When it comes time for actors to become parents, some people are able to find a work-life balance, and others decide to hang things up. When Rick Moranis‘ wife died, he quit acting to focus on their children. Some other actors and actresses have followed in his footsteps.
On the other hand, certain celebrities have found an interesting way to strike that work-life balance by involving their children in their careers. Nothing is cuter than seeing the child of an actor appear in their movie! Some kids have played younger versions of their parents in film or they’ve played their parent’s character’s child. There quite a few famous parents on this list who just love to work with their children, just look at Will Smith and Leslie Mann!
17. Will Smith and Jaden Smith
Will Smith loves his children, like a lot. With the help of his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, they’ve helped their children achieve their dreams of working in the film and music industry. It all started back when Will first worked with his son, Jaden, in The Pursuit of Happyness. Jaden was only a little over six at the time of filming and his cuteness just oozed off the screen. The movie was about the life of Chris Gardner in the ’70s as he struggled with being homeless for over a year. It is one of Will Smith’s best works in his lengthy career and he was nominated for both the Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Actor for that performance.
The pair teamed up again to work on the 2013 film After Earth, and that did not go as well, sadly. After Earth is one of Will’s worst films and both he and his son regret making the movie. Hopefully, they team up for a third movie and prove that they’re a great father-son acting duo.
16. Will Smith and Willow Smith
Apparently, one night at dinner, Willow asked her dad why Jaden got to work with him in a movie and she didn’t. She was sassy enough to even say Jaden wasn’t any good! Well, Will let Willow get her chance to prove she was a better actor than her big brother. She played his daughter in another one of Will’s hits, I Am Legend. Willow’s character, Marley, did not have a happy ending, as her character died in the film.
When the film came out in 2007, Will told Collider about filming when the temperatures were below freezing and his daughter’s persistence to finish. Will said, “She is getting a little irritable. She looks at me and says, ‘Daddy, I don’t care how low it goes, I’m going to finish.’ I was like, ‘Wow!’ I said, ‘That’s good baby because Daddy is leaving if it goes any lower than that one.’”
15. Leslie Mann and Judd Apatow, with Maude and Iris Apatow
The Apatow family loves to work together. Maude and Iris Apatow have appeared in multiple movies that their father has directed, and as a result, also played their mother’s children. Most notably, Leslie played her children’s on-screen mother in Knocked Up and the sequel, This is 40, with Paul Rudd playing their on-screen father. Iris and Maude worked with their director father again on Funny People, playing their mom’s children once more, and they reunited with Knocked Up‘s Seth Rogen for that film. Leslie Mann is a spokeswoman for Jergen’s Wet Skin Moisturizer and in 2017, her eldest daughter Maude started appearing in commercials with her. Everything’s a family affair!
14. Jerry Stiller and Ben Stiller
Jerry Stiller has been acting since the 1950s and he’s found many opportunities to work with his famous son, Ben Stiller. The first time they worked together was on the MTV project, The Ben Stiller Show, which was a sketch comedy show that lasted just one season. Both of Ben’s parents appeared on the show. Most notably, Jerry played Maury Ballstein, the agent of Derek Zoolander in the 2001 film Zoolander. Jerry’s wife Ann Meara also appeared in the film, working with her husband and son, playing a protestor. The father-son duo also worked on The Heartbreak Kid and Zoolander 2 together.
13. Blythe Danner and Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow looks exactly like her mother did when she was younger. Because the pair looks so much alike, it makes perfect sense that they’d play mother and daughter on-screen as well. They first worked together in the 1997 movie Thomas Jefferson, a PBS two-part American documentary film directed and produced by Ken Burns. Blythe played Martha Jefferson and Gwyneth played her granddaughter (though she was 25 at the time).
They also worked together on the 2003 film, Sylvia, about the life of Sylvia Plath and her relationship with fellow poet Ted Hughes. Blythe played Sylvia’s mother, Aurelia Plath. While the film received criticism, both women were praised for their work.
12. Jon Voight and Angelina Jolie
The relationship between Jon Voight and his famous daughter has been very hot and cold over the years. Jon left Angelina’s mother and her when she was just a year old. They worked out their differences for a brief period of time to work on Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in 2001. Angelina Jolie played the title character in the film, while her father played Lord Richard Croft, the father of Lara. However, Jon and Angelina’s relationship hit another road bump right after the film released, when Jon claimed Angelina had “mental problems” on national television. They didn’t speak for six years until Angelina’s mother was fighting for life. In 2010, the father and daughter released a statement saying that they’d reconciled.
11. Demi Moore and Rumer Willis
Demi Moore has worked with her lookalike daughter twice but it has been quite a while. Now that Rumer Willis is an adult, these two should really team up again! Demi first worked with her daughter on the film Now and Then. Surprisingly enough, Rumer did not play the younger version of her mom’s character, Samantha. Instead, she played Samantha’s little sister, Angela. The next year they worked together again in the film Striptease. In the film, Demi played a former FBI agent that loses custody of her daughter. In order to get the money to get custody of her daughter back, Demi’s character begins working as a stripper at a club. Sure enough, in Striptease, Rumer played her mother’s daughter.
10. Bruce Willis and Rumer Willis
Of her parents three children, Rumer has certainly gotten the most on-screen time with her famous folks. While Rumer is her mom’s twin, she also looks very much like her stern father, Bruce Willis. Rumer’s first two films were with her mother, while her third and fourth films were with her dad. She first appeared with Bruce in the 2000 film, The Whole Nine Yards. In the movie, Bruce plays a gangster that moves in next to a mild-mannered dentist. Rumer has no real interaction with her dad, other than running past him in one scene. But in the 2005 film, Hostage, she played Amanda Talley, the daughter of her father’s Police chief character.
9. Meryl Streep and Mamie Gummer
Of all the famous kids on this list, Mamie Gummer easily has the best debut film performance. When she was just a little toddler, she appeared in her mom’s 1986 film, Heartburn. In the movie, she sits on mom Meryl Streep‘s lap and adorably sings “Itsy Bitsy Spider” with her. The mom-daughter duo didn’t work together again for another 21 years after that.
In 2007, they played the same character in Evening. Mamie played the ’50s version of Lila, while her mom portrayed present-day Lila in the film. In 2015, they reunited again to play mother and daughter once more. In Ricki and the Flash, Meryl played a musician who gave up everything to achieve her dream, but she returns home to try and make things right by helping her daughter (both on-screen and IRL) through a tough time.
8. Stellan Skarsgård and Alexander Skarsgård
The Skarsgård family is full of actors! Father Stellan Skarsgård has eight children and four of his sons have gone on the become famous actors. His eldest son, Alexandar Skarsgård is the most famous of the bunch (though Alex’s younger brother Bill Skarsgård is coming for his brother after the success of IT).
Out of all the siblings, Alexander has worked with his father the most. They’ve appeared in five films together, most of which are Swedish films. The first film, Åke och hans värld, came out in 1984. The most notable work they’ve done together is the 2011 film, Melancholia. They didn’t play father and son though, instead, Stellan played the boss of Alexander’s character’s wife (Kirsten Dunst) in the film. Random.
7. Brad Pitt and Shiloh Jolie-Pitt
Before his estranged wife worked with their children, Brad Pitt starred in a film with one of his and Angie’s kids. Shiloh Jolie-Pitt has a very short acting career, but her first film was with dad Brad, in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. The movie is about Benjamin Button, a man who starts aging backward with bizarre effects.
In the movie, Shiloh plays Benjamin’s daughter, Caroline, at age two. The film spans from 1918 to 2005, with many actors and actresses playing the various characters over time. Brad and Shiloh had a cute scene in the film, in which they looked at a yellow balloon together. But Brad’s character, Benjamin, felt he couldn’t be a good father due to his reverse aging and left his daughter with her mother Daisy instead of sticking around.
6. Tom Hanks and Colin Hanks
Colin Hanks has a few children, but no child sounds or looks as much like their father than Colin does. Honestly, Colin could be his father’s voice double! It’s pretty hard to establish a ~serious~ acting career when your parent is extremely famous (people just think you’re given roles because of your family ties), but despite his dad’s stellar career, Colin Hanks has managed to cement himself in Hollywood separate from his lineage.
In 1996, Tom and Colin worked on the film That Thing You Do! together, in which Tom Hanks played Mr. White and his son had a small role, playing a male page. In 2005, they teamed up again to work on Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon, a documentary about the first people to walk on the moon. Finally, in 2008, they played father and son on screen in The Great Buck Howard. Colin played Troy Gable, a man who defies his father (played by Tom) by dropping out of law school to pursue his dream of becoming a writer.
5. Billy Ray Cyrus and Miley Cyrus
If you hadn’t realized that Billy Ray Cyrus and Miley Cyrus were real-life father and daughter, were you even living on this planet? For the most part, the famous parents on this list are still better known than their children, but after the success of Hannah Montana and Miley’s music career, it is safe to say Miley is the most famous Cyrus now. Before Hannah Montana, Miley played her father’s daughter on the show Doc, where Billy Ray played Dr. Clint “Doc” Cassidy. They actually shot a pilot of Hannah Montana with a different actress playing the lead, but they came back and said that it just didn’t work without Miley. Good thing they got her on board!
4. Clint Eastwood and Scott Eastwood
With a father as famous as Clint Eastwood, most people would assume that Scott Eastwood only became an actor with his dad’s help. But he’s admitted that his father never gave him any help and he appreciated that, as he feels he’s earned his place. Scott has appeared in several of the films his father directed, like Invictus and Flags of Our Fathers. But Scott’s only been in two films that Clint has acted in AND directed: Gran Torino and Trouble with the Curve. Though the father and son worked on these films together, they don’t actually share any screen time together.
3. Susan Sarandon and Eva Amurri Martino
Of all the kids on this list, Eva Amurri has probably worked with her parent the most. Eva has had varying roles in her mother Susan Sarandon‘s films. In the 1992 film Bob Roberts, Eva played a child in the hospital. In Dead Man Walking, she played the 9-year-old version of her mother’s character Helen. She had a slightly bigger part in Anywhere but Here and finally by the time The Banger Sisters came along, she was playing her mother’s daughter. In The Banger Sisters, Susan played former rock groupie-turned-mom Lavinia and Eva played her daughter, Ginger. In 2016, they reunited to play mom and daughter once more in the film appropriately named Mothers and Daughters.
2. Kurt Russell and Kate Hudson
While Kurt Russell isn’t Kate Hudson‘s biological father, he has been in her life ever since she was four years old. Kate has no relationship with her father Bill Hudson and has called Kurt her father for many years now. Kate’s famous mother Goldie Hawn has said she’d never act with her daughter, but that doesn’t seem to be the case for dad! The pair teamed up for the film Deepwater Horizon, and though their characters don’t share screentime, Kate gushed about working with her “Pa.” She said she fell in love with acting by growing up on movie sets with Kurt and Goldie and working with Kurt was a great reminder of that for her. Cute!
1. Angelina Jolie and Vivienne Jolie-Pitt
Working with her youngest daughter, Vivienne wasn’t a planned experience for Angelina Jolie. Apparently, no other child would go near Angelina when she was wearing Maleficent’s horns, so they realized they needed a child that really loved her to work on the film. That is when it was it was decided to have Vivienne play a young Aurora in Maleficent and she was the perfect fit! Apparently, Vivienne’s older brother, Pax was terrified of his mother when she was in makeup. But Vivienne didn’t even bat an eye! Angelina told E! News, “She’s always that kid, she’s that little girl. We call her my shadow at home… The other kids are starting to get a little irritated about it.”