15 Great Movie Cameos Brought to Us By Nepotism

By  · Published on February 14th, 2013

by David Christopher Bell

Being on a movie set can be a blast – especially when you don’t have to do anything. It’s not hard to imagine that with every great actor or director there’s probably a nagging cousin or sibling who wants to be part of that sweet sitting around action.

And how the hell are they going to say no? Giving mom a line is a small price to pay for 18 years of guaranteed food and shelter, right? How can an actor resist sticking their kid in a shot or two? It happens a lot – so much so that the following 15 are only the tip of the iceberg.

15. Michael Palin’s Baby Son A.K.A “Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Film”

Michael Palin rocks, so it stands to reason that his son William Palin must also rock. Hell – it’s like a hundred points for being involved with Monty Python And The Holy Grail to any degree. The guy who delivered sandwiches to this film is cooler than I’ll ever be.

Babies are like iPhone chargers; they all look the same and are in abundance, so when you need one it’s just a matter of asking someone nearby. I feel like that was the case here.

14. Robert Rodriguez Has His Own Kid Killed In Planet Terror

For being the director’s son, Rebel Rodriguez did pretty darn good in this film. There’s wasn’t much to the role besides 1) being a child, and 2) blowing your brains out – but still, nicely done, kid.

If you check out the Planet Terror DVD you’ll learn that Rodriguez, in an attempt to perhaps shelter his son from his character’s fate, shot an entire alternate version of the film where the kid doesn’t accidently take a bullet. That means for every take he would do it first with and then without Rebel Rodriguez in there – just in case. I like to think that he didn’t run it by the kid’s mom and was preparing backup footage.

13. Stanley Kubrick’s Daughter Vivian In 2001: A Space Odyssey

The moment she asks for a telephone for her birthday is when you kind of suspect that you’re looking at the director’s kid. I love this entire movie, but this scene makes me understand why some might find the film slow. Do we really need to see this guy make a drawn out videophone call? Hey why not? Look how pretty the moon is!

Anyway, that’s Vivian Kubrick, who also shot the making-of doc for The Shining and has had several cameos in her father’s work. What a freaking start, right? Too bad she uh.. well… Scientology.

12. Robert Downey Jr. Son As His Young Self In Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Man if I were Robert Downey Jr. I’d keep a watchful eye on my kid. Indio Falconer Downey already looks like his father; lord knows he’ll take on his more rebellious traits as well. But hey – that could include acting, could you imagine that? He should get his other kid on it too and they could go full-blown Sheen on us.

11. Sam And Rosie’s Kids In Return Of The King Are The Actors’ Actual Kids

Think final shot of the trilogy. Hero Sam and love of his life Rosie are comfortably living at the Shire having boned several times after Frodo went on that magic cruise to who knows. We watch as they escort their kids inside their little hill home and the film finally ends.

So no, Sean Astin and Rosie actress Sarah McLeod are not married, however each of them were able to stick one of their kids in that final shot – the baby boy actually being McLeod’s daughter Maisy, and young Alexandra Astin playing the part of Sam’s daughter.

I have to admit that seeing the ending always gives me chills, especially knowing the name that Sam is mouthing at his newborn son.

10. Macaulay Culkin Shows Some Serious Sibling Rivalry in The Good Son

Seems a tad disconcerting that when it came time for Macaulay Culkin to break out of the lovable troublemaker persona and into something a bit more sinister, somebody felt the need to get the whole family involved.

The Good Son, for those of you who haven’t seen it, is about a young boy who inexplicably tries to kill his family – starting with his baby brother, whose picture is that of Rory Culkin. He then tries to do the same with his sister, played by Quinn Kay Culkin. It’s a little twisted, but then again, it’s better than most family videos.

9. Kevin Smith Sticks His Family In All Of His Films

Figured it would be best to go with the whole fam here. While some cameos are less conspicuous than others (spouse Jennifer Schwalbach has appeared in five films so far) it’s a tad harder to spot his daughter, who actually played a young Silent Bob in Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back.

The best, however, has to be the cameos in Clerks. His mother Grace Smith playing the famed Milk Maid role, which was later reprised for the sequel – and, best of all, his sister Virginia Smith, lovingly credited as ‘Caged Animal Masturbator’. Little brothers, right?

8. Tom Riddle Was Ralph Fiennes’s Nephew In Half-Blood Prince

Not in Chamber Of Secrets, mind you – and only as the 11 year old version of Riddle. I believe he’s the one that Dumbledore teaches to burn cabinets for some reason. Magic is kind of stupid. Anyway that’s Hero Fiennes-Tiffin, Ralph Fiennes’s sister’s kid.

Hey anyone see David Yates walking around lately? What happened to that guy? His IMDb says that after the Potter films he’ll be directing Tarzan, or something called Skulduggery Pleasant, which I’m assuming is British.

Read on!

7. The Coppola Family Is All Over The Godfather Series

This is why it’s nice to see Sofia Coppola making films, because if she grew up to just Kardashian her way through life that would have been very disheartening to watch for someone who has been in all three Godfather films. Sure, for most of it she was a baby, but that’s still resume material.

With Sofia, Francis Ford Coppola stuck his sons Gian-Carlo and Roman in the films as well, along with his sister Talia Shire – playing Connie Corleone. Just a big ol’ family film. Hell – his father Carmine Coppola did the freaking music! Whole lot of talent in one place, that’s the good Darwinism right there.

6. Alfred Hitchcock Gives His Daughter A Speaking Role In Psycho

While the director himself passed through his films on more than multiple accounts, it probably never occurred to most that his daughter Patricia would have had a speaking role in one of his films. In fact, she has had speaking roles in several of his films – and was quite good.

Her part in Psycho of the tranquilizer receptionist is, in my mind, the most noteworthy. What a weird line to have your daughter say.

5. A Lot Of The Parents At The End Of The Goonies Were The Kids’ Actual Parents

This one is kind of foggy in terms of who exactly did what, but apparently aside from the obvious main characters, most of the families of the other kids where the actual families of the actors. For example, Chunk actor Jeff Cohen’s real mother and sister are apparently present.

It’s really hard to say, however, because if you were to look it up you’d get a bunch of conflicting statements about it. I even found one person who claims that Cohen’s mom had been dead before the film was made, despite IMDb crediting her. It’s apparently a pretty controversial subject, so I’ve decided to play it safe and teach the controversy.

4. Andrew Wilson’s BB-Shot Hand in The Royal Tenenbaums

The big brother of Owen and Luke Wilson, Andrew Wilson has had more than his share of minor roles over the years – he even does the voice of the tennis announcer in this same film – however the appearance of his hand is quite a unique story.

It’s when Ben Stiller’s character reminisces about when his father shot him with a BB in the hand. When we see a close up of the still lodged sphere, it is actually the hand of Andrew Wilson, thanks to a childhood incident when his brother Owen did, in fact, shoot him with a BB gun. Just like in the film, the pellet remains to this day.

3. Ripley’s Daughter Is Sigourney Weaver’s Mom In Aliens

You might not be aware of this scene unless you’ve watched the director’s cut of the film. Having come out of stasis, a recovering Ripley is given information on the whereabouts of her long lost daughter, who has now died of old age. It’s pretty messed up.

The photograph of Ripley’s kin, most logically, is actually a picture of Sigourney Weaver’s mother Elizabeth Inglis, who herself has appeared in several films. She even had a small part in Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps. Pretty ingenious use of a family member.

2. Estelle Reiner’s Iconic Line In When Harry Met Sally

Couldn’t exactly leave this one off. The line, originally thought up on set by Billy Crystal, made number 33 of AFI’s top 100 movie quotes. It was of course Rob Reiner’s mother Estelle, a long time actress and cabaret singer, who delivered the post-coital joke.

Not unlike some of the more famous lines out there like “We’re gonna need a bigger boat” and “You talking to me?” this was cooked up on the spot. That kind of shit must make the writers frustrated as hell.

1. Linda Hamilton’s Twin Sister In Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Best use of a twin ever. Did you know that Linda Hamilton had one of these things? Creepy, right? Her name is Leslie Hamilton Gearren, and she done look just like her famous sis. This made the shooting of the scenes where the T-1000 morphs to look just like Sarah Connor just a tad bit easier.

They also used her quite creatively in a deleted scene where she is opening up the Arnold Schwarzenegger’s head to get to his CPU. There’s a fake head in the foreground, a fake mirror past that, and her twin as the reflection. Brilliant.

More movie lists!

Related Topics: ,

This designation is reserved for our special friends and neighbors who pop in to contribute to the wondrous world of FSR.