The expression “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” certainly has long applied in Hollywood. Consider Jane Fonda, Jeff Bridges, Michael Douglas, Angelina Jolie, Kate Hudson, Laura Dern and John David Washington, to name but a few. All have followed in their illustrious parents’ acting footsteps and carved out exceptional, award-winning careers.
This season, there’s an exciting array of both newer and more established performers, all of whom are the children of famous actors, who are collecting Oscar buzz for their onscreen work. So here’s an Envelope-sized shout-out to these talented scions and a wish for good luck as they jump into awards season.
HONOR SWINTON BYRNE
Famous forebear: Daughter of Tilda Swinton
Screen time: “The Souvenir: Part II”
Byrne, 24, shines once again as Julie, a young filmmaker navigating life and love in 1980s London, in writer-director Joanna Hogg’s well-received sequel to her acclaimed, complex 2019 drama. Byrne’s formidably talented mom returns in this late-October release to play Julie’s protective mother, Rosalind.
Famous forebear: Son of James Gandolfini
Screen time: “The Many Saints of Newark”
Gandolfini, 22, plays a teenage Tony Soprano in this film prequel to the landmark HBO series that made his father a star. The young actor (“The Deuce,” “Cherry”) eerily channels his late dad in this origins crime drama from early October, directed by Alan Taylor from a script by “The Sopranos” creator David Chase and Lawrence Konner.
Famous forebear: Son of Phillip Seymour Hoffman
Screen time: “Licorice Pizza”
Hoffman, 18, makes an auspicious screen debut as an aspiring young actor coming of age and falling in love in L.A.’s San Fernando Valley in 1973. Paul Thomas Anderson, a longtime collaborator of Cooper’s late dad, wrote and directed this nostalgic dramedy titled after the erstwhile Southern California record store chain. Look for its release this Friday.
Famous forebears: Daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson
Screen time: “The Lost Daughter”
Johnson, 32, has received career-best reviews as Nina, a young mother vacationing in Greece, in this Dec. 31 suspense drama adapted by director Maggie Gyllenhaal from Elena Ferrante’s 2006 novel. Johnson has come a long way — in a short time — since her breakthrough role in the first “Fifty Shades” film.
Famous forebears: Daughter of Sean Penn and Robin Wright
Screen time: “Flag Day”
Penn, 30, goes deep as Jennifer, a young woman struggling to reconcile life with her toxic, con-artist father, played by dad Sean (who also directed). This family affair, released in August, and scripted by brothers Jez and John-Henry Butterworth from the memoir by Jennifer Vogel, also stars Penn and Wright’s son, Hopper Jack, as Jennifer’s brother.
Famous forebear: Daughter of Keith Carradine
Screen time: “Mass”
Veteran performer Plimpton, 51, has acted since childhood and enjoyed success on screens both big (“Parenthood” and, yes, “The Goonies”) and small (“Raising Hope,” “The Real O’Neals”). She delivers the goods as the bereft mother of a school-shooting victim in writer-director Fran Kranz’s lauded chamber piece released in October.
Famous forebear: Daughter of Jill Clayburgh
Screen time: “The Tender Bar”
Rabe (“Miss Stevens,” “American Horror Story”), 39, co-stars with Ben Affleck and Tye Sheridan as Dorothy, the struggling single mother of a teenage boy growing up on Long Island in the 1970s and ’80s. George Clooney directed the Dec. 22 release from a script by William Monahan, based on the memoir by former L.A. Times writer J.R. Moehringer.