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Can Being a Celebrity Parent Help You Win an Oscar®?

112313PCN_Dallas14Lately it seems like Hollywood is knee-deep with its love/hate relationship with the paparazzi.

And while I completely understand the invasion of privacy and frustration many celebs feel when the paps are lurking around every corner in L.A., there’s always another side to the story. After last night’s Oscars®, I couldn’t help but wonder: Can being a celebrity parent help boost an actor’s career in Hollywood?

Case in point: Matthew McConaughey. The Texas-born star who won his first Best Actor award last night for his role in Dallas Buyers Club has the type of image that the Academy loves. After having acted in a series of rom-coms a decade ago, he’s since gone for more “meatier” roles, gotten married, has three children with his wife Camila Alves, and is living a low-key lifestyle with the occasional photo-op with his family.

And while some might argue that the award should have gone to Leonardo DiCaprio for his role in The Wolf of Wall Street instead, Matthew McConaughey has what Leo doesn’t: A packaged, family-man image. Now there’s no denying that each actor nominated at last night’s Academy Awards deserved to be recognized for their stellar performances. But I wonder: Could the next best thing for the Academy to take into consideration when voting be the star’s public profile?

After all, Hollywood is all about the image, right?

Matthew McConaughey isn’t the only star who may have benefited from this public, family-man persona. The Internet was abuzz with talk about how Ben Affleck campaigned hard for his Oscar® nomination for Best Picture for 2012’s Argo. There was a time during the Oscar® campaign trail last year that you couldn’t open a blog page without seeing Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner going on coffee runs and school pick-ups with their three children. Some might even say that it has also worked for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in years past, too. (It’s always a coincidence when you see more family pics right before awards season, right?)

And let’s not forget Jared Leto. He might not be a celebrity parent (nor do we know much about his private life), but there wasn’t a dry eye in the room when he thanked his mother, Constance Leto, for being the best inspiration in his life. Everyone loves a man who takes his mother as his date to a red carpet event, right? The message is rather clear: Family first, fame second.

Sure we’ll never know what exactly pulled these winners through the Oscar finish line, but I do wonder if the Academy loves seeing a family-man at the podium. Would the bongo-playing Matthew McConaughey of 10 years ago have had as much of a chance during this awards season the same way the family-oriented Matthew McConaughey of today did?

Photos via PacificCoastNews.com

Want more of Joanna’s pop culture ramblings? Follow her on Twitter!

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