I have had a fascination with Hollywood and the entertainment industry in general since I was a little kid. Movies, TV, celebrities, I loved and still love it all. I always had a natural inclination to learn as much as I could. I never wanted to be an actress or director or anything like that; I was just an avid observer. *Side note: One of my dream jobs would be a journalist who interviews celebrities. But not like the kind of fluff interviews for tabloids or Extra. The kind of articles you read in magazines like Vanity Fair where the writer meets the actor at a cafe and talks to them about their life, work, passions, etc.* When I was younger, my brother and I used to play this connection game whenever we were bored at family dinners or on long car rides. We would name two random actors/actresses and the other person would have to connect the two together using movies, TV shows, and sometimes we’d allow marriages. Probably not the kind of game your average 10 year old plays.
What does this have to do with Nicholas Sparks’ movie, The Longest Ride? I finally got around to watching it this summer and I thought it was really cool that 3 out of the 4 main characters in the movie are 2nd or more generation Hollywood. The movie has two parallel love stories going on at the same time. Britt Robertson plays Sophia, a college student and art lover. Scott Eastwood plays Luke, a bull rider. The two meet after one of his bull riding events and begin dating. After their first date they save Ira (played by Alan Alda in the present day and Jack Huston in flashbacks) from a car crash and get him to the hospital. Sophia forms a relationship with Ira, often visiting him and listening to his love story from when he was young to his late wife, Ruth (played by Oona Chaplin). The movie takes place in present day with Sophia and Luke’s love story and in the past with Ira and Ruth’s love story.
Those last names might sound a little familiar. Scott Eastwood is the son of legendary actor, Clint Eastwood and has been building up his film credits in recent years. He’s in the upcoming Fast 8 and you might recognize him from Taylor Swift’s “Wildest Dreams” music video.
Jack Huston belongs to the Huston family whose Hollywood presence stretches back generations. While his father, Tony Huston, is not as famous he does have super famous relatives. He is the nephew of Anjelica Huston and Danny Huston, grandson of John Huston, and great-grandson of Walter Huston. The Huston family is the first family to have 3 generations of Oscar winners! Jack Huston is no stranger to Hollywood and you may not realize it but you’ve probably seen him in a few things. Most recently he starred in the Ben-Hur remake but he was also in American Hustle, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and Boardwalk Empire where he played the man with that half face thing!
Lastly, Oona Chaplin is the granddaughter of Charlie Chaplin (if the name didn’t give it away) and great-granddaughter of famed playwright Eugene O’Neill. You may recognize her as Robb Stark’s wife in Game of Thrones!
So much talent in one movie and it’s interesting to see that more than half the cast has ties to Hollywood, some spanning multi-generations. They are definitely the epitome of “Hollywood Royalty”. What I find really great though is that we’ve never heard of these actors causing trouble like trashing hotel rooms or stumbling around with drug or alcohol problems. Or just bad publicity stories about them treating others badly. Who’s to say they haven’t had their own troubles, but it hasn’t been in the public eye. By all accounts, they’ve kept their heads down and worked hard to make it in Hollywood. As their movie credentials are slowly building up I would find it hard to believe that they are using their family connections very much, which makes them more admirable in my book.
As for the movie, it has its sad parts and its “kind of love you want to aspire to have” parts like with any Nicholas Sparks story. I did enjoy it and would really recommend it for a movie night this fall. Enjoy the love story[ies] and maybe a few of you will be as fascinated with hollywood generations as I am!