Nepotism’s proving to be HBO’s favorite casting technique this year as more and more young actors with famous parents get their start on the network. A few weeks ago the Internet went crazy over the fact that all the young stars of Girls descend from well-known parents — and Sarah Sutherland’s debut on Veep last night will be sure to add more fuel to that fire.
Sarah Sutherland, daughter of Kiefer Sutherland and granddaughter of Donald Sutherland, played Selina Meyer’s (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) daughter Katherine on the third episode of the (awesome) new series. Famous lineage aside, she did a great job playing a college freshman completely uninterested in her mother’s career. She captured the true essence of someone struggling to be loved by her mother, while also realizing that same mother’s somewhat of a fraud. It was a bundle of teenage angst delivered in deadpan lines. So many teenage Xanga entries from the mid ’00s finally spoken aloud.
The young actress recently graduated from NYU’s famous Tisch School of the Arts in spring 2012 and landed this role early last fall. Whether or not her father and/or grandfather helped open any doors, I do not know. All I know is that she’s the fourth young actress to show up on HBO this spring with famous parents.
But even if her dad did get her a few meetings (and I have to think he likely did), she still got the role on her own. Just like all the four stars of Girls: Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke and Zosia Mamet. Yes, having famous parents certainly helps get your foot in the door, but it doesn’t get you much further than that.
If it did, “actresses” like Tori Spelling would be starring in Blockbuster films, rather than reality shows. And I guess after being in the real working world for a few years now, I’ve learned it’s all about “who you know” in every industry. So I suppose I shouldn’t hate all these young actresses too much for doing what we’d all do if we had the opportunity. As long as they’re talented, I can let it slide.