As much as any fan feels like they know a celeb, they obviously don’t. Sure, there’s the actual lack of interactions but there’s also the fact that they can easily forget a major part of a celebrity’s life as easy as not being able to recall that one show they were in. Kind of like when a fan loves their work but didn’t even realize they have their own family to take care of.
That said, some celebrities make a point of, well, not hiding their families but definitely not pushing them into the limelight either. Fame is this assumed side-effect of a successful profession in the arts, but it doesn’t actually make sense to correspond a love of acting or making music with having their picture taken. It’s nice when the two overlap as things an artist is comfortable with, but more often than not, celebrities didn’t get into their line of work because they dreamed of being Kris Kardashian. So there’s a lot of celebrities that choose to have their work speak for themselves and keep their family life nice and private, away from the limelight. From parents who actively keep their kids away from the paps, to celebs who never want to reproduce, here are 25 of the most secretive.
25 Donald Glover
Donald Glover is notoriously good at many things; acting, rapping, modeling, keeping secrets... Seriously, not only was his child a surprise, many news outlets didn’t even know the name of his partner. That’s so impressive in this day and age. Don’t believe me? This comes from US Magazine "The Atlanta actor, 33, and his unidentified partner first caused fans to speculate that they were expecting a little bundle of joy when she was spotted with a baby bump at a grocery store in Hawaii with Glover in January."
24 Matt LeBlanc
Most celebs are more open about their experience with parenting. When asked what he’s learned from fatherhood, LeBlanc responded, "Patience. You have to really dig deep to find patience… It’s always a test for me, taking the time, because you get busy with work and other stuff. But you need to make the time, and therein lies the challenge, the patience, to find the time, because they’re young for such a small period of time. They grow up so fast. I’m forever buying shoes.”
23 Tom Hardy
Tom Hardy is more likely to bring a dog to an award show than a human date, but it’s only because he cares about his family so much. “Family is the biggest thing there is… I was self-indulgent for a long time and I was only thinking about myself and my own stupid stuff. Having a child lifts you out of selfish behaviour and gives you responsibility. It forces you to be a better man and to live a healthy life. I take great pride in being a father.’
22 Michael Sheen
Michael Sheen is one of those actors you’re either a huge fan of or can’t help but recognize from a billion different shows. Well, it may come as a surprise to both camps that Michael Sheen actually has a young teenage daughter, Lily Mo Sheen, with British actress Kate Beckinsale. Michael Sheen’s last notable relationship was with comedian Sarah Silverman (she’d be a pretty awesome stepmom). That relationship didn’t work out either, but here’s your friendly reminder that Michael Sheen is, in fact, a father. And is also Welsh.
21 Tom Brady And Bridget Moynahan
No, we’re not talking about Brady’s two children with Gisele. This baby comes from a pre-Gisele era when Tom Brady and girlfriend Bridget Moynahan had just split. And what did Bridget find out after they broke up? She was pregnant. They kept the baby, and that baby is now their son John. While Bridget and Brady seem to be on good terms, it definitely seems like she’s rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles when game-time starts. But that doesn’t have to be personal...
20 Heath Ledger
It’s been a few years since Ledger passed away, but it’s a forgotten fact in his life that his wild ways were significantly calmed by the birth of a daughter. On the topic, Ledger said, "My duties in life are that I wake up, cook breakfast, clean the dishes, prepare lunch, clean those dishes, go to the market, get fresh produce, cook dinner, clean those dishes and then sleep if I can... And I love it. I actually adore it."
19 Patricia Arquette
Patricia Arquette is highly protective of her daughter when it comes to the toxicity of the world that so many young girls are exposed to. "I see so many mixed messages in the world around [Harlow], and my message is always: ‘You’re beautiful, you’re perfect, you’re smart, you’re funny. You’re great and you’ll find the right person for you.’ I’ll still find myself asking her ‘are you wearing that because you like that, or are you wearing that because someone else told you to?’”
18 Meg Ryan
Meg Ryan is that forever young star of so many movies from decades ago. Despite being forever young, her children are pretty grown up now. “[Motherhood has changed me] fundamentally,” she said. “I have two kids – I have Jack who is in his 20's now and my daughter who is 11 – and I think that part of my life served my [ability] to direct the best.” It’s easy to forget that Meg Ryan isn’t still in her 20's, let alone that her children are the age she was when we were introduced to her.
17 Alexis Bledel
It was a long time ago that Alexis Bledel was in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and Blake Lively isn’t the only now-mother/ex-sister. Just kidding, sisterhood is forever and motherhood doesn’t affect that. The pants taught us that (and so much more). Anyway, Alexis looks the same age as she did about a decade ago, but the birth of her daughter was part of what inspired her to take on the highly ambitious, grueling role in The Handmaid’s Tale.
16 Colin Firth
Colin Firth may not still be with the mother of his one child, Meg Tilly, but she has only positive things to say about him as a father. So next time you remember that he’s a father, keep in mind that he’s also a good one! “He’s been a good father to Will, his son, but he’s also stayed very present in my other two children’s lives, Emily and David. He’s showed up for graduations, births of babies. He’s a sweetheart.” Colin has since been married to director Livia Giuggioli, of which they also have two sons.
15 Ted Danson
Ted Danson isn't just a father, he’s also a grandfather. Yup, that anti-angel, white haired charmer from The Good Place has two daughters as well as a super gorgeous wife (Mary Steenburgen, or Gail from Last Man On Earth). Just a super hilarious, older couple with a mess of kids between them. Oh, and of course one of his children is also an actress with a ton of movies on her resume. And yes, in this case, her resume is under Kate Danson on IMDb.
14 Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson has been so gorgeous and talented for so long, it’s easy to forget she’s got her own family. She spoke about motherhood publicly, saying, "I don't profess to know anything about parenting, anything more than anybody else, [but] being a working mom is an incredible challenge, [and] it's an incredible gift.” Did anyone else forget that her daughter is already four years old and named Rose Dorothy? Those are only the two cutest old lady names! Move aside, Esther.
13 Mila Kunis
It still feels like this amazing blip in the universe that Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis actually ended up together (thank you That 70’s Show for everything, but especially this) and that they totally have two kids together.
Mila’s on screen motherhood might be more well known than her actual family, but in real life and in film, she’s a cool mom. She said, ”Moms need to decompress. Moms are still women. Women who need to have a life outside of being a mom for their own sanity."
12 Charlie Heaton
It doesn’t exactly fit with his image as Mike’s bike-peddling, high school misfit older brother on Stranger Things, but Charlie Heaton is actually a young father. The mother of Heaton’s baby is former bandmate Akiko Matsuura — an ex-girlfriend and lead woman of their band Comanche, as well as a drummer for the band The Big Pink.
No offense to Charlie but honestly, she sounds way cooler than him. Their son Archie was born when Charlie was just 20.
11 Idris Elba
Idris Elba is eager to demystify the celebrity life for his teenage daughter, Isan Elba. He says, “I love to take her to things like that, because I want to demystify it for her. It’s nice for her to meet Benedict Cumberbatch and Bradley Cooper and just see that they’re really down to earth. She was like, ‘Oh my god! They called me by my NAME!’” The star is generally enthused and infatuated with being a dad, which is so perfect considering what a charmer he already is.
10 Jeremy Renner
Jeremy Renner takes his job as a father as seriously, if not more, as his acting career. In an interview with Nobleman Magazine in 2017, he shared that “I think my job as a father is make it impossible for her to find the version of a man that I will show her… That’s my job every day. To be consistent, like the stone in the garden. Sometimes it sucks to be the stone but you need to be there."
9 Kate Hudson
Kate Hudson seems more perfect than real life, but she admits to riding the highs and lows of parenthood like anyone else. “Some days I feel like I should win best mom of the day award, and some days I find myself doing strange things that don’t have any real purpose, in faraway corners in my house, and I realize I am literally and deliberately hiding from my children.” Coming from a second generation celebrity, it’s a huge relief to imagine Kate Hudson hiding in her own home. Sure, her own gorgeous, gigantic home, but still.
8 Keira Knightley
Keira Knightley is one of those actresses who really feels as young as she was when she had her break out role in Pride & Prejudice 13 years ago (yeah, that was 13 years ago). That said, she and husband of five years James Righton actually have a nearly 4-year-old daughter together. Speaking of daughter Edie, Knightley says, "I'm very grateful to become a mother while doing something this unbelievably difficult, because honestly the worst that could happen is that you fail.”
7 Kevin Jonas
Remember when the most uncomfortable thing in the news were the Jonas Brothers trying to get the rest of the world to allow them to grow up? Remember how awkward it was when we remembered their actual ages? By their own admission, that never really fully happened and despite fatherhood, sometimes they’re still thought of as boys. Eldest Kevin says, ”Don't be surprised if you don't connect as a father right away... That's the one thing.... No one ever talked to me about it."
6 Pete Wentz
Not only does Pete Wentz have kids already, he’s expecting more and couldn’t be more excited. He let on his excitement for having a daughter when he said, “I see my friends who have daughters, and it seems like a whole different kind of love that they have for each other, so I look forward to that being a completely new journey... Hopefully it’ll bring some balance to our home!” It’s a tall order for a little baby to balance a testosterone-filled household, but maybe she’s up for it!
5 Doesn't Want Kids: Cameron Diaz
Cameron Diaz might be one of those celebrities that you’re sure you’ve seen pictures of pushing along strollers or chatting with her nanny, but that’s just your imagination. That’s just the amalgam of “Stars, They’re Just Like Us” pages that builds up in everyone’s brain.
The star is deliberately childless and attributes her amazing life to that choice. In her own words, "I have an [incredible] life. In some ways, I have the life that I have because I don't have children... It's just a different choice”.
4 Doesn't Want Kids: Marisa Tomei
It absolutely must get obnoxious being asked all the time why you haven’t already had children or if you’re interested in adoption; and the frustration is clear in some celebrities’ answers.
Marisa Tomei, Mrs. O'Conner in A Handmaid's Tail, said that, "I don't know why women need to have children to be seen as complete human beings.” And she's right. A woman without a child is still as complete as a woman with a child. We don't judge dudes for not wanting kids, so why women?
3 Doesn't Want Kids: Renee Zellweger
Renee Zellweger has been famous for so long that it just feels like she must have kids, right? Or a bunch of different husbands or maybe some weird relationship with a surrogate and a baby related to her? Fine, that got elaborate and complex but nope, she’s baby-free. She explained that, "Motherhood has never been an ambition. I don't think like that.” Some parents embrace surprise births and some go out of their way to make it happen; having dreamed of children since they could remember. But then there are others who are simply uninterested.
2 Doesn't Want Kids: Chelsea Handler
Some stars may seem passive about having children and explain that they would only want children if they were passionate about it; that it’s not a life choice to make out of feeling neutral or just doing what you're "supposed to." But Chelsea Handler’s response comes from a more intense place. The acerbic comedian shared that she couldn’t have a child because, ”Childhood was heartbreaking enough. I don't know that I could handle my own child.... going through what I went through growing up."
1 Doesn't Want Kids: Jon Hamm
Not everyone’s response to why they don’t have children is so emotionally charged, slightly foreboding and intense. For Jon Hamm, it seems light-hearted. "I'd be a terrible father!... I see my friends who have children and I'm like, 'Dude, how are you even upright, much less here at work at 6 a.m.?’" First off, it’s great to imagine Don Draper saying “dude,” but I think the world is always surprised at how silly and relatable Jon Hamm seems.
References: Mic, Parents, Telegraph, People, Manamenorie, Esme, US Magazine, ABC News, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Prestige Online, ET Online, People, AARP, Mirror, ET Canada, SMH, Bollywood Life, The Resident