Sean Penn and Robin Wright’s Son Doesn’t ‘Give a S—‘ If People Think He’s a Nepo Baby: ‘I’m Not’

“They’re just pissed that they’re not in the movie!” Hopper Penn says of the namecallers

Robin Wright Hopper Penn
Robin Wright and her son Hopper Penn attend the Valentino show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2018 (Getty Images)

Hopper Penn, the son of actors Sean Penn and Robin Wright, is weighing in on the nepo baby discourse to say that he isn’t one, and that he doesn’t care if people think he is.

“I don’t give a s— about that, because I’m not one,” Penn told Yahoo! Entertainment when asked if he was concerned with being labeled as a “nepo baby,” a term implying that some children of celebrities are only successful because of their famous parent’s nepotism.

Penn, who stars in “Devil’s Peak” alongside his mother, recalled discussing the topic while on set for “Let Me Go the Right Way,” a 2022 short film that critics tagged as a “nepotism film” due to its involvement with director Destry Allyn Spielberg, the daughter of Steven Spielberg, and writer Owen King, the son of Stephen King.

“It came up when we were shooting,” Penn said. “Destry had shown me an article calling it a ‘nepotism film’ and I just laughed about it. I was like, ‘They’re just pissed that they’re not in the movie!’ And then Ben Stiller backed us up, and he also comes from an actor family. So I really don’t care — I’m never going to see those people.”

When word of the short film’s casting circulated across the trades and social media in 2021, The Black List founder Franklin Leonard pointed out the nepotism that could have been at play in the production, tweeting “Hollywood’s a meritocracy, right?”

As the discussion continued, Ben Stiller defended the group by tweeting “People, working, creating. Everyone has their path. Wish them all the best.”

While Penn has come to reject the “nepo baby” label years into his career, Wright shared in the interview that she had always considered the pressure their family’s history might put on their children.

“When I was pregnant with each of them, I told Sean, ‘This is going to be really tough for them, because they’re always going to be under that label of being compared to us,’” Wright said. “We agreed that we just had to nurture in both of them that they are their own beings. You’re going to have our genetic pool, but you’re always going to be your own thing and you have to run with it. They both are and they both will continue to do that.”