Jamie Lee Curtis weighs in on ‘nepo baby’ debate during SAG winner’s speech

The 64-year-old said it was a ‘dream’ to win outstanding performance by a female actor in a supporting role.
Jamie Lee Curtis weighs in on ‘nepo baby’ debate during SAG winner’s speech

By Ellie Iorizzo, PA Senior Entertainment Reporter

Jamie Lee Curtis addressed her “nepo baby” status after accepting a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) award for her role in Everything Everywhere All At Once on Sunday.

After collecting the award for outstanding performance by a female actor in a supporting role, 64-year-old Curtis used her speech to weigh in on the nepotism debate.

“Nepo baby” refers to successful children of celebrities, whose parents’ famous names and glittering showbiz connections have helped them become stars themselves or become very successful in a related career.

Curtis, who was born into Hollywood royalty through parents Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis, said: “I’m wearing the wedding ring that my father gave my mother. They hated each other by the way at the end of the whole thing.

“But my sister Kelly and I were born from love and 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. I love what we do with each other, it’s such a beautiful job.

“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.”

She signed off her speech saying: “What a dream man.”

It is not the first time Curtis has weighed in on the debate, sharing a statement in December on Instagram which said the conversation around the so-called nepo baby is “designed to try to diminish and denigrate and hurt”.

She added: “I’ve never understood, nor will I, what qualities got me hired that day, but since my first two lines on Quincy as a contract player at Universal Studios to this last spectacular creative year some 44 years later, there’s not a day in my professional life that goes by without my being reminded that I am the daughter of movie stars.”

Other celebrities who were branded as “nepo babies” in a 2022 article from Vulture magazine, titled An All But Definitive Guide to the Hollywood Nepo-Verse, thanks to their wealthy and famous parents include Hailey Bieber, Lily-Rose Depp, Miley Cyrus and Zoe Kravitz.

Discourse surrounding “nepo babies” sparked a widespread backlash from a number of stars including singer Lily Allen and Noel Gallagher’s daughter Anais.

In December, Allen, who is the daughter of actor Keith Allen, responded to the title on Twitter.

She wrote: “The nepo babies y’all should be worrying about are the ones working for legal firms, the ones working for banks, and the ones working in politics, If we’re talking about real world consequences and robbing people of opportunity. But that’s none of my business.”

She added: “And before you come at me for being a nepo baby myself, I will be the first to tell you that I literally deserve nothing.”

Meanwhile in November last year, Anais responded to being branded a ‘nepo baby’, telling the Daily Mail: “I would be tone deaf if I didn’t admit how privileged my life is.

“I’m really, really, extremely grateful for the situation my parents have been able to give me, and I’ll be grateful until the day I die.”

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