Sundance is abuzz with the performance of Elizabeth Olsen, who apparently fell out of the same vagina that hatched the Olsen twins. Looks like she took all the talent with her too. But it got me thinking about other showbiz families and what I like to call the Roberts Dichotomy. Namely, Eric and Julia. Both actors, both born of the same genes, and yet, one opens wide her gaping maw and makes gabillions while the other’s busy doing B-movies and birthing bigger child stars.
Thing is, I love Eric Roberts. I’ll watch The Best of the Best pretty much every time it’s on. It’s like Rocky for sad lonely kickboxers. It’s just strange that Julia gets all the accolades. And so started up a list of other semi-talented siblings overshadowed by the crazy successful brethren/sistern.
Fun Fact: Nicolas Cage, Sofia Coppola, and Jason Schwartzmann are all first cousins. Jason’s mother is Talia Shire. I did not know this. My mind is blown.
Here’s twenty. I avoided some of the dynasties (Baldwin, Wayans) and some of the parings where I think things just broke out about even (Randy and Dennis Quaid, Shirley Maclaine and Warren Beatty). And like Hilary Swank, I left out Chad Lowe.
1. Casey Affleck (Ben Affleck)
Ben got his start scamming in the early Kevin Smith flicks, screwing girls in very uncomfortable places. Casey was just coming into his own when Ben sat in the director’s chair, giving his baby bro the shot to star. And the rest of Hollywood noticed. Casey might even be outshining Ben these days, taking some pretty devious roles in The Killer Inside Me and helming the fauxmentary I’m Still Here.
2. Alexis Arquette (Every Other Arquette But Richmond)
I’ve gone on record as saying Alexis Arquette is my Least Favorite Arquette, but it’s hard to deny her charm in The Wedding Singer and Bride of Chucky.
3. Beau Bridges (Jeff Bridges)
What the hell happened to Beau? I guess it’s more of Jeff Bridges’ star rising meteorically than Beau falling, but I feel like this dude should have a better career than doing Max Payne and direct-to-DVD sequels to Free Willy. He was terrific as Earl’s father on “My Name is Earl.”
4. Kieran and Rory Culkin (Macaulay Culkin)
I think everyone in the Culkin clan has been following the actor trend of Face-Screamy McGee, mostly because the Mac emancipated himself from his parents, drying up the cash fund. However, for my money, the younger brothers are where it’s at. Kieran was terrific in Igby Goes Down and The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys. And Rory flat blew my fucking mind in Mean Creek. And the both of them were awesome in Lymelife.
5. Noah Cyrus (Miley Cyrus)
The world’s on watch for constant pot-toking or crotch-split shots of big sis Joanie Baloney or Susie Seattle or whatever the fuck, while Noah quietly did an outstanding job as the voice of the titular character in Ponyo.
6. Haylie Duff (Hilary Duff)
While her big sister was making good on the Disney star cred, Haylie was in the background doing just fine on her own. Her biggest role has been as Summer Wheatly in Napoleon Dynamite, so I don’t know if she’ll keep trading on the mean girl schtick or try some wilder fare like her older sibling.
7. Andrew Wilson (Owen and Luke Wilson)
Like Clint Howard, Andrew Wilson tends to be the forgotten Wilson brother, popping up randomly in both of his brother’s films. His most notable role was as Beef Supreme in Idiocracy.
8. Kevin Dillon (Matt Dillon)
I hate “Entourage.” So maybe I’m glad we don’t see more Kevin Dillon.
9. Don Swayze (Patrick Swayze)
Don Swayze does some ridiculous B-movie shit, but I love him in it. He’s like the fucking Billy Carter of the Swayze name. He’s so good, I just assumed he was in Next of Kin, but apparently I was wrong. But he was terrific as Ray on “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.”
10. Emily Hart (Melissa Joan Hart)
Emily’s making a name for herself with some small indie roles, but perhaps the coolest thing I think is that she played both the Young Sabrina on “Sabrina, The Teenage Witch” TV show as well as voicing Sabrina for the cartoon version. That’s sisterly spirit right there.
11. Kevin Farley (Chris Farley)
Kevin Farley’s career didn’t really start until his older, funnier brother’s tragically ended, but it feels less like a Belushi move. Truthfully, you’ve got to love him for his turn in “2Gether,” the boy band spoof.
12. Donnie Wahlberg (Mark Wahlberg)
For my money, Donnie’s the more talented brother. But while Marky Mark was getting funky, Donnie was doing New Kids on the Block. Mark’s getting the Oscar nominations, but you gotta love Donnie’s dark presence in stuff like The Sixth Sense and the Saw franchise. He’s currently killing it in the cop drama “Blue Bloods.” But he’s damn good at playing pissed off cops.
13. Sophie Thompson (Emma Thompson)
Playing Mafalda Hopkirk in the Harry Potter films and playing Stella on “EastEnders”, she proves she’s got just as much going for her as her sister. Plus, they both met their future husbands on the set of Sense and Sensability.
14. Ben Savage (Fred Savage)
Big brother pretty much owned the 1980’s with “The Wonder Years”, but Ben would make a name for himself as Cory on “Boy Meets World.” He’s still acting, but hasn’t been in much since. Fred’s moved on to directing — tons of episodes of “It’s Always Sunny”, so you wonder if Ben might make a guest appearance one of these days.
15. Joseph Fiennes (Ralph Fiennes)
Clearly Ralph is the shining star of the family, but Joseph’s got a pretty impressive resume. He’s one of those actors you forget about until you see him on screen. He was magnificent in Shakespeare in Love and Enemy at the Gates, and he was almost unrecognizable in The Escapist.
16. Oliver Hudson (Kate Hudson)
I’m not sure who decided Kate Hudson was destined to follow in her mom’s footsteps, but I guess they were drunk on Almost Famous love. Oliver’s been doing pretty well for himself, with a role on “Rules of Engagement” and some film work.
17. Andrew Lawrence (Matthew and Joey Lawrence)
Wo-ah. Joey Lawrence was the hunk that all girls nibbled on, and Matthew came along and did the heartthrob thing in a smaller dose. Andrew quietly built a niche, first doing voiceover work on “Recess” as TJ, and then acting on “The United States of Tara.”
18. Joel and Brian Doyle-Murray (Bill Murray)
Listing everything Brian Doyle-Murray’s been in would be a waste of time. He’s an idol to character actors everywhere. Joel I will always hold fondly in my heart for his role as George Calamari in One Crazy Summer.
19. Christopher Penn (Sean Penn)
Sean gets all the love, but damn if Chris Penn isn’t a hell of an actor. You gotta love his performance in Reservoir Dogs, the only fucker not wearing a suit, and True Romance. If his life wasn’t cut short, I feel like he would have blown up.
20. Super Dave Osborne (Albert Brooks)
Mostly, Super Dave’s on here because I can’t believe he’s related to Albert Brooks. Aside from his early Letterman stunts, Super Dave was fantastic as George Sr.’s surrogate, Larry on “Arrested Development.”
See more Celebrity Facts.