Thursday, July 25, 2024

Jeff Goldblum isn’t planning on letting his kids be nepo babies. ‘You’ve got to row your own boat’

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Life finds a way, and so will Jeff Goldblum’s kids.

The 71-year-old actor has starred in iconic box-office hits like Jurassic Park and Independence Day, but he’s not looking for his kids to ride his coattails. Goldblum revealed as much on the podcast Table for Two, where he spoke of the value of holding a job.

Goldblum is taking his experience getting some piano gigs by cold calling places when he was around 12 and applying it to his now eight- and six-year-old children Charlie and River.

“I’m no, you know, conventionalist, but I know the system that we’re in,” he says, adding that he doesn’t want to alarm his children but believes “you got to row your own boat.”

He’s also looking to instill some independence in his kids. “I’m not going to do it for you, and you’re not gonna want me to do it for you.” 

He adds that sometimes that first job might be within their passion, and other times it’s more about just getting the work done, recalling a sobering but pivotal moment when his parents suggested he get a job. 

“You gotta figure out how to find out what’s wanted and needed and where that intersects with your love and passion and what you can do, and even if it doesn’t, you might have to do that anyway,” he says.

Goldblum stands among a growing number of high-profile stars ranging from Daniel Craig to Gordon Ramsey who have spoken out against leaving an inheritance for their children. Of course, these children are likely to still land on their feet with some assets or influence, but the sentiment follows that these kids, while privileged, should learn to make it on their own.

Dethroning a nepo baby 

And celebrities publicly popping the silver spoon out of their children’s mouths comes against the larger backdrop of a fascination with nepo babies. “In truth, nepo babies have always been a fact of Hollywood. Today, they’re not only abundant — they’re thriving,” wrote Vulture’s Nate Jones in New York Magazine’s famed cover of stars’ children ranging from Ben Platt to Zoë Kravitz. He points to the power of a known name in a reboot and the potential TikTok following of a nepo baby as part of their ascent.

The public’s feelings about these industry babies can be linked to a larger pushback against nepotism in general and the rise of the ultra-rich during a time of stark wealth inequality. The housing market, for instance, remains an uphill battle for many young adults who struggle to build wealth due to student loans and inflation. Many are depending on their parents to lend a hand, as a third of millennials and Gen Zers expect their family to help out with a down payment, according to Redfin. 

And visions of a self-made entrepreneur are fading, as Forbes‘ 2024 billionaires list of under 30-year-olds consists only of people who have inherited their wealth. In fact, many younger generations are anticipating a Great Wealth Transfer from boomers to afford milestones like a comfortable retirement.

The high cost of living and low wages for creatives have made it even more difficult for artists who aren’t from privileged backgrounds to make it big. Global pop star Sevadliza recently made news for saying she “still can’t afford to take a week off,” due to paltry streaming residuals. Sydney Sweeney also spoke out, saying that she couldn’t take a six-month break because “they don’t pay actors like they used to.” 

It stands to follow that nepo babies are standing out more these days because it’s increasingly hard to break into Hollywood without some independent wealth or influence. And if River or Charlie Goldblum are to make it, they may have to start from scratch, unless someone recognizes their dad’s name on the call list.

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