Dylan Penn is the latest child of celebrity parents who is dipping her toe into the family business. The Hollywood Reporter has announced that the 22-year-old daughter of Sean Penn and Robin Wright will star in Condemned. While this leap into film, a horror film no less, will be Dylan’s first screen performance, it isn’t her first brush with fame. She has been enjoying a successful modeling career with DT Model Management for a while.
Last year GQ featured Dylan Penn in their Sexiest Women of 2013 issue, and within her brief write-up she identifies herself not as a model or even an actress, but as an aspiring script writer. She told the magazine she realized she wanted to be a writer at the age of 10 or 11 when her mother turned on the movie Annie Hall for her to watch.
But it’s this starring role in Condemned that has people talking and taking note of Dylan Penn at the moment. The plot has been described as: “a group of kids who live in a condemned, filthy squat on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. After an infection originating from their own waste hits the building’s residents, the people inside lose their minds and go on murderous rampages.”
The resemblance between Dylan and her mother, Robin Wright, is strong. No offense to Sean, but if you have to favor one parent’s looks over the other, I’d say Dylan won out here. Other comparisons: Both Robin and Dylan started their careers as models, both were cast in their first film in their early 20s, and both were instantly romantically linked to Hollywood hunks. Rumors of Dylan’s involvement with Robert Pattinson were brief, and People now claims she is dating Steve McQueen (grandson of the famed actor with the same name).
I used to heave a big sigh over children of celebrities seemingly catching a big break and landing roles in film and TV. Blatant nepotism! No fair! I went to school to study acting, and it felt awful to hear of someone with no training getting an opportunity. After I spent a few years working in Hollywood on the other side of the camera, my perspective shifted.
I watched as children of location scouts came to set, some days children of camera operators would be there. On more than one occasion, the children of the star of the films I worked on would be on set or playing at the honey wagon (the trailer assigned to an actor). Growing up in that world is a completely different sort of training, and it is something that school can’t teach you. Being comfortable on a set, knowing the roles everyone on location plays — that sort of thing — is vital. Of course it matters if you can deliver a line, but if a director has to spend time dealing with someone with zero set etiquette it hurts production.
Children of celebs who get a break have a huge shadow to crawl out of to make their own name. I think it’s super smart that Dylan is starting with a small film.
Image Credit: DT Model Management Instagram
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