Many celebrity siblings are well-known to have sprung from the same family, but there are some talents out there that are less instantly attributable and may well surprise. There are no prizes for linking the likes of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Kylie and Danii Minogue, Maggie and Jake Gyllenhaal or Chris and Liam Hemsworth. Sometimes, though, even the shared surname does not immediately “click”.
Did you know, for example, that Lily Allen, fresh back on the celebrity scene with her comeback song Hard Out Here is the big sister of Game of Thrones star Alfie Allen? Yes, Lily Allen’s kid brother is Theon Greyjoy. The pair are only a year apart in age and their parents are both in the entertainment industry. Dad, Keith Allen, is a famed comic actor, and Mum, Alison Owen, a prestigious film producer. Keith, often described as a “hellraiser” left when Alfie was 5 and his Mum moved in with comedian Harry Enfield, then at the height of fame with his Loadsamoney act. Alison has produced many films including Elizabeth, starring Cate Blanchett; Brick Lane, The Other Boleyn Girl and most recently, Saving Mr Banks. Lily’s hit song Alfie was the epitome of teasing sisterly affection with its lyrics depicting a scene familiar to many homes with teenagers:
“Ooooo deary me,
My little brother’s in his bedroom smoking weed,
I tell him he should get up cos it’s nearly half past three
He can’t be bothered cos he’s high on THC.
I ask him very nicely if he’d like a cup of tea,
I can’t even see him cos the room is so smoky,
Don’t understand how one can watch so much TV,
My baby brother Alfie how I wish that you could see me”
Sandra Bullock is a multi award-winning actor and can also be proud of having a sister who is an absolute star in the kitchen. Celebrity siblings for their respective passions, Gesine Bolluck-Prado is not only a brilliant pasty-chef but she has two published cookbooks to her name, Pie It Forward and Sugar Baby. She also writes a blog where she posts her mouth-watering recipes. If these two made cupcakes together as children its easy to guess whose turned out the best.
Sienna Miller always looks immaculately groomed, but how much of that is down to sister Savannah’s expert advice and styling? Savannah Miller is a fashion designer and the celebrity siblings used to run a label together Twenty8Twelve. Savannah learnt her trade under the tutelage of legendary British names Alexander McQueen and Matthew Williamson, while Sienna was learning the acting ropes with director Guy Ritchie in Layer Cake.
Emma Watson is moving away from her iconic role as Hermione in the Harry Potter films. Recently, in The Bling Ring she played the ringleader of the gang of teen robbers who targeted the homes of the super-rich in Hollywood. A far cry from Hogwarts. After her success in Perks of being a Wallflower she is now all set to make another movie with director Stephen Chbosky While We’re Young. Not that long ago, when little Emma was young(er) she grew up with brother Alex in Paris, France, the children of lawyer parents. Alex Watson had some extra parts in the Harry Potter films, but he has now come into the spotlight in his own right as a leading male model. His career was launched when he was picked out by Christopher Bailey for the Burberry campaign, which he starred in with his sis. The celebrity siblings look remarkably similar so it no surprise really that Alex has been picked out for his good looks. He is certainly on the verge of moving on from “Brother of” to be celebrated for his own talents.
Scarlett Johannson is a twin. Her handsome brother Hunter, has achieved prominence in a different field to his sister, as a campaign organiser in the Obama administration. Scarlett is a great supporter of her twin and his work. Hunter repaid the compliment earlier in life by appearing with Scarlett in the movie Manny & Lo when they were 12. The push to get Barack Obama re-elected had this pair’s full commitment. Scarlett co-hosted a major fund-raiser with Anna Wintour in New York last year and before that was seen keeping abreast of current affairs, accompanying her brother to the White House Correspondents Dinner. Hunter now works for Scott Stringer while Scarlett is busy with press for her latest film Her.
Sisters who also excel in varying ways are Jennifer and Lynda Lopez. Younger sibling, Ly-Lo is an Emmy Award winning journalist, while her 2 years older sister, J-Lo is one of the world’s most famous actors and singers. Lynda was named in the “Who’s Who of American Hispanics” in 1993 and won her Emmy for “Outstanding Morning News Program” in 2001 when she worked at WPIX. Both are now single moms, and Jennifer has expressed her continued admiration for her sister’s abilities. “I just love and respect her so much” she told Cosmopolitan magazine “I have a lot of help-she doesn’t.” The two have combined forces to promote Global Mom Relay. This initiative, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, helps mothers in developing countries have access to medical care and information via mobile phone. As celebrity siblings they clearly utilise their surprisingly different talents to great effect, supporting each other, as well as other mothers across the globe.
Pippa Middleton became a famous sibling almost by default when her sister Kate married the future King of England. Their parents have built up a lucrative business selling party goods and Pippa has capitalised on this by launching herself as a party-planning expert. She has been wary when speaking of her catapult into fame and has said it has its upsides and its downsides. Receiving global acclaim as “Rear of the Year” was probably not her objective when she agreed to be bridesmaid. Maybe that was a surprise she could have done without.
Some families just can’t help creating dynasties. We have the Kardashians of course, but theatrical greats have included the Redgraves and the Mills, churning out celebrity siblings. The Fiennes family are another fiendishly talented bunch. Ralph Fiennes, recently chilling as Corialanus, heads a tribe of six. In addition to being third cousins to intrepid explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, they are respectively; Martha, a director; Joseph, actor; Magnus, Composer; Sophie, film-maker and Jacob, conservationist. A foster-brother Michael is an archeologist.
Having a famous celebrity sibling is certainly no deterrent to showcasing other talents and the best surprise of all for these siblings is to achieve what they want for themselves in their own right.
By Kate Henderson