- Jason Ritter, actor John Ritter’s son, told SiriusXM his first acting job was a result of nepotism.
- “Nepo baby” refers to anyone whose career has benefited from famous family members’ connections.
- The Hollywood nepo baby conversation was largely sparked by a 2022 New York Magazine article.
In a recent interview, Jason Ritter, actor John Ritter’s son, said he has nepotism to thank for landing his first acting gig.
On Thursday, Ritter appeared on SiriusXM’s “The Jess Cagle Show” and talked about this first job.
“Oh, as a little kid, when I was maybe 6 or something like that, my dad was doing this cartoon called ‘The Real Story of O Christmas Tree,'” Ritter said. “I will say, without any hesitation, this was like a full-on nepotism hire. I will admit that. He for sure got me the job. I did try to stay away from that later.”
In the cartoon, Ritter played an animated acorn and recalls thinking his voice was “sped up” because it sounded so high-pitched. Ritter has since become known for his role on NBC’s “Parenthood,” voice acting on “Gravity Falls,” and a notable role in the film “Freddy vs. Jason.”
His father, John Ritter, who died in from an aortic dissection in 2003, was most famous for his role in the film “Sling Blade” and parts on television in “Three’s Company” and “8 Simple Rules.”
In the interview, Ritter also talked about what it was like going to set with his dad.
“It was always a special experience,” Ritter said on the show. “I remember the first time I went, I don’t even know what he was shooting, but it was a night shoot. And so like the idea of staying up all night was so exciting and so crazy to me.”
Ritter is married to “The Last of Us” and “Yellowjackets” star Melanie Lynskey.
The conversation surrounding nepotism in Hollywood was brought to the forefront by a 2022 New York Magazine article.
A nepo baby, as it’s been coined, is someone whose career has been propelled by their familial connections. Several so-called nepo babies have had mixed reactions to the term and the discourse surrounding it.
In a November interview with Elle Magazine, Lily-Rose Depp, daughter of actors Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis, expressed her frustration regarding the nepo-baby label.
“Maybe you get your foot in the door, but you still just have your foot in the door. There’s a lot of work that comes after that,” Depp said.
In 2021, singer and actress Maya Hawke, Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman’s daughter, expressed gratitude for her nepo-baby status in an interview with People.
“I’m very grateful for the fact that they made it so easy for me to do the thing that I love,” Hawke said. “I think I’ll get a couple chances on their name and then if I suck, I’ll get kicked out of the kingdom. And that’s what should happen. So I’m just going to try not to suck.”