28 Times Actor Parents Have Co-Starred Alongside Their Children

Maude Apatow, Iris Apatow, Paul Rudd, and Leslie Mann in <em>This is 40</em> Credit - Photo-Illustration by TIME; Universal/Everett

Dakota Johnson and Melanie Griffith. Clara McGregor and Ethan McGregor. Maya Hawke and Uma Thurman. Whether they share the same last name or not, more and more kids of famous actors—or as the internet has taken to calling them “nepo babies”—seem to be taking over Hollywood alongside their famous moms and dads.

This list puts the focus on those parents teaming up with their children on the big screen. (Sorry, Kurt and Wyatt Russell, the father and son co-stars of Apple TV+’s Monarch: Legacy of Monsters, maybe next time!) These generational pairings prove that the family that acts together, might just rule the box office together.

Below, the 28 times actor parents have co-starred alongside their children.

Adam & Sunny Sandler

The comedian and his teenage daughter co-star in the 2023 Netflix coming-of-age film, You Are So Not Invited To My Bat Mitzvah as, what else, father and daughter. Sandler’s wife Jackie and his eldest daughter Sadie also appear in the comedy in which two best friends find themselves feuding over a boy in the lead up to their bah mitzvahs.

While this is Sunny’s first starring role, this isn’t the first time she has shared the screen with her dad. According to her IMDb, she has appeared in 19 of his films since 2010 including 2019’s Murder Mystery, 2022’s Hustle, and last year’s Leo.

Ewan & Clara McGregor

In the 2024 drama Bleeding Love, named for the 2007 Leona Lewis track of the same name, Ewan McGregor plays a recovering addict trying to reconcile with his estranged daughter (Clara McGregor) after she suffers a near fatal overdose.

While their relationship onscreen is contentious, Clara, who is also a producer on the indie film, has nothing but respect for her dad. “It's rare as an adult that you get to spend that amount of time with your parents, so that was really special,” she told People last month. “I'd always admired my dad as an actor and getting to act with him showed me how good he is at what he does.”

Melanie Griffith & Dakota Johnson

Dakota Johnson was just 10 years old when she appeared alongside her mom, Melanie Griffith, in the 1999 dark comedy Crazy In Alabama, directed by her then-stepfather Antonio Banderas. Two decades later, Griffith made a cameo in the 2020 film The High Note, in which Johnson played a starring role.

Griffith told Vanity Fair in 2022 that she worried about her daughter going into show business. “However, I was never worried about whether or not she had the talent and the magic,” she said, adding, “I hope she learned some good tips from me! I think she did. But it’s Dakota’s sense of self and her awareness of life, love, and hard work that has gotten her through scary times.” (Now if only the Madame Web star, whose dad is Don Johnson, could get her mom to stop posting photos of her on social media without her consent.)

Of course, Griffith understands what it’s like to be the daughter of an actress. Griffith’s mom and The Birds star, Tippi Hedren, cast her in Roar, the 1981 action-comedy in which Hedren and her family lived on an African nature preserve with 150 untrained animals. A documentary about Roar referred to the project as “the most dangerous movie ever made.” No animals were hurt in the making of the film, but 70 members of the cast and crew were, including then-14-year-old Griffith, whose face was so badly mauled by a lion it needed extensive reconstruction surgery.

Uma Thurman & Maya Hawke

Maya Hawke may bear a striking resemblance to her famous mom Uma Thurman, but it wasn’t until last year that the two finally shared the screen. Hawke makes a brief cameo in the dark comedy The Kill Room, which stars Thurman as an art gallery owner who strikes a deal with a violent money launderer-turned-painter (Joe Manganiello) in order to save her business, only to find out he’s actually a better artist than a criminal, which makes them both an enemy of his partner (played by Samuel L. Jackson, reuniting with Thurman nearly a decade after Pulp Fiction).

Director Emily Bernard told Collider last year that it was a treat to witness the mother-daughter duo’s first role together. “You can't create chemistry and they have it together and it was really fun to see them play,” she said. “Maya was up for anything and I think it’s the perfect relationship for them. It’s not some precious 'mommy-daughter relationship.'”

The Stranger Things star previously worked with her dad, actor Ethan Hawke, playing his daughter on the 2020 Showtime mini-series The Good Lord Bird. She also plays the lead in the upcoming indie film Wildcat, a biopic on novelist Flannery O'Connor, which Ethan directed.

Thandiwe Newton & Nico Parker

The 2021 sci-fi noir Reminiscence marked the first time Westworld’s Thandiwe Newton worked with her daughter, The Last of Us Nico Parker, but it hopefully won’t be the last.

Parker, whose father is Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again director Ol Parker, told Variety in 2020 that her parents often refrain giving her acting advice “because I think they want it to be my own experience for me to learn about things in my own way.” But that doesn’t mean Newton is completely hands off when it comes to her teen daughter’s career. She told Britain's This Morning in 2013, “She has her mum right there like a lioness checking that everything is looked after.”

Jerry & Ben Stiller

The late Jerry Stiller is best known as George Constanza’s father on Seinfeld, but in real life he was Ben Stiller’s dear ol’ dad. The pair often appeared on screen together, but never as father and son. In 2001’s Zoolander, Ben cast his dad as his titular character’s manager, Maury, while Jon Voight got the role as his dad. (The film also featured Ben’s mom, Anne Meara, as an angry protester, and his wife, Christine Taylor, as Zoolander’s love interest.)

Jerry appeared in several other movies that starred his son including 1995’s Heavyweights, 2007’s The Heartbreak Kid, and 2016’s Zoolander 2, which was Jerry’s final feature film role before his 2020 death.

Chris & India Rose Hemsworth

In 2022’s Thor: Love & Thunder, Chris Hemsworth’s eldest child India Rose makes her acting debut as Love, the tween daughter of Gorr the God Butcher (played by Christian Bale) who is left in Thor’s care.

The Marvel film was a family affair for all involved: the children of director Taika Waititi, Natalie Portman, and Bale all play small roles. One of Hemsworth’s twin boys, Tristan, plays a young version of his dad in the film. (You can also see him as Kid Thor in the opening moments of the movie’s official trailer.)

But Hemsworth was quick to say that this will likely be his daughter’s sole acting credit for a while. “It felt like a one-off fun family experience. I don't want them to now go and be child stars and actors,” he told entertainment reporter Kevin McCarthy in 2022. “It was just a special experience we all had. They loved it, they had a great time.”

Meryl Streep & Mamie Gummer

Mamie Gummer’s first acting credit came when she was just a baby. She played her real mom Meryl Streep’s onscreen daughter in 1986’s Heartburn. Twenty-nine years later, the two would play mother and daughter again in 2015’s Ricki and the Flash, about a rockstar and absentee mom (Streep) who tries to reconnect with her daughter (Gummer) after her fiancé leaves her.

Gummer, whose father is sculptor Don Gummer, also played a younger version of her three-time Academy Award-winning mom in the 2007 rom-dram Evening, which stars another notable mother-daughter duo, Natasha Richardson and Vanessa Redgrave.

Will & Jaden Smith

Will Smith and his son, Jaden, play father and son in 2006’s The Pursuit of Happyness, based on businessman and motivational speaker Chris Gardner’s best-selling memoir of the same name. In 2013, the older and younger Smith reunited on screen for M. Night Shyamalan’s sci-fi action flick After Earth.

The following year, Will’s daughter Willow Smith stepped in to play his little girl in the 2007 apocalyptic thriller I Am Legend

Janet Leigh & Jamie Lee Curtis

Mother-daughter scream queens Janet Leigh (Psycho) and Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween) have shared the big screen only twice and neither time played relatives.

They first appeared together in 1980’s The Fog, John Carpenter’s supernatural horror movie in which a California coastal town is taken over by a mist that harbors a mystical presence. The next time was 1998’s Halloween H20 in which Curtis, whose dad is actor Tony Curtis, reprised her Halloween role of Laurie Strode, now calling herself Keri Tate to distance herself from the terrors of her past. Leigh makes a memorable and meta cameo as Keri’s secretary, paying tribute to her Psycho role.

Kurt Russell & Kate Hudson

Kate Hudson’s biological father is Bill Hudson, but her mom Goldie Hawn’s longtime partner Kurt Russell will always be her dad. The two co-star in 2016’s Deepwater Horizon about the 2010 BP oil spill that killed 11 workers. They do not play father and daughter, and share just one hug in the film, which is their first together, but Hudson said cherished the chance to work with Russell.

“I was back on set with my dad and it reminded me of being a little kid and where I fell in love with movies, and how much time I spent on movie sets with him,” she told Ellen DeGeneres in 2016. “There was something really beautifully wistful about being on that set with my dad.”

Leslie Mann & Maude and Iris Apatow

Maude and Iris Apatow have spent a lot of time acting alongside their mom Leslie Mann in their dad Judd Apatow’s movies. They stole scenes in their first film, 2007’s Knocked Up, playing the kids of Mann and Paul Rudd, and its 2012 sequel This Is 40. The two girls also appeared in 2009’s Funny People, which stars their mom, while Iris co-starred with Mann in the 2002 Netflix pandemic comedy The Bubble.

Brendan & Domhnall Gleeson

Brendan and Domhnall Gleeson have appeared in several movies together including 2009’s Perrier’s Bounty and the 2014 thriller Calvary. Most notably the Irish father and son each have role in the Harry Potter franchise playing Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody and Bill Weasley, respectively. The two only share one scene together in the eight-film series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. 

Diane Ladd & Laura Dern

Laura Dern and her mom Diane Ladd’s first movie together was 1990’s Wild at Heart, David Lynch’s wild take on the Wizard of Oz, in which they starred as a quarreling mother and daughter. “It’s a very wonderful thing to work with your own,” Ladd told Vulture earlier this year. “Like when you walk into a butcher’s shop and he goes, ‘That’s my son helping me.’ If you find the truth, then you remember who you are.”

The next year, the two led the Great Depression-set drama Rambling Rose. Dern, whose father is actor Bruce Dern, played Rose, an orphan who comes to live with Mrs. Hillyer (Ladd) and her husband (Robert Duvall). The two — who released the joint memoir, Honey, Baby, Mine, last year — each received Academy Award nominations for their roles, becoming the first mother-daughter duo to do so in the same year.

Billy Ray & Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus made the climb from the small screen to the big one with 2009’s Hannah Montana: The Movie and brought her dad, Billy Ray, with her. The two reprised their father-daughter roles from the Disney Channel series, about a pop star leading a double life (played by Miley), which ran from 2006 to 2011.

The Cyrus’ have had their ups and downs through the years, but in her 2023 special Endless Summer Vacation: Continued (Backyard Sessions), Miley spoke lovingly of her dad’s acting and singing chops. “I do have a lot of great memories singing music with my dad and learning and watching his voice and the way that he’s using the instrument,” she added. “I will say that I feel vocally my dad was under-appreciated.”

Tom & Colin Hanks

Colin Hanks made his acting debut in 1996 with a small role in his dad Tom Hanks’ directorial debut, That Thing You Do! But the two wouldn’t share a scene together until 2008 when they played father and son in the comedy adventure The Great Buck Howard.

While promoting the film, Colin admitted that “it was sort of a shock” to have his dad in the movie, but was really fun working with him. “You always want to work with good people,” he said. “And obviously, I think my dad is good people.”

Carrie Fisher & Billie Lourd

Billie Lourd didn’t have to use the force to land her first movie role in 2015’s Star Wars: Episode VII - A Force Awakens. She had an in thanks to her mom Carrie Fisher, a.k.a. Princess Leia. In a 2019 essay for TIME, Lourd, whose dad is talent agent Bryan Lourd, admitted that it wasn’t always easy being the daughter of one of the Rebel Alliance’s greatest leaders. She recalled being “humiliated that my mom was moming me on my first day of work, on the Star Wars set, of all places, but now I realize she was just being protective.”

Billie appeared with her mom in 2017’s Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi, which would be Fisher’s last film following her death the year before.

Stellan & Alexander Skarsgård

Alexander Skarsgård made his acting debut at age seven in the 1984 Swedish film Åke Och Hans Värld (Åke and His World), which also features his dad Stellan Skarsgård. Since then, the father-son pair have both earned acting credits in 2006’s Kill Your Darlings, 2009’s Metropia, and 2010’s Moomins and the Comet Chase. But it wasn’t until 2011’s Melancholia that they got to spend much time together onscreen. “He's one of my best friends. I love hanging out with him,” Alexander told MTV News in 2011. “Being able to hang out for two months — we shot in [our home country of] Sweden, and I thought it was great that he wasn't [playing] my dad.” Instead, Stellan plays Alexander’s character’s best man at his wedding, which goes very wrong in Lars von Trier’s drama of catastrophic proportions. Luckily, his dad always brought the good vibes to set. “He's pretty rad,” Alexander said. “He's a cool cat.”

Blythe Danner & Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow and her mother, Blythe Danner, at the Tribeca Screening Room for a special screening of "Sylvia."<span class="copyright">Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images</span>
Gwyneth Paltrow and her mother, Blythe Danner, at the Tribeca Screening Room for a special screening of "Sylvia."Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images

Gwyneth Paltrow has only appeared in one movie with her mom Blythe Danner: the 2003 Sylvia Plath biopic, Sylvia, in which Paltrow plays the titular poet and Danner plays Plath’s mom, Aurelia.

On a 2018 episode of Paltrow’s Goop podcast, Danner admitted that, when it came to acting, she could be hard on her daughter, whose father is the late director Bruce Dern. “It came so damn easily to you and I thought you had to sweat blood and tears to give a great performance and you never did,” she said. “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.”

The tough love didn’t seem to deter Paltrow, who told the crowd at the 2023 Red Sea Film Festival that she always looked up to her mom. “My mother is an actress. She did mostly theater. And so I grew up as a little girl watching her rehearse plays and running around the theater,” she said, adding, “When she was on stage, she was the most powerful, integrated force of nature that I have ever seen. And so I wanted to be that.”

Donald & Kiefer Sutherland

Kiefer Sutherland and his dad, Donald, both appear in the 1996 thriller A Time to Kill, but “we had never actually exchanged a line of dialogue together,” the younger Sutherland told Good Morning America in 2016. So when he got a chance to co-star with his dad in the 2015 revisionist western Forsaken, where they play an estranged father and son, he knew it was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.

“The experience is something I will never forget,” he told GMA. “It was the most time I've actually spent with my father at one time in my life. It's a memory and an experience I'll treasure for the rest of my life.”

Angelina Jolie & Vivienne Jolie-Pitt

When Angelina Jolie needed to find a little girl to play baby Princess Aurora in her 2014 film Maleficent, there was only one choice: her then 4-year-old daughter Vivienne Jolie-Pitt. “The other three- and four-year-old [performers] wouldn't come near me," Jolie told Entertainment Weekly. “It had to be a child that liked me and wasn't afraid of my horns and my eyes and my claws. So it had to be Viv.”

In that same interview, Jolie said that she and her now ex-husband Brad Pitt “think it’s fun for our kids to have cameos and join us on set, but not to be actors.” Jolie-Pitt, now 15, has no other acting credits to her name, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t interested in following in her mom’s footsteps. She is assisting her mom on an upcoming Broadway musical adaptation of S.E. Hinton’s 1967 novel The Outsiders, according to Page Six. 

Clint & Scott Eastwood

Scott Eastwood has acted with his dad, Clint, in two films: 2008’s Gran Torino and 2012’s Trouble With the Curve. But growing up, Scott lived with his mom, Jacelyn Reeves, in Hawaii and didn’t spend much time with his dad. It wasn’t until high school when Scott moved to California to live with him that they formed a bond. “He made me hustle, and claw, and fight,” he told Esquire in 2016 of his dad’s tough love approach. “That's all stuff you want. You want that drive.”

Scott said the two got even closer after Clint cast him in a small role in his 2009 film Invictus. Watching his dad work taught him a few things about what it means to be a good actor. “My father's definitely old-school,” Scott told Esquire. “And he raised me with integrity—to be places on time, show up, and work hard.”

Ryan & Tatum O'Neal

Tatum O’Neal was just nine years old when she starred as Addie Loggins, an orphan-turned-con artist in the 1973 caper Paper Moon alongside her father, Ryan O’Neal, who played her surrogate father. She would win an Oscar for the role at the age of 10, becoming the youngest person to ever win the coveted statue. The accolades came at a price though; Tatum has struggled with addiction throughout her life and was long estranged from her dad, who, in her 2001 autobiography, A Paper Life, she claimed was abusive and had introduced her to drugs. “He loved me, but then hated me, because I won the Academy Award,” she told The Hollywood Reporter last year.

But before Ryan’s death in 2023 at the age of 82, she was able to reconcile with him. “I feel great sorrow with my father's passing,” Tatum said in a statement to People at the time of his passing. “He meant the world to me. I loved him very much and know he loved me too. I'll miss him forever and I feel very lucky that we ended on such good terms.”

Sean & Dylan Penn

Dylan Penn’s biggest role to date came in 2021’s Flag Day in which she plays the daughter of an erratic con artist, played by her dad Sean Penn, who also directed the film. Dylan told Vogue that she was nervous to work with her father for the first time, but it was her mom, The Princess Bride’s Robin Wright, who encouraged her to work with him.

“She said he was a really great collaborator and she felt like he created a really safe environment to be vulnerable on set, and that he was a hands-off director,” Dylan said. “She said you had a lot of space to play around and figure it out on your own. … But I also wanted to do it because I hoped it would make me a better director when that day comes.”

Demi Moore & Rumer Willis

Bruce Willis, Demi Moore and daughters Scout Rumer Willis attend the "Striptease" New York City Premiere on June 23, 1996<span class="copyright">Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images</span>
Bruce Willis, Demi Moore and daughters Scout Rumer Willis attend the "Striptease" New York City Premiere on June 23, 1996Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Rumer Willis got her role in Striptease playing the daughter of her real mom Demi Moore’s character the old fashioned way; she auditioned. Moore told CNN in 1996 that after “much discussion” between her and Rumer’s dad, her then husband Bruce Willis, “I went and asked them if they would be willing to let her try because she wanted it so badly.” She got the part and went on to act in numerous films including 2005’s Hostage with her dad.

Milla Jovovich & Ever Anderson

Milla Jovovich’s lookalike daughter Ever Anderson plays a younger version of mom’s character and the AI villain Red Queen in 2016 movie Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, which also happens to be directed by Ever’s dad Paul W.S. Anderson.

Ever has since appeared in two films, 2021’s Black Widow and 2023’s Peter Pan & Wendy. Jovovich is playing the role of supportive mom. “She's grown up on sets with her dad and I and, you know, it seems like that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree," she told Entertainment Tonight in 2021.

Martin & Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen’s first onscreen credit is playing “Boy Under Lamppost” in his dad, Martin Sheen’s 1973 film Badlands. Nearly 15 years later, he was the star of Oliver Stone’s 1987 greed is good drama Wall Street, playing up-and-coming stock broker Bud Fox. His character’s dad was played by Martin.

It wouldn’t be the last time the father and son would share the screen. The two appeared together in 1998’s No Code of Conduct and, more memorably, in 1993’s Hot Shots! Part Deux together, where Martin has fun parodying their Wall Street team-up.

Henry & Jane Fonda

Jane Fonda was, to use Taylor Swift parlance, the mastermind behind the 1981 film On Golden Pond in which she stars alongside her legendary late father, Henry Fonda. Jane bought the rights to the play of the same name in order to work with her dad, who was sick at the time. (He died eight months after the film was released.) “To have found a play in which the father/daughter characters so mirrored our own real-life relationship was amazing,” she told CNN in 2011. “To have been able to say those words to him and to have the resolution at the end of the movie ... I just feel so lucky.”

The pair would become the first father-daughter duo to be nominated for Academy Awards in the same year. When Henry won Best Actor, Jane accepted the Oscar on his behalf.

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