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Heirs to Hollywood

Though nepotism doesn’t reign supreme, filmdom’s gen next are making their presence felt in Cannes.

hollywood Updated: May 16, 2011 15:13 IST
Anupama Chopra


Today I interviewed the talent on Restless, the new Gus Van Sant movie about the relationship between a boy obsessed with death and a girl dying of cancer. The film features three pedigree names. Bryce Dallas Howard, actor-daughter of filmmaker Ron Howard (two time Oscar-nominee who has directed films like Frost/Nixon and A Beautiful Mind) has produced the movie.

The lead actor is Henry Hopper, son of legendary actor/hell-raiser/rebel Dennis Hopper. It also stars Schuyler Fisk, daughter of Oscar-winning actor Sissy Spacek. I thought this was intriguing, because comparatively speaking, there seems to be less nepotism in Hollywood than there is in Bollywood.

I was also intrigued by the fact that unlike Bollywood kids, these guys weren’t actively encouraged to join showbiz from the day they were born. In fact, Bryce said that when she told her parents that she wanted to be an actor, Ron discouraged her. He suggested that if there was anything else that interested her, she should give that a try first.

Henry, who started out as a painter, said that his father’s advice to him was: “Be cool.” Bryce spoke about being keenly aware of the privileged position she enjoys – which only made me wonder, how come we so rarely hear our actors say this? Why is stardom and an acting career taken so much for granted? The most poignant part of the interview: Van Sant said that Dennis Hopper, who died last year, saw Restless on DVD. He said Henry reminded him of himself when he was young.

In other news, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides premiered at the theatre Lumiere, which was packed with viewers eager to see Captain Jack Sparrow’s new adventure. That’s the beauty of Cannes – every film from an obscure art house indie to the biggest Hollywood blockbuster finds an audience. Sadly, the film felt too long and laboured. Even Johnny Depp’s insouciant charm couldn’t energise it sufficiently. But the beauteous mermaids, who lure men to their deaths, were quite deadly.

Incidentally, in the Pirates press conference, Depp said that Jack Sparrow is such a hit because he is a “romantic skunk.”

The writer hosts Picture This on NDTV 24 X 7