Love presents itself in many ways—at least, that’s what we all like to say nowadays. However, when it comes to considerable age gaps between two people who are in a relationship, more so in high-profile ones, society is often less inclined to be so open-minded and understanding.
And for good reason too. For example, if a 30-year-old woman starts dating a 50-year-old man, chances are, no one will bat an eyelid. Sure, a handful of judgmental people might say something but that’s about it. That can be explained by the simple fact that the woman would be considered an adult—someone able to make her own decisions without being potentially influenced or impressed by an older partner.
But what if we took the same age difference and applied it to a different hypothetical couple? Let’s say one of them is 19 while the other is 39, things might seem slightly more worrying then. In the US, though the legal age is set by state law and can differ from one to another, almost all states set the base legal age at 18 years old. This would mean that, were the two individuals in this relationship from the country, the younger half of this couple would have been considered a teen not so long ago. Meanwhile, the other half would have been deemed an adult for 21 years.
As stated by the BBC, “Our views around age gap relationships are shaped by thousands of years of evolutionary psychology, and generations of social and cultural norms. Within the last hundred years, economic shifts and increased gender equalities have changed what is considered a ‘normal’ age gap, and recent social justice movements have increased scrutiny of power dynamics in mixed-age relationships.”
As women have gained greater economic power, the appeal of a much-older partner or spouse has fallen, making age gap relationships less common—and more often taboo. Rather than blindly assume people are happily together, society has a tendency to worry about possible power imbalances.
Such an approach to age gap relationships can often be seen with celebrities. But as we’ve shown previously, some age differences, even when exactly the same, can carry a greater (and more worrying) weight depending on the ages of both parties. To prove our point, we’ve analysed three power couples you probably didn’t know all have the same age gap: 23 years.
We’re all painfully aware of Leonardo DiCaprio’s alarming dating history and the fact that the Titanic actor just simply can’t seem to date anyone aged over 25, instead always breaking up with partners before they reach their 26th birthday. Gross and disappointing, we know.
Though the observation is a couple of years old already, it very much still applies to DiCaprio’s latest relationship. The actor is currently dating model Camilla Morrone—who he is rumoured to have met when she was only 12 through her stepdad Al Pacino by the way. Having been with DiCaprio since 2018, Morrone is 24 years old, coming up on her 25th birthday. Meanwhile, her beau is 47.
Despite DiCaprio’s somewhat predatory and ageist behaviour, many continue to commend him for his ability to attract younger women. Whether the two stay together after Morrone turns 26 remains to be seen, but we’re guessing it’ll be up to DiCaprio…
Actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson, 31, and director Sam Taylor-Johnson, 55, have been together for more than a decade. The pair met through the 2009 film Nowhere Boy and though their exact ages at the time of their first meeting remain largely unclear, various publications have stated that he was just 19 when he worked on the movie with the then 42-year-old director. Fans online also often speculate that, like DiCaprio, she knew the actor throughout his life because she was a family friend, but the claims are yet to be confirmed.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Sam shared that even though they clicked from the start, they didn’t begin their relationship while filming for the movie. “We were very professional through the entire film,” the couple told Harper’s Bazaar in 2019. “No funny business at all.”
Yet, as soon as the film was wrapped, Aaron proposed to Sam. “We had never been on a date, or even kissed,” she told Harper’s Bazaar. “And a year to the minute after we met, exactly one year to the minute, I got down on one knee and asked her to marry me,” Aaron added, further revealing that “a month later she was pregnant with our first child.”
In July 2010, their first child together, daughter Wylda Rae, was born—Sam was 43 and Aaron 20 at the time. Then, in January 2012, the couple had their second child, daughter Romy Hero. It’s only in June 2012 that Sam and Aaron found time to get married after having announced their engagement in 2009.
Sam wasn’t just older than her now-husband when she met him, she was also wealthier, better connected—her circle of friends includes Elton John and Damien Hirst—and professionally more established. This, to many, shows clear signs of a general power imbalance that was only exacerbated by his age as well as her role as his director and effectively his boss.
Last but certainly not least, we have American actor, screenwriter, director and producer Sylvester Stallone who was 46 when he met his wife, Jennifer Flavin, just 20 at the time. The pair were introduced at a restaurant in Beverly Hills, California in 1988—at the height of the actor’s career. The couple dated on and off between 1988 and 1994, before taking a break for a year and reuniting in 1995. They then got married in May 1997, making Flavin, Stallone’s third wife.
The actor’s second—and highly publicised—marriage was to model and actress Brigitte Nielsen, who was also 17 years his junior.
Discussion surrounding whether a celebrity is a ‘nepotism baby’ or not has been saturating social media for the past year or so—and we’ve got another list to add to the growing pile. For the ferocious fans out there, trust me, no one is questioning the ‘worthiness’ of their success or doubting the evidence of some of their talent—it’s merely an acknowledgement of their privileged beginnings that undoubtedly aided them in the pursuance of their careers.
Unfortunately, the more we uncover, the more we realise that most, not all, but most celebrities had a helping hand in getting them where they wanted to go and that fame—which so many of us dream of getting—is oftentimes a birthright. A closed circle that limits its newcomers. Here’s 14 celebrities you might not have known have rich or famous families.
Infamous for her iconic eyebrows, Brooke Shields gained critical acclaim in the 1978 film Pretty Baby at just 12 years old. Talented in her own right, and though she undoubtedly had to build up her own career, Shields actually has ties to Italian royalty. Her paternal grandmother was reportedly a noblewoman and daughter of an American socialite and Italian prince. Shield’s father was also a successful businessman and Revlon executive. Following her parents’ divorce, the actress’ modelling career as a child was the major income for both her and her mother.
While the younger generation may only know her as the owner of lifestyle brand Goop and Iron Man’s on-screen romance, Gwyneth Paltrow actually comes from a different kind of royalty—Hollywood royalty, that is. Heralding from one of the most prestigious film families out there, Paltrow is the daughter of Bruce Paltrow and Blyth Danner. Her father Bruce was a very successful producer and writer, while her mother Blythe was an incredibly well-respected actress winning two Emmys and a Tony in her career.
With two film legends as parents, it’s no surprise that Paltrow tried her hand at the industry.
“In contrast to Moss or Naomi Campbell—rising out of Croydon and Streatham to international profile—for Cara high society fame and gossip column interest run in the blood,” wrote The Evening Standard in a profile piece on the model’s family line. Just like fellow iconic-brow alum Shields, Cara Delevingne has some pretty high society ties throughout her family heritage—one that is made up of publishing executives, models, socialites and even some politicians.
Cited in The Evening Standard as “occasionally described country aristocrats,” Delevingne’s mother was a prestigious socialite who reportedly was personal friends with Princess Margaret. Her father (Delevingne’s maternal grandfather) was a newspaper publisher who later ran both The Evening Standard and the Daily Express. But it’s not just her mother’s side that has prestigious ties.
Delevingne’s father, who was a property developer, heralded from a well-connected family. His mother (Delevingne’s paternal grandmother) was the daughter of a Viscount (Hamar Greenwood) and an infamous debutante during the 1920s. Her paternal grandfather was also friends with Edward, Prince of Wales. Basically, her family has been running in the same circles as the British Royals forever—honestly, we’d be here all day running through it all.
Not only is it well documented that her older sisters were in the modelling scene before Delevingne but among her sixteen godparents are Nicholas Coleridge and Joan Collins—yep, the Joan Collins. If you don’t recognise Coleridge’s name well, he was only Condé Nast’s chairman for thirty years before stepping down in 2017…
Quirky and popular actress Emma Stone is another that was born into wealth. Her father founded his own general contracting company and remained the CEO and much like High School Musical’s Sharpay Evans, Stone spent some of her teenage years living in a fancy resort called the Camelback Inn Resort.
Our favourite Parent’s Trap mum and Diana lookalike, Natasha Richardson is a descendant of the Redgrave family—a family with immense ties in acting and film. Not only was her father an Academy Award winning director and producer but her mother Dame Vanessa Redgrave was a highly esteemed actress who heralded from an acting dynasty winning: an Academy Award, a BAFTA, two Golden Globes, two Emmys, two SAGAs and even a Tony throughout her career—making her one of the few actresses ever to obtain the Triple Crown of Acting.
Her maternal grandfather, Sir Michael Scudamore Redgrave, was also a successful filmmaker and actor who won an Academy Award for his role in Mourning Becomes Electra.
A Jurassic Park OG, Laura Dern is a critically acclaimed, award-winning actress who was born to parents of a very similar calibre. Both her mother and father were accredited actors with very long careers—her mother actually starred in over 120 films. But that’s not all. Dern’s godmother was none other than Shelley Winters, Hollywood royalty quite frankly.
Another Jurassic Park alum, Bryce Dallas Howard is actually the daughter of Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard—with a career from the 60s, Howard’s father has decades of experience in acting also.
One of our favourite 90s ‘it girls’ was none other than Drew Barrymore, but did you know that the Barrymore name is infamous in the Hollywood scene? They quite literally are an acting dynasty. Stretching back even before silent cinema to the 1800s in her great-great grandfather, Maurice Barrymore, who was part of an acting troupe. Littered throughout each and every generation of Barrymore’s family are cinema icons, award-winning actors of the highest calibre and Hollywood legends—there are so many that they are actually known as ‘The Barrymore family of actors’.
And of course, having a cinematic royal family lends itself to having an iconic godparent, and guess who Barrymore has for one? Steven Spielberg, of course. However, it wasn’t all glitz and glamour for the young actress, who began her career as soon as she could walk, as Barrymore’s early exposure to the industry (and complicated relationship with her mother) led to serious substance abuse issues.
Barrymore’s not the only one with a famous film family, our favourite meme Nicolas Cage is actually part of the Coppola family. Yep, you read that right. Cage was actually born Nicolas Kim Coppola, nephew to legendary The Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola and actress Talia Shire on his father’s side. The Coppola dynasty stretches far and wide but the actor allegedly wanted to drop his last name to avoid the appearance of such nepotism, instead opting for Cage, a decision allegedly inspired by character Luke Cage from the Marvel comics.
Beginning her career on Disney Channel, Zoey Deutch has built a formidable, critically-acclaimed career in her young life. The actress was also born to film friendly parents. Her father is director Howard Deutch and her mother is actress-turned-director Lea Thompson. Both Deutch and her sister starred in their mother’s directorial debut in 2017 for The Year of Spectacular Men where her father also served as producer.
Ben Stiller’s comedic flair has had us in his grips for decades now, but did you know that comedy is quite literally in his blood? His parents, Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, were an iconic comedy team in the 60s known as ‘Stiller and Meara’. His mother was also an Emmy and Tony nominated actress and even won a Writers Guild Award for the movie The Other Woman which she co-wrote. Stiller’s father went on to have success even later in his career in Seinfeld during the early 90s.
While we may know her as the mum from the 2003 film Freaky Friday, Jamie Lee Curtis’ career is well renowned in its own right, however, the actress’ family includes some pretty hefty names too. Her father Tony Curtis (born Bernard Schwartz) starred in over 100 films in a career that spanned six decades, but her mother is where true infamy lies. Famously known as one of Alfred Hitchcock’s actresses, Janet Leigh (Curtis’ mother) is most recognised for her role as Marion Crane in Psycho. You know that classic shower scene? Yep, that’s Curtis’ iconic mama. She was nominated for an Academy Award for her role.
Also fun fact, Curtis is Jake Gyllenhaall’s godmother.
A breakout star from immensely popular Netflix series Bridgerton, Phoebe Dynevor shot into notoriety following the first season’s release as Daphne Bridgerton. However, this wasn’t the actress’ first time in front of the cameras, she actually began her career as a child in Waterloo Road. Her parents are also well versed in the UK television industry—her mother Sally Dynevor is a well-known actress who has been on Coronation Street since 1986 and her father has been a script writer for Emmerdale since 1995.
Another Bridgerton starlet, Bessie Carter’s upper class acting runs in the family. Her parents are iconic British actors Jim Carter and Imelda Staunton. Ringing any bells? Well, her father Jim is famously known for his role in a little show called Downton Abbey. And her mother? Oh, she’s only the scary Dolores Umbridge. However, both parents have had incredibly long and infamous careers in both film and theatre beyond these characters, with numerous nominations and awards between them. Carter’s BAFTA-winning mother is also set to reprise her role as the Queen (whom she’s played before) in Netflix’s The Crown.