It's no secret that growing up as the child of a beloved celebrity can be rough; sure, there are the trust funds, trips around the world, and the occasional hooker hanging around the house while your dad makes waffles. But there's also the shadow that's virtually impossible to escape from under, not to mention an entire world waiting for you to make a fool of yourself if you attempt to follow Mom or Dad into the entertainment.
Sometimes a rare individual can become an even bigger celebrity than those who brought them into the world (witness Jeff Bridges, whose stardom eventually eclipsed that of his father, Lloyd), but about those kids who grew up with a father who was a beloved icon among the geeks of the world? It's not exactly like we're a non-judgmental group, so here we celebrate 10 creative celebs who have not only done right by us, but by their paterfamilias, to boot.
NOTE: Any and all children of Beatles were intentionally left off this list, even though it would likely lead to an explosion of opinions in the comments section. People definitely geek out over the Beatles, but they're not necessarily "nerd idols," and yes, we can all agree that's a cop-out. But for that it's worth, Dhani Harrison and Zak Starkey rule, Julian Lennon and Sean Lennon drool.
10) Duncan Jones
As a tyke in the early '70s, Duncan Zowie Jones was referred to as "Zowie Bowie" by his dad, David Bowie. And while his father went on to appear in classics such as The Man Who Fell to Earth, The Hunger
(not to mention a scene-stealing role in John Landis' practically forgotten Into the Night
), Jones has stayed behind the camera, directing the inventive sci-fi thriller Moon
in 2009 and Source Code
, opening today. Let's be honest: the Source Cod
e trailer looks kind of shitty (we're talking "on par with another Timecop
direct-to-DVD sequel" shitty.) But if Jones can make a low-budget space flick with little more than Sam Rockwell puking up blood and losing teeth for an hour and a half incredibly captivating, we have faith he can make something special when handed Jake Gyllenhaal and a huge budget (something that the guys who made Prince of Persia
could NOT do.) Better yet, Jones has stated that he planned Moon
as a trilogy, and also wants to make a Blade Runner
-inspired flick. Hear that, Bowie? Now take him out for ice cream.
9) Joe Hill
Another famous son to ditch a famous last name, Joe Hill should first and foremost be recognized for his ability to grow a pretty righteous beard. But the eldest son of Stephen King, who hid his identity for years until someone must have finally said, "Dude, you look EXACTLY like Stephen King," has also carved out a bloody corner of his own in the horror fiction world, with two acclaimed novels (the multi-award winning Heart-Shaped Box
), a short-story collection (20th Century Ghosts
) and a sell-out comic book series (Locke & Key
) to his credit (he should watch his back, though; little brother Owen King released an acclaimed short-story collection of his own in 2005). And hey, while dear ol' dad has written a Batman
tale, Hill wrote a story for Spider-Man Unlimited
(Vol. 3) #8, illustrated by the late Seth Fisher. Check it.
8) Brandon Lee
A double-whammy of a tragedy, as both father and son left this world far too soon. But we can imagine Bruce Lee would have heartily approved of his son Brandon following in his footsteps by 1) continuing his extensive martial arts training, and 2) making a name for himself in dumb but highly watchable action movies (hey, not all of Bruce's flicks were undisputed classics, either; one man's The Big Boss
is another man's Showdown in Little Tokyo
). Of course, Brandon took his film career a step further by headlining The Crow
, where he wasn't just a guy who kicked people, instead showing an impressive pathos. And it was a far, FAR more admirable posthumous effort than his dad's ill-fated Game of Death
7) Jason Reitman
The second, but certainly not last, director on our list has an impressive rep in Hollywood, but he still needs to do a liiiiiiittle bit more than give Ellen Page a hamburger phone to earn our undying affection. But casting Michael Cera in Juno
definitely helped Cera earn the Scott Pilgrim
gig (which we are eternally grateful to Reitman for), and Reitman's found roles for eternal badass Sam Elliott in two of his three films, so he's on the right track. And he's already earned four Academy Award nominations, compared to his dad Ivan's zero. But we all know Stripes
were robbed of Oscar nods, don't we? (The less said about Evolution
and My Super Ex-Girlfriend
, the better. Seriously, how do you make a movie involving David Duchovny and aliens that no wants to see?)
6) The Kubert Bros.
How to handle being the sons of a legendary Silver Age artist who's still very much active in his ninth (yes, ninth) decade as a pro? Well, it helps to graduate from the art school he established. It also helps not to ape your dad's style... or each other's. That's been the key to success for both Adam and Andy Kubert. Adam's long been associated with the X-Men
in various forms, and for being one of the first mainstream comic artists to adopt the pencils-to-colors approach (which sadly hasn't fixed his many lateness issues, especially on that 2006-2008 Superman arc.) Little bro Andy's been all over the Marvel map (working on everything from Ghost Rider
), but plans to stick around DC a bit longer than his brother to work on a Batman
project. Whatever their futures hold, we're certain their dad won't let them turn into complete layabouts. Maybe that's why he keeps making them work with him. It's called discipline, boys!