his father and produces disturbing and provocative content.
Jennifer’s film tutelage began on her father’s first film, eraser head, where she had a brief role that was left on the cutting room floor. She developed a passion for working behind the scenes as a production assistant on David’s blue velvet. His father’s claim to fame has been his stories of crime and investigation in projects like twin peaks and lost highway. Jennifer takes a page from her book and makes some clever and dramatic shots of crime and murder. His past projects include directing six episodes of American Horror Stories and four episodes of Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.
Sofia and Roman Coppola
Sofia and Romain Coppola come from a family littered with filmmakers. The siblings are the niece and nephew of Talia Countyfirst cousins of the actors Nicholas Cage and Jason Schwartzmanand the offspring of the documentary filmmaker Eleanor Coppola and famous director Francis Ford Coppola.
Francis took his children under his wing, giving them the opportunity to flex their filmmaking chops in his footage. Sofia’s acting career began with seven roles in her father’s films. Francis won three Oscars for his writing on Patton, The Godfatherand The Godfather II. Coppola’s children followed their father’s screenwriting roadmap and Sofia won an Oscar for writing lost in translation and Roman was recognized by the Academy with a nomination for his pen in Moonrise Kingdom.
Two-time Oscar winner Denzel Washington is one of the most decorated actors on the silver screen. Her shoes seem too big to fill and that’s probably why her son, John David Washington, initially avoided acting for a career in the NFL. Eventually, John David left the iron gate and returned to his family roots.
Although Denzel arranged small acting roles for his son in Malcolm X and Devil in blue dresshis wife claims that “everyone has seen it, but [Denzel]”. After turning his back on football, John David co-produced the book of eliwith his dad. After the 2010 experience, John David came on camera to show that his apple had landed next to the tree.
Rob Reiner is a member of one of America’s leading comedy families. his father Carl Reiner paved the way which included 11 Primetime Emmy Awards and induction into the Television Hall of Fame. The father and son combo are familiar faces on the silver screen, but it’s on television that they exert their dominance.
Along with their appearance, their careers spit images of each other. Both received Primetime Emmy Awards for their work in Caesar’s hour and All in the family respectively. Carl produced the iconic Dick Van Dyke Show and his son emulated his contributions to television when he co-founded Castle Rock Entertainment which produced the hit television series Seinfeld.
Jake, Luke and Jordan Scott
Achievement is a birthright for three by Ridley Scott children. James, Luke, Jordan Scott, their father and uncle Tony Scott gained notoriety by directing Hollywood films. Ridley and Tony Scott capitalized on the family business and founded production company Ridley Scott Associates.
All of Ridley Scott’s children have done projects for the family production company. The siblings had the chance to see their father’s work up close. Luke was Ridley’s second unit manager on Exodus: gods and kings and The Martian. Jordan had a small role in his father’s movie white squall and also did stunts in his 1985 film Legend. Sir Ridley Scott helped lay the foundations for the Extraterrestrial franchise and his sons were able to carry on his legacy. Jake was a concept artist on Alien 3 and Luke followed in his father’s footsteps and sat in the director’s chair for Alien: Pact.
Ivan Reitman was a prominent comedy director and producer whose credits include such 80s and 90s pop culture classics as Grooves, ghost hunters, animal house and space jam. His son Jason Reitman grew up on the sets of Ivan’s early projects and was able to learn the entertainment business from an early age.
Five of Jason’s acting roles were in his father’s films, but he ultimately decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and get behind the camera. Jason was a production assistant for his father on kindergarten cop. He knew how to transform this experience into a successful career as a director. Ivan is best known for his involvement in the ghost hunters franchise. When it came time to relaunch the franchise in 2021, producer Ivan Reitman passed the torch to his son to direct Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
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