Actors and actresses are used to playing a diverse number of roles, but what could be more authentic than when they interact with their biological children? This has happened with some of the biggest Hollywood celebrities, who were cast alongside their children, and the end result was a performance that was believable and real.
Meryl Streep and her eldest daughter Mamie Gummer have worked together since Mamie was a toddler, and Will Smith has commented on how Jaden Smith taught him a valuable lesson about acting when he was only five. It seems there are many benefits to actors when it comes to working with their offspring, although it’s not always easy.
Gwyneth Paltrow’s mom gave her tough love when they worked on a project together, and Colin Hanks admits it wasn’t high on his priority list to work alongside his father. Also, don’t be fooled into thinking all of them were handed their roles, as Scott Eastwood admits he had to audition for small parts in his father Clint Eastwood’s movies.
Below are 20 celebrity moms and dads who starred in the same movie as their child, either as their parent, or in another role, and what they ultimately thought of the experience.
20 Meryl Streep And Mamie Gummer Made The Coolest Duo In Their Film
Meryl Streep and her husband Don Gummer have been married since 1978, which is even more of an achievement considering the shelf-life of most Hollywood romances. Together, the couple has three daughters and a son, but it is their eldest daughter, Mamie Gummer, who Streep has appeared in a film with.
In 2015, the duo appeared side by side in the film, Ricki and the Flash, although this was actually not their first project together. Mamie's first role was when she appeared alongside her mom when she was a toddler in the 1986 film, Heartburn.
“I’ve been working with my daughter for 32 years,” Streep told Women's Wear Daily. And speaking of her daughter’s talent, she said, "I was blown away. I’m not objective — I think she’s fantastic. But I think other people have corroborated that.”
19 Will Smith And Jaden Smith Delivered A Believable (And Tear-Inducing) Performance In ‘Pursuit Of Happyness’
Will Smith has actually appeared in several movies with his son, Jaden Smith. Their most recent was in 2013, with After Earth, but we have chosen to focus on a film they worked on together, the 2006 film, The Pursuit of Happyness (strange spelling, we know). At the time of the film, Jaden was just 5-years-old, and casting Smith’s real son was a great decision because their scenes were so heartfelt and believable.
According to Thought Co. Smith said that his young son actually helped him improve his acting in a way. He recalled how he had been struggling with a scene, when his son surprised him with his comments, which initially offended him, but later he realized that he was trying to make his acting feel more real.
18 Susan Sarandon And Eva Amurri Appear Side-By-Side In ‘Mothers And Daughters’
Even the name of the film Susan Sarandon and her daughter Eva Amurri starred in together is perfect. The pair appeared in the 2016 film, Mothers And Daughters, and although that was their most recent collaboration there has actually been a few. These include the 2002 film, The Banger Sisters (in which Amurri played her mother’s daughter) and the 2008 film, Middle Of Nowhere, where once again, they were related.
The duo are very close, and Amurri told Today the most important lesson she has learned from her mom is, "The importance of being kind to people, being there for people.”
17 Miley Cyrus And Billy Ray Cyrus Were Disney Darlings In ‘Hannah Montana’
Miley Cyrus got her start on the Disney Channel when she starred as Hannah Montana, and her father was played by her real-life dad, Billy Ray Cyrus. The show ran for five years and made Miley a superstar, but it was hard for her to grow up and spend so much time with her dad.
She loves her dad, obviously, but she said on the Zach Sang Show (via Entertainment Tonight) she wouldn't be keen on a reboot, saying, "It's a lot of time to be spent with my dad. You know, my dad was my dad on the show. I have enough dad time. That was really hard every day from, like, [ages] 11 to 18. I didn't get a school escape like most people. I went to work with my dad.”
16 Ben And Jerry Stiller Have Been In Multiple Movies Together
Ben and Jerry Stiller are another father and son pair that have starred in multiple movies together, with some of their most memorable performances including Zoolander, and The Heartbreak Kid.
But their relationship is about a lot more than just work, and Jerry Stiller offered a glimpse into it, when he spoke about his role on Seinfeld, and how he had chosen not to speak about it with his son. He told Esquire, “I never once asked Ben whether he watched me on Seinfeld. I didn't want our relationship to be based on what we do at work. Hard to believe, but it's true. In five years, I never mentioned Seinfeld to him or Amy [his daughter]. I never want them to think that my life is more important than they are.”
15 ‘It Runs in the Family’ Starred Michael Douglas, His Son, And His Father
Three generations of Douglas men starred in the film, It Runs in the Family. They were Kirk Douglas, his son, Michael Douglas, and Michael’s son, Cameron Douglas. And over the years, Michael has spoken about his relationship with his father and the support he has given him in his acting career. This includes the time when Kirk was there for his son when he received his star on the Walk of Fame in 2018.
Michael was joined by Kirk, as well as his son, Cameron, and wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and during the speech, he focused on his father. “It means so much to me, Dad, that you're here today," he said. “I'll say it simply and with all my heart: I'm so proud to be your son."
14 Gwyneth Paltrow Comes From A Famous Family
Both of Gwyneth Paltrow’s parents have worked in the entertainment industry, her father, Bruce Paltrow, as a director, and her mother, Blythe Danner, as an actress.
Gwyneth starred alongside her mother in the 2003 film, Sylvia, but before this, they also worked together on the 1994 theatrical production of The Seagull. And apparently, it wasn’t easy for Paltrow to work with her mom because she took a tough love approach, which years later, Danner admits to.
Speaking on the Goop podcast (via People), Danner said, “I thought you had to sweat blood and tears to give a great performance and you never did. I wish I had recognized that. I wish I had recognized your otherness and embraced it. You know, I could cry about the fact that I didn’t.”
13 You May Not Have Known Emilio Estevez And Martin Sheen Were Related, Let Alone Starred In The Same Film
Most people connect that Martin Sheen and Charlie Sheen are father and son, but perhaps fewer realize that Emilio Estevez is also Martin’s son. The pair has worked together on the 2010 film, The Way, and following the film, it was announced that the two men would collaborate on a memoir, Along the Way, BBC reports.
Speaking of the project, Estevez said, "I'm so happy to be working on this unique project with my father. We're both fathers of sons... neighbors, and activists." He continued, "We hope that our story will communicate an essential message for our times. Film is an illusion. Fame is ephemeral. Faith and family are what endure."
12 Clint Eastwood And His Son Have Worked On Many Projects (Although Scott Has Had Smaller Roles)
Clint Eastwood and his son, Scott Eastwood, have appeared onscreen together multiple times, and Scott is thankful to his father for making him work hard to find his own way in the entertainment industry. In an interview with Sunday People (via The Mirror), Scott explained that his father had made him audition for small parts in his films, and he had to work to pay his way through college.
“It was probably the best thing dad could have done for me,” he said. “He could have made it easy but I wouldn’t have learned anything from that.”
11 It Wasn’t High On Colin Hanks Priority List To Star Alongside His Dad, But He Did
Tom Hanks and his son, Colin Hanks, appeared together on The Great Buck Howard, but if you think that Colin was jumping at the opportunity to work with his father, it seems that was not the case.
In an interview with Parade, Colin spoke about working with his Tom, saying, “He really wanted to do it. I was not necessarily looking to co-star with him. It wasn’t high on my priority list. But I’m no slouch, if someone like him wants to be in your movie, you better let him. So it sort of worked out…”
10 'Harry Potter' Was Awesome, It Also Starred Father And Son Duo Brendan And Domhnall Gleeson
Harry Potter is one of the most memorable and beloved franchises, and despite the movies finally coming to an end in 2011, they are still talked about to this day. In part, because J.K. Rowling is supremely talented, but also because the cast of actors who joined on to make the films did a superb job. And Brendan And Domhnall Gleeson were among that cast.
They did not star as father and son, instead, Fandom notes that Domhnall Gleeson played Bill Weasley in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, while his father, Brendan played the role of Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody (a role he held since the fourth film).
9 Leslie Mann’s Role Was So Convincing In ‘This Is 40’ Partly Because She Starred Alongside Her Own Kids
Leslie Mann’s daughters in This Is 40 are her daughters in real-life, a decision made by her husband Judd Apatow, who also directed the film. The film was a real family reunion, and Apatow spoke about his decision to cast his daughters in an interview with Conan O'Brien (via The Hollywood Reporter), explaining that their dialogues with each other are very real.
"They're not scared that cameras are around," he explained. "They get sucked into what their real problems are with each other. Like, they're so annoyed with each other that they're not distracted by the fact that they're shooting a movie and it needs to go well, they're more concerned about whatever argument I'm trying to make them have on camera.” This is exactly what he wanted!
8 Robert Downey Jr.'s Son Once Played A Younger Version Of His Character
Robert Downey Jr.'s son Indio played the younger version of his character, Harry Lockhart, in a 2005 film, and although he has followed in his dad’s footsteps with an interest in the arts, it seems Indio is more focused on music than acting.
Downey Jr. celebrated his son on social media in 2016 (via Irish Examiner) when he penned a supportive post for Indio. He said, "As long as we can remember, Indio has been a musician at heart.” He went on to celebrate his son and his bandmate's “dedication, consistency, and determination to grow as artists.”
7 Shiloh Jolie-Pitt Made Her Acting Debut With Her Dad, Brad Pitt, When She Was A Toddler
When Brad Pitt starred in the 2008 film, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, they needed someone to play his daughter in the film, and that role went to his real-life daughter, Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, IMDB notes. Shiloh was just a toddler at the time. She is also just one of six children who Pitt shares with now ex-wife, Angelina Jolie, and family is incredibly important to them.
According to Oprah.com, Pitt said that even when he is working on films, he thinks about his children, and how they will see them one day. He said, "Even the films, I can't help but do a film thinking my kids will see that someday and that may mean something to them. So it puts an extra importance and yet takes off the importance at the same time."
6 And Vivienne Jolie-Pitt Was In 'Maleficent' With Her Mama Angelina Jolie
Having mentioned Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s daughter, Shiloh in the entry above, you may think that perhaps she was willing to star in her mother’s Disney movie, Maleficent.But that role went to her younger sister, Vivienne, because, as Jolie explained to Elle, Shiloh had no interest in being a princess.
"I asked Shiloh about being Aurora, and she laughed in my face," Jolie said. "She said she'd be a horned creature." If you were wondering why they cast one of Jolie’s children in the role, then that’s because her costume in Maleficent unsettled other child performers.
5 Demi Moore And Her First Born, Rumer Willis, Were Together In ‘Now And Then’
Demi Moore has three daughters who she shares with her ex-husband, Bruce Willis. The eldest of her three daughters, Rumer Willis, has followed in her parents’ footsteps and has become an actress, but she started pretty early, with a small part in the 1995 drama comedy film, Now and Then, which starred Moore.
In the film, Rumer played the role of Angela Albertson, the younger sister of Moore’s character, Samantha. And in 2018, Moore and all three of her girls went to watch a screening of the ‘90s film at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles, People reports.
4 Sylvester Stallone Brought His Son Sage Stallone Into The ‘Rocky’ Movies With Him
One of Sylvester Stallone’s most celebrated roles is as Rocky Balboa, a rags-to-riches tale about a boxer. The film has several installments, and in the later ones, Stallone made the decision to bring his own son, Sage Stallone, into them. This happened in the 1990 film, Rocky V, in which, Sage played the son of Rocky, Rocky Balboa Jr. (so his onscreen relationship with his father mirrored his real one).
Sage had also previously told People that in the film, some of the screaming scenes involving himself and his father were real, and admitted: “I got a lot of things out.”
3 Jon Voight Was Actually Also In ‘Lara Croft: Tomb Raider’
Angelina Jolie and her father, Jon Voight, have had a complicated history and there have been times when the pair were at odds which each other. But something that not many people may know about them is that they starred together in the 2001 film, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. In it, Voight played the role of Jolie’s character’s father, Lord Richard Croft.
It was not long after this film that The Telegraph notes the pair had a fallout, and are believed to have not spoken between the years of 2002 and 2007. It was also in 2002 that Jolie legally dropped her father’s last name.
2 Johnny Depp Has A Daughter Who Is Following In His Acting Footsteps
Johnny Depp is a father to two children, a daughter, Lily-Rose Depp, and a son, John Christopher, who he shares with ex-partner, Vanessa Paradis. And now that Lily Rose is getting older, she has decided to make a name for herself in the entertainment industry, both as a model, and as an actress.
In the 2014 film, Tusk, she appears in the same movie as her dad (although you may miss him with his odd disguise). They are not related in the film, as Depp plays the character of Guy Lapointe, while his daughter is a store clerk.
1 Laura Dern's Real Mama Diane Ladd Was Overbearing In Her Role For ‘Wild At Heart’
Laura Dern is not a first generation actress, and she has joined forces with her mother, Diane Ladd, multiple times. Their work includes the 1990 crime drama, Wild at Heart, and the series, Enlightened (both times, Ladd has played her daughter’s mother).
Dern has spoken about what it was like working with her mother, telling News Day of the pros and cons. “The amazing gift of this show is that the con no longer exists,” she said. “It did with youth, and now, entering my 40s, I can enjoy her. Now it's purely about the artistic experience. It's been seamless. Now that I'm a grown-up, I can enjoy the woman. I was always afraid every choice she made reflected on me, but I was a kid, 19, 20. It's a refreshing and amazing experience.”