The Daily Telegraph
Curtis criticises ‘nepo baby’ label in awards speech
My parents came from nothing, says daughter of Hollywood stars as she addresses nepotism critics
JAMIE LEE CURTIS has criticised the “nepo baby” label attached to children of successful parents, insisting that her A-list parents came from “nothing”.
Curtis was named best supporting actress at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards for her role in Everything Everywhere All at Once, and used her acceptance speech to address claims she has benefited from nepotism. Curtis said that while some people may label her a nepo baby because of her film star parents, Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, her family struggled to reach the heights of Hollywood.
On stage at the award ceremony in Los Angeles, she said: “My father was from Hungary and my mother was from Denmark, and they had nothing and they became these monstrous stars in this industry that they loved so much.
“My parents were actors and I married an actor, I love actors. I love acting. I love the job we get to do, I love being a part of the crew, I love being a part of a cast. And I know that so many people in our industry who are actors don’t get to do this job and you look at nights like this and think is that ever going to be possible for me.
“And I know you look at me and think, well, ‘nepo baby’ that’s why she’s there, and I totally get it. But the truth of the matter is I’m 64 years old and this is just amazing.”
Her father Tony enjoyed a six-decade acting career and appeared in classic films of Hollywood’s Golden Age, including Spartacus and Some Like It Hot, and her mother played the ill-fated Marion Crane in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.
A number of stars have faced accusations of being nepo babies, with an article in Vulture magazine last year providing a list of showbusiness figures who have successful parents, including Lily-rose Depp, Miley Cyrus and Zoe Kravitz. Curtis has weighed into the debate in the past, complaining that “there’s not a day in my professional life that goes by without my being reminded that I am the daughter of movie stars”. She added in a statement on her Instagram account that the nepo baby label was “designed to try to diminish and denigrate and hurt”.
Curtis first came to prominence in the US television series Quincy, before achieving wider fame in the 1978 horror film Halloween.
Michelle Yeoh, who performed alongside Curtis in Everything Everywhere All at Once, was named best actress at the SAG Awards.