Robin Wright and Sean Penn's Son Hopper Weighs in On the Nepo Baby Debate

While chatting with E! News about his new film Devil's Peak, Hopper Penn shared his thoughts on Hollywood's ongoing nepotism baby debate. Find out what the actor had to say.

By Paige Strout Feb 13, 2023 3:07 PMTags
Watch: Sean Penn's Family Weighs in on Nepo Baby Debate

When it comes to Hollywood's ongoing nepotism baby debate, actor Hopper Penn—the son of Robin Wright and Sean Penn—doesn't give it much thought.

As he exclusively told E! News' Francesca Amiker while chatting about his new film Devil's Peak, in which he stars alongside his mom and Billy Bob Thornton. "Honestly it doesn't affect me."

"I'm like, 'If you like it, cool. If you don't, great. And if you think that there's nepotism going on, I really don't care because I'm gonna do the work just as professional as everybody else," the 29-year-old added, "'and I'm not gonna come there and do it half-ass because I'm working with my dad, I'm working with my mom.'"

That being said, Hopper admitted that he didn't have to audition for his first film, 2016's The Last Face, which was directed by his father, Sean. "That can be a form of it, but I wasn't treated any differently," he explained, before joking that the Oscar winner was "the same nightmare to work with that everybody had to work with," albeit, "a great nightmare."

Robin Wright's Best Looks

It wasn't until he worked alongside Destry Allyn Spielberg and Owen King—whose dads are Steven Spielberg and Stephen King, respectively—making the 2022 short film Let Me Go the Right Way that he really began to understand the nepotism discussion. As he told E! News, "The tag was just like a whole movie of nepotism."

But the way the star sees it, "Nepotism is the wrong word for what this is."

So how exactly does Hopper view it? "This is just a business that, luckily, for me, and not like a lot of actors, it was able to kind of just fall into my lap," he noted. "I was given the opportunity with almost no preparation."

Desiree Navarro/Getty Images

He continued, "I'm very lucky to have that, but I don't think it's nepotism. I mean, if I messed up on the film the first day, I'd be fired just like everyone else. Or, if I was terrible, I'll be terrible. And I have been terrible."

As for his mom Robin's perspective? "It is the nature of the beast," the House of Cards alum—who also shares daughter Dylan Frances Penn with Sean—told E! News. "They get your gene. And when they get your gene and it works, what's wrong with that?"

At the end of the day, the most important thing to Robin is how an actor responds to the material they're given, regardless of who their parents are.

"It is a business," she pointed out. "That never changes. It's just a different emotional value because you know each other so well."

Devil's Peal premieres in theaters Feb. 17 and on demand Feb. 24.

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