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Actors Who Have Played Younger Versions Of Their Parent's Characters

Call it nepotism or just call it luck of the genes, but it is not uncommon for actors' children to end up in the business themselves. Often, celebrity spawn will appear onscreen with their parents at least once or twice. Take Scott Eastwood, for example — a staple of father Clint Eastwood's productions (though he maintains he has had to audition), or Rumer Willis, who has appeared in numerous films starring either of her parents Bruce Willis and Demi Moore.

Frequently, actors' kids will play their television or movie kids, which makes sense given their physical resemblances and the difficulty of finding good child actors. Another common occurrence involves family members playing the same character at different ages across their lifespan. This happens with both child and adult children of actors — and it can be an effective way for the younger person to get their foot in the door of the business. Here are some instances of actors playing the younger version of their parent's character onscreen.

Michael Consuelos as a young Mark Consuelos

Mark Consuelos and actor/talk show host extraordinaire Kelly Ripa met on the set of the daytime drama "All My Children" in 1995, and the two eloped shortly thereafter. The gorgeous couple has three equally aesthetically gifted children — Michael, Lola, and Joaquin. And while aspiring musician Lola has quite the Instagram following, it is her older brother Michael who has capitalized on their parents' fame to land onscreen as a younger version of his father.

The younger Consuelos — whose Instagram bio lists him as an "Attempted Director, Occasional Writer, Aspiring Actor" — has appeared as the younger version of his father's character Hiram Lodge on two episodes of the CW's "Riverdale." The first time teenage Hiram Lodge appeared on "Riverdale" was back in 2018, and the role was rather minor, as it focused on all of the "Riverdale" parents' younger selves. In the more recent episode, which aired in August 2021, Hiram was the main focus. Not only was the episode focused on Hiram's origin story, but it also allowed both the Consuelos men to act onscreen together for the first time (Mark played Hiram's dad in flashbacks).

Ripa had Michael on "LIVE with Kelly and Ryan" to do press for the episode, and she gushed over how her son was able to get his father's voice and confidence down so well. "Working with Dad was really awesome. We had a lot of fun, we had some great scenes together," the younger Consuelos told his mom and Ryan Seacrest. "And it was really trippy because with the mustache he wears, he looks like my real-life grandfather, so it was a weird and surreal experience, but we had the best time."

Eva Amurri Martino as a young Susan Sarandon

Oscar winner Susan Sarandon has achieved great career success, and all three of her kids — Eva, Jack, and Miles — are also in show business in some capacity. Eva has probably the highest profile of the three: Born Eva Amurri (her father is Italian director and writer Franco Amurri), she's sometimes credited under her married name Eva Amurri Martino, despite being divorced from husband Kyle Martino.

Amurri Martino got her start in movies in 1992 with a small part in "Bob Roberts," appearing alongside her mother's then-partner Tim Robbins. In 1995, she appeared as the nine-year-old version of her mother's character, Sister Helen Prejean, in "Dead Man Walking." She again portrayed one of her mother's characters nearly two decades later, when she showed up as the younger Mary McGarricle in "That's My Boy." Finally, Amurri Martino played a younger version of her mother's character Gladys Mortenson in the 2015 miniseries "The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe."

Amurri Martino also starred opposite her mother in the comedy "The Banger Sisters" in 2002, and in 2008's "Middle of Nowhere," in both instances playing Sarandon's daughter. She appeared alongside her mother in a 2001 episode of "Friends," and has had bit roles in a number of her other films, so it's safe to say that Amurri Martino is totally cool with keeping it in the family.

Zoe Perry as a young Laurie Metcalfe

Zoe Perry is the only child of acclaimed actors Laurie Metcalfe ("Roseanne") and Jeff Perry ("Scandal"), and she has utilized her family ties to her career advantage. The first time she played one of her mom's characters was in 1992 (and again in 1995) when she popped up as a young Jackie Harris — the character her mother won multiple Emmy awards playing on "Roseanne."

Perry later landed a role as Mary Cooper, Sheldon Cooper's mother on the very popular sitcom "Young Sheldon," a spinoff of "The Big Bang Theory," where eagle-eyed fans are sure to remember that Metcalfe played Mary Cooper in multiple episodes. While producers surely gave weight to the family resemblance between the stars, Perry still had to audition for the part (via The Hollywood Reporter). Interestingly, she was fresh off of a nine-episode guest role on "Scandal" at the time "Young Sheldon" rolled around. "I'm definitely in a privileged position, so whatever extra pressure comes is in my own head," Perry told The Hollywood Reporter in 2017.

Michael Gandolfini as a young James Gandolfini

Tony Soprano is one of the all-time great television characters, and most actors would be terrified to take the character on, given how beloved his portrayer James Gandolfini was in the role. As fate would have it, there was one person ready to step in where Gandolfini left off — his son Michael Gandolfini, who signed on to play a young Tony Soprano in "The Many Saints of Newark," a "Sopranos" prequel that explores Tony's early years. The film is set to be released in October 2021.

The younger Gandolfini is only in his early 20s, but he's no stranger to acting. He's landed multiple film and television roles, with the most notable being his appearance as Joey Dwyer in ten episodes of the HBO drama "The Deuce." Still, "The Many Saints of Newark" is in a whole new ballpark for the young actor, who hadn't even watched "The Sopranos" at the time of his casting. "My dad didn't want me to see Tony Soprano — the violence, the angry, the mean. Of course I was on set and would visit him in his trailer, but I had never watched the show," he told Vanity Fair. "I never knew Tony Soprano. I only knew my dad." And now he is Tony Soprano — go figure.

Annie Starke as a young Glenn Close

Acclaimed actor Glenn Close has one child — daughter Annie Starke, who she had with businessman John Starke. Close's resume is long and varied, and her daughter has racked up her own handful of credits, most often in relation to her mother's films: She got her start with a bit role in a 2001 TV movie that starred Close called "South Pacific," and she also appeared in Close's "Albert Nobbs" in 2011, as a waitress in a chocolate shop.

The first time Starke played a younger iteration of a Close character was in 2017, when she made an uncredited appearance as Young Helen in "Father Figures." That same year, she appeared as a younger version of her mother's character Joan Castleman in "The Wife," a film that earned Close an Oscar nomination. Starke was later featured as Lily Cartwright in three episodes of the Netflix series "Ratched," which — for the record — does not feature Close in any capacity. Her appearance in 2017's "We Don't Belong Here" is also separate from her mother's work.

Ever Anderson as a young Milla Jovovich

Actor and model Ever Anderson made her big breakthrough with her starring role as Wendy in the film "Peter Pan & Wendy," which will premiere on Disney+ in 2022. She also played a young Natasha Romanoff in "Black Widow," but it was playing another young action star that gave her a foot in the door. In 2016, Anderson appeared as Young Alicia/Red Queen in "Resident Evil: The Final Chapter," playing a younger version of the character played by her real-life mother, Milla Jovovich. 

Well, technically, Jovovich plays a clone of Alicia, named Alice — it's all very complicated.

Jovovich is well known for playing Alice in the "Resident Evil" films, so it makes sense that her daughter was asked to step in as her younger self in the final film. Interestingly, "Resident Evil: The Final Chapter" was directed and written by Anderson's father Paul W.S. Anderson (who has directed all but one of the franchise's feature films and written all of them). We have to wonder if the couple's two other children will one day pop up in an action flick, since it seems to be a family tradition.

Max Winkler as a young Henry Winkler

Henry Winkler is a television legend, and his son Max — one of Henry's three kids — is also a successful artist in his own right. Max Winkler mostly focuses his time on behind-the-camera endeavors; he's directed episodes of well-known television shows such as "New Girl" and "Brooklyn Nine-Nine." He also produces and writes screen content, including a 2014 television movie starring his father titled "The Winklers."

Acting is less Max's thing, but he did step in to play a younger version of his father's character in three episodes of "Arrested Development" in 2013, appearing in flashback sequences as a young Barry Zuckerkorn during season four of the hilarious sitcom. His only other acting credit is as "Boy in Bathroom" in the 1993 film "Cop and a Half," directed by the older Winkler. All told, we have to give Max credit, because not only has he seemingly found his groove as a producer/writer/director, but he also has a solid educational foundation from which to draw upon: He graduated from the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California in 2006.

Sosie Bacon as a young Kyra Sedgwick

As the daughter of Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, Sosie Bacon had a Hollywood head start. She has put this to good use, amassing dozens of credits over the course of her career. Among other things, Bacon has appeared in a number of well-known television programs, such as "13 Reasons Why," "Narcos: Mexico," and the acclaimed miniseries "Mare of Easttown." But it was in film that Bacon got her start — specifically 2005's "Loverboy," directed by her father and starring her mother. Bacon played her mother's character as a ten-year-old in a flashback scene.

"It was just sort of a perfect part, to play Kyra's character as a girl. I just couldn't resist it," Kevin Bacon told New York Magazine. "Sure, Kyra was saying, 'Well, all right, if you really want to...' But Sosie was cool. She kind of got it out of her system. She said, 'Oh, that was fun — now I'm going back to school.'" She may have gone back to school, but she certainly didn't clear acting from her system. A handful of years later, Bacon was cast in four episodes of her mother's show "The Closer," and her career has continued from there.

James Paxton as a young Bill Paxton

The late Bill Paxton had a fantastic Hollywood career with many highlights, including his award-nominated work in "Big Love" and "Hatfields & McCoys." Beyond his acting, Paxton's legacy lives on through his two children, James and Lydia. Also an actor, James Paxton amassed dozens of credits before turning 30. Most of these credits are independent of his father's projects, and the majority have occurred from 2019 on, so the man has clearly been keeping busy.

In 2020, he played a younger version of his father's character John Garrett in three episodes of Marvel's "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." This was a return to the character that Bill had played in season one of the series, when he appeared in six episodes of the show. Bill passed away back in 2017; it seems safe to assume that playing his father's character held a special meaning for the younger Paxton.

Mamie Gummer as a young Meryl Streep

Of Meryl Streep's four children, oldest daughter Mamie Gummer is arguably the most well-known, with many acting credits across television, film, and the stage. She headlined her own TV series, "Emily Owens M.D.," in 2012-2013, and has appeared on a number of other television programs including "Off the Map," "True Detective," and "The Good Wife." Gummer has racked up some film credits as well, most notably 2015's "Ricki and the Flash," playing the daughter of her mother's character, Ricki.

Gummer got her start in one of her mother's films — 1986's "Heartburn," for which she was credited under the name Natalie Stern. She didn't act again professionally for nearly two decades, and it wasn't until 2007 that she appeared in another of her mother's films, "Evening." In the film, based on the novel of the same name, Gummer plays a young Lila Wittenborn circa the 1950s. Streep plays Lila in the present-day segments, as the film alternates between the two time periods. Rolling Stone movie critic Peter Travers wrote that "Gummer proves her talent is her own in a star-is-born performance that signals an exceptional career ahead."

Grace Gummer as a young Meryl Streep

All of Meryl Streep's children are involved in show business in some capacity, and Mamie isn't the only one who's had mainstream success. Younger sister Grace Gummer has also made her mark on Hollywood, starring in acclaimed fare like "Mr. Robot," "American Horror Story," and "The Newsroom." Gummer more recently appeared in "Dr. Death," a Peacock limited series based on the popular podcast of the same name.

Well before she started booking those gigs, Gummer appeared in her mother's 1993 film "The House of the Spirits." Credited as Jane Gray, Gummer played Young Clara, while Streep played the adult Clara del Valle. Gummer was seven when the film was released and, like her sister Mamie, she didn't act again for decades. She re-emerged in 2010 with the film "Meskada" and has been working steadily ever since.

Sean Harmon as a young Mark Harmon

Mark Harmon has starred as Leroy Jethro Gibbs on the procedural "NCIS" for what feels like forever, appearing in over 400 episodes of the program as the main face of the franchise. It isn't surprising, then, that there have been a number of flashbacks to Gibbs' younger days. It is also not surprising that the actor who portrays a young Gibbs is Harmon's real-life son Sean Harmon.

Sean's first acting credit came in 2012, when he appeared in one episode of "CSI:NY," another popular crime procedural. The first time he popped up in the "NCIS" universe was in a one-off episode of "NCIS: Los Angeles" in 2015. As a younger version of his father's character, he has only appeared on the flagship show, though his seven episodes have been spread out over the span of more than a decade. He first showed up as a young Gibbs in 2008, and his most recent take on the role came in 2020. And since "NCIS" likely isn't ending anytime soon, there's a good chance future flashbacks could be in the cards.

Atandwa Kani as a young John Kani

Veteran actor John Kani played the role of King T'Chaka in 2018's "Black Panther," and he also played the role of the King of Wakanda in "Captain America: Civil War" two years prior. His son, Atandwa Kani, was also in "Black Panther," appearing as a younger version of T'Chaka in flashbacks. The film is Atandwa's most noteworthy credit, though he's been acting professionally since he appeared in the television series "Life is Wild" in 2007.

In 2021, rumors swirled that the younger Kani would take over the role of "Black Panther" in upcoming films, in the wake of Chadwick Boseman's death. Kani was quick to dispel that chatter on Twitter. "HOLD ON!!! I have NOT been cast as the new Black Panther. I don't know where this rumor came from, but I know nothing of this," he posted in July 2021. According to IMDb, neither Kani is in the cast for the sequel "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," due on screens in 2022.

Lily Mo Sheen as a young Kate Beckinsale

As the child of notable actors Kate Beckinsale and Michael Sheen, Lily Mo Sheen knows the luster of celebrity especially well. And while she's still in her 20s, with a following of over 128,000 on Instagram, Sheen has a rather large fanbase of her own. This will be useful for her acting career, which is starting to take off. "She did her first movie last year, she's playing Nicolas Cage's daughter," her mother, Beckinsale said on "LIVE with Kelly and Ryan" in July 2021. "She's off and running. It's quite scary. I said, 'Be a doctor,' and then this happened."

The Cage film, "The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent," was preceded by three other acting credits that came during Sheen's childhood. Two of these credits involved playing a younger version of her mother's characters, and the other was a cameo in Beckinsale's film "Click." Sheen's first acting job was as Young Selene in "Underworld: Evolution" — the second film in Beckinsale's "Underworld" franchise – in 2006. Sheen also played a younger version of her mother's character in 2009's "Everybody's Fine."